If you have an electric car, we highly recommend having a level 2 charger installed at home. A level 2 charger allows you to charge much faster, giving you more flexibility. For example, if you have a Chevy Bolt or Nissan Leaf, charging with the included plug in a standard, 120v outlet will only add about 4 miles of range for every hour you charge. A full charge can take 30-40+ hours! With a level 2 charger, you add 20+ miles of range for every hour, and can finish charging in just a few hours. In other words, it’s about 5x as fast.
There are lots of charger options out there, and it can seem complicated to pick. Having owned multiple chargers, and multiple electric cars, here’s our recommendation based on our experience & reviews.
The Best EV Charger
First, it’s a 40-amp, 10kW charger, which means it will charge all current EVs as fast as they can handle it. Those speeds also make it more future proof than many models at similar prices. Most models in this price range which are about 30-amp. While a 30-amp charger will charge current models just as fast as the Juicebox, as EV tech improves, and newer cars are able to charge faster, other models won’t be able to charge as fast as the JuiceBox can.
Next the JuiceBox allows you to monitor and control charging via the web or app. This is convenient as you can schedule charging to occur during off-peak times, saving money. While many cars have scheduling features too, but monitoring and scheduling through the car interface can be a lot less convenient.
Another reason to like the JuiceBox Pro is that it is a plug-in charger with a NEMA 14-50 plug. NEMA 14-50 plugs are the same type of outlet found at RV parks and camping locations. This gives you a lot of flexibility. You use the PlugShare app to search for places that have NEMA 14-50 plugs available, and take the charger with you to use them there!
Unlike a hardwired charger, which is wired directly into your home, if you move, it’s simple to unplug the charger and bring it to your new home.
Alternative, Less Expensive Options
While the JuiceBox Pro 40 is by far our favorite option, there are a couple others worth looking at if you want to save money:
- If you don’t care about the WiFi connectivity or ability to schedule charging, or already charge via your car, consider the Siemens US2. It’s about $100 cheaper than the JuiceBox, but is only 30 amps, making it less future-proof, and has a slightly shorter cord (20′ instead of 24′), and has no WiFi features. It
- If your car only has a 3.3kW hour onboard charger, then you can save a fair bit by going with a 16amp charger. Here is one option for $200. Only recommended if you really want to save money, and your car doesn’t support anything faster.
What To Look For In Any Charger
If you decide to go a different route, here are some important things to look for:
- Make sure the charger is UL listed. A low-quality, non-certified charger can be a fire hazard. The little bit of savings isn’t worth the risk.
- Generally, look for a charger that can plug into a wall socket, instead of being hardwired in. This makes it easier to re-locate if you move.
- Make sure the charger is at least capable of charging at 30 amps. Many low-cost options only charge at 16 amps, which is only half as fast.
- Look for chargers with network connectivity, so you can start, stop, and monitor charging with your phone. While some cars offer this functionality, having it in the charger is sometimes easier, and can allow you to take advantage of charging during off-peak electric times, saving you money.
Questions? Comments? Have a different favorite charger? Let us know in the comments!