One of the main benefits of owning an electric vehicle is never having to go to the gas station to refuel, but public EV chargers can be hard to find or very busy. If they can, EV owners are going to want to install a home charger so they don’t end up out of power. Not only is having an EV charger at home convenient so you can charge any time you want, you’ll also never have to worry about waiting in line if public chargers are all being occupied. Plus, it adds to the value of your home if you sell.

Home chargers come in a huge range of prices, but they’re worth the investment. You should also check for available rebates, tax credits, and other incentives in your area for installing a home EV charger. The NCSL has an interactive map that will help you get started. Note that many EV chargers aren’t UL listed, and may not qualify for an installation rebate,

There are a few factors to take into consideration when choosing the right electric car charger. For starters, is your vehicle a plug-in hybrid or a battery-electric vehicle? A plug-in with both a battery and an engine like the Chevrolet Volt or Jeep Wrangler 4Xe doesn’t necessarily need an expensive charger. Fully electric vehicles like the Chevrolet Bolt or a Tesla don’t have any other way to move, and take a long time to charge on a slow charger. You might also want to plan for the future and have the capacity to charge a full electric later on. 

If you’re shopping for a car charger, you have probably realized a standard wall outlet might not be enough.  Level 1 chargers plug into a standard wall outlet and can be extremely affordable. Level 2 chargers do the job several times quicker than Level 1 chargers, but require an electrician to install, and a different power outlet and circuit that you may not already have available in your household. Some chargers are hardwired, while others can simply be plugged in. Decide whether you want a plug-and-play solution or a charger that requires professional installation from an electrician.

Lastly, if you aren’t installing your charger inside a garage, make sure to purchase one that is outdoor rated for exposure to sun, wind, dirt, and water.

For more information about charging your car at home, see our Table of Contents.

1. Editor's Pick: JuiceBox Smart EV Charger

juicebox 40 smart ev charger

The JuiceBox series of home EV chargers is available in three variants, 32 amp (7.7 kW), 40 amp (9.6 kW), and 48 amp (11.5 kW). The 32- and 40-amp versions can either be used as a plug-in charger (NEMA 14-50) or hardwired, while the JuiceBox 48 is only currently available as a hardwired option. Built on the universal J1772 charging standard, all versions of the JuiceBox are WiFi-enabled, Level 2 charging stations that can charge all electric vehicles on the market, including Teslas with an adapter.

With these chargers, you can use the JuiceNet mobile app and web portal to control scheduling, energy metering, notifications, and LED charging light indicators. You can even ask JuiceNet to remind you to plug in your vehicle if you’ve setup up a daily charging routine. These chargers are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google Home, so you can use voice commands to monitor, manage, and control your charger.

Each charger is housed in a weatherproof, dust-tight, polycarbonate casing that is indoor and outdoor rated. They’re equipped with a 25-foot cable with a standard SAE J1772 plug at the end, and the company provides a three-year warranty for use under normal residential operating conditions.

Promoted Product: FLO Home Charger

FLO Home X5

A striking mix of form and function, the FLO Home is a stylish, smart, and robust home charging system that comes in two versions: the connected FLO Home X5 and the non-connected G5.

Built with a 100% aluminum casing, the FLO Home is a Level 2 charging station (240V/30A), which is up to five times faster than a Level 1 outlet. This means you can charge most electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) in approximately eight hours.

The FLO Home offers a sleek and stylish look, while designed to function in extreme temperatures with a certified operating range of -40°F to 122°F. The system connects to your vehicle via a commercial-grade 25-foot cable, which ensures easy connection and charging even in the harshest of weather. The entire package is backed by a five-year limited warranty for added peace of mind. And depending on where you live, FLO Home chargers are eligible for state and local rebate programs.

If you are looking for a connected charger, the brains of the FLO Home X5 really set it apart. This unit boasts network functionality and integration, which means you can schedule your charge to limit power consumption during peak periods so you pay less for your energy. You can also track energy consumption from FLO’s user portal. Additionally, the network connection allows for automatic software updates, as well as remote monitoring and real-time technical support.

2. Best Value: Lectron 240V 40 Amp Level 2 EV Charger

 Lectron 240V 40 Amp Level 2 EV Charger

Lectron makes so many EV chargers we can’t really count them all, and they’re not really big on snappy names. What they do have is a charger for every need and budget, from a 16 amp Level 1 charger you could plug into an outlet in your kitchen (if you didn’t have much to charge), to much faster and more feature-rich EV chargers like this 40 amp Level 2 charger.

Requiring a NEMA 14-50 outlet (or a clothes dryer outlet with an adaptor), it provides 40 amps and 9.6 kWs of charging at 240 volts, which should be up to seven times faster than a Level 1 charger on household current. The always-on LED display shows current, voltage, temperature, and charge time, and the housing is IP66 dust- and water-resistant.

If you’re looking for a severe service EV charger to leave outside in the weather, look at the Bosch unit next; but you’ll also be looking at several times the expense. Having the actual charging circuitry located in a module in the cable may be inconvenient, but for an everyday charger to live in a garage, the Lectron is a great choice.

3. Pulsar Plus Level 2 EV Charger

wallbox pulsar plus level 2 electric vehicle smart charger

Looking for a more compact design because you don’t want a large, unsightly charger hanging from your garage wall? This sleek Level 2 charger from Wallbox fits the bill, offering 240-volt charging in a small package. The Pulsar Plus offers up to 40 amps of power, but automatically adjusts to varying charging needs down to 16 amps. This means charging your EV up to seven times faster when compared to standard, Level 1 charging cables. It comes with a 25-foot charging cable.

By using the myWallbox app, you can connect the charger to your smart devices, allowing you to wirelessly control and monitor your charger through Bluetooth or WiFi. With the app, you can create charging schedules to reduce the cost of charging, as well as set reminders and get notifications of charging progress. Have two EVs at your home and need a pair of chargers? You can connect more than one of these chargers to the same electrical circuit thanks to built-in smart power management, which will automatically balance charging for the most efficient energy distribution.

This recommendation is UL listed for electrical safety and NEMA Type 4 rated for water-tightness and dust resistance. It can either plug into a NEMA 14-50 outlet, or be hardwired. 

4. AmazonBasics Level 2 EV Charging Station

amazonbasics level 2 ev charger

It was only a matter of time before Amazon’s in-house brand, AmazonBasics, began manufacturing home EV chargers. The company’s offering is a Level 2 option, offering 240-volt, 32-amp charging with an 18-foot cable. If you’re able to take advantage of the 32 amps, you can get up to 25 miles of range per hour from this charging station. The home station uses a NEMA 6-50 outlet, while the hardwired station can be installed indoors or outdoors. If the 18-foot power cable is too short for you, there’s an option for a 25-foot cable.

Constructed from durable PC material, this recommendation has an IK10 rating for impact resistance and a NEMA-4 rating for water/dust protection. This is one compact charging station, measuring just 11.2 inches by 7.6 inches by 3.2 inches and its been awarded a Red Dot Award for its design. AmazonBasics includes a one-year limited warranty.

5. Grizzl-E Level 2 EV Charger

grizzl-e level 2 ev charger

Made in Canada, this Level 2 EV charger comes with a three-year warranty and full customer support, making it a good option for those who are new to home EV charging. Attached to this charger is a NEMA 14-50 plug for plug and play installation, and a 24-foot premium cable. It offers adjustable amperage of 40A, 32A, 24A, and 16A, to take advantage of the most efficient charging conditions. Charge rates vary from  28-30 miles per hour at 40A, 22-25 miles per hour at 32A, 15-18 miles per hour at 24A, and 10-12 miles per hour at 16A.

It’s IP67 rated for water resistance and is also fire resistant. Keep yourself protected with a collection of safety features including built-in GFCI, over current, over voltage, under voltage, missing diode, ground fault, and over temperature protections.

The exterior of the charger features a heavy duty, rigid design with an air tight metal enclosure. It can easily be detached from the wall mount, if you ever have to transport it to a different location.

If you prefer to keep things simple, this is the home EV charger for you. There’s no wireless capability, so there isn’t an app you need to configure and setup. In other words, if you simply want a charger you can plug into your EV to charge it without messing with any other settings, consider Grizzl-E.

6. Blink HQ 150 EV Charging Station

Blink HQ 150 EV Charging Station

US-based Blink has been making commercial charging stations since 2009, and recently started branching out into the home market with their first model, the HQ 150. It’s a UL listed and NEC 625 compliant wall-mounted Level 2 charger for indoor or protected outdoor use. Their commercial background shows in the simplified controls and display—there is no app, internet, or Bluetooth connection, just a few status lights and a long 25-foot charging cable. Unlike some models, it really is 25 feet long, too. 

At 32 amps, it’s not quite as fast as 40 amp chargers, but it also only needs single phase, 240V power with a NEMA 6-50 plug. Output is a good 7.68kW. It comes in a small, 11.14 x 7.56 x 3.11 inch enclosure that is NEMA Type 3R rated for light outdoor use. We wouldn’t put this out on a post in the weather, but it’s good for the exterior wall of a garage protected by the eaves, or in any indoor space that might be wet or dusty.

Blink announced at CES 2022 that they’ll be introducing two more home EV chargers this year, and we’ll be taking a look at them when they hit the market. Blink gives you an additional charging credit or discount at their thousands of public charging stations when you register your HQ 150.

7. EVoCharge Level 2 EV Charger

evocharge evse level 2 charger

A U.S.-based company located in California, EVoCharge’s Level 2 charger is fully compatible with all electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles sold in the U.S. and Canada. This charger offers maximum 7.68kW charging, meaning it charges up to 8 times faster than a standard AC Level 1 charger. It delivers an estimated 25 to 35 miles of range per hour of charging.

It’s an easy to install home EV charger with a standard NEMA 6-50 plug and comes with a universal mounting bracket for wall mounting, as well as post mount or the ability to mount to any other structure. You can choose between models with and 18- or 25-foot charging cable, and the charger is available with or without WiFi.

It supports multiple current ratings (20A, 30A, 40A) so you can adjust the maximum output current (16A, 24A, 32A). The charger is NEMA 4 outdoor and indoor rated and can also be hardwired.

Everything You Need to Know About Home EV Chargers

ev home chargers

Photo Credit: lOvE lOvE/Shutterstock

Electric vehicle (EV) chargers are actually a bit of a misnomer. That’s because your EV charger is actually onboard the vehicle, taking the AC source from your “wall charger” and converting it to DC, so your car’s battery pack can be recharged. It’s also the reason why they’re officially called Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE), although they’re widely known as a charger since it just makes more sense.

Essentially, when you’re shopping for a home EV charger, you’re actually looking for an EVSE that can safely recharge your car. This guide aims to explain everything you need to know about home EV chargers before you invest hundreds of dollars into one.

Do I Really Need One?

At the end of the day, that’s a question only you can answer. But here are a few things to guide you on your way to finding the right answer.

First, do you own a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or a battery-electric vehicle (BEV)? Most PHEVs, like the Chevrolet Volt, don’t have a very long range, which means they only need a couple hours to fully charge when using a Level 2 charger. Some PHEVs may even recharge their entire range using a standard 110-volt Level 1 charger, which means you wouldn’t need to install anything fancy or expensive to fully charge your car each night.

But if you do own an all-electric vehicle, chances are a Level 1 charger won’t completely do the job overnight. Depending on how far you drive each day, you may need to turn to public charging if you don’t have a charger at home. The question you then have to ask is, how convenient is public charging? Do you have public chargers near your home or even at your work? Do they have long lines?

Having a Level 2 charger at your home is the most convenient option if you own a BEV, but they aren’t cheap, and most of them need to be professionally installed. Ideally, you purchase a charger that will last you years, one that you can even use for future new car purchases.

Do I Need a Level 1 or Level 2 Charger?

As their names suggest, Level 2 chargers are able to recharge your electrified vehicles several times faster than a Level 1 charger. In the most basic sense, Level 1 chargers use a standard power outlet that you can find around your house. They’re very slow, giving you around 3 to 4 miles per hour. If you’re just driving a few miles to work every day, that could easily be enough, and you’ll need even less if you own a PHEV. If you can also plug in while at work, that may be enough to cover you for your daily commute.

For most electric vehicle owners, however, you’ll want a Level 2 charger at home. This often needing a 240-volt outlet, similar to what an electric dryer or an oven uses. Not all households will have an outlet ready to go, which means you will need one professionally installed. If you’re in an older home with a 100 amp breaker box, you’ll probably need to upgrade to 200 amp service.

Level 2 chargers also come in a variety of charging speeds, so pay close attention when choosing one for your home.

If you’re looking at public charging, most public Level 2 chargers max out at 6.6 kW, which is around 24 to 26 miles per hour. You can get more than that from some Level 2 home chargers.

Hardwired vs. Plug-in

You may notice once you start shopping for chargers that many of them are available as a hardwire option, which means it doesn’t plug into an outlet. If possible, avoid hardwired chargers and instead, pay an electrician to install the correct plug for your charger. The biggest benefit is that if you ever have to move the charger, you can do so more easily. Typically, it costs about the same to have someone either professionally hardwire a charger or install the correct outlet, so get an outlet if you can. Plus, if you use a NEMA 6-50 outlet (see below), it gives you, or someone who buys your home, options beyond car charging,

One thing to note, local code may require some outdoor chargers to be hardwired. Make sure you check your local requirements before purchasing a charger if you need to have it hardwired.

What to Look For in a Home EV Charger

Generally, when you’re shopping for a home EV charger, you’ll want to look at its amperage to determine how much range you will get per hour. It’s recommended to purchase a charger that can handle at least 30 amps, even if your vehicle can’t take full advantage of it. There’s a good chance you’ll eventually upgrade your EV to a newer model, and purchasing the right charger now helps future proof the investment. Pay close attention to the circuit breaker rating that is necessary for your charger, and whether you will be able to accommodate that in your electrical panel.

You also need to determine whether you will be installing your charger indoors or outdoors. If you don’t have a garage, make sure the charger you’re purchasing is rated for outdoor use.

There are also portable EV chargers available that don’t require you to install an actual “station” in your garage or outdoors. You’re normally trading performance for convenience when going with a portable charger, but for many, it’s worth it. Sometimes it’s just simpler to plug something into a wall outlet and then into your car.

Some chargers will also be UL- or ETL-listed, which means they have met the requirements of widely accepted product safety standards for EVSEs. If you want to be certain a charger is safe to use, look for the UL or ETL logo.

Lastly, check with your local electric utility company to see if there are any rebates or incentives available for installing a charger at home. You may be able to get back some of the cost for your charger through a rebate.

Additional Features of Home EV Chargers

In a connected age, it’s little surprise some EV chargers come with WiFi capability. These chargers allow you to download an app onto your smartphone so that you can remotely control the charger. Features include the ability to schedule charging, energy metering, and more. There are even chargers that are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, so you could use voice commands through any Alexa device such as an Echo Dot.

Keep in mind that typically your charger will likely be installed in an area that your home WiFi may not reach. Keep that in mind if you plan on investing into a WiFi-enabled charger, and make sure your wireless network has a strong enough signal to reach wherever you plan on installing the charger.

Other chargers may offer you the ability to set when to charge without having to use WiFi and an app. It’s a nice feature to have, allowing you to plug in your car and have it charge during off peak hours, when electricity may be cheaper. The scheduling feature may not work for all vehicles, so make sure to check with the manufacturer or look at reviews to see if your car is compatible.

What are the Power Requirements for EV Charging, and What are the Different Types of Outlet?

Level 1 chargers can and usually do run off of the same household current as your small appliances, and plug into the same regular outlets. There’s only so much power you can draw safely from those, as you know if you ever tripped a circuit breaker when running too many things. In new houses, you should have 20 amp circuits, but if your house is more than 25 years old, 15 amps is common. Most Level 1 chargers draw 16 amps, which is a recipe for trouble if you can’t supply enough power.

Level 2 chargers always require a dedicated circuit, usually either 40 or 50 amps. If you’re lucky, you might already have one—people who use things like welders or big air compressors in their garage need that much power. You’ll still need to have an electrician inspect the circuit and install the charger, but you should be able to plug right in, although you might need an adaptor. You can also have your Level 2 charger wired in directly, which will cost less than having an outlet installed, but is less flexible.

There are two kinds of plugs you might find or need, NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50. It’s easy to find an adaptor to use with either one.

If you have an electric stove or clothes dryer  in your house, you probably have a NEMA 15-40 outlet. These are the most common outlets for Level 2 plug in charging and is generally the most versatile option. However, Tesla has switched to the 6-50, and the rest of the industry is likely to follow.

Heavy-duty electrical tools use the 6-50 outlet. The only real difference is the 6-50 has three holes, instead of four like the 14-50, because it doesn’t have a neutral circuit.

What About Supercharging?

DC fast charge station at Diane’s Automotive in downtown Ithaca

Photo credit: Ithaca-Tompkins County Transportation Council

DC Fast Charging, Tesla’s Supercharging and CHAdeMO are different standards of Level 3 chargers that can charge your EV anywhere from three to 20 miles a minute. Most of them are capable of delivering an 80% charge in 30 minutes. To do this, they typically need 400-480 volts, twice as much as most homes receive.

If cost was no object, you could have one installed for home use. You can’t have a Tesla Supercharger installed at all, as the company doesn’t make them available. There are Tesla charging adaptors for CHAdeMO chargers, however.

You would first need an electrical engineer to create a site design and obtain the necessary permits from your city or town. You might have to start a business and have it insured, which might not be permissible at all in some neighborhoods. Your engineer would work with a commercial electrician and the power company to run dedicated wiring from the pole to a transformer, which might have to be sited on a concrete pad. A 480 volt switchboard would feed power to a subpanel, and then to your Level 3 charger.

Fortunately, there are some home options for Level 3 chargers, instead of just commercial. With plenty of options under $5,000, it’s actually going to be the least expensive part of your project. 

At the low end, you might be able to have a Level 3 charger installed at home for $20,000, but we would budget $50,000 and hope for the best. If you have five pure battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in your household and limited access to public chargers, it might even make sense to have a two-head Level 3 charger installed. But for 99.9% of people, a Level 2 charger is more than enough.

 

Recent Updates:

June 30, 2022: Removed Morec Level 2 EV Charger due to poor reviews.

June 17, 2022: Updated product links, removed out of stock ChargePoint Home Flex.

June 9, 2022: Updated products links, removed unavailable Siemens VersiCharge.

January 31, 2022: Removed out of stock Bosch EV810, returned Siemens VersiCharge to list.

January 7, 2022: Removed unavailable Clipper Creek HCS-40 charger. Added Blink HQ 150 EV Charging Station.


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