How to Choose the Best Electric Car Charger

Woman charges her EV

The research is done, the test drives are over, and you’ve finally chosen the electric vehicle that’s right for you. Whether you’ve purchased an all-electric car or a plug-in hybrid, not every electric car is the same. 

Similarly, there are many differences in electric car chargers.

While public charging stations are an option in many states, having a home charging station is the most practical way EV drivers can “fill up.” Some home chargers can be run off a simple wall outlet, while more complex charging systems require installation by an electrician. 

No matter what chargepoint you use, you’ll be freed of gas costs and fees for the common maintenance associated with traditional gas-powered vehicles. In addition, many types of rebates are available for those who install an electric vehicle charging station at their home. 

Whether you’re planning on setting up a home EV charging station, or wondering about which portable car chargers work best, these EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) chargers offer the most benefits in terms of cost and time. 

Best Electric Vehicle Charging Stations for Home Use

Home charging is a safe and convenient way to refill your electric car’s battery. The most common home EV chargers are Level 2, or 240-volt electric chargers that can “fill up” an EV battery over night. They utilize as much electricity as a large appliance, so they won’t be too much of an extra burden on your existing electric bill.

The cost to install an electric car charger in your home varies between $1,200 to $2,000. If your home requires major electrical upgrades to be able to power EVSE technology, the price could be higher. Installation costs can also vary from electrician to electrician. Take some time to research electricians in your area and choose the ones that have experience in installing electric car chargers. 

Here are some of the best electric car chargers on the market today in terms of convenience, connectivity, and price.

JuiceBox Smart EV Charger

JuiceBox EV Charger

Price: $609

Installation Type: Hardwire (Electrician required)

WiFi Connectivity: Yes

Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years

JuiceBox brand home electric vehicle charging stations are produced by Enel X North America. 

The JuiceBox 40 is a 40-amp WiFi-enabled Level 2 EVSE that comes with a 25 ft. charging cable. It also comes with a versatile connector that gives users the option to charge any EV on the market, including Teslas.

The charger’s accompanying smart phone app allows you to track the progress of your charging time remotely.

ChargePoint Home Flex

ChargePoint EV charger

Price: $699

Installation Type: Plug-in and Hardwire (Electrician required)

WiFi Connectivity: Yes

Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years

ChargePoint’s Home Flex Level 2, 240 volt electric vehicle (EV) charging station comes with a NEMA-certified (National Electrical Manufacturers Association) charging cable. 

This electric car charger can refuel any EV up to nine-times faster than a conventional wall outlet charging cable, and it features flexible amp settings that range from 16 amps to 50 amps. 

The ChargePoint features both plug-in and hardwired installation options, an accompanying smart phone app, and Amazon Alexa voice compatibility.

Siemens VersiCharge VC30GRYU Home Charger

Siemens EV charger

Price: $499

Installation Type: Plug-in (No electrician required)

WiFi Connectivity: No

Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years

The Siemens VersiCharge VC30GRYU electric vehicle charging station works with both electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid (PHEV) cars manufactured by Nissan, Chevy, BMW, and Ford. One drawback is that the unit is not compatible with Tesla models. 

This electric car charger is a Level 2, 240V charger with a 20 ft cable. One of the most affordable home charging units on the market, the VersiCharge is weather-rated for outdoor use and small enough for use in condominium, apartment or retail garage buildings.

Bosch Level 2 EV Charger

Bosch EV charger

Price: $476-$593

Installation Type: Plug-in or Hardwire (Electrician required)

WiFi Connectivity: Yes

Manufacturer’s Warranty: 1 year

The Bosch EV200 boasts a compact, minimalist design and needs to be hardwired to your electric grid. Unlike many competitors, Bosch offers its own network of electricians who are approved installers.

The cost fluctuates whether you choose a 12-foot charging cable or an 18-foot charging cable. 

The Level 2, 240V unit has a weather-resistant design that can be utilized outdoors. In addition to an accompanying app, the Bosch EV200 is also compatible with some vehicle infotainment systems, depending on the make and model of your EV. This compatibility gives drivers parking directions within the correct distance of their charger and allows them to track their battery depletion on the road.

Megear Level 2 EV Charger

Megear EV charger

Price: $179-$199

Installation Type: Hardwire (Electrician required)

WiFi Connectivity: No

Manufacturer’s Warranty: 2 years

The Megear Level 2 electric car charger is one of the most affordable car chargers on the market. When you choose the Level 2 charger with the 32-amp option, you will get approximately 20 miles of range per hour of charging.

The Megear Level 2 240 charger delivers a charging rate of 7.68 kw/h.

Unlike other chargers on the market, this EV charger requires a key card to access its controls.

ClipperCreek HCS-40 EV Charging Station

ClipperCreek EV charger

Price: $565.00

Installation Type: Hardwire (Electrician required)

WiFi Connectivity: No

Manufacturer’s Warranty: 3 years

The ClipperCreek Level 2 240V EVSE is an Energy Star certified home charging station. It charges at a 32 amp (7.7 kW max) rate.

ClipperCreek offers a variety of optional accessories, including a combination lock for the unit’s 25-foot charging cable that ensures only authorized users can access the unit — ideal for those who use shared parking spaces.  

Portable Electric Vehicle Chargers

The next development in long range EVSE technology is portable electric car chargers. A few options exist on the market today, but there are not nearly as many options as there are for home charging stations.

The idea of a portable electric car charger offers many unique challenges, particularly the charger’s ability to hold a charge independent of a charging network. 

While the market is limited, there are a few options to choose from if you’re an EV driver who is eager to leave your circuit breaker in the dust!

Blink IQ 200-M EV Charger

Blink EV charger

Released in 2020, the Blink Mobile IQ 200-M EV Charger is, somewhat ironically, a gas-powered generator that supports Level 2, 240-volt AC charging and provides up to 9.6 kW of charge anywhere.

While available for individual sale, the Blink Mobile IQ 200-M EV Charger is ideally suited to towing companies and garages that offer mobile automotive services and roadside assistance

The machine comes in both networked and non-networked configurations. The networked version features a point-of-sale that allows Blink customers to pay for the electricity they take from the machine. 

The unit provides 1 mile of charge per minute, so it’s ideally suited to give EV drivers enough charge to get back to their home charger or a public charging station. 

BizLink Portable EV Charger

BizLink EV charger

On the market since 2018, the BizLink Portable EV Charger offers three different types of charging cord adaptors for versatile compatibility. While portable, the unit needs to be plugged into a power source in order to work. 

The available voltage varies depending on which EV connector you choose. Like the Blink model mentioned above, it’s intended for use in a pinch, offering enough charge to get you to a more conventional charging source. 

SparkCharge Roadie Portable EV Charger

SparkCharge EV charger

The Roadie mobile charging unit produced by SparkCharge is available in three distinct packages — each of which offer escalating charging capabilities. 

The Roadie is small enough to fit in the trunk of any vehicle and can be carried if necessary. It’s also available as a wheeled unit. 

Unlike many portable EV chargers on the market, the Roadie is considerably fast. It’s most powerful configuration, known as “Package 3,” is capable of generating 15 miles of range in 15 minutes. 

That’s a charging rate eight times faster than standard wired charging stations.

What to Consider When Choosing an Electric Car Charger

If you’re in the market for a home charging station or portable EV charger, there are important factors to consider. A portable charger is best for EV drivers who log a lot of miles. They can be handy to use instead of opting for roadside assistance.

It’s also a good idea to have an electrician survey your home power grid to make sure it can handle the demand of a home charging station before you decide on which one to purchase.

But don’t worry, no matter your living situation or budget, there’s a charging option for you.

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