Can you imagine never having to go to a gas station to fuel your car? This is the beauty of electric vehicles. They work, as long as you have a power source at home. That is why you need to invest in the best home EV charger so that your car can run freely without you worrying about it running out of fuel.
There are tons of home chargers to choose from. As a matter of fact, there are more chargers and models of electric vehicles. This may make it difficult for a newbie to find the right charger. With this in mind, we have tested different models and types of EV chargers and we have narrowed it to the top 5 best chargers.
However, before getting into the details of this guide, let us look at some basic information about EV chargers.
What is an EV Charger?
An electric vehicle (EV) charger works just like any other normal AC adaptor in a house that you use to plug in a device and charge it. The only difference with an EV charger is that this one charges your electric car rather than another mobile device.
EV chargers come in two types, the Level 1 and the Level 2 chargers. A level 1 EV charger produces about 120 volts at 12 amperes (amps). This is the simplest charger to use since you can plug it directly into an outlet in your garage.
A level 2 EV charger, on the other hand, produces 240 volts at 32 amps or higher. The latter is more appropriate for larger vehicles like trucks and SUVs.
How Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Works
Electric car chargers (EVSE) are composed of three basic components: An inlet, an outlet, and a cord. The inlet is the part where you plug your EV into charging. This part usually comes with either SAE J1772 or Type 1 (Mennekes) plugs (depending on the charger).
The outlet is where you plug your AC power cord into. This part is where the charger converts AC power to DC power for your vehicle.
Finally, the cord is where you plug both ends into each other. It comes with either a NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 plug end (depending on the charger).
Features of a Good Home EV Charging Point
Now that you have a basic understanding of EV chargers, here are some features that you should look for when buying one.
1. Certified Quality
Electric cars like the Nissan Leaf travel about 100-200 miles on a single charge (depending on how you drive it). This means that you will need to recharge your car every day, especially if you use your car every day. The miles of range per charge is an essential consideration.
Choosing a quality home EV charger will ensure that your car gets the right amount of power to get it through the day (or night). Go for an energy star-certified charger. A top-quality charger will come with UL or ETL certification, which means that it has gone through various tests to prove its functionality and safety.
As with every product, there are different types of home EV chargers to choose from. Just like electric cars, these chargers come in different models and brands.
Before you purchase a charger, make sure that it is compatible with your car or else all that money spent on buying the charger will be wasted. Most car manufacturers always recommend charging your car with a charger that is made by the same company.
Other than this, you should also check whether it has UL or ETL certification to prove its functionality and safety. Checking these two factors will save you from buying a fake charger that may damage your car in the process.
3. Charging Speed
A top-quality home EV charger should be able to charge your car as fast as the official charging kit that comes with your car. This means that it should take no more than 8 hours to fully charge a dead battery. It should also take into consideration the current outside temperature and adjust its output automatically so that you don’t need to manually adjust it.
The point of buying an EV charger is to make your life easier and more convenient right? Right! You should get a home charger that allows you to charge your car from the comfort of your house (and not have to wake up at night just to plug in your car).
This means that you should get a charger that is easy to operate and use, regardless of the time. The home plug-in charger offers a whole lot of convenience. It is important to consider the cable length as well.
5. Unique Features
Last but not least, you should choose an EV charger that comes with additional features like LED lights for usability during night charging sessions and for outdoor use.
It should also come with warranties so that you can always replace it if something goes wrong (or contact the manufacturer if it stops working altogether).
Choosing an electric car charger can be overwhelming especially with all the choices out there. Make sure to check these five factors before you buy one to ensure that your purchase is well worth it.
Best Electric Vehicle Chargers in the USA
As you can imagine, there are so many different types of electric vehicle chargers to choose from. We have thus narrowed down the many options to the top 5 best electric car chargers that are available in the USA.
1. JuiceBox Pro
JuiceBox has been a leader in the EV industry with its innovative and efficient home EV charging stations for years now (they were actually the first company to offer NEMA 14-50 outlets). The Pro version is definitely their best product yet, providing up to 30 amps of power at 240 volts and 80 amps at 208 volts.
It also comes with flexible billing options to suit your budget, allowing you to use it for free if you are enrolled in the JuiceNet platform (or pay a low monthly fee for unlimited access). The only downside here is that it does not have an integrated WiFi or mobile app to give you remote control functionality, but since most EV owners don’t prefer to use such features, this is not a deal-breaker.
2. ChargePoint Home Flex
ChargePoint has also been around for years and provides ultra-fast charging stations that can fully charge any compatible electric car within 3 1/2 hours. The Flex model comes with an innovative design to make it both beautiful and functional, allowing you to monitor energy consumption and select the best time (or day) to use it.
It also comes with a mobile app that allows you to monitor your smart charging station remotely and access payment information in case you want to enroll in one of their prepaid plans (or sign up for their free-for-life membership). What we particularly love here is that it comes with a 10-year warranty, double the industry standard.
3. Wallbox Pulsar Plus Electric Vehicle Smart Charger
If you are looking for a top-quality electric car charger that is compact enough to fit into tight parking spaces, then the Pulsar Plus is the one for you. It comes with two charging channels that can deliver up to 18 amps of power each at 240 volts (or 9 amps at 208 volts). This is a popular option as it comes with smart charging features.
It also has free mobile apps for Android and iOS that give you complete control over your charging sessions, allowing you to monitor energy consumption at any time. The only downside here is that it comes with a hefty price tag (that’s only to be expected considering its quality).
4. Grizzle-E Classic
If you are looking for an electric car charger that is both cost-efficient and durable, then the Grizzle-E Classic is definitely it. It comes with a fully functional mobile app that allows you to monitor your charging sessions at all times (and select the best time for maximum savings).
You can also use PayPal or any other major credit card to purchase their Cloud plan that is available for years at a time if you need more flexibility. The only downside is that it does not have WiFi connectivity, but since most EV drivers want mobile control anyway, this should not be much of an issue.
5. ClipperCreek HCS-40/HCS-40P Charging Station
Last, but not least, we have the ClipperCreek HCS-40 that offers one of the highest power ratings in the industry (up to 30 amps at 240 volts) while also being compact enough to fit into tight parking spaces.
It is definitely more expensive than most other chargers on this list, but you are guaranteed a top-quality product if you choose to go with this one.
With that, we hope you were able to find the ideal electric car charger that suits your needs and budget.