10 Best EV Chargers in 2020 (Review)
Electric vehicles have arrived, and they’re here to stay. What once was only a dream of Elon Musk, today has become a reality as the EV market is growing every year. It is expected that the market will reach almost 27 million units by 2030 from a 3 million base back in 2019.
In this buyer’s guide, we review the best EV chargers in 2020. This will help you get a look at the most recent and valuable products available. We analyze the specs and features before choosing which ones to write about. We are also going to show you some of the factors you should consider when looking for charging stations. Let’s take a look.
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The Best EV Chargers
1. JuiceBox 40 EV Charger
The JuiceBox 40 EV home charger is a valuable option for those who want to install an electric vehicle charging station at their house. We have also published useful information about where to install an ev charging station in your home or property.
This model has a 40-amp capacity along with a 10kW power output. Moreover, this fast EV charger has been designed to be connected to the NEMA 14-50 240-volt outlet.
Among other additional features, the JuiceBox 40 EV Charger integrates a smart function that connects the charger to the Wi-Fi network of the house which allows you to control the charging process of the electric vehicle from a remote location. Whenever your car is fully charged, you will receive a notification via smartphone. It is also compatible with Alexa, so you can ask Alexa to charge your vehicle via voice control.
As one of the level 2 chargers, it also features a smart function that allows you to schedule charging times according to electricity rates of local utility companies in order to achieve higher energy savings. Thanks to these features, its performance, and knowing that it’s also an Energy Star certified product, it has received multiple positive EV charger reviews that make it without any doubt one of the top home chargers out there.u
2. ChargePoint EV Charger
If you are looking for a way to charge your car at home, then the ChargePoint EV Charger is one of the models that you should consider.
Compatible with electric cars such as Tesla, Bolt, Nissan, Honda, and others. Also, the charger has been designed with the capacity of providing up to 12kW as it is able to charge your vehicle with up to 40-50-amps when it’s connected to a NEMA 6-50 or NEMA 14-50 240-volt outlet.
Among other things, it is synchronized with the ChargePoint app which allows you to schedule charging itineraries. It does this according to electricity rates. It offers flexible control by simply using your smartphone or Alexa to activate this electric vehicle charging station.
The ChargePoint has a compact size and charges electric cars up to 9 times faster than a traditional wall outlet which allows you to add up to 37 miles per hour.
3. Siemens US2 EV Charger
The Siemens US2 residential EV charger is a simple and cheaper way for charging electric vehicles. Designed to charge EVs up to four times faster than level 1 chargers with a 30-amp output and a 240 V connection that provides up to 7.2kW.
Regarding installation procedures, the charger includes its whole mounting bracket set with a 20-foot cable along with a NEMA 6-50 plug to be connected to a typical 240V outlet. Among other factors, the Siemens US2 charging stations have a flexible control feature that allows you to pause and activate the charger with 2/4/6/8-hour delay functions that are built-in. The charger can be installed via hardwired or plug-in connections.
Moreover, if you are thinking of installing the charger inside or outside your house, you must not get worried as it is suitable for outdoor and indoor use with a temperature operation range between -30°C – 50°C. The charger works with a universal SAE J1772 connector that allows it to charge all EVs. The required circuit breaker for the installation of the charger is a 2-pole, 40A breaker. After 1 hour of charging, this allows your EV to go between 40-60 miles of range per hour.
4. Megear/Zencar Level 1-2 NEMA6-20
A very interesting option among charging stations as the Megear/Zencar Level 1-2 NEMA6-20 is a level 2 charger that can be adapted to become a level 1 EV charger.
These electric car battery chargers are designed to be a level 2 model with the capacity to provide 16 amps at 240V which is equal to 3.86 kW. This translates in a speed of charge that is equal to 11 miles per hour. This means that a typical electric car like the Ford Fusion C-Max or the Nissan Leaf can be charged between 2.5 and 6.5 hours.
The interesting feature of the Megear/Zencar model is that it allows you to install a 3-foot charging adapter to be plugged into a conventional 120V wall outlet. The purpose of this adapter is to allow the users that do not have, and that for any reason, cannot install a 240V outlet in their garage. However, you must know that by doing so, you will be drastically reducing the capacity of your charger and the speed of charge will be severely affected. As an example, while a BWM I series vehicle could be charged in 6 hours with the 240V input, by using the adapter it would increase the charge time to 16.5 hours.
The Megear/Zencar charging stations include a 25 feet charge cord and have multiple protection ratings for their cable as IP55 waterproof, leakage and overheat protection, as well as flame resistance.
5. Mustart Level 2 EV Charging Station
The Mustart Level 2 EV Charging Station are a high-quality piece of equipment designed to power all kinds of electric vehicles thanks to its SAE J1772 plug-in standard connector.
The beauty of this home charging station is that it’s compatible with multiple types of 240 V outlets such as the NEMA 10-30, the NEMA 14-30, the NEMA6-50, NEMA 14-50, and others as well. This guarantees that no matter the type of 220V/240V connection at home, you will be able to install the charger. Using the 240V input, the Mustart level 2 charger can provide 7.68 kW at a 32-amp rating.
The Mustart model is one of the portable electric car charger that come within a carrying case that you can take everywhere. Moreover, it features an LCD screen that allows you to know the charging status at every time. It indicates important data such as the operating temperature, the charging current, as well as the actual output power. It also features energy metering.
The EV wall charger is recommended for indoor use only and must be connected to a GFCI supply protector.
6. BougeRV Level 2 Portable Electric Vehicle Charger
The BougeRV Level 2 Portable Electric Vehicle Charger are another good option to consider as they feature a 240V connection to a NEMA 6-20 plug, but they also feature a 110V NEMA 5 – 15P charging adapter for level 1 charging. These chargers have a 16 A output which equals 3.84kW for 240V connections and 1.76 kW for 110V connections.
Integrated with a 25 feet long charging cable which allows you to easily connect your electric vehicle to the outlet without much effort on the cable. Among other things, these electric car battery chargers feature an LED control box that has excellent performance. It has overheat, overcurrent, and overvoltage protection.
The BougeRV model is one of the portable EV chargers that has a carrying EVA case and holds the EV charger and the adapter as well.
7. Duosida Level 2
The Duosida Level 2 EV charger is a valuable option that charges electric cars three times faster than what a conventional 120V outlet would.
This home charging station is compatible with all plug-in EVs, including remarkable models such as the Toyota Prius, the Fiat 500e or the Ford Energy, along with many others. The electric car charger integrates a 28 feet long charging cord that has a 16-ampoutput while being connected to a 240V NEMA 6-20 outlet, which provides a 3.52 kW power capacity.
Additionally, the Duosida home EV chargers also feature a 110V standard outlet adapter that can be coupled with the charging cable to a traditional 110-volt outlet. This will allow you to charge your EV in your garage, no matter the available connection. You must know that charging your electric vehicle while using this level 1 adapter will reduce your power output charge to 1.76kW.
Among other things, the Duosida model features a sleek design proper for any elegant and eco-friendly home.
8. ClipperCreek HCS-40P
ClipperCreek HCS-40P offers another interesting alternative for electric vehicle supply equipment. In this case, the HCS-40P electric car chargers are designed for fast charging with up to 5.5 times the speed of a typical outlet.
The compact size of this model has 25 feet of cable length, suitable for flexible installation and usability as well. The product can be easily stowed with the included cable wrap and the wall mount connector holster as well.
This model uses the plug-in NEMA 14-50 with 220V-240V sockets, very simple and easy to install. The service voltage for the charger is 220-240V, using a single-phase 2-wire with ground connection. Moreover, the output of the charger in this voltage range is rated at 32A, which allows it to provide 7.7kW. The associated circuit protection needed for this device is a 40A circuit breaker.
This high-quality model is suited for both indoor and outdoor use since it is fully sealed with a NEMA 4 enclosure. Additionally, there is a ruggedized option that is available for an extra cost that has a 5-year warranty (instead of 3-years) and that has a type 4X watertight and corrosion-resistant rubber connector.
9. BougeRV Level 2 Portable EV Charging Cable
Other valuable options from BougeRV Level 2 Portable EV Charging Cable are the level 2, 240V and 32A output home EV chargers.
Well-suited for charging electric vehicles up to 5 times faster than the traditional outlet connection that level 1 EV chargers can provide. Using a NEMA 14-50 outlet, this electric vehicle charging station is able to provide up to 7.2kW, which translates into 23 miles of driving that can be obtained per hour of charging.
Moreover, since it uses the J1772 charging protocol, it is capable of charging any kind of EV. This charging cord has also been equipped with multiple safety protection features to ensure the charger is safe for use under any case scenario. This includes lightning, overcurrent, overheat and overvoltage protection. Finally, a carrying case is also included as part of the product to take your charger anywhere.
10. TurboCord 240V Portable
Simple and yet reliable, the TurboCord 240V Portable home EV chargers are able to provide up to 16 amps when they are connected to a 240V NEMA 6-20 outlet, this translates into 3.84kW power capacity that charges three times faster than using a conventional level 1 charger.
The TurboCord is UL-listed and is compatible with all North American electric cars and hybrid vehicles as well since it is designed with the J1772 protocol. This allows it to charge renowned models such as the BMWi3 (in just 6 hours), the Kia Soul EV (in 7 hours) or the Tesla Model 3 (in 13 hours).
Among other additional features of these charging stations, they include a portable case along with a cable hanger for easy installation and transportation to any place. The cable length of the charger is 20 feet and the brand (Webasto) provides up to a 3-year warranty.
5 Key Features to Look for in an EV Charger
The electrical specs are the first and most important factor that you must look for when selecting electric car battery chargers.
These specs are related to electrical current, power, and voltage. The power is the best indicator of the charging speed that you can expect. The higher the output power, the faster the charging process will be.
The charge time can be determined by checking the amount of energy that your car’s battery needs. This will be expressed in kWh. Simply divide the kWh (energy) by the kW (power) and you will find out the number of hours that will be required to charge your vehicle.
NEMA Outlet Connection – Adapters
Another fact is to verify the NEMA outlet connection that you can couple the charger too. Even among level 2 chargers, there can be different 240V or 220V outlet types, therefore, you must verify that the one available in your garage is the one suitable for your car.
There are some cases in which you may not have a 240V outlet in your garage. For those cases, some home EV chargers will integrate an adaptor to couple the cable with a 110V outlet. That way, you would be able to use 120V, 220V, or 240V outlets. This is a simple solution. In the long term, you might want to consider making a 240V outlet connection for your garage as the performance and charging speed will reduce drastically.
Enclosure Rating – Indoor or Outdoor
Not every charger is suitable for working in outdoor environments with rain or snow, so you need to learn where to install an ev charging station.
Connectivity and Ease of Use
Some home EV chargers are designed with the possibility to work under a Wi-Fi connection. This allows you to couple the charger with a mobile app that offers flexible control via remote and that can even be controlled by using Alexa.
The ease of use is also related to the cable length of the charger. The longer it is, the easier it will be for you to connect the charger every day without much damage to the cable.
Finally, the other factor that must be considered is the installation type. You must find out if the charger needs to be hardwired or if it will be plugged in.
Hardwire requires an internal electrical connection of the cables through the walls or underground. This is harder to install, but it is also harder to steal and more secure from a technical perspective — especially if it will be mounted outdoors. It is also cheaper.
The plug-in is much easier to install, assuming that you already have a suitable outlet for the charger. It is not as secured and is probably more expensive.
What are the Different Types of Electrical Vehicle Chargers?
The electric car chargers can be classified according to their speed of charge according to the following types:
These chargers can provide between 50 and 150kW, which drastically reduces the charging times. Some models like the Tesla Supercharger are classified under this regime, but they are not compatible with all EVs. These models are typically level 3 chargers and they can charge an EV in an average time of 30 minutes, but they are very expensive.
Meanwhile, fast chargers are those that can power EVs with a rating between 3kW and 20kW. These models are level 2 and they can charge an EV in 3-8 hours. The equivalent ampere output for these chargers will be 30-amp, 40-amp, 50-amp or any in between.
Finally, the slow chargers are only suitable to charge the EV during the night. These have a capacity up to 3kW and they are level 1 EV chargers generally. These models take between 9-16 hours to charge an EV.
What are the Differences Between the Different Levels of EV Chargers?
There are several differences between EV charger levels.
The first difference lies in the input voltage that they can connect themselves to. While level 1 chargers must be connected to a 110V supply, level 2 models must be connected to a 240V supply. On the other hand, a level 3 EV charger, also known as DC Fast Charging (DCFC), must be connected to a 480V DC supply. As you can see, only the first two are suited to be called home electric car chargers because the level 3 model can only be used for industrial or commercial applications.
The second difference lies in the power that each one can supply as was explained in the section before. This is a direct consequence of the voltage supply, the higher it is, the more power the charger can supply. This also impacts the charging speeds.
Also, the wall outlets to which the charger can be connected to will vary according to the level. Finally, the type of connector of the charger will also change according to the level. While both level 1 and level 2 models will use J1772 connectors, the level 3 charger will use a CHAdeMO or SAE Combo port. Table 1 shows a schematic overview of the differences between levels while figure 1 shows the outlet types, check which one is the one available in your garage.
Power Output Range
Up to 3kW
NEMA 5-15/ NEMA 5-20/NEMA L5-15
NEMA 6-15 / NEMA 6-20/ NEMA 6-30/ NEMA 6-50 / NEMA 14-50/ NEMA 14-30/ NEMA 10-30
CHAdeMO or SAE Combo
Figure 1. Wall outlet types. Source: Electronics Stack Exchange