Chargers

Which EV charger should I install at my home?

There are a number of different companies that can install a home EV charger, which gives you about 6-8x times the charging speed of a normal outlet.

Which EV Charger should I install at my home?

An EV charger at home gives you an incredible superpower: a “full tank” every morning.  

Some EV chargers can do even more than that.  Chargers from companies like Chargepoint, JuiceBox, WallBox and newer companies like DcBel and Span are rapidly advancing. Here’s a rundown of the key features - including some things you may not have realized an EV charger could do:

  • Charging speed
  • Smart charging
  • Remote control
  • Optimize charging
  • Balance charging 
  • Power your home

Here’s some good news: no matter which one you choose, it’ll work for any future electric car you purchase.  Tesla is the only electric car with a different charger port design, but adapters are available for the standard charging type (called “J1772”).

Charging Speed & Amperage 

An EV charger fills your EV battery quickly by operating at higher voltage and amperage than is possible from a normal outlet.  Instead of 8-12 amps from a normal outlet, an EV charger runs at 32 amps or more.  Different EV chargers have different maximum speeds, measured in amperage.  

For example, the Chargepoint Home Flex can operate at a range of 16 amps all the way up to 50 amps.  Wallbox and Juicebox, plus the Tesla Wall Connector, also offer up to 48 amps. 

Is it worth paying more for higher amperage? 

If you opt up to a higher amperage charger, you’ll charge slightly faster. For example, if you have an Audi Q4 e-Tron, it will take about 10 hours to go from 0% to 100% battery with a 32 amp charger.  With 60 amps, this would be closer to 7 hours. Other EV’s will be roughly similar depending on battery size.)

The slower charge might work fine - because if you plug in at 8pm, you might not care if your car is fully charged by 3am as long as it’s ready by 6am.  And most days, you probably will only be partially refilling your battery - say from 60% to 100%.

However, things could change in the future: 

  • Let’s say your next EV is a 2025 Chevy Silverado EV with a battery that might be 50% larger than in that Audi.  You might want that speed to reliably charge that bigger battery.
  • In the future, due to renewable energy it’s likely that the hours of cheapest electricity will migrate from late evening to the middle of the night.  So you may want to be able to fully charge in fewer hours in the middle of the night.  

For this reason, we recommend opting for higher amperage chargers when there is sufficient electrical service on your electrical panel to accommodate this (if you’re not sure, this is where a licensed electrician is essential).

Is it worth paying more for a more sophisticated home charger?

When you shop for chargers, you may see budget options as well as chargers that are a little more expensive but promise more features. Are these worth it?  Every charger will work with your car and all the major brands are similarly constructed.  But here’s what the more sophisticated chargers can do for you: 

Smart Charging

You may have noticed your electric bill getting more complicated, with different electricity prices at different times of day.  That’s called Time of Day or Time of Use billing and it’s becoming more common across the country.  

You’ll want to make sure you’re only charging at the low-priced hours (if not, you might end up paying as much for fuel as it’d cost to drive on gas - ugh!). You can set this from the car or the charger.

However In some places now, and probably many more in the future, utilities will make it even cheaper - or even pay you - for modifying charging patterns at specific times when electricity demand is outstripping supply. 

Some EV chargers have the “brains” and connectivity to not only schedule your charging to fit those cheap times of day, but receive signals from utilities to further optimize your charging (with your permission). This may require WiFi connectivity, but if your EV charger location is close to your home WiFi, it’s great functionality to have.

Juicebox offers some of the most sophisticated programs in this regard. The Chargepoint Home Flex and Wallbox Pulsar and Pulsar Plus also has this capability.  Lower cost options like Amazon Basics and Clipper Creek don’t have this capability.

Remote Control & Connectivity

If you’re getting a charger that allows smart charging, it’s a pretty sure bet that you can control the charger from an app that’ll come with the charger.  However, to do this your smart charger will need to have internet connectivity.   The easiest way to do this is via your home wi-fi.

However, your home wi-fi may or may not reach the spot where you’ll charge your car.  If not, don’t worry - with certain EV chargers you can still enjoy pretty-smart charging, by setting the schedule for charging using the charger’s app on your phone and Bluetooth connectivity.

An alternate strategy to get pretty-smart charging is to set the schedule via your car.  That’s right - either the charger or your electric car can pick times to charge (and you’ll want to make sure you have them set up so as not to cancel each other out). 

Need help setting up your smart charging?  The EV Pro Membership comes with a Setup Call with an EV Expert.

Optimize Charging

In addition to charging at the cheapest times, you may want to charge your car with the cleanest electricity that comes from renewable sources.  

If you have solar panels on your home, you may want to charge midday so you can power your car directly from the sunshine hitting your roof.  Or you may want to charge at the times of day when there is the greatest concentration of renewable energy on the main electricity grid.

JuiceBox has this feature for a slight add-on to the normal charger price.  If you’re adding solar panels to your home, the unique Span smart electrical panel allows you to install the Span EV charger and optimize charge directly from your solar panels.

Balancing Charging Multiple Electric Cars

Before too long, you might run into a great problem to have - charging multiple EVs in one household.  Some EV chargers, like the Wallbox Pulsar Plus automatically balance the charging to avoid issues.  

A hidden challenge to installing an EV charger is that for many homes, there’s not enough room on the existing electricity connection to add 40+ amps of electricity load for an EV charger.  This can necessitate upgrading the electricity panel - that box with circuit breakers on the outside of your house or in your garage.

Some new EV chargers can help solve this by modulating their charging in relation to what else is going on in the home.  This way you never exceed the limits and cause anything to short out.

(If you need this but choose a charger that can’t do this, you can also add a separate load controller to have the same effect.)

For charging multiple EVs, WallThis is one area where Chargepoint’s home box Pulsar Plus and JuiceBox chargers, plus Tesla chargers, can manage multiple chargers. This is one area where Chargepoint falls short, along with more basic options from Clipper Creek or Amazon.

Power your Home in a Blackout

This is a big feature that we think will get more play in the future.  A growing number of electric cars allow you to draw from the battery to power equipment via an outlet or the charge port.  With a “bi-directional” charger you’ll be able to power your home with your car!

How will this work?  If you have a power outage, you’ll actually be able to power everything in your home from your car, for an hour or a day - or longer!  (To give a sense of how much energy an EV battery stores, it’s the same as an average home uses over 3 full days.)  This means that having a bidirectional charger could save you the cost of a portable or standby generator for your home (which can run you thousands of dollars).

A few emerging EV chargers are available with this amazing feature.  If you get the right charger and the right car that allows it, power outages could be a thing of the past.

The upcoming Wallbox Quasar offers this, as will the special 80 amp charger that Ford has developed for the F-150 with preferred installer Sunrun.  Also enabling bidirectional charging - along with many other features for the ultimate in the smart energy home - is the more expensive dcbel R16.

Still unsure how to make home EV charger installation happen? Set up a consultation with an EV expert - we're ready and waiting to assist!

Which EV Charger should I install at my home?

An EV charger at home gives you an incredible superpower: a “full tank” every morning.  

Some EV chargers can do even more than that.  Chargers from companies like Chargepoint, JuiceBox, WallBox and newer companies like DcBel and Span are rapidly advancing. Here’s a rundown of the key features - including some things you may not have realized an EV charger could do:

  • Charging speed
  • Smart charging
  • Remote control
  • Optimize charging
  • Balance charging 
  • Power your home

Here’s some good news: no matter which one you choose, it’ll work for any future electric car you purchase.  Tesla is the only electric car with a different charger port design, but adapters are available for the standard charging type (called “J1772”).

Charging Speed & Amperage 

An EV charger fills your EV battery quickly by operating at higher voltage and amperage than is possible from a normal outlet.  Instead of 8-12 amps from a normal outlet, an EV charger runs at 32 amps or more.  Different EV chargers have different maximum speeds, measured in amperage.  

For example, the Chargepoint Home Flex can operate at a range of 16 amps all the way up to 50 amps.  Wallbox and Juicebox, plus the Tesla Wall Connector, also offer up to 48 amps. 

Is it worth paying more for higher amperage? 

If you opt up to a higher amperage charger, you’ll charge slightly faster. For example, if you have an Audi Q4 e-Tron, it will take about 10 hours to go from 0% to 100% battery with a 32 amp charger.  With 60 amps, this would be closer to 7 hours. Other EV’s will be roughly similar depending on battery size.)

The slower charge might work fine - because if you plug in at 8pm, you might not care if your car is fully charged by 3am as long as it’s ready by 6am.  And most days, you probably will only be partially refilling your battery - say from 60% to 100%.

However, things could change in the future: 

  • Let’s say your next EV is a 2025 Chevy Silverado EV with a battery that might be 50% larger than in that Audi.  You might want that speed to reliably charge that bigger battery.
  • In the future, due to renewable energy it’s likely that the hours of cheapest electricity will migrate from late evening to the middle of the night.  So you may want to be able to fully charge in fewer hours in the middle of the night.  

For this reason, we recommend opting for higher amperage chargers when there is sufficient electrical service on your electrical panel to accommodate this (if you’re not sure, this is where a licensed electrician is essential).

Is it worth paying more for a more sophisticated home charger?

When you shop for chargers, you may see budget options as well as chargers that are a little more expensive but promise more features. Are these worth it?  Every charger will work with your car and all the major brands are similarly constructed.  But here’s what the more sophisticated chargers can do for you: 

Smart Charging

You may have noticed your electric bill getting more complicated, with different electricity prices at different times of day.  That’s called Time of Day or Time of Use billing and it’s becoming more common across the country.  

You’ll want to make sure you’re only charging at the low-priced hours (if not, you might end up paying as much for fuel as it’d cost to drive on gas - ugh!). You can set this from the car or the charger.

However In some places now, and probably many more in the future, utilities will make it even cheaper - or even pay you - for modifying charging patterns at specific times when electricity demand is outstripping supply. 

Some EV chargers have the “brains” and connectivity to not only schedule your charging to fit those cheap times of day, but receive signals from utilities to further optimize your charging (with your permission). This may require WiFi connectivity, but if your EV charger location is close to your home WiFi, it’s great functionality to have.

Juicebox offers some of the most sophisticated programs in this regard. The Chargepoint Home Flex and Wallbox Pulsar and Pulsar Plus also has this capability.  Lower cost options like Amazon Basics and Clipper Creek don’t have this capability.

Remote Control & Connectivity

If you’re getting a charger that allows smart charging, it’s a pretty sure bet that you can control the charger from an app that’ll come with the charger.  However, to do this your smart charger will need to have internet connectivity.   The easiest way to do this is via your home wi-fi.

However, your home wi-fi may or may not reach the spot where you’ll charge your car.  If not, don’t worry - with certain EV chargers you can still enjoy pretty-smart charging, by setting the schedule for charging using the charger’s app on your phone and Bluetooth connectivity.

An alternate strategy to get pretty-smart charging is to set the schedule via your car.  That’s right - either the charger or your electric car can pick times to charge (and you’ll want to make sure you have them set up so as not to cancel each other out). 

Need help setting up your smart charging?  The EV Pro Membership comes with a Setup Call with an EV Expert.

Optimize Charging

In addition to charging at the cheapest times, you may want to charge your car with the cleanest electricity that comes from renewable sources.  

If you have solar panels on your home, you may want to charge midday so you can power your car directly from the sunshine hitting your roof.  Or you may want to charge at the times of day when there is the greatest concentration of renewable energy on the main electricity grid.

JuiceBox has this feature for a slight add-on to the normal charger price.  If you’re adding solar panels to your home, the unique Span smart electrical panel allows you to install the Span EV charger and optimize charge directly from your solar panels.

Balancing Charging Multiple Electric Cars

Before too long, you might run into a great problem to have - charging multiple EVs in one household.  Some EV chargers, like the Wallbox Pulsar Plus automatically balance the charging to avoid issues.  

A hidden challenge to installing an EV charger is that for many homes, there’s not enough room on the existing electricity connection to add 40+ amps of electricity load for an EV charger.  This can necessitate upgrading the electricity panel - that box with circuit breakers on the outside of your house or in your garage.

Some new EV chargers can help solve this by modulating their charging in relation to what else is going on in the home.  This way you never exceed the limits and cause anything to short out.

(If you need this but choose a charger that can’t do this, you can also add a separate load controller to have the same effect.)

For charging multiple EVs, WallThis is one area where Chargepoint’s home box Pulsar Plus and JuiceBox chargers, plus Tesla chargers, can manage multiple chargers. This is one area where Chargepoint falls short, along with more basic options from Clipper Creek or Amazon.

Power your Home in a Blackout

This is a big feature that we think will get more play in the future.  A growing number of electric cars allow you to draw from the battery to power equipment via an outlet or the charge port.  With a “bi-directional” charger you’ll be able to power your home with your car!

How will this work?  If you have a power outage, you’ll actually be able to power everything in your home from your car, for an hour or a day - or longer!  (To give a sense of how much energy an EV battery stores, it’s the same as an average home uses over 3 full days.)  This means that having a bidirectional charger could save you the cost of a portable or standby generator for your home (which can run you thousands of dollars).

A few emerging EV chargers are available with this amazing feature.  If you get the right charger and the right car that allows it, power outages could be a thing of the past.

The upcoming Wallbox Quasar offers this, as will the special 80 amp charger that Ford has developed for the F-150 with preferred installer Sunrun.  Also enabling bidirectional charging - along with many other features for the ultimate in the smart energy home - is the more expensive dcbel R16.

Still unsure how to make home EV charger installation happen? Set up a consultation with an EV expert - we're ready and waiting to assist!

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