Today, many drivers are trying to do the more environmentally conscious thing by purchasing either a electric/gas hybrid or purchasing a electrically powered vehicle. Both of these types of automobiles can greatly reduce our carbon footprint and the latter reduces emissions greatly, especially over the lifetime of your car. Powering an electric vehicle can be relatively easy if you have a power station nearby, but if you want to power your car at home, you’ll need a home electric vehicle charger.
During the early days of the plug-electric, there were few choices when it came to home charging stations, but now that the technology is becoming more commonplace, it’s becoming much easier to find a charger for your electric vehicle. These devices, which are professionally called electric vehicle supply equipment or EVSE, really make a difference in the convenience of owning one of these types of vehicles. We are going to review several great EV chargers, but first, let’s take a look into what you should look for when you purchase one.
Features to look for
- Connector: Since the advent of the electric vehicle, there have been several attempts to create proprietary connectors for different cars. Today, for the most part, the majority of electric car manufacturers have settled on a standardized charging system. This connection system, which is called the J1772, is used by just about every manufacturer of electric cars, save for Elon Musk’s Tesla, which has its own proprietary technology.
- Cord Length: Dependent on the setup of your garage, cord length is going to be a major consideration for you EVSE system. EVSE’s deliver current through a well-insulated copper cord. These cords typically range between 12 and 25 feet and tend to get more expensive by the foot.
- Type (Level One and Level Two Chargers): Similarly to the 1a and 2a current options for mobile charging, EVSE systems have two types of charging that vary based on voltage. Level one chargers are the slowest, with a current at 110 or 120 volts. This type of charger is standard and most electric cars come with a level one charger from the factory. Level one also tends to use a standard outlet connection, but moves more electricity than many other household items. Many modern electrics will charge in about 24 hours with this type of connector.
A level two charger, on the other hand, has a much faster current so that you can charge your vehicle at a faster rate. These chargers can provide a current of 220 to 240 volts and this connection is more akin to the electrical current used to power beefier devices like clothes dryers. Level two will charge many cars in about four hours.
|Item||Best Design Feature||Price||Rating|
|AeroVironment TurboCord Dual Plug-in EV Charger, 120 & 240 Volt||This device is weatherproof, meaning you can store it on the outside of your home.||$599.00||Stars 4.5/5|
|Bosch EL-51253 Power Max 30 Amp Electric Vehicle Charging Station with 18′ Cord||The LED indicator makes it easy to gauge whether you have a current.||$700.85||Stars 4.4/5|
|Siemens VC30GRYHW Versicharge 30-Amp electric vehicle charger indoor only||This unit is hardwired for reliability.||$459.00||Stars 4.5/5|
|Blink HQ 30-Amp Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger||This is a very convenient level two charger. You’ll be able to charge quickly.||$583.95||Stars 4.8/5|
|JuiceBox 40A EV Charger / Home Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Station with 24′ Cord||This device has built in cable management.||$499.00||Stars 4.7/5|
|GE EV Charger Indoor/Outdoor Level-2 DuraStation Wall Mount with 18 ft. Cord||If there is a fault, the green charging light turns red.||$583.95||Stars 4.5/5|
|ClipperCreek HCS-40P, 240V, 32A, EV Charging Station, with 14-50 plug, 25 ft cable||This device includes a 25 foot cable, which gives you a lot of leeway.||$589.00||Stars 4.7/5|
1) AeroVironment TurboCord Dual Plug-in EV Charger, 120 & 240 Volt
The AeroVironment TurboCord is a great inconspicuous EVSE that has a lot of built-in versatility. Firstly, the product is designed to have a small form factor so that you will easily be able to use it in almost any garage environment.
What makes this particular product unique is its ability to be used in a standard 120 volt outlet that you’d use for any electronics or the fact that it can also be charged in a 240 volt outlet that will allow you to charge your electric vehicle at a must faster pace. This is a great option for garages that already have the 240 volt connector because they also have a clothes dryer or a air conditioning unit hookup. To switch between the level one and level two charging systems, all you’ll have to do is attach a clip and adapter.
When it’s plugged-in securely, this EVSE displays a bright blue LED, which makes it so that you’ll always know when a connection is stable. In addition to its rich features, the device is also life-ready. The entire product is waterproof, meaning that you can easily use this outdoors, even in a rainstorm. The product is also very durable; it won’t even fail if you accidentally run it over.
2) Bosch EL-51253 Power Max 30 Amp Electric Vehicle Charging Station with 18′ Cord
The Bosch EL-51253 is another great EVSE that can provide a lot of great utility for you electric vehicle. Firstly, this wall-mounted product is hardwired, so it means that you won’t need to have an outlet to power it, it’ll have to be installed by an electrician in order to set it up. This is actually fairly advantageous because you’ll always be able to get a maximum charge rate for your vehicle. You’ll also be able to easily store the 18 foot power cord by wrapping it around the device, which provides a very functional and easy cord storage system.
When not in use, simply store the power adapter in the body of the EVSE until you need it to charge your car. If you don’t want to wrap the cable, you can also purchase a cable hook in order to easily store the cable as well. To prevent mishaps, the device also has a cord breakaway system and a non-live current wire. The device also employs a LED indicator so that you’ll always know when the product is ready-to-charge. Finally, since many EV owners store their vehicles outdoors, this product is NEMA 3R compliant and can be used both indoors and out.
3) Siemens VC30GRYHW Versicharge 30-Amp electric vehicle charger indoor only
Another hardwired unit, this device is an excellent option that will charge most vehicles at a level two rate of charging (in about 3.5 hours). This device is very easy to install and comes with a mounting bracket that will easily fit on most surfaces. The bracket is independent of the actual device; and as a result, you can easily remove the device from the wall if needed.
A great feature that makes this an excellent EVSE is the control console on this device. Since in some areas energy rates vary based on the time of day, this unit has a control that lets you delay charging to a cheaper period so that you can save money. Once you plug your vehicle in for charging, you’ll be able to delay it for two, four, six, or eight hours.
This product comes with 14 feet of cable, so you should have plenty of range to charge your vehicle in your garage. Unfortunately, this particular EVSE is only usable indoors, so you’ll have to have a garage or enclosure to charge your vehicle.
4) Blink HQ 30-Amp Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger
Of the lot, the Blink HQ is one of our favorite EVSEs in this guide. As a hardwired unit, this is one of the most attractive devices of its type on the market today. It has a sleek black piano finish that belies its high tech design. There aren’t a whole lot of settings on the device itself, but a device of this type should be somewhat simple because it’s only really designed to charge your electric vehicle.
The device has a large green LED that lets you know that the device is ready to charge your car. When you first turn it on, the light is a bright red; this red also lets you know if there is a fault in the charging. The main charging port for your car locks safely into the body of the EVSE via a nicely designed retainer clip and the same clip securely locks onto your car’s charging port as well. Like other hardwired EVSEs on the market, this device gives you a delay function that’ll let you choose to delay the charging of your car until a time when your electricity costs less.
In addition to all of this, if you purchase this device on Amazon, Blink will give you a $100 Blink Network charging credit that expires six months after purchase. This greatly reduces the effective cost of this product, which makes it one of the cheapest products of its type on the market.
5) JuiceBox 40A EV Charger / Home Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charging Station with 24′ Cord
Our next product doesn’t have a lot of aesthetic frills but it has more than enough features to make it an excellent product that is worthy of its position in our guide. Firstly, you might notice that this level two device has a very long, 24 foot cord. This is the perfect length for a two car garage that has two electric vehicles. The body of the device is very similar to the design of many fuse boxes and blends in well with the standard aesthetic of most garages.
Like our first product, this is an EVSE that really takes up very little real estate; as a matter of fact, the main box is only ten inches in height, six inches in width, and about 3.5 inches in depth. As the "juicebox" model, its design is perfect for those looking for a quick charge without a lot of frills. For added convenience, this product also comes with a cable management system so that you can quickly and easily store the included 24 foot cord.
6) GE EV Charger Indoor/Outdoor Level-2 DuraStation Wall Mount with 18 ft. Cord
The GE EV Charger Indoor/Outdoor Level-2 DuraStation is another EVSE that has a very simple, utilitarian design. If you weren’t looking for it, this device would look like any other fuse box that you’d have inside of your garage. What we loved about this particular model is that it’s usable outdoors, so if you park your car in an external space, you can still easily charge it at a level two rate of current. This is also aided by the fact that GE included an 18 foot power cord with this device, which is typically more than enough slack for most electric vehicles.
As a hardwired unit, you’ll need to have this product installed by an electrician, but once it’s installed, you’ll be able to quickly charge any electric vehicle at a crisp pace. When operating, the device displays a green light at its center so that you’ll always know when there’s current through the device. We also found that storing the cable is very easy with this unit; simply wrap it around the body and unwrap when you need to charge.
7) ClipperCreek HCS-40P, 240V, 32A, EV Charging Station, with 14-50 plug, 25 ft cable
The final product in this guide is the ClipperCreek HCS-40P. This device has a very functional design that even includes a cable management system that allows you to wrap the 25 foot cable around the device when not in use. Unlike other products that have similar cable systems that we’ve featured on this list, the cable storage part of this device actually contains the cable away from the wall that it’s mounted on. This feature prevents the accumulation of dirt on the wall as you use the device.
Also, this device has a dedicated holster that you actually mount on the wall as well. This keeps the EV connector from inadvertently being knocked out of the device when you walk by it. While you should use an electrician to install this unit, we found that installation was pretty easy to complete. If you are looking for a device that provides an easy use and installation, then this might be the one for you.
Purchasing a quality EVSE system will really help you power your electric vehicle for years to come. The world of the electric vehicle is only growing, so it’s good to purchase a device that’ll be future-proof and able to be used for several car lifetimes. All of the products that we’ve highlighted in this guide are great devices for any vehicle owner, but if we had to pick a favorite, we’d go with the Blink HQ 30-Amp Home Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger. This charger has a neat, easy-to-use design that easily holds the charging port and even helps you lower your utility bills by avoiding charging during periods of high electricity costs. On top of that, the device is very sleek and looks great in any garage.
When considering the best bang for your buck, we think that the Siemens VC30GRYHW Versicharge 30-Amp electric vehicle charger wins in this regard. It is relatively cheap for this type of item and it has a great charging rate of 3.5 hours for most electric vehicles. It also has a great cable management system as well.