How to Choose a Level 2 Charger for Your Home

Updated February 18, 2022

Level 2 charger: person holding an EV charger mounted to a wall

If you’re thinking of buying an electric vehicle, then chances are you’re going to want to install a Level 2 charging station at home. Sure, you could plug your EV into a standard 120-volt wall outlet (known as Level 1 charging), but Level 2 chargers offer a bit more speed and practicality for most drivers.

While they aren’t as powerful as the DC fast chargers you’ll find at some public charging stations, they provide enough voltage to charge your car in a matter of hours. Plus, you can use an EV charging app to monitor your battery’s state of charge and schedule charging times at off-peak hours to save money on your electric bill.

Here’s everything you need to know about home charging stations and how to choose the best Level 2 EV charger for you.

What Is a Level 2 Charger?

Standard wall outlets deliver 120 volts of electricity at up to 20 amps – that’s enough to power most household appliances, but it’s a bit weak for an electric car battery.

With a Level 2 charging station, you can charge your electric vehicle or plug-in hybrid with 240 volts of power at up to 50 amps. Since Level 2 wall chargers need a 240-volt outlet, you may need to hire an electrician to install it for you.

Home EV chargers cost anywhere from $500 to $1,000. But depending on where you live, you may be able to get a tax rebate or benefit from other incentives.

Most home chargers are small enough to fit in a garage or covered parking spot, and some models are even weatherproof and suitable for outdoor use.

The only other thing you’ll need is a charging cable. Most electric car models use the SAE J1772 connector type for Level 2 charging, but Tesla models have their own connector type, so you’ll need an adapter to use a non-Tesla charger.

Once your electric vehicle charger is installed, you’ll be able to charge your car from home without leaving your driveway.

The Best Level 2 Charger for Your EV

Man about to plug an EV charger to his car

Most home chargers have a similar design, but there are a few differences to look out for. The best Level 2 charger for you depends on how much you want to spend, how quickly you want to be able to charge your EV, and how much room you have.

Some home EV chargers can be plugged right into a 240-volt outlet (if you have one), while others need to be hardwired into the wall. Amperage is another thing to consider: some home chargers have a fixed amp level, but others can switch between 16 amps, 30 amps, and even 50 amps for faster charging.

Finally, you’ll need to decide whether you want a smart charger that provides details about your charging status or a minimalist one without any bells and whistles.

Here are just a few of the best Level 2 EV chargers currently on the market:

Enel X JuiceBox

Level 2 charger: Enel X JuiceBox

Price: $649

Installation: Plug-in or hardwired 

Amperage: 40 amp

The JuiceBox is a popular home EV charger because it’s available in several different models. The JuiceBox 40 is a 40-amp model that you can plug right into a 240-volt wall outlet. Other options include the 32-amp and 48-amp models.

In addition to home chargers, Enel X also sells stands, adapters, and charging cables, as well as electric vehicle charging stations for commercial businesses.

All of the JuiceBox models are Wi-Fi enabled, so you can connect them to your home Wi-Fi network to get status updates and charge your EV remotely.

ChargePoint Home Flex

ChargePoint Home Flex

Price: $699

Installation: Plug-in or hardwired 

Amperage: 16-50 amps

ChargePoint is a well-known producer of electric vehicle supply equipment, with a large network of public charging stations around the U.S. and Canada. EV owners can install the ChargePoint Home Flex for convenient at-home charging. This unit is ENERGY STAR-certified and compatible with NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 outlets.

Like the JuiceBox, this is a smart charger that’s Wi-Fi enabled and even responds to Amazon Alexa voice control. It comes standard with a 23-foot cable, so you’ll need to buy one elsewhere if you prefer a different cable length.

ClipperCreek HCS-40

ClipperCreek HCS-40

Price: $565

Installation: Hardwired

Amperage: 32 amps

The ClipperCreek HCS-40 is a heavy-duty charger with NEMA 4 enclosure suitable for outdoor use. It’s ENERGY STAR-certified and comes with a 3-year warranty for peace of mind. The main downside is that this isn’t a smart charger, so you won’t be able to control it from a smartphone app.

It comes with a 25-foot charging cable and a padlock so you can keep your neighbors from using your home charging station without your permission. Optional accessories include a cable cradle and a wall mount retractor.

Megear Level 2 EV Charger

Level 2 charger: Meager Level 2 EV Charger

Price: $189

Installation: Plug-in or hardwired

Amperage: 16 amps

The Megear Level 2 Charger is the most budget-friendly option on our list, with a sticker price of less than $200. Although this home charger will do the job, it doesn’t have all the features you might be looking for, such as Wi-Fi compatibility. Instead, you’ll get a bare-bones LED display that shows you your charging status.

This charging unit comes with a 2-year warranty and is designed for indoor use. You’ll get a 25-foot charging cable and NEMA 14-50 power plug.

Tesla Wall Connector

Level 2 charger: Tesla Wall Connector

Price: $550

Installation: Hardwired

Amperage: 48 amps

Although you can easily charge your Tesla with any of these other home EV chargers, there are a few perks to getting the Tesla Wall Connector. It’s Wi-Fi compatible and will download software updates automatically, and you can even control which cars have access to the charger without having to physically lock it up.

With a 48-amp output, every hour of charging adds 44 miles of range, and it can supply power to more than one EV at the same time. In addition, since the current edition uses a J1772 connector, you can also use it to charge non-Tesla models.

Grizzl-E EVSE

Level 2 charger: Grizzl-E EVSE

Price: $459

Installation: Plug-in or hardwired

Amperage: 40 amps

The Grizzl-E charger starts at $459 with a maximum amperage of 40 amps. It’s suitable for indoor and outdoor use and can handle temperatures from -22 to 122 degrees Fahrenheit.

You can choose from multiple options, like the Classic, Special Edition, Extreme Edition, or Smart charger. If you’re looking for a portable charger, the Mini is small enough to fit in a carrying case and take with you.

The Classic edition isn’t a smart charger, but you can change the amperage using DIP switches, so you don’t have to rely on an EV charging app to change the settings.

Blink HQ 150

Blink HQ 150

Price: $549

Installation: Plug-in or hardwired

Amperage: 32 amps

Blink manufacturers all kinds of EV charging stations, from home chargers and portable chargers to public fast-charging stations. EV owners can install the HQ 150, a 32-amp charger that retails for $549 and comes with a 25-foot charging cable.

This unit isn’t a smart charger, so you won’t be able to control it over Wi-Fi, but you can set a delay so your car charges at off-peak hours.

If you’re heading out of town, you can download the Blink app to find and pay for EV charging stations on the road.

Choose the Right Charger for Your EV

Electric car charging at home

Since nearly all EVs and home chargers are compatible with the J1772 connector, you don’t need to wait to buy an electric car to choose an EV charger. Instead, the right charger for you will depend more on where you live than on what kind of car you drive.

If you own your home, you can hire an electrician to install a Level 2 charger in your driveway or garage. If you live in an apartment, you may need to chat with the building manager about installing a unit in the parking garage.

Still have questions? You can learn more about electric vehicles here or use this free tool to start comparing prices on used EVs near you.

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