Electric cars are the future, there’s NO doubt about that. They are better in almost every way, with exponential growth every single year.
If you own one but don’t charge at home, you are MISSING OUT. Charging your car at home and waking up to a full battery (just like with a cell phone) feels freeing. Whether its your Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, or the latest Tesla. The moment you need to go, you know you have the range to do it.
I wrote this guide to help you pick the best home EV charger for your needs. This guide is exactly what I used to pick the one for me, and I hope it will be useful for you as well.
Before I dive deep, let’s get straight to the goods. The following below are the best electric car chargers for each price category. If you continue reading, I included an electric car charger review for each one that made it to this list.
Table of Contents
10 EV Chargers Reviewed
What you saw above are the top three to get in 2021. They are reliable, have plenty of features, and can charger at impressive rates.
If you want some more options, look no further. I’ll explain the three mentioned above, below as well. In addition, there’s 7 other chargers worth looking into. Just because the 7 didn’t make to the list above, does not mean they are bad. Have a look and see for yourself.
[#1] ChargePoint Home Flex
ChargePoint is one of the most popular EV charging stations across the United States. They have both level 2 and level 3 chargers all over the country (available on their mobile app). One of their home units, the ChargePoint Home Flex just happens to be the best electric car charger on the market right now.
While there’s a few others that come close, this one seems to stand out for two good reasons: features and reliability. Despite the premium price, most agree its well worth it.
[#2] JuiceBox 32A Smart
The JuiceBox has been around for a few years. Recently, they redesigned their charger to look more modern and let me tell you, it sure does.
Where the JuiceBox stands out is its features. While it may be priced right in between the Grizzl-E and the ChargePoint Home Flex, it has features from both.
WiFi application connect and charging speeds up to 32 amps is something quite nice. While it might look like something you’d leave indoor, don’t sweat it. This unit is IP67 water resistant.
Grizzl-E seems to have come out of nowhere. This EV charger does not look like much, but its fair price and impressive specs are something to write home about. Some people appreciate simple things that WORK (think of the iPhone). This company managed to do just that with this unit.
With most EV’s managing to charge at no more than 7kW, Grizzl-E has the option of charging at up to 10kW (40 amps). You can mount the Grizzl-E not just inside, but outside as well!
While the Grizzl-E charger has been around for over a year, ClipperCreek has for years. One of the most popular public charging stations you’ll find across the United States is by ClipperCreek. This is the HCS-50 EVSE, and it one of the most reliable (American Made) and durable chargers you can buy.
It’s not fancy, because it’s meant for ease of use. Plug IN and that’s it.
Whatever you have an electric or plug-in hybrid, you’ll be able to charge at up to 9.6kW. While not cheap, it’s not too unreasonable either.
Right behind the ClipperCreek unit is the Siemens US2 VersiCharge Universal. These two chargers are neck-to-neck when it comes to features and performance. For the sake of this electric car charger review, I’ll place this one as #5.
Don’t let it fool you just because it’s plastic. The vast majority of people report being happy with their purchase. Once you mount this unit, you get two little dials to set charging timers, turn it ON or OFF, and get error status codes.
It works at a maximum rate of 32 amps, which is roughly the maximum most EV’s take. If you want a durable unit to install outside, look no further.
Just like ChargePoint, Blink has been a nation-wide destination charger hub for many EV drivers. While they are not as popular as ChargePoint, they do have excellent products. This one in particular, the Blink HQ 30 amps charger does the job SO well.
In many ways, this charger resembles a few others (ChargePoint, Siemens). When it comes down to one thing though, it’s simplicity.
The Blink HQ unit runs on 220-240 volts at 30 amps, enough to charge at up to 7.2kW. You can delay or even set a timer for 2, 4, 6, or 8 hours. They are the only company that offers a membership discount (25%) for using other Blink charging stations.
While small, the EVoCharge EVSE charger packs a serious punch when it comes to speed. The unit itself is a little smaller than a regular piece of paper, it has enough tech to charge your EV at up to 32 amps.
The one thing you should stay away from (for now) is the WiFi compatible units. They are highly overpriced and there’s no enough of a track record for them to be worthwhile purchases.
What I DO recommend you get is their 18-foot (or 25-foot) version, which is priced reasonably.
I had to include this charger as #8 because it didn’t belong to any long-standing brand. The PRIMECOM charger is part of many generic units you can buy from China. This charge is private labeled by others on Amazon as well. However, because it’s generic does not mean it’s bad.
At around $500, it’s a great price to be able to charge at up to 40 amps. Truth be told, most electric cars won’t handle charging at over 9kW, but if you own a Tesla, this charge is perfect!
My first EV charger was purchased with a budget in mind. For less than 500 bucks, I bought the Morec charger because my Bolt EV took up to 32 amps. This unit did not disappoint.
While the charger itself is small (and plastic), mounting it to the wall using double sided tape is your best bet. Once you connect the power cord and the charger to your car, it starts charging immediately. It’s nice to see how many kilowatt hours is delivered for each session, how many hours the car was charged, the temperature of the unit, and what voltage supply the charger is receiving.
Last but not least is the Mustart 26A EV charger. I saw this unit for sale for quite some time, but it was recently they updated their design to improve their water resistance.
I’m not the biggest fan of the color, nor the design still, what I will say is that it has decent specs for the price.
I don’t often see the 26-amp option with electric car chargers. Luckily, if you want slightly faster speeds, you can pick the 32 or even 40-amp models. The crazy thing is that it won’t cost you that much more, that is what makes it a great buy (even though its a plain generic brand charger)
What to Look for in a Home EV Charger
So you saw the list of chargers and you still have questions. If you’re new to this, it can be confusing. You’ll sometimes hear an “electric car charger” is inside your car and not outside.
That’s an “onboard charge controller”, just to get the confusing out of the way. Your car has an onboard charger that can handle a certain load, but here, we’re looking at electricity supply units that can (hopefully) deliver that maximum charging speed.
Let’s have a look at the different aspects of electric car chargers an why they are important (or not).
1. Charging Amperage
Charging amperage is the load a supply can deliver up to. Most EV chargers range from 16, 24, 26, 30, 32, and 40 amps. While some are adjustable, others are usually PRESET to a specific amperage rating. Taking the ChargePouint Smart Home Charger, that unit can charge at up to 50 amps.
If your vehicle has an onboard charger capable of taking up to 32 amps, that maximum amperage rating from the ChargePoint charger won’t be reached. You’ll be limited to 32 amps because of your car.
BEST PRACTICE: It’s nice to have options, if you can afford it. If your car only takes 16 amps, don’t bother getting a charger that goes up to 32 amps. Save yourself money and don’t go any higher than 16.
2. Hardwiring vs Plugin
When it comes to installing an electric car charger, there’s one thing to keep in mind BEFORE you buy your charger. Should you buy a plugin or hardwired unit?
If that confuses, it simply means this: do you want to hardwire your charger to the breaker box OR, do you want to use an existing outlet that you can simply plug into.
BEST PRACTICE: If you already have a 220-240V source where you plan on mounting your charger, the plug-in option is the way to go.
If you don’t have an outlet, you should simply install a wall socket that matches your charger’s plug. For me, the charger I got had a NEMA 14-50 plug.
For the cleanest look, there’s nothing better than hard wiring the charger and keeping all the power supply wires out of sight.
3. Withstanding the Elements
Look, not all chargers will have accurate claims when it comes to being weather resistant or weather proof. Sometimes, installing a charger outside is the best option available.
What you have to look for is an “IP” rating. The most common are: IP65 (water-resistant) and IP68 (water-proof).
BEST PRACTICE: As you analyze different chargers, look at what they are rated for. Reputable companies like to boast how their chargers can withstand the elements. If you can’t find the ratings, have a look at customer reviews and see where people are installing theirs.
When you aren’t charging, be sure to cover the J1772 plug to block water and dirt from getting in. If you didn’t get a plug holder (something you can usually mount to the wall), get one.
4. Smart vs Dumb
Since you know what a smartphone is, you’ll probably understand what a smart charger is too. Right?
Smart chargers are becoming the new and most popular types of chargers. They aren’t the cheapest, but they give you a lot more data that some find useful. Dumb chargers are every other charger out there, simple plug and charge with no extra frills.
BEST PRACTICE: Smart chargers cost 30-40% more, this isn’t a budget friendly option (for now). If you want to SET it and FORGET it, don’t get a smart charger (you’ll usually save money this way). On the other hand, if you want to track your electricity consumption and your vehicle’s LIVE state of charge, spend the extra money and go with something made by ChargePoint or JuiceBox.
5. Cable Length
The one thing that can easily be overlooked is the cord length. From my experience, most chargers come with a 20-25 foot long cord. I highly recommend you find out at what angle or position you’ll usually be charging.
BEST PRACTICE: Park your EV in a place where you expect to be most of the time and measure from the charging port to where your charger unit will be mounted. Be sure to have a few feet of slack to avoid straining things.
6. Delay Charging and Off-Peak Hours
As some say, “dumb” chargers like to keep things really simple. Some give you the ability to time your charge for only so long, while others will turn on ONLY at designated times. Matter of fact, many EVs and even PHEVs have charge timers that can do this for you.
If you want to save the MOST money on electricity, you need to be charging at off peak hours. The best rule of thumb for charging at the lowest rates is to let your car charge anywhere between 11PM and 6AM in the morning. While you may have to bump OUT of that charging window, keeping most of your charging within the 7 hours (roughly), can save you a decent chunk of change (over time).
7. Charge Rates Per Hour (Compared)
Its nice to boast about how many amps a charger can supply at any given time. It’s a totally difference story when you compare your car’s limits to the chargers. What I want to do here is compare the most common charging speeds and how many miles they can supply.
We will take a Chevrolet Bolt EV’s range and on-board charging speed into account.
238 miles of range / 60 kWh = 3.98 miles per kWh
- 110 volts @ 8 amps = 0.88kW of charging speed and 3.50 miles per hour charged. (59.79 hours)
- 110 volts @ 12 amps = 1.32kW of charging speed and 5.23 miles per hour charged. (45.50 hours)
- 220 volts @ 16 amps = 3.52kW of charging speed and 13.96 miles per hour charged. (17.04 hours)
- 220 volts @ 26 amps = 5.72kW of charging speed and 22.70 miles per hour charged. (10.48 hours)
- 220 volts @ 32 amps = 7.00kW of charging speed and 27.77 miles per hour charged. (8.57 hours)
8. Tax Credits and Rebates
One of the easiest ways to off-set your purchase price is to include it in your tax return. In some cases, states offer rebates for such purchases and installations.
I created a separate guide talking about all the Federal and States rebates/credits you could get.
By now, you should have a great idea of which charge to go with. I reviewed multiple chargers and gave you the top 3 to strongly consider (ChargePoint is my personal pick).
If anything has confused you by looking and comparing, right above this are the 8 things that make EV chargers tick. Below each one I explained and with some even gave you the best practices that you can keep in mind.
I hope you found this post useful, if you did, share it with someone who needs it!