The advent of electrical cars has completely revolutionized the way we travel. We have become so much more than mere consumers with no awareness of our impact on the environment. Global warming has forced you to evolve and gradually awaken to the reality that our natural resources are scarce.
The realization has finally dawned that you need to be careful of the carbon footprints you leave behind. It’s become a collective consciousness and a movement to make more concerted efforts to select eco-friendly products in food, clothes & even vehicles.
This awareness gave birth to electric vehicles which in turn gave birth to electric vehicle chargers for home use. And so the evolutionary cycle continues day by day. New products will continue to open the market for complementary accessories.
Of course, the motivation for driving an electric vehicle is not simply based on the social responsibility aspect only. There are monetary benefits in using an electric vehicle as opposed to the standard diesel or gasoline driven cars. The same applies to electric vehicle chargers. There are many different motivations why one would opt for these chargers.
We will explore the various reasons and benefits of electric vehicle chargers in this article. Ultimately electric vehicle chargers were invented to make your driving experience more rewarding.
If you’re driving an electric vehicle it will serve you well to look closer into getting one for your home.
- Features to Consider in Good Electrical Vehicle Chargers
- Top 10 Best Electrical Vehicle Chargers 2020
- 1. Siemens VersiCharge Electric Vehicle Charger
- 2. JuiceBox Pro 40 Smart Electric Vehicle Charger
- 3. ChargePoint Home Electric Vehicle Charger
- 4. ClipperCreek HCS-40P Electric Vehicle Charger
- 5. Zencar Home Electric Vehicle Charger
- 6. Bosch Automotive Electric Vehicle Charger
- 7. Jekayla Portable Electric Vehicle Charger
- 8. TurboCord Dual Plug-in Electric Vehicle Charger
- 9. Leviton Electric Vehicle Charger
- 10. Blink HQ Electric Vehicle Charger
- Guide to Buying the Best Electrical Vehicle Chargers
Features to Consider in Good Electrical Vehicle Chargers
The market is saturated with products that over promise and under deliver. We’re going to help you sift through the fluff and get to the core of what you need.
Why An Electric Vehicle is Worth the Investment
We’ve spoken about the environmental benefits of having an electric vehicle. But what other reasons are there to invest in an electric vehicle?
- The difference in running cost of electric vehicles opposed to conventional vehicles are enormous
- Driving an electric vehicle is more economical than a conventional car that is diesel or gas-powered
- It’s estimated that you can save up to a third of the cost per mile if you drive an electric vehicle
- The maintenance aspect of electric cars are also more cost-effective than conventional cars
- Because electric vehicles have fewer components than conventional cars, they need less servicing
- A recent study found that electric vehicles fare better than conventional cars in terms of safety as these cars aren’t prone to roll over or explode when in a collision
Now that you know why an electric vehicle is a viable option, we can start looking at the necessary accessories you’ll need to enhance your driving experience.
We have listed the best electric vehicle chargers on the market currently on the market.
Top 10 Best Electrical Vehicle Chargers 2020
Why We Recommend It
The Siemens VersiCharge won the award for “Best EV Charging Station “in 2017. That’s impressive taking into account the range of outstanding chargers on the market. It’s a premium charger that delivers high-speed power in less time. It’s also durable and convenient to use.
It’s difficult to find fault on this device because it delivers on all the important factors such as power, endurance and convenience. The only drawback is that it’s limited to indoor use only. There is another Siemens model on the market that is safe to use outdoors. It comes at a slightly higher price but if you need that versatility it’s worth the investment.
The easy to assemble mounting bracket makes it convenient to store away the 14ft charging cord. Using the adaptable control panel it allows you to switch between pause and hourly delay breaks. It allows you to transition between different modes in seconds.
Interrupting charging cycles is also possible and this prevents any energy losses in the system. Make sure you install the charger in an area that’s moisture-free as water will interfere with performance.
- Easy installation
- Fast charging power
- Good value for money
- Siemens is a reputable brand
- Only for indoor use
- The charging cord is too short
Why We Recommend It
We love the flexibility this charger affords with its indoor and outdoor system. It’s energy-efficient and maximize optimal charging times when energy demands are low. Quick charging between trips is possible with its powerful 40amps charging capacity.
This charger should also be hardwired so use a qualified electrician for proper installation. The 24ft long cable makes it easy to charge anywhere once you have installed it successfully.
JuiceBox has introduced an exciting rewards program that allows you to earn cash back. The company believes in rewarding loyal customers and also offers a warranty on the device. The price is comparable to its competitors on the market.
We believe it’s a solid investment at an affordable price that will offer maximum satisfaction. Another plus of this unit is that it’s compatible with all J1772 compliant cars.
- Rewards program
- Web-based application
- Dual charging ability
- High quality
- Wi-Fi feature problematic
- Installation complicated
Why We Recommend It
We are particularly fond of the support that ChargePoint provides to its consumers. They go the extra mile in ensuring that all bases are covered in terms of support. The chief objective is to ensure that your charger works efficiently every time.
The adaptability of indoor or outdoor charge is extremely convenient. The unit requires hardwiring and needs professional installation. ChargePoint has extended its support even further and will assist with professional installation at home.
This charger is all about efficiency and the company is determined to combat energy costs. ChargePoint promises to save you 40% less, on average, in energy charges if you make use of its smart scheduling function. That’s better than most electric vehicle chargers on the market.
With all the savings you’ll earn, it’s hard to ignore the value for money you get with ChargePoint’s home electric vehicle charger.
- Compact design
- Energy saver
- User-friendly installation manual
- Cable clip faulty
- Difficult to manage cord mount
Why We Recommend It
The unit comes in a sleek compact design with a lengthy 25ft long charging cord. The extra length makes it easy to use indoors or outdoors. The cord can be conveniently stored away on the wall mount with a free lock provided by ClipperCreek.
This will probably be the simplest installation you’ve ever done for a vehicle charger. It requires no assembly; you simply plug in and you’re ready to use it. The device has a safety certification and comes with a three-year warranty.
The easy installation is a stand out feature as convenience is important. We also appreciated the fast-charging power and easy lock away cable handling. The adaptability for indoor or outdoor charging gets our thumbs up.
- Faster charging time
- Extra length cable
- Indoor and outdoor charging
- Limited safety features
- Premium price
Why We Recommend It
The Zencar charger is compatible with all-electric vehicles. It comes with several protective safety features such as being waterproof, lighting-proof and leakage proof. It also safeguards against overheating caused by excessive currents flowing through the circuit board. The control case is fitted with LED indicators that display the progress of your charge status.
The level two cable is 25ft long and is also waterproof & flame resistant. The only drawback is that’s for indoor use only but at this low price, it’s still a good buy.
The design of the charger is modern and compact. It’s made from durable materials ensuring it’s built to last. It’s adaptable to charge at different charging outlets making it ultra-convenient. You’ll also have peace of mind knowing the unit is fitted with an automatic recovery switch for under and over-voltage protection.
Zencar shows its confidence by offering clients lifetime technical support assistance. The product also comes with a 12-month warranty if anything is not living up to your expectations.
- Adaptable charging outlets
- Slow charge
- Limited to indoor charging
Why We Recommend It
As with most of the other electric vehicle chargers we listed, Bosch also doesn’t fall short when it comes to flexibility. This charger is compatible with indoor and outdoor charging. It meets all the standards set for J1772 vehicles and can either be hardwired or plugged in.
Bosch made sure to install all the safety features we appreciate so much, such as a smart sensor that protects against overheating. The unit is also weather resistant making it easy to use during rainy days or freezing temperatures.
You’ll find an energy-saving function on the control box that prevents energy utilization when not in use. There are also several LED indicators showing when the power is on and when charging is in progress.
Weighing only 1.2 pounds makes this unit very portable. An indoor or outdoor installation gets us excited every time. It’s also fitted with all the safety features that can withstand extreme conditions such as rain, snow or leakage.
- Hardwired or plugin
- Three-year warranty
- LED lights faulty
- Replacement cable sold separately
Why We Recommend It
Jekayla has done away with complicated installations that require hardwiring. They designed a portable charger that you can carry with you anywhere and simply plug in & charge immediately. It’s almost as simple as plugging in your SmartPhone and charging it.
We enjoy the user-friendliness of this charger. It makes it very convenient and ultra-fast. The unit comes standard with a 25ft long cable, giving you more length to charge anywhere. The only heavy lifting you’ll do with this charger is to install a NEMA 14-50 socket and you’re good to go.
The charger is compatible with all electric vehicles, which makes additional out of pocket purchases unnecessary. We also appreciate that Jekeyla took safety into account and fitted the unit with a detector that shuts down charging if the voltages are extreme.
The only drawback on this charger is that it’s not weather resistant so you have to be careful when charging in extreme weather conditions such as pounding rain or heavy snow.
- Portable and convenient
- No hardwiring required
- Not weather resistant
- Limited functionality
Why We Recommend It
This charger can be used indoors or outdoors and is fully weather resistant. That means no more delays in getting your car charged up. It’s compatible with all electric vehicles and comes with a cord that is 20ft long for easy use.
It has all the safety features built-in, such as being waterproof and safety circuits that detect any errors in the circuit. TurboCord has been in the industry for more than 20 years so you can be assured they have the necessary industry expertise.
The aggregate weight on this unit is smaller than five pounds. That makes it very convenient to carry anywhere. The saving on installation is impressive and makes up for the premium price you’ll pay.
What’s notable about the design is its compatibility. It works with all the J1772 cars and even Tesla cars. This charger can last for a long period and comes with a warranty.
- Dual – voltage charge
- Unique safety features
- Cable too short
- Not durable
Why We Recommend It
The design is modern and covered with powder-coated steel for ultimate protection. Installation is hassle-free and gives you the option to hardwire it to your circuit board or simply plug it in.
If any minor faults or circuit breaks happen when charging, it has an automatic restart button to ensure a safe refreshed charging cycle. The user interface is fitted with LED indicators showing the status of your charging progress as well as any errors.
The charger comes with a cable that is 25ft long and perfect for easy charging. The three-year warranty assures you can return the unit if you’re not fully satisfied with it.
Leviton has more than 3000 charging stations across the United States giving them the necessary expertise in electric vehicle charging.
- Most amps per charge
- Enhanced safety features
- Fastest charge at 40amphs
- Doesn’t come with a mounting plate
- No schedule charging feature (timer)
Why We Recommend It
The charger generates 30 amps of power when charging. That’s six times better than the regular charger you received with your electric car. The design is lightweight and takes up very little space for storage.
The price is very competitive and comes with a three-year warranty for total peace of mind. The unit is fitted with scheduling buttons that allow for convenient charging times at off-peak hours.
The charger offers impressive charging power at an affordable price. First-time buyers have been reluctant to purchase due to the premium price attached to electric vehicle chargers. This one opens up the market for them.
The device is built to withstand tough weather conditions and can be used for indoor or outdoor installations. We recommend that you use a qualified electrician for installation as it should be hardwired to your power box.
- Extra bonus credit
- Easy installation
- Intuitive control panel
- Plug made of flimsy material
- No Wi-Fi enabling
Guide to Buying the Best Electrical Vehicle Chargers
The Origin of Electric Vehicle Chargers
With new inventions come auxiliary accessories that complement the core product. Let’s take music for instance. First came the portable stereo with built-in speakers which then progressed to Bluetooth enabled speakers offering a more enhanced experienced. It’s the life cycle of many products: the one complements the other.
The same rings true with electric vehicle chargers. The conventional electrical vehicles come with a standard charger that can charge your car overnight. These chargers are called level one chargers due to their low voltage capacity. An improved charging mechanism came along in the form of the portable home electric vehicle chargers that give you accelerated performance.
Now you have the convenience of charging your car up to six times faster than the standard chargers. Added benefits with these portable chargers are the Wi-Fi enabling and smart interface to delay charging or schedule it for more energy-saving times.
Variations of Electric Vehicle Chargers
As with most aspects of life, everything is not equal. The same applies to electric vehicle chargers. There are variations in terms of the type of charger you’ll use as well as the level of charge you’re looking for.
Here is a breakdown of the basic terminology relating to the different types of electric vehicle chargers:
- Hardwired: Doesn’t that phrase sound familiar? To be hardwired to something usually means you’re so closely connected to it that it becomes part of you. That’s also true for when your charger is hardwired to your power box at home. Due to the high voltages generated with these chargers, it’s more feasible to have a separate circuit solely dedicated to your electric vehicle charger. This requires a qualified electrician to install.
- Plug-ins: This option has become a more innovative way of charging your car. The unit is fitted with a plug-in you can use to any of your power outlets and start charging immediately. It doesn’t require any professional to install and it’s portable so you can charge anywhere at any time.
- Level one charging: This is the most rudimentary form of the charger on the market. It usually comes with your electric vehicle when you purchase it. The charging power on this level is slow at 16A maximum and takes very long to fully charge your car.
- Level two charging: This level of charger triples the power and speed at up to 40A when you’re charging. They don’t come standard with your electric car and must be purchased separately. Most of the electric vehicle chargers we have reviewed are level two chargers. Professional installation might be required on this level depending on the model and specifications.
- Level 3 charging: This level of charge is the most powerful of all chargers. It’s not available for home use and can only be found in businesses & industrial locales. Due to its powerful outputs, it can’t be used with a plug-in but must have a solid electric supply installed on your power box
Benefits of an Electric Vehicle Charger
There are several benefits attached to electric vehicle chargers. The most obvious must be the convenience of charging your car in your driveway or garage. Nothing beats that kind of convenience.
These are some other benefits to consider when selecting an electric vehicle charger:
- Speed: The speed of the level two chargers that we’ve listed is almost triple the speed of the standard level one charger you get when buying your electric vehicle.
- Monetary savings: There is a massive saving component attached to having a home electric vehicle charger as you can maximize on off-peak periods when energy costs are lower.
- Time-saver: The time saving on portable chargers are impressive. You’ll use almost half of the time you spend with the standard chargers and you eliminate the burden of charging your car overnight.
Getting the Lingo Right
We’ve never been keen on confusing technical jargon that confuses more than it clarifies. All communication whether written or verbal should be kept as clear as possible to promote better understanding.
This is not always the case with technical products such as electric vehicle chargers. There are some terms that we simply can’t run away from and you’ll stumble across this terminology time & again.
The best we can do is help you to understand these terms better and keep you informed.
When we speak of charging an electric car we need to discern whether the electric vehicle charger is hardwired or plugged into your power supply. The charging happens through the circuit board at different voltages depending on where you’re charging.
Charging time varies depending on whether you’re using a level one charger or a level two charger. While your car is charging your car has to be stationary until the battery is fully charged.
We spoke a lot about chargers in this article, specifically electric vehicle chargers. Did the image of a SmartPhone charger perhaps pop up in your mind every time we did? If only it was that simple in practice, right? The electric vehicle chargers are a bit more complex than ordinary phone chargers.
The electric vehicle charger has a dual function. It must generate a lot of electricity into the car battery, as fast as possible. Also, it needs to check that the temperature and voltage of the battery don’t rise too quickly. The other function of a level two charger is to decrease the total charge time.
Understanding the difference between amperes (amps) and volts is important. Amps and volts are both measurements of electricity. Amps measure the electrical current in units whereas volts are the energy that propels electrons across the circuit. The average amps generated by a home electric vehicle charger ranges from 20A to 40A. The greater the number of amps the faster it charges your car.
Making sure that your electric vehicle is compatible with your power plugs is essential. Power plugs in the United States are known as NEMA plugs. Most of the electric cars on the marker presently use unconventional connectors.
They are specifically designed for compatibility with electric vehicle chargers and have unique numbers assigned to them. The onus is on the owners of electric cars to make sure that your power outlet is compatible with the NEMA connectors supplied.
They come in different numbers such as NEMA 6-20 and NEMA 10-30. If your power plug is not attuned to these connectors you can simply buy a suitable NEMA connector for home use.
At first, it all seemed so difficult, didn’t it? Wrapping your head around the terminology of electric vehicle chargers and the premium prices attached to these devices. Perhaps your initial objective, when purchasing your electric car, was only to combat climate change. Then suddenly you’re saddled with the responsibility to figure out how to keep your electric vehicle fully charged.
So many selections, so many options. It can become overwhelming at times. Hopefully, we’ve helped clarify all the important factors to consider and gave you practical options to mull over.
Concentrate on the basics such as power and speed. Look for something durable and a brand that has a reputable name in the industry. Whatever your selection, we trust that you’ll find the ideal electric vehicle charger that fits your lifestyle.
Let us know in the comments below what your final selection was and how it has improved your life.