How to buy and install an EV home charger. Ev charger wall box

Wallbox vs Juicebox: Which Home EV Charger Should You Choose?

If you’re exploring which electric vehicle (EV) charging station to buy you’re taking a big step towards simplifying your life and decreasing the amount of money you spend charging your car. Knowing you need a home electric car charging station is the easy part. Deciding which one is best for you and your EV can be difficult. While there are many different brands of EV chargers out there, Wallbox and Juicebox have some of the best residential EV charging stations on the market. The Wallbox Pulsar Plus and Enel X Juicebox 40 are both efficient at charging EVs and have added Smart features like power sharing and ways to control your energy consumption. Wallbox vs Juicebox, which one should you buy? In this article, we’ll take a look at both chargers and detail their differences so you know which one is the better choice for you.

The Wallbox Pulsar Plus

The Wallbox Pulsar Plus comes in a 40 amp or 48 amp version. The 48 amp is only available for a hardwired installation. The design of a Wallbox is a gray box within a black box. It has LCD indicator lights in between the two boxes. It does not come with any cable mounting or racking. It has a 25-foot cable. The 40 amp version weighs 18.2 pounds, while the 48 amp version weighs 20.9 pounds. The 40 amp version is installed with a NEMA 14-50 outlet. while the 48 amp version must be hardwired. A hardwired electric car charger is attached to the wall and is permanent, while a plug-in is portable and can be changed if you decided to upgrade or move. The Wallbox has an IP54 rating, which means it is protected from dust, particles, and water sprays. The Wallbox has a standard SAE J1772 connector and can charge all EVs available for purchase in the U.S. The 40-amp version is 649 and the 48-amp version is 699.

The Enel X Juicebox 40

The Enel X Juicebox 40 has a sleek design and is white with a black cable. It features a rounded rectangular box with a cable rack underneath. It comes with a quick-release mounting bracket and a long 25-foot cable. The screen has LED lights that show power, connectivity, and charging status. It weighs 15 pounds. Like the Wallbox, it comes in a hardwired or plug-in version ( NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50 ). The Enel X Juicebox has a NEMA 4X rating, the equivalent of IP66, which is one of the higher IP ratings. The rating is higher than the Wallbox’s, but both of them will be able to protect your Level 2 charger from dust and water whether you’re planning to install it in the garage or in the driveway. The Juicebox is equipped with the standard SAE J1772 connector and can charge all EVs available for purchase in the U.S. The plug-in NEMA 14-50 is 749, the NEMA 6-50 is 699, and the hardwired version is 749. The Juicebox also comes in a 32-amp version called the Juicebox 32 and a 48-amp version called Juicebox 48.

Wallbox vs Juicebox Smart Features

The Wallbox and Juicebox both offer many Smart features that can be accessed through their respective apps, myWallbox and JuicePass.

You’ll be able to monitor the status of your home Smart charger from anywhere you have access to a smartphone, remotely start or stop charging, view real-time statistics on use and energy consumption, and schedule your EV’s charge time for when electricity rates are cheapest.

They both have Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa connectivity. You can wirelessly connect to the Wallbox through Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, while the Juicebox only offers Wi-Fi connectivity. This means if you have spotty internet connectivity or you don’t have access to the internet, your best bet would be the Wallbox.

Both chargers also offer power sharing through their apps. Power sharing enables you to use multiple chargers at the same time and distributes the electricity between the charging stations. You’ll have two or more chargers on the same circuit breaker. Power sharing works by charging each car at a lower than normal power level so charging them at the same time doesn’t exceed your electrical capacity or energy consumption. If you have two EVs in the same household this can be a much-need feature.

The Pulsar Plus has an added benefit that the other big names in residential EV charging do not offer – solar charging. If you have solar panels installed at your home you can use the Wallbox to charge your EV with solar energy. The Pulsar Plus Eco-Smart Solar EV charging feature allows you to choose between two modes: full renewable or a mix of green and grid electricity. You can disable the mode at any time if you wish to switch back to solely grid power.

Wallbox vs Juicebox Charging Speed

According to Wallbox, the Pulsar Plus can add a range of 30-35 miles per hour of charge. Enel X says Juicebox Level 2 charging can add a range of 12-60 miles per hour of charge. Whichever one you choose, your car will be charged much faster than with the Level 1 charger that came with the car and you’ll never have to visit public charging stations again unless you’re a long distance away from home, such as on a road trip.

The Wallbox and Juicebox both comes in a 48-amp version as described earlier. This means you will have more power (11.5 kilowatts), which equates to faster charge times. Most of the electric vehicle charging stations available for home charging do not come in higher amperages. One of the only other ones in terms of the preferred EV charging brands by EV owners is the Chargepoint Home Flex. You don’t necessarily need the higher amps that the Wallbox, Juicebox station, or Chargepoint charger offer with the types of EVs available in the U.S. today, but owning a home Level 2 charging station with a higher amperage helps you future-proof. This means you will be prepared for upgrades and changes that will definitely come in the future with electric vehicles and your home charger will be able to juice those cars up efficiently.

Does Wallbox work with Tesla?

If you’re a Tesla owner, don’t fret – you can charge your Tesla with a Wallbox Pulsar Plus! You’ll need to use a 14-50 NEMA adaptor. To use the adaptor you will need your Mobile Connector, which should have been included with the vehicle. The Tesla Motors Mobile Connector is a 20-foot-long cable with interchangeable adapters which can be used in different outlets. To start charging with your Juicebox, attach the 14-50 adaptor to your Mobile Connector, plug into the corresponding outlet, and then begin charging.

Can you charge Tesla with Juice box?

Yes, you can also charge your Tesla with a Juicebox 40. You’ll just need to follow the steps outlined above.

Which EV charger should you choose?

The best EV charger for you, whether it’s the Wallbox or the Juicebox, depends on what your preferences are. They’re both excellent charging options. If you’re choosing based on aesthetics, maybe you prefer white over gray and black for your house and would rather go with the Juicebox for that reason or vice versa. Perhaps you would like to be able to charge with solar energy. In that case, you would definitely go with the Wallbox.

The Wallbox does tend to be a tad bit cheaper than the Juicebox (besides the NEMA 6-50 version which is the same price as the 48-amp Wallbox).

We would like to note here, that as a Wallbox partner, we are offering a limited time discount on Wallbox chargers. We also offer rebate and incentive management. We will research available rebates for your EV charging station and apply for them on your behalf – saving you even more money!

On top of all this, we have made the home EV charger installation process easier than ever! As you probably know, you will have to hire an electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 outlet for you. You shouldn’t attempt it yourself due to safety concerns and you’ll want to make sure it works! You can now fill out our quick 7-minute survey and get a quote in no time. We have eliminated the hassle of having to shop around for electricians and having to schedule site visits, and then wait to hear back on your quote. Instead, you’ll fill out the no-obligation digital survey and receive your estimate, just like that!

How to buy and install an EV home charger

Gas prices? Pah! A few months ago, my family bought an electric car, used. A little 2018 BMW i3s. It looks weird but it drives great. Every time I pass long lines of cars and trucks waiting to fill up on 6-a-gallon gas, I admit, I feel a schadenfreude smile coming on.

But buying the car, it turns out, was a lot easier than buying a home charger and getting it installed, which was a serious hassle. Worth it in the end, but a hassle. And that government rebate I thought I’d been promised? Yeah, right.

You can get by without a home charger but I wouldn’t advise it. There are too few public chargers available at present for dependable refueling. And the price you pay is significantly higher than your cost of electricity at home.

A home charger isn’t cheap, though. Including installation, depending on what model you buy, the cost can top 1,500.

And hunting for charger isn’t easy. The challenges can be small or large depending on variables that include the age of your home, the state of its electrical system and how tough it is to find an installer in your area.

If stories about 7-a-gallon gasoline have you thinking it’s time for an EV, though, here are some hard-won tips that might save you some headaches.

The basics

The first step is deciding whether you want a Level 1 or Level 2 charger.

Level 1 operates at 120 volts. That’s the voltage you use to run your toaster and most of your home’s electricity. Level 2 is 240 volts, what an electric dryer requires. Level 2 chargers will fill your EV a lot faster from empty than a Level 1: a couple hours or so, depending on the size of your battery, versus overnight.

You’ll probably get a portable Level 1 charger included when you get your car. If most of your trips are local, or you can charge at work, or buy a plug-in hybrid instead of a battery-only electric, a Level 1 might work just fine.

If you want the flexibility of a relatively fast fill-up and more freedom from range anxiety, you’re a candidate for a more expensive but more powerful Level 2. That’s what we chose.

Level 2 chargers require 240 volts and a socket like an electric dryer might use. If you have a 240-volt outlet near where you’ll park your car, good for you. Installation will be a lot easier. (A charger also can be connected directly to your electric panel, obviating the need for an outlet.)

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Chargers come with cords of different lengths. You’ll want to measure the distance from where you put your charger to where you’ll park your car. Shorter cords make for less expensive chargers. I’d rather have too much than not enough and went for a 25-foot cord. If you’ll always be parking in a tight garage space, you can get by with something shorter and cheaper.

Portable 240-volt chargers are available, but you’ll get only about 10 miles of range per hour. If you want to fill up fairly fast and have your car ready to go when you need it, a stationary charger is the way to go.

Buying

An internet search will turn up loads of sites that rank home chargers. For a comprehensive overview of what’s available, Veloz, an EV advocacy site, is a good first step.

Level 2 charger range from nearly 300 to well over 1,000. The bigger your car battery, the more expensive your charger is likely to be. Veloz pegs the typical cost of installation around 500. It can be lower or it can cost several thousand dollars, depending on how your home’s electrical system is configured and whether you need a 240v outlet installed.

Unless you are well versed in volts and amps and kilowatts and kilowatt hours, you should ask an electrician or someone with expertise in the area for advice before you choose your charger. The requirements of your car’s battery and the configuration of your home electrical system are major factors in charger choice.

You’ll also have to ask yourself how important it is to be able to control charging times through a charger’s software, allowing you to take advantage of your utility’s variable time-of-day electric rates and potentially prolong your battery’s life. Many experts suggest you not fill your battery all the way full because that can degrade performance. Charger software can set a limit at, say, 90% full.

You’ll also need to know whether you want to install the charger inside a garage or outdoors — many chargers are advertised as weatherproof.

Which brand is best? After spending much time comparing models online, I found a ChargePoint model that topped many best-of lists and tried to buy one. Alas, ChargePoint told me I couldn’t expect the charger to arrive for at least several weeks. Popularity has its price.

My neighbor bought a charger from Wallbox and got it in a couple of days. I did too. The reviews were good. It’s working fine so far, although the software interface could be much improved. I paid 649 plus tax.

Installing

Wallbox posts an excellent installation guide online that can apply to any charger make or model. With any luck, you’ll be able to hire an electrician at a reasonable price and he or she will take care of everything for you.

I wasn’t so lucky. Our Berkeley house was built 60 years ago. No 240v outlet in the garage. Worse, the house is fed by a 100-amp Pacific Gas Electric power line; the lines to modern houses are rated at 200 amps. Practically speaking, the 100-amp line means that adding an electric car to the house’s load could overpower the whole system. The situation would demand some changes to our electric supply panel.

Finding an electrician to help was tough. It’s hard to find a tradesman to do anything lately — too few workers with the proper skills, too much home improvement demand. One electrician informed us our electric panel is way out of date, and that building codes would require a new one. We’d also need a 200-amp line to the house. Total cost, he said, would top 2,000.

The truth about L.A.’s most notoriously expensive gas stations

You’ve seen the signs advertising 6.95, 6.99 or even 7.05 for a gallon of regular unleaded. But who’s buying it, and why?

With the help of a neighbor who’s a lighting architect and ace handyman, I was able to get the job done for the price of materials and a nice dinner.

If you have an older home, do some research on home electric load capacities to better communicate with the professional electricians you might hire.

The rebate

Rebates from the government or electric utilities depend on where you live. Put your ZIP Code into the Veloz site and then click on a charger model to find out what’s available to you. If your electricity comes from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the utility says you can get up to 1,000 back, even more if you qualify as low-income. But the actual amount, based on numerous Veloz searches, is likely to be a few hundred dollars. Residents of the South Coast Air Quality Management District can get another several hundred dollars, but the money is available “first come first served,” so you can’t count on funds being there.

The city of Anaheim says charger buyers can qualify for 400 to 1,000 in rebates, “subject to the availability of funds.” The city of Burbank advertises rebates up to 500.

If you bought a charger in 2021, you may be eligible for a federal income tax credit for 30% of the charger’s cost. If you waited until 2022, you’re out of luck.

Here in Berkeley, I qualified for rebates totaling 0. My utility, the financially troubled Pacific Gas Electric, offers no home EV charger incentives at all.

But driving an EV can save 800 or more a year for an average driver, and the warm feeling I get driving past those gas station price signs makes up for a zero rebate, and then some.

Look inside Wallbox’s new multimillion-dollar factory making the chargers for electric cars

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  • Electric car charger manufacturer Wallbox has just opened a new factory in Barcelona.
  • It currently produces 1,200 chargers per day and has the capacity to produce 750,000 per year.
  • Insider got a look inside the new factory.

Insider recommends waking up with Morning Brew. a daily newsletter.

This is an edited, translated version of an article that originally appeared on April 23, 2022.

Wallbox, a Spanish startup that builds electric-car chargers, was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 2021 after the company exceeded 400 shareholders and 1.1 million shares outstanding.

Wallbox has invested 9 million euros in a new factory in Barcelona, which opened on April 20. The company said it expects the site will employ more than 500 people.

The new factory will supply the European, South American, and Asian markets – except China, where the company already has a plant in Suzhou. The company is set to open another factory in Arlington, Texas, to supply the US and Canadian markets.

Wallbox gave Insider a tour of the new factory and its operations.

The factory is divided into three areas: validation, production, and logistics

Wallbox will have the capacity to produce more than 750,000 chargers a year, according to a company press release.

The charger market is very volatile, so we have to be flexible, David Padillo, the logistics manager, told Insider during the tour.

Each operator has a screen that shows them a step-by-step breakdown of the procedure on their part of the production line.

The production line is also equipped with cameras which detect whether the different-colored wires are properly assembled. An operator has to complete their part of the procedure in 46 seconds, before moving on to the next charger. It takes a total of eight minutes to assemble each charger.

Once the process is finished, operators place each charger in a box and a 23-page report on its assembly is generated and stored at the factory. This report is the medical history of the charger, with the components it carries, the tightening torque, and the results of the electrical and connectivity tests. So if a user registers the charger and has a problem, we know everything, one of the employees conducting the tour told Insider.

The Supernova public charger takes slightly longer to finish building due to its size and weight. Each charger weighs 551.2 pounds and takes approximately 22 minutes to build.

Manolito and Joselito

Manolito and Joselito are the names of the robotic arms in charge of two of the key tasks in the factory.

Manolito is in charge of etching circuit boards for the chargers: He etches about 800 circuits per shift by himself; one person would be able to do 200, said the employee running the tour.

Joselito is located at the end of the production chain.

Joselito checks that the chargers are connected properly by photographing the charger parts and comparing them with a standard model to identify possible errors.

Wallbox is also preparing to open an automated warehouse, capable of receiving items directly from the production line and storing around 43,000 chargers, Enric Asunción, the CEO of Wallbox, said.

When it’s operational, the warehouse will receive 360 chargers every hour. They’ll arrive directly from the production line, untouched by humans, said Padillo.

The goal for this warehouse is that it will be able to deliver chargers anywhere in the world within 72 hours, which Padillo said is one of the company’s key performance indicators.

A sustainable factory

When asked about the sustainability of the factory, Asunción’s face lit up.

He said that Wallbox aims to produce as little waste as possible by recycling and reusing materials. The company intends to install 4,500 square meters of solar panels that will supply 900 kilowatts of energy to the factory, which would account for between 30% and 60% of the energy required to make chargers, according to the company’s press release.

The problem with the panels is that we’re not always going to be using the energy they produce. So we’ve put in a stationary battery that charges from this energy, and all our employees’ cars and a carsharing base are going to be charged with this, Asunción told Insider.

When there’s no solar power, those cars will dump the excess energy into the building.

Wallbox uses Sirius software, an energy-management system, to integrate and manage all its energy sources.

Sirius is designed to autonomously decide at any given moment which is the best source of energy — depending on the needs at that precise moment but also on the price of electricity, the press release said.

Asunción estimated that the software would reduce the factory’s energy usage by around 20%. But he added the ultimate goal was that the factory becomes self-sufficient.

This post has been translated from Spanish.

The Best Electric Vehicle Chargers for Home

Whether you’re a longtime electric vehicle owner or you’re still waiting for your first EV to leave the factory floor, you should consider investing in a Level 2 charger for your home.

Most modern EVs ship with a Level 1 charger—these tend to be small, portable, and slow-charging, thanks to their 120-volt output. But a 240-volt Level 2 charger is the fastest way to juice up an EV at home, adding four or more times as many miles per hour of charge.

They’re also more likely to have premium features, such as a power cord that’s long enough to reach across a two-car garage or a wide variety of installation options.

After 28 hours of research and 85 hours of testing, we found that the United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic is the best at-home charger for most EV drivers, whereas Tesla drivers should stick with the Tesla Wall Connector.

The vast majority of EVs fall into one of two categories: Tesla and everything that’s not a Tesla. The latter category is made up mostly of EVs from legacy car manufacturers like Chevrolet, Ford, and Volkswagen, with a charging port where the gas tank would normally be (called a J1772 port). Teslas have their own proprietary charging port (much like how iPhones charge from Apple’s exclusive Lightning port, whereas most other smartphones have a USB-C port). For this guide, we chose to FOCUS on chargers that are compatible with either a J1772 or a Tesla port, as well as on adapters that can convert one type of plug to the opposite type of port.

The best EV charger for home

This is the EV charger we’d put in our garage. It’s fast-charging and lightweight, and it comes with a lengthy, 24-foot cord. Plus, it’s the most weatherproof model we tested.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 429.

Despite costing less than any other J1772 (non-Tesla) EV charger in our testing pool at this writing, the United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic offers many of the same capabilities and features seen in pricier models. It’s rated for a maximum current of 40 A, which we were able to reproduce in our testing, allowing it to charge much faster than the Level 1 chargers that come with most EVs. The three-year warranty is as long as any we’ve seen, giving you plenty of time to make sure the charger works properly and meets your needs.

It’s available in two plug-in configurations and can also be hardwired, whereas many of the models we tested have just one or two installation options. This charger is also fairly compact, so it won’t take up much garage space, and it’s lightweight enough to lift into a trunk or mount onto a wall with relative ease. And it has a long, slim cord that can be neatly wound around the included cable organizer.

If you’d like the option of installing your charger outside, the Grizzl-E Classic has the most weatherproof exterior of any we tested, with a rating that shows it can shield the charger from superficial dirt, dust, oils, moisture, and even heavy rain or snow. It’s also rated to operate safely in temperatures between.22° to 122° Fahrenheit, and its plug has a protective rubber cap.

Our main gripes with this model are that its packaging isn’t especially protective, so we worry that it could be more easily damaged in transit, and its painted metal exterior attracts fingerprints and smudges more than most models we tested. But we think most people can overlook these minor quibbles in light of the Grizzl-E Classic’s other great qualities.

Max current rating: 40 AWeatherproof rating: IP67 (fully dustproof and waterproof)Installation options: three (hardwire, NEMA 14-50 plug, NEMA 6-50 plug)Warranty: three years

The best EV charger for Teslas

If you drive a Tesla, this is your best option for at-home charging. It’s rated for up to 48 A of current, suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and backed by a two-year warranty. It also has a super-streamlined look, and its built-in cable organizer keeps its 24-foot cord neatly stored.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 400.

Not surprisingly, our testing showed that the best charger for a Tesla EV is Tesla’s flagship charger, the Tesla Wall Connector. It’s not our top pick for all drivers, because connecting it to a non-Tesla EV requires a pricey third-party adapter that isn’t designed for everyday use. (Plus, since Tesla sells more EVs than the other car companies combined, its chargers are in high demand and often out of stock.) But if you drive a Tesla, it’s the best option available with the company’s proprietary connector. Its maximum current rating of 48 A is among the highest of those we tested, and at this writing its price is one of the lowest.

The Tesla Wall Connector is even slimmer and lighter than the Grizzl-E Classic, it has a super-sleek look, and it’s backed by Tesla’s two-year warranty. This charger has a 24-foot cord, just like the Grizzl-E Classic, and its built-in cable organizer is elegantly designed. It’s not quite as weatherized as our non-Tesla pick, but it’s still rated to provide ample protection against dirt, dust, and oils, splashes and sprays of water, and temperatures between.22° to 122° Fahrenheit.

The biggest downside to this charger is that it lacks plug-in options, so you have to hardwire it into your home’s electrical system. That’s less convenient if you want to be able to move your charger without calling an electrician. But since hardwiring is generally preferable to plug-in installation anyway, we don’t consider this a fatal flaw.

Max current rating: 48 AWeatherproof rating: IP55 (highly dustproof and waterproof)Installation options: one (hardwire)Warranty: two years

The best EV charger for home

This is the EV charger we’d put in our garage. It’s fast-charging and lightweight, and it comes with a lengthy, 24-foot cord. Plus, it’s the most weatherproof model we tested.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 429.

The best EV charger for Teslas

If you drive a Tesla, this is your best option for at-home charging. It’s rated for up to 48 A of current, suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and backed by a two-year warranty. It also has a super-streamlined look, and its built-in cable organizer keeps its 24-foot cord neatly stored.

install, home, charger, wall

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 400.

Why you should trust us

As the writer of this guide, I spent 28 hours researching and 85 hours testing EV chargers. I’ve been a science writer for more than nine years, covering a wide variety of topics, from particle physics to satellite remote sensing. Since joining Wirecutter, in 2017, I’ve reported on surge protectors, rechargeable batteries, power banks for phones and tablets, and more.

In preparation to write this guide, I interviewed Paul Vosper (CEO of JuiceBar, a manufacturer of commercial EV charging stations founded in 2009) about the history and current landscape of the EV charging industry. I discussed the ins and outs of installing an EV charger in a private home or an apartment building with Tracy Price (CEO of Qmerit, a network of certified electricians specializing in the installation of EV chargers) and Caradoc Ehrenhalt (CEO of EV Safe Charge, an EV charger installation and consulting firm). To better understand the needs and concerns of EV drivers, I interviewed Joe Flores, deputy director at San José Clean Energy, a nonprofit electricity provider; Suncheth Bhat, director of clean energy transportation for the Pacific Gas and Electric (PGE) utility company; and Aaron August, PGE’s vice president of utility partnerships and innovation.

Who this is for

If you’re in the process of buying an EV, and you want the fastest possible at-home charge right out of the gate, this is the guide for you. If you already own an EV, and you’re thinking about leveling up (literally) from a sluggish Level 1 charger to a speedier Level 2 charger, this guide is also for you. If you’re just here to learn, welcome! We hope you find what you’re looking for.

Gas-powered vehicles might still rule the road, but global EV sales doubled in 2021, and analysts expect there to be 26 million EVs worldwide by the end of 2022. We can safely assume that these millions of EV drivers, despite having at least one thing in common, have widely varying lifestyles, needs, and priorities: They could be homeowners in single-family houses or renters in multi-unit apartment buildings. Or they might be remote workers who rarely leave the house or ride-share drivers clocking hundreds of miles a day. Maybe they pass dozens of charging stations along their daily route, or perhaps they live 90 miles from the nearest public charger.

Regardless of your situation, though, having the most powerful EV charger possible at home will likely be a worthwhile investment. Per the U.S. Department of Transportation, a Level 1 charger can take days (40 to 50 hours) to charge an EV battery from empty to full, whereas a Level 2 charger can complete the same task in just four to 10 hours. Even if you don’t put many miles on your car, and topping off the battery overnight works for you most of the time, you still might want to have a charger at home that lets you juice up quickly in the event of a wildfire, flash flood, or other unforeseen disaster.

In addition to faster charging times, Level 2 chargers often come with features you might not get from the charger that came with your EV, such as:

  • the option to hardwire the charger directly into your home’s electrical grid
  • a long cord that can reach across a two-car garage or carport
  • a smartphone app that supplements your EV’s app to track battery life, charge times, and more
  • a weatherproof enclosure to add protection from elements

As is true of any home-improvement project, upgrading your EV charging setup will come at a cost. In addition to the sticker price of the charger, you’ll likely pay around 400 to 1,200 to have it professionally installed. You can circumvent some of these installation costs by buying a plug-in model, but if you don’t already have a 240 V outlet installed at your parking spot (they’re typically used for RVs or electric stovetops, among other things), you’ll still need to spend at least a few hundred dollars to take advantage of the Level 2 charger’s higher current. The silver lining here is that to help recoup the costs of going electric, many federal, state, and regional programs offer rebates and other incentives, including discounted rates for electricity usage during off-peak hours (which you can manage through your EV’s app or, if it has one, your EV charger’s app).

If you rent your home and you’re unsure whether your rental agreement allows you to install a Level 2 charger, check your state’s “right to charge” laws. Likewise, if you own a home or rental property, the U.S. Department of Energy has a trove of resources explaining the various rules, regulations, and rudiments of installing EV chargers.

How we picked

To find the most well-known and widely available makers of Level 2 EV chargers, we sniffed around the websites of major retailers like Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, as well as industry publications such as Car and Driver, CleanTechnica, Electrek, and InsideEVs. From there, we built a list of contenders based on the following features:

  • Costs less than 2,000: Most chargers we considered cost 1,000 or less, but we were open to pricier options that add an extra feature, such as the ability to charge two EVs at once. The annual savings from switching to electric will vary depending on your driving habits, the type of car you drive, fuel costs, and a variety of other factors. But whether you spend 500 or 2,000, your EV is likely to pay for the cost of your charger in less than a year. In 2022, according to a AAA study, powering the average EV will cost 2,100 less per year than fueling a traditional car, and that doesn’t even include the reduction in maintenancecosts. (You can see how your car stacks up using an online calculator from the U.S. Department of Energy.)
  • Has at least a 32 A maximum current rating: To provide the fastest possible at-home charge, Level 2 chargers run off a 240 V circuit, passing between 16 to 80 A of current to your vehicle. Since most EVs come with a portable Level 1 charger capable of trickle charging up to 32 A from a standard 120 V outlet, we made that our minimum amperage requirement.
  • Has at least a 20-foot cord: Longer cords tend to be thicker and more unwieldy than shorter ones, but a lengthy cord is critical for an EV charger to ensure that it can reach the car’s charging port. A typical two-car garage is 20 to 24 feet wide, so we struck any chargers with a cord shorter than 20 feet from our testing pool. We didn’t set an upper limit for cord length, though the National Electrical Code (NEC) set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) caps it at 25 feet, and we didn’t see any that were longer than that.
  • Weighs 50 pounds or less: Even though most Level 2 chargers are intended for stationary use, you may occasionally need to lift your charger into a car trunk (to bring it on a road trip, say) or move it on and off a wall mount. As such, we set a weight limit of 50 pounds, since heavier loads have an increased risk of injury.
  • Has a NEMA 14-50 plug and/or can be hardwired: Hardwiring is generally preferable to a plug-in installation, since it creates a more seamless (and, therefore, more energy-efficient) connection between your home’s wiring and the charger. Hardwiring also offers better protection against the elements (vital if you’re planning to install your charger outside) and can deliver between 15 A to 60 A to your vehicle, whereas a NEMA 14-50 (plug-in) connection can handle only 15 A to 50 A. On the downside, in order to hardwire your charger, you’ll need to have it installed (ideally by a certified electrician) and, if you ever want to move it, have it uninstalled. Since everyone’s living situations and needs are different, we can’t say that one method or the other is better across the board; in the end, we preferred each model in our testing pool to have at least one of these installation options, and we gave bonus points to those that offered both. We considered additional plug configurations (such as the less-versatile NEMA 6-50 plug, which lacks a neutral wire and is most commonly used for welding equipment) to be nonessential bonuses.
  • Certified by a Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory (NRTL): A seal of approval from Underwriters Laboratories (UL), Intertek’s Electrical Testing Labs (ETL), or any of the other testing facilities recognized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that a product meets rigorous safety and compliance standards. We required that each charger have a certification from one or more of these organizations.
  • Has at least a one-year warranty: We think a year is ample time to use your charger on a regular basis and ensure that it’s not a dud. Still, a longer warranty period is nice, since it gives you more wiggle room in case a part breaks or your charger conks out unexpectedly.
  • Can be used safely outdoors: If you typically park in a carport or other outdoor parking space, you’ll want to make sure your charger is protected from blowing dust, rain, and other inclement conditions. Even if you plan to keep your charger in an enclosed garage, it’ll still be exposed to the elements to a lesser extent when the door is open. We gave preference to chargers with more robust Ingress Protection (IP) or National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) ratings (two common grading scales for weatherproofing) and to those rated to withstand more extreme temperatures, so you can juice up in a variety of environments.
  • Has a cord organizer: We preferred that each model in our testing pool include some type of cord organization system, whether it be a simple wall-mounted hook or an elaborate retraction system. Not only does this keep your garage looking tidy, but it prevents someone from tripping over the cord or running it over and damaging it.
  • Has a history of positive : We ran some of our top contenders through FindOurView, a program that analyzes online user ratings and reviews to highlight common patterns. Although some models had an insufficient number of reviews for the software to analyze, this allowed us to identify a few models with consistently reported problems, which we then cut from our list.

After sifting through dozens of contenders based on these criteria, we were left with a list of 10 models for testing:

install, home, charger, wall

In addition to these chargers, we also tested a handful of adapters that make it possible to charge an EV with an otherwise incompatible charger. For non-Tesla EV drivers who want to use Tesla chargers, we tested two Tesla-to-J1772 adapters: the Lectron Tesla to J1772 Charging Adapter (40 A) and the Lectron Tesla to J1772 Charging Adapter (48 A). For Tesla drivers who want to use non-Tesla chargers, we tested Lectron’s J1772 to Tesla Charging Adapter, as well as the J1772 to Tesla adapter that comes with all Teslas.

We opted not to test Combined Charging System (CCS) adapters, which allow some J1772 or Tesla EVs to charge at Level 3 chargers (also called DC fast chargers). These top-speed chargers are commonly seen at public charging stations, but since they require a heavy-duty 480 V power circuit, they’re impractical for at-home charging.

Ford and Tesla announced in May 2023 that they plan to launch a proprietary adapter allowing Ford EVs to fast-charge from Tesla Superchargers starting in early 2024. But like other Level 3 chargers, Superchargers are not designed for residential use, so we don’t currently have plans to test this type of adapter.

How we tested

To test the chargers, we rented a 2022 Tesla Model Y Long-Range AWD and borrowed a 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 Pro for a week apiece. Teslas have a proprietary charging port, whereas all non-Tesla EVs (including the ID.4) have a J1772 port. So testing with one of each type allowed us to confirm the chargers’ compatibility with both types.

Over the course of two weeks, we drove the cars up and down country roads, circled parking lots, and waited in fast-food drive-through queues to run the batteries down to a 65% charge. We then charged the batteries up to 75% and recorded three key measurements, as reported by the cars’ built-in software: time elapsed (in minutes), battery capacity (in kilowatt-hours, or kWh), and maximum current (in amps, or A). To test all 10 chargers with both cars, we repeated this process 20 times.

In general, to make them last longer, EV batteries should be kept at a 20% to 80% charge, and ideally they’d never get lower than 10% or above 90%. We chose an even narrower window for our testing, though, since staying above a 65% charge and below a 75% charge puts minimal strain on a lithium-ion battery (the kind found in most EVs). It also allowed us to spend way less time driving and charging than we otherwise would have: The Tesla we tested on has a 75 kWh battery and a 330-mile range, and the Volkswagen has a 82 kWh battery and a 260-mile range. So draining their batteries from 75% to 65% takes about 20 minutes to an hour (depending on driving speeds, wind, and other factors).

We ran the majority of our charging tests using a NEMA 14-50 wall outlet, which is rated for 240 V and 50 A. Even though hardwiring offers some well-documented advantages for long-term use, we didn’t think we’d glean any additional insights by hiring an electrician to install and uninstall all 10 chargers for our two-week testing period. Since the Tesla Mobile Connector comes with two swappable plug options, we tested it on a slow-charging 120 V outlet as well as the 240 V outlet. And we used a Kill A Watt power meter to verify that its time, capacity, and amperage measurements matched the readings shown on the EVs’ respective display screens (they did). Also, before getting started, we used a Klein Tools electrical test kit to make sure the voltage and wiring conditions of both outlets were up to snuff (they were).

Two of the models we considered couldn’t be tested on our NEMA 14-50 wall outlet. The Tesla Wall Connector is limited to hardwire installations, so we performed our tests at a public charging station that already had one installed. The Blink HQ150 can only be hardwired or plugged into a NEMA 6-50 outlet, but we decided to dismiss it based on other factors before getting to the charging tests. We used the Lectron Tesla to J1772 Charging Adapter (Max 48 A) or Tesla SAE J1772 Charging Adapter to connect the Volkswagen or Tesla, as needed, to a non-compatible charger. Once we’d identified the most powerful chargers, we used them to put the other adapters in our testing pool to the test.

To compare the circumferences of the chargers’ main power cords, we measured them with a small measuring tape (all were less than 3 inches around). In general, longer electrical wires are thicker to combat resistance and carry power over greater distances. So we didn’t expect any of the EV charging cords to be as slim as, say, a smartphone or laptop charging cable. But we favored thinner cords because they’re typically lighter and easier to maneuver, and they don’t add as much clutter to your charging setup.

In addition to these quantitative tests, we spent hours collecting qualitative data. Throughout our two-week testing period, we took stock of the overall look, feel, ease of use, and build quality of the chargers. We also assessed the efficacy and added value of any extra features, such as a mobile app or cord-storage rack. We did the same for the adapters we tested.

The best EV charger for home: United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic

The best EV charger for home

This is the EV charger we’d put in our garage. It’s fast-charging and lightweight, and it comes with a lengthy, 24-foot cord. Plus, it’s the most weatherproof model we tested.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 429.

The United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic is the EV charger we’d buy for ourselves. As of this writing, it costs less than any non-Tesla charger we tested, while offering many of the same benefits of models costing hundreds of dollars more. It’s rated to charge at 40 A, and it matched that figure in our testing with the Tesla and slightly surpassed it with the Volkswagen. It can be hardwired into your home’s electrical panel. But if you prefer a plug-in model, you have two options in that regard: either a NEMA 14-50 or a NEMA 6-50 plug. This charger is lightweight, has a long cord, and boasts a higher weatherproof rating than any other model in our testing pool, making it great for outdoor use.

When we charged the Volkswagen and Tesla batteries with the Grizzl-E Classic, their power gauges registered 45 A and 40 A, respectively. In real-world terms, this meant that it charged the Volkswagen’s battery from 65% to 75% in 45 minutes, and the Tesla’s in 55 minutes. Batteries don’t drain or charge at a constant rate—and most EVs have a setting to automatically prevent you from getting down to 0% or up to 100%, since these extreme states of charge can put undue strain on the battery—but from this we can roughly calculate that the Grizzl-E can fully charge either of these EVs in about 7.5 to 9 hours.

The Grizzl-E Classic is UL-listed, meaning it’s been tested and certified to be in accordance with national safety and compliance standards. It’s also backed by United Chargers’ three-year warranty (there’s an optional five-year warranty for 100 more), giving you plenty of time to install your charger, use it, and determine if it needs to be replaced or repaired.

In addition to being hardwire-ready, the Grizzl-E Classic comes in either a NEMA 14-50 plug or NEMA 6-50 plug configuration. We generally recommend having a certified electrician hardwire an EV charger into your home electrical system, but if you prefer a plug-in charger we think you should opt for one with a NEMA 14-50 plug: Unlike a 6-50 plug, it has a neutral wire, and it can also be used to power RVs, electric stoves, and more. In any case, we like that this charger offers more options than most—especially if you already have a 6-50 outlet in your garage for a welder or some other power tool.

The Grizzl-E charger is relatively compact and lightweight, measuring 6.25 by 10.25 by 3.5 inches (not including the cord) and weighing just 20 pounds (about as much as a small dog crate—or a small dog). Its cord is longer than most we tested, measuring 24 feet in length, and it has a circumference of 2.75 inches. It also comes with a sturdy, wall-mountable cord organizer to keep your garage walkways clear of clutter.

This charger is better-suited for outdoor use than any other we tested. Its weatherproof rating is best of the bunch (IP67, meaning it’s fully protected from dust and water). And its plug has a protective rubber cover attached by a short tether, further protecting the internal components from the elements. Also, like most models we tested, it’s rated to operate safely within a temperature range of.22° to 122° Fahrenheit.

Flaws but not dealbreakers

The United Chargers Grizzl-E Classic isn’t the sleekest or most attractive charger we tested, and its glossy painted metal surfaces attract fingerprints and smudges more than most. But we think most people can overlook its sub-par aesthetics in exchange for superior weatherization.

When we unboxed this charger, it wasn’t as well-wrapped as other models, which could have potentially led to it being harmed in transit. And we found several user reviews reporting damaged parts, dents, and/or scratches straight out of the box. But since ours arrived intact, and the charger seems sturdily built overall, we don’t think it’s a major cause for concern (just make sure to inspect yours for signs of damage before setting it up).

The best EV charger for Teslas: Tesla Wall Connector

The best EV charger for Teslas

If you drive a Tesla, this is your best option for at-home charging. It’s rated for up to 48 A of current, suitable for indoor and outdoor use, and backed by a two-year warranty. It also has a super-streamlined look, and its built-in cable organizer keeps its 24-foot cord neatly stored.

Buying Options

At the time of publishing, the price was 400.

If you drive a Tesla, or you’re planning to get one, you should get a Tesla Wall Connector to charge it at home. It charges EVs (Teslas and otherwise) slightly faster than our top pick, and at this writing the Wall Connector costs 60 less. It’s small and sleek, weighs half as much as our top pick, and it has a long, slim cord. It also has one of the most elegant cord holders of any model in our testing pool. It’s not as weatherized as the Grizzl-E Classic, and it has no plug-in installation options. But if it didn’t require a third-party adapter to charge non-Tesla EVs, we might have been tempted to make it our overall top pick.

True to its amperage rating, the Wall Connector delivered 48 A when we used it to charge our rental Tesla, and it ticked up to 49 A when charging the Volkswagen. It brought the Tesla’s battery up from a 65% charge to 75% in just 30 minutes, and the Volkswagen’s in 45 minutes. This translates to a full charge in roughly 5 hours (for the Tesla) or 7.5 hours (for the Volkswagen).

Like the Grizzl-E Classic, the Wall Connector is UL-listed, showing that it meets national safety and compliance standards. It’s also backed by Tesla’s two-year warranty; this is a year shorter than United Chargers’ warranty, but it should still give you plenty of time to ascertain if the charger meets your needs, or if it has to be repaired or replaced.

Unlike the Grizzl-E Charger, which offers several installation options, the Wall Connector must be hardwired in (to make sure it’s installed safely and in accordance with electrical codes, we recommend hiring a certified electrician to do this). Hardwiring is arguably the best installation option anyway, though, so it’s an easy pill to swallow. If you prefer a plug-in option, or you don’t have the ability to permanently install a charger where you live, Tesla also makes a Mobile Connector with two interchangeable plugs: One goes into a standard 120 V outlet for trickle charging, and the other goes into a 240 V outlet for fast-charging up to 32 A.

Other than the Tesla Mobile Connector, the Wall Connector is the lightest model in our testing pool, weighing just 10 pounds (about as much as a metal folding chair). It has a sleek, streamlined shape and a super-slim profile—measuring just 4.3 inches deep—so even if your garage is tight on space, it’s easy to sneak past. Its 24-foot cord is on a par with that of our top pick in terms of length, but it’s even slimmer, measuring 2 inches around.

Instead of a wall-mountable cord holder (like the ones most models we tested have), the Wall Connector has a built-in notch that allows you to easily wind the cord around its body, as well as a small plug rest. It’s an elegant and practical solution to prevent the charging cord from being a trip hazard or leaving it at risk of getting run over.

Though the Wall Connector lacks the Grizzl-E’s protective rubber plug cap, and it’s not completely impervious to dust and moisture like that model is, it’s still one of the most weatherized models we tested. Its IP55 rating indicates that it’s well protected against dust, dirt, and oils, as well as splashes and sprays of water. And like most chargers we tested, including the Grizzl-E Classic, the Wall Connector is rated for use in temperatures between.22° to 122° Fahrenheit.

When it arrived on our doorstep, the Wall Connector was carefully packaged, with little room left for it to knock about inside the box. This minimizes the likelihood of the charger getting battered or broken en route, necessitating a return or exchange (which, in these times of lengthy shipping delays, can be a major inconvenience).

How to charge most electric vehicles with a Tesla charger (and vice versa)

Just as you can’t charge an iPhone with a USB-C cable or an Android phone with a Lightning cable, not every EV can be charged by every EV charger. In rare cases, if the charger you want to use is incompatible with your EV, you’re out of luck: For example, if you drive a Chevy Bolt, and the only charging station along your route is a Tesla Supercharger, no adapter in the world will allow you to use it. But in most instances, there’s an adapter that can help (as long as you have the right one, and you remember to pack it).

Lectron’s Tesla-to-J1772 adapter is UL-listed and rated to support up to 48 A of current. Photo: Connie Park

A Tesla-to-J1772 adapter allows a non-Tesla EV to charge from a Tesla charger, which is handy if your battery is running low and a Tesla charging station is the closest option. Photo: Sarah Witman

Lectron’s Tesla-to-J1772 adapter is UL-listed and rated to support up to 48 A of current. Photo: Connie Park

The best Tesla-to-J1772 adapter

This compact, easy-to-use adapter lets drivers of non-Tesla EVs use Tesla chargers (except Superchargers) to juice up. When paired with a compatible charger, it can provide up to 48 A of current.

Buying Options

The Lectron Tesla to J1772 Charging Adapter (48 A) allows non-Tesla EV drivers to juice up from most Tesla chargers, which is helpful if your non-Tesla EV battery is running low and a Tesla charging station is the closest option, or if you spend a lot of time at a Tesla owner’s home and want the option to top off your battery with their charger. This adapter is small and compact, and in our testing it supported up to 49 A charging speeds, slightly exceeding its 48 A rating. It has an IP54 weatherproof rating, which means it’s highly protected against airborne dust and moderately protected against splashing or falling water. When you’re connecting it to a Tesla charging plug, it makes a satisfying click when it snaps into place, and a simple press of a button releases it from the plug after charging. It’s also UL-listed and has a one-year warranty.

The best J1772-to-Tesla adapter

Included for free with all Tesla EVs, this easy-to-use adapter is the best option for charging any Tesla using a non-Tesla charger. Since it supports up to 80 A of current, it can be paired with any Level 1 or 2 charger.

Buying Options

To charge a Tesla from a non-Tesla charger, the Tesla SAE J1772 Charging Adapter is your best bet. It comes free with all Tesla EVs, and even if you buy it separately—maybe you lost yours, or you just want a backup—it’s still one of the least expensive options available at this writing. It’s small and lightweight, making it easy to pack in a trunk or even a glove compartment, and we measured up to 48 A of current flowing through it in our testing. (This is lower than its 80 A rating. But since our testing pool included only chargers rated for 48 A at most, it’s the highest amperage we’d expect to see, and as high as on any adapter of this type that we tested.) Its NEMA 3R weatherproof rating (equivalent to IP14, meaning it’s minimally dustproof and moderately waterproof) isn’t great, but it should be fine for occasional use. Plus, it’s backed by a two-year warranty, which is twice as long as that of any adapter we tested. It’s worth mentioning that the Tesla adapter is the only product we tested for this guide (chargers and adapters included) that hasn’t been certified by UL, ETL, or another NRTL. But we are reasonably confident, given its prevalence, that any potential issues will have been spotted and ironed out at this point.

Other good EV chargers and charging adapters

J1772 chargers

If the Grizzl-E is out of stock: You should buy the Emporia EMEVSEVAR without hesitation. It cost 100 more than the Grizzl-E at the time of our testing, but the have since equalized. That makes them two of the cheapest non-Tesla chargers we tested. The Emporia got up to 40 A in our tests with the Tesla and 45 A with the Volkswagen—both of which are below its 48 A rating but still on par with that of the Grizzl-E. Like the Grizzl-E, this charger has a three-year warranty, is UL-listed, weighs 20 pounds, and has a sleek, low-profile shape. It has a slim, 24-foot cord, its metal cord holder is sturdily built, and it comes with a handy set of hook-and-loop ties to keep the cord neatly coiled when not in use. The Emporia model can be installed via a NEMA 14-50 plug or hardwired directly into your home power grid. (It lacks the Grizzl-E’s optional NEMA 6-50 configuration, but that’s an unusual plug type anyway.) This charger is rated to operate in temperatures between.22° to 122° Fahrenheit, and its NEMA 4 (similar to IP56) rating means it’s highly protected against the elements. Plus, its plug has a removable rubber cap, further protecting its innards from dust and water damage, and it was shipped to us in adequately protective packaging.

If you want a charger with a replaceable cord (and can live with some significant drawbacks): The ChargePoint Home Flex is a good alternative to the Grizzl-E. It’s one of the priciest models we tested (750 at this writing), and its NEMA 3R rating (similar to IP14) means it’s not especially weatherproof. It also failed to live up to its amperage claims in our testing (it’s rated for 50 A, but we measured only 44 A with the Volkswagen and 40 A with the Tesla). And if you don’t connect to its mobile app, you’re stuck at a sluggish charging rate of 16 A. However, there’s still a lot to like about this charger. It has a three-year warranty, is UL-listed, and can be hardwired or plugged in via a NEMA plug (either 14-50 or 6-50). It weighs just 18 pounds, and it has a slim, 23-foot cord. It’s relatively sleek and compact, and it comes with handy hook-and-loop cord keepers, a built-in cord holder, and pre-printed sticky labels (so you can easily annotate the circuit breakers on your electrical panel). Notably, this is the only model we tested with a user-replaceable cord, meaning you can easily swap in a new one when it wears out, rather than having to replace the entire unit (because the cord gets handled more frequently than the other components, it’s likely to wear out the quickest). This charger is also the only model we tested that uses almost no plastic in its well-designed packaging, and it can be used in colder climates than most models we tested (with a working range of.40° to 122° Fahrenheit).

If you want a charger the size of a child’s lunch box that has a longer cord than the Grizzl-E: Get the Wallbox Pulsar Plus (48 A). Its nearly 700 price tag (at this writing) is eye-popping, but it has a slightly longer cable than those of our picks (25 feet, which is as long as it can be while abiding by national safety standards), and it’s one of the smallest, most discreet models we tested. Like the Grizzl-E and Emporia chargers, it weighs just 20 pounds, is UL-listed, and has a three-year warranty, and it performed well in our amperage tests (passing 40 A to the Tesla and 45 A to the Volkswagen). Also like those models, it can be plugged into a NEMA 14-50 outlet or hardwired in (though it lacks the Grizzl-E’s NEMA 6-50 plug option). It has a NEMA 4 (similar to IP56) rating, meaning it’s highly protected against the elements, and it’s safe to use in temperatures from.22° to 104° Fahrenheit.

Tesla chargers

If you want something more portable and less expensive than the Tesla Wall Connector (and you can deal with slower charging): The Tesla Mobile Connector is a good option. Unlike the Wall Connector, the Mobile Connector can’t be hardwired into your home’s electrical setup, but it comes with two interchangeable plugs: NEMA 5-15 (for a standard 120 V outlet) and NEMA 14-50 (for a more powerful 240 V outlet). It comes with a convenient mesh zip-up storage case, it’s small and sleek, and, at 5 pounds, it’s lighter than any other contender. Like the Wall Connector, it’s backed by a two-year warranty, is UL-listed, is rated to operate safely at temperatures between.22° to 122° Fahrenheit, and has an IP55 weatherproof rating. It has a lower amperage rating (12 A with the NEMA 5-15 plug or 32 A with the NEMA 14-50 plug) than the Wall Connector (which offers 48 A), and its 20-foot cord is on the short side compared with most we tested. But these tradeoffs might be worthwhile if you want a charger you can keep in your trunk for emergencies or occasional slow-charging. Also, at this writing, it costs just 200, making it the least expensive charger we tested.

Charging adapters

If you want an adapter with a 6-inch cord to charge a J1772 EV from any Tesla charger (except a Supercharger): The Lectron Tesla to J1772 Adapter (40 A) is a good option. We thought most people would prefer a small, compact adapter like our pick in this category. But this adapter adds a half-foot to the end of the charging cord, if you prefer to have some extra length (and you don’t mind that it’s a bit bulkier, making it more cumbersome to store). This model has a lower amperage rating than our pick in this category (40 A versus 48 A). But both models performed the same in our testing by allowing up to 48 A to pass through to the vehicle. (A representative from Lectron told us, however, that even though it’s safe to do so, passing more than 40 A through this adapter will likely hamper its long-term performance.) Both adapters cost the same, at the time of writing, and their plug ends fit snugly into their respective ports. Like the other Lectron adapters we tested, this one has a one-year warranty, is UL-listed, and has an IP54 weatherproof rating.

If you want a weather-sealed, UL-listed adapter to charge a Tesla EV from any J1772 charger: The Lectron J1772 to Tesla Charging Adapter (60 A) is a good alternative to the Tesla adapter we recommend. Our pick in this category is the one that comes free with every Tesla, but maybe you lost that one (or want a backup) and want the added peace of mind that comes with having an adapter that’s UL-listed and has an IP54 weatherproof rating—two features Tesla’s own adapter lacks. In that case, this is the one to get. It has a shorter warranty (one year, as opposed to two) and currently costs 10 more than Tesla’s version, but those aren’t dealbreakers. It also has a lower amperage rating than our pick in this category (60 A versus 80 A), but both models performed the same in our testing, delivering up to 48 A to the Tesla. (This is the highest amperage we’d expect to see, since we didn’t test them with any chargers rated for more than 48 A.)

Sustainability and EV chargers

By most metrics, driving an electric vehicle is much kinder to the environment than driving a gas-powered car. Fossil fuels produce large quantities of carbon dioxide when burned, and in turn those carbon emissions trap heat in the atmosphere and lead to climate change.

In 2020, the largest contributor of greenhouse gas emissions in the US was the transportation sector, primarily from combustion-engine cars and trucks. By contrast, in 2022 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that EVs “offer the largest decarbonisation potential for land-based transport.” They have no tailpipe emissions, require much less maintenance than traditional vehicles, and lack many of the components that have historically made cars difficult to recycle. (At the same time, it’s important to recognize that the process for recycling lithium-ion batteries, the kind found in EVs and most other rechargeable devices, is still far from perfect.)

In terms of charging EV batteries, there’s still room for improvement, since about 61% of the electricity generated in the US currently comes from fossil fuels. However, if you’re able to install rooftop solar panels or another energy-efficient electrical system in your home, you could greatly reduce the climate impact of powering your EV charger. Even if you’re not a homeowner, there might be a community solar program that you can take advantage of in your area.

As with most electronic devices, one of the most sustainable things you can do with an EV charger is treat it well, avoiding the need to replace it. If a part breaks or it stops working, the company might offer replacement parts or repairs (especially if the charger is still under warranty). There’s also a growing industry built around maintaining and repairing EV chargers, and many DIY-ers offer free tutorials if you want to try your hand at it (if you have questions, we recommend consulting the community at iFixIt, especially if you’re new to electronics repair).

Even if your charger is running like Usain Bolt (as in, perfectly), you can keep its ticker ticking longer by wiping off any excess dust and moisture that accumulates on its exterior surfaces, since they can degrade metal and plastic over time. Also, to avoid damage, don’t run your charger if the weather is hotter or colder than its rated operating temperature. Keep in mind that a stuffy garage is often hotter than the temperature outside.

Sadly, at some point, even the sturdiest and most scrupulously cared-for EV charger will reach its end of days. When that happens, the best thing to do is recycle it. Recycling facilities salvage usable components from old electronics, which can mitigate the need to mine and manufacture the materials needed to make new ones. So this simple action can help conserve natural resources, reduce emissions, and avoid polluting soil and water systems. (And if you’re unsure how to recycle electronics, here’s a handy guide.)

What to look forward to

The 2023 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was host to several EV charger announcements, including the following models, which we plan to test as soon as we can:

We’re also planning to test the Blink HQ200, Blink Series 4, and Tesla J1772 Wall Connector, which were unavailable during our most recent round of testing.

The competition

The Blink HQ 150 is small and streamlined, weighs just 16 pounds, and comes with a wall-mountable cord organizer. It’s also UL-listed, backed by a three-year warranty, and has a 25-foot cord (among the longest we’ve seen—and the longest the National Electrical Code (NEC) will allow). However, it has the lowest amperage rating we accepted in our testing pool (32 A), and we were unable to confirm this in our hands-on testing since it can only be hardwired or plugged into a NEMA 6-50 outlet (we used a NEMA 14-50 outlet for our testing, which is more common). The plug has a handy rubber cap attached to keep out dust and moisture, but it’s otherwise less weatherized than most models we tested; it has a NEMA 3R rating (similar to an IP14 rating), which means it’s only somewhat protected from accumulating ice, airborne dust, and falling rain, sleet, and snow.

The Electrify America ‎EA2R040JPA10-00 slightly exceeded its amperage rating (40 A) in our testing, reaching 45 A with the ID.4 and 40 A with the Model Y. It’s large yet streamlined, weighing just 20 pounds, and it has a 24-foot cord, a built-in cable organizer, and a wall-mountable plug holster. It’s backed by a three-year warranty, is UL-certified, and has two installation options: NEMA 14-50 plug or hardwired. However, it’s on the pricey side (650 at this writing), and its NEMA 3R rating makes it one of the least weatherized models we tested.

The Enphase HCS-50 is on the larger side, but it has a slim profile, and, at 14 pounds, it’s one of the most lightweight models we tested. It has a 25-foot cord, a built-in cable organizer, a wall-mountable plug holster, a lock on the plug to prevent illicit charging, and a NEMA 4 (similar to IP56) weatherization rating. It’s also ETL-certified, backed by a three-year warranty, rated to operate safely at temperatures from.22° to 122° Fahrenheit, and available in a NEMA 6-50, NEMA 14-50, or hardwired configuration. However, its amperage rating is on the lower end (40 A), and it’s the priciest model we tested, costing 725 at this writing.

This article was edited by Ben Keough and Erica Ogg.

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