How To Buy And Install The Right EV Charger. 16 amp ev charger

How To Buy And Install The Right EV Charger

Forbes Wheels independently tests and reviews cars and automotive accessories. We may earn an affiliate commission from links on our site. The analysis and opinions are our own.

Electric vehicles have lots in common with gasoline-powered cars—room for four-plus passengers, range of several hundred miles, good safety—plus that one big difference: recharging with a plug at versus refueling from a pump. We’ve all pumped gas and know it’s a five- to 10-minute process; we suspect recharging takes longer and we know there are far fewer charging stations than the 125,000 U.S. public gas stations.

Here’s what you need to know about buying, installing and using the right EV charger. The more you know, the clearer it becomes that the unique aspects of EVs aren’t automatic disqualifiers.

Clearing Up the Range-Anxiety Misconception

With a gas-engine car, most owners drive until it’s low on fuel because gas stations are everywhere and gassing up is a quick stop. But empty-to-full charging is not what EV owners do most of the time. They top off every night or two, and as long as the car is charged in the morning, charging time doesn’t matter and range anxiety isn’t an issue for daily driving. Some use public charging, which means you do have to wait on the car. But 80% of charging is done at home, according to the JD Power U.S. Electric Vehicle Experience (EVX) Home Charging Study

install, right, charger

Range and charging time may be less of an issue if an EV is the second car. If an EV is the only car, for long summer or holiday trip, owners can do what owners of compact gasoline-powered sedans may do: Rent a midsize or larger SUV for that two-week vacation. Or find a hotel with on-site charging.

For those who charge at home, you need to have the right charging equipment, and the proper electrical supply.

With EV charging, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Electric vehicles have different charging capabilities and requirements and every owner also has their own driving needs.

Here’s a look at key aspects of choosing the right charging equipment, installing it properly and best practices for using EV charging equipment at home.

Do You Need to Buy an EV Charger When One Comes Free?

Every electric car comes standard with a portable charger. (This thick cable that plugs into a wall outlet and the car counts as a charger.) However, every manufacturer provides a different unit, with varying levels of charging capabilities. In some cases, the same manufacturer provides different standard charging equipment depending on which of its EV offerings you purchase or lease.

Some of these supplied chargers are powerful and can fully recharge your EV overnight. These are called Level 2 chargers because they need to be plugged into a 240-volt outlet. (Memory aid: for Level 2, think Level 240 volts. Even if that’s not why it’s called Level 2.)

Some standard, EV-maker-supplied chargers plug into a regular 120-volt household outlet and deliver power slowly. These Level 1 chargers are fine for most plug-in hybrids. PHEVs have smaller batteries than battery electric vehicles (BEVs) do. PHEVs have batteries of about 5 to 20 kilowatt-hours (kWh). Pure EVs are more on the order of 60 kWh to 100 kWh.

Is the automaker-supplied charger enough for a BEV? A rule of thumb to follow in determining if the standard charger is enough for your daily charging needs is: Can it fully recharge your EV’s battery overnight? If it can, you probably don’t need to buy another charger. Keep in mind, if the supplied charger is a Level 2, 240-volt unit, then you’ll need to install a 240-volt outlet in your garage, or wherever you plan to charge the vehicle.

How to Choose the Right EV Charger

If you’ve determined that the supplied charger isn’t adequate for your daily charging needs, you’ll need to consider a number of factors to determine which EV charger is right for you.

install, right, charger
  • Cost: There are many different EV chargers to choose from, with ranging from 200 to over 1,000.
  • Plug-in or Hardwired: EV chargers are available in plug-in or hardwired options. Plug-in units offer the flexibility of easily removing the charger to use in another location, or perhaps return it for a replacement if there’s ever a problem. Hardwired chargers are permanently affixed to the wall and require an electrician to disconnect and remove them.
  • Cable Length: EV chargers come with cables that can be as short as 12-feet and as long as 25-feet. Choose one that has a cable long enough to reach the charge port of your car in any position you park it. Get a cable at least 20-feet long.
  • Smart or Dumb: Smart EV chargers come with apps and allow the owner to do things like review charging sessions, monitor real-time charging, start/stop a charging session, schedule charging, set up reminders to plug in, and more. Dumb chargers don’t have the ability to do anything but charge your EV, which is all that some EV owners want from their charger. Dumb chargers do stop when the battery if full.
  • Power Delivery: You want your EV charger to be able to deliver at least 32-amps (7.7 kW) and ideally 40-amps (9.6 kW) to the vehicle. We recommend this because even if the EV you own today cannot accept that much power, most likely the next EV you get will, and you’ll future-proof your garage by getting the right charger today.
  • Safety-Certified with 3-Year Warranty: There is a wide array of EV charging equipment available today on the internet. Many of these products are low-quality, inexpensive units that are not safety-certified and have very short warranties. Make sure the EV charger you get has been safety certified by established entities like UL and ETL and has at least a 3-year warranty.

How Much Power is Enough?

Plug in Hybrids usually accept a lower amount of power than fully electric BEVs do. A typical PHEV can only accept up to 16-amps, and that’s fine because they have smaller batteries to recharge. However, BEVs have large batteries, because unlike PHEVs, they are entirely reliant on the battery for their driving range.

For home charging, BEVs sold today can accept between 30 amps and 48 amps. Therefore, it’s important to know how much power your EV can accept when you shop. However, you shouldn’t necessarily let your current EV’s charging rate dictate your purchase, because your next EV may be able to accept more power.

With daily charging, EV owners are usually only topping off, rather than filling up. A common mistake that new EV owners make is buying the most powerful charger, only to later realize they could have managed just fine with a lower-powered, less expensive charger. You’ll rarely pull into your garage with an empty battery, so the time it takes to charge your EV from 0% to 100% shouldn’t be the primary consideration. You only have to replenish the amount of energy you used that day.

Don’t rush to get the most powerful EV charger until you examine how many miles of range you’ll need to replenish daily. We’ve assembled the chart below to help you understand how many miles per hour of range you can replenish depending on the power output of your EV charger.

How Tesla Charging is Different

All electric vehicles sold in North America use the same charging connector, called the J1772, except for Teslas. Tesla uses a proprietary connector that can only plug into Tesla cars. For that reason, Tesla includes an adapter with every car it sells called the J1172-to-Tesla adapter. This adapter allows Tesla vehicles to be charged from a J1772-equipped charging station. Our recommendation: If it’s a Tesla you have, buy the Tesla-branded Level 2 charger.

Conversely, there are chargers available that allow non-Tesla vehicles to charge from Tesla home chargers and Tesla Destination chargers. These adapters do not work on Tesla’s high-powered Superchargers in public locations.

Take Advantage of Potential Savings

There is currently a U.S. federal tax credit giving individuals 30% off the purchase and installation costs of a home EV charging station, up to 1,000. The charger must be purchased and installed by December 31, 2021 to be eligible. There are also a variety of state incentives available for charging equipment which can be found.

You may also be able to save money on your electricity bill by switching to a time-of-use (TOU) electricity plan. In doing so, you’ll schedule your EV to charge during off-peak hours, when electricity costs less. Many EVs allow you to set a charging schedule within the vehicle settings, and Smart-chargers also allow the user to establish a schedule for TOU electricity plans. Check with your electricity provider to see if a TOU plan will work for you.

Level 2 EV chargers: How to choose a charger? How many amps could my home EV charger have? Among other common questions.

While EV chargers all share the same purpose of supplying electricity to your vehicle’s battery, there are a variety of nice-to-haves and must-haves any EV driver should be aware of.

Level 2 EV chargers differ in the following ways:

What amperage do I need?

Your car has an onboard charger that can receive electricity at a certain amperage. That metric also defines at what speed you will be able to charge your vehicle.

Typically residential home EV chargers are 16A, 24A, 32A, 40A or 48A. The higher the amperage the faster the charge. Some of the chargers, including Grizzl-E Smart charger can be adjusted to a maximum output of 16, 24A, 32A or 40A.

With the common 40A charger you would be able to reach 9.4kW power, and it would take less than 5 hours to charge your Ford Mach E (SR AWD) from 20% to 80%.

What are the power requirements for the breaker?

The National Electrical Code has a special safety requirement for the breaker to have higher amperage than the charger. It is called the 25% rule. In a nutshell, it means an electrician should install a breaker that has 25% more amps than the charger.

  • 16A charger. 20A breaker
  • 24A charger. 30A breaker
  • 32A charger. 40A breaker
  • 40A charger. 50A breaker
  • 48A charger. 60A breaker

What wire size should I choose for my EV charger installation?

It is also important that an electrician chooses the right wire size for the installation. To install a NEMA 14-50 outlet for your 40A charger, an 8 gauge cable is required. However, a hardwired installation of a 48A charger requires a 6 gauge cable which is more expensive than an 8 gauge alternative.

What is the EV charger plug type for my electric vehicle?

The majority of electric vehicles in the US use an SAE J1772 connector as a standard. This is maintained by SAE International under the formal title “SAE Surface Vehicle Recommended Practice J1772, SAE Electric Vehicle Conductive Charge Coupler”.

However, Tesla has its own plug. However, if you have a charger with a J1772 connector, you can use a special adaptor, compatible with most Level 2 home or public charging stations. The Tesla J1772 Adaptor supports charging speeds up to 19.2kW.

What is the average length of an EV charging cable?

There is no standard for the charging cable length, although 20 feet is commonly considered the average. In most cases it is not advised to use any extensions. If you want your charger to be installed outside on an exterior wall, and 20 feet is not enough, you might be advised to install a charger on a pedestal, closer to your vehicle’s parking place.

Should my EV charger be hardwired or plugged into an installed outlet?

Electric vehicle chargers can be either plugged into the outlet next to a charger or hardwired. Hardwiring means that the charger has a cable that goes directly to the electrical panel. This mostly depends on the charger and its amperage. A charger of 40A or less usually plugs into an outlet. Common outlets are NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50. A hardwired installation is more common for charging at 48A and over.

Some people prefer a 40A charger over a 48A hardwired charger installation because of three main factors:

  • A non-hardwired charger can be unplugged at any time
  • It is easier to replace a non-hardwired charger
  • An installation of a non-hardwired charger 40A vs. a hardwired 48 charger installation is cheaper, because it uses 8 gauge cable instead of 6 gauge cable which is more expensive.

Do I need a Smart charger?

People also divide chargers into Smart and dumb. A Smart charger is a charger that has a built-in connectivity device which can be connected to the internet through Wi-Fi, 4G, Bluetooth, or Ethernet (some chargers are Wi-Fi only, or Wi-Fi and 4G only).

Therefore, the full benefit of a Smart charger can be utilized if it can be connected to the Internet. An Internet connection is required to access the charger using Open Charging Point Protocol (OCPP) and to operate it through any software. Most charger management applications allow you to control the charger via your mobile phone, set charging timers and use a number of other features.

Dumb chargers have no connectivity. Even though they are considerably cheaper, you will not be able to control your dumb charger and apply Smart features that most EV drivers enjoy.

Indoor charging vs. outdoor charging

It is as safe to charge your car outdoors as it is indoors. Although for outdoor charging, you should read your charger’s technical specifications to be sure that its base is water-resistant, and it can be operated in a temperature range of at least 22F to 122F, or whatever temperatures are needed based on your home.

install, right, charger

Other safety features

All other safety features should be taken into account for EV charging as well.

Click here to receive an estimate of the cost to make your home EV-ready.

Lectrium is here to help answer any more of these questions in detail and craft the perfect solution for your home charging needs. Email peter@lectrium.io or camila@lectrium.io to find the perfect solution for you, or just to ask any question you may have about EV charging.

Our review of the Lectron Portable Electric Car Charger.

The Lectron Level 2 Portable EV Charger line-up consists of 3 models, a 16-Amp version, 32-Amp and 40-Amp. All 3 are similar in terms of functionality but differ greatly in charging speed.

PROS: Very fast charging speeds (32-Amp and 40-Amp) Adjustable Amperage (32-Amp model only), IP rating.

CONS: No connectivity or Smartphone App.

Lectron – Level 2 Portable EV Charger (16 Amp) Specifications

Amp rating

Level

Type

Cable Length

Nema

Power

Voltage

Connector

Connectivity

IP Rating

Display

Warranty

Features

What’s in the box

Weight

Features

16 Amp
Level 2
Portable EV Charger
21 Feet (6.4M)
NEMA 10-30 NEMA 6-20
3.86 kW
240V
J1772
None
N/A
4 LED Lights
1-Year No-Hassle
Hassle-free Charging for your EV, Quick and Effortless EV Charging, One Cable, All Vehicles, Avoid Errors, Manage Expectations
Charger, Cable, Plug
6.98 lbs (3.1 kg)
Tethered, Alexa Google Home, Charge Scheduling

Lectron – Level 2 Portable EV Charger (16 Amp) Charging specifications

These are the 3 versions of the Lectron Level 2 Portable EV Charger: 16 Amp, 32 Amp and 40 Amp. Interestingly, while most manufacturers offer the same form factor in their product line and just a different amperage and charging rate, in this one all the 3 chargers look inherently different and we’ll get to that part.

For now, let’s look at the charging speed because that’s the one that matters the most: How many miles of range do you get per each hour of charging? If you use the 16 Amp portable electric vehicle charger with a 3.86 kW charging rate, a standard Tesla Model 3 will take 13 hours to charge, so will a Volkswagen ID.3 Pure, ID.4 Pure and Renault Zoe. The Long Range Model 3 will take a hefty 18.5 hours. If you are the EV owner of a Kia Niro or a Hyundai Kona, you’ll be interested to know that it will take 17 hours. The Tesla Model Y, ID.3 Pro and ID.4 Pro will take 19.5 hours. The Mustang Mach E will take 18.5 hours to charge.

Now if you use the 32-Amp electric car charger, you’ll get a charging rate of 7.8 kW which will drastically speed up the charging time: The same standard Tesla Model 3 will now charge in just 6.5 hours and so will the ID.3 Pure, ID.4 Pure and the Renault Zoe. If you drive the Long Range Model 3, you’ll be delighted to know it will now charge in just 9.5 hours. The Model Y will charge its huge 75 kWh battery pack in just 9.5 hours and so will the ID.3 Pro and ID.4 Pro. A Hyundai Kona or a Kia Niro will now charge in just 9 hours and the standard Mustang Mach E now takes just 9 hours to charge.

Then there is the 40-Amp portable EVSE charger and here, things are mixed because not all cars can support its high 9.6 kW charging rate. So for example, the standard Model 3, ID.3 Pure, ID.4 Pure and Renault Zoe will take the same 6.5 hours to charge its battery as with the 32-Amp model. But the Long Range Tesla Model 3 will now charge in just 8 hours because it can support high-speed charging and so will the ID.4 Pro and ID.3 Pro. The Mustang Mach E will take just 7.5 hours to charge now.

All three chargers work at a 240V voltage, so as you can see, the 40 Amp model is worth it especially if you have a car that can make use of its charging power.

Lectron – Level 2 Portable EV Charger (16 Amp) Cable types and connectors

In terms of cable length, the 16-Amp and 32-Amp versions have a cable that is 21 feet long (About 6.4 meters), however the 40-Amp home EV charger has a cable that is just 18 feet long (5.4 meters). All of these cables are a bit shorter than we would like, because they fall below the 25 feet that is standard for home chargers in this price range. The cable cannot be easily disconnected either because all the chargers made for the North American market are tethered.

Sometimes you don’t want to install an additional plug in your garage and you just want to make due with what you have at the moment, so we’ll explain what kind of wall connector each charger has: The 16-Amp can plug in a NEMA 10-30 or a NEMA 6-20 wall socket while the 32-Amp and the 40-Amp models use a NEMA 14-50 socket.

On the other end of the cable, all three use the same standard J1772 charge port to charge your car.

Lectron – Level 2 Portable EV Charger (16 Amp) Features

These are not Smart chargers, none of them have any kind of connectivity or integration with an Alexa device or smartphone app.

But each of them is a different form factor, so let’s start with the 16-Amp which has the standard Duosida style control box. It has 4 LEDs which show you if the charger is powered up, if it is charging or if there is a fault.

The 32-Amp model has the same LEDs however, it also has an LCD display that shows you the charging status, rate and charging level together with a timer that shows you for how long it has been charging. There are also the and – buttons that let you adjust the amperage to either 32, 16, 13 or 10 Amps.

The 40-Amp model cannot adjust the Amps but it still has an LCD display with a nicer layout, but the information that it shows is essentially the same one that you get on the 32-Amp.

What all 3 models lack is a scheduled charging feature which can help you use off-peak electricity to reduce charging cost on the electric energy bill, however it is very likely that your new EV already has that.

We couldn’t find any info on the IP rating for these chargers however, we do know that the 16-Amp uses the Duosida control box which is IP55 rated, the 32-Amp uses another type of Duosida control box which should be IP67 rated and the 40-Amp uses the same control box as the portable Besenergy 40-Amp charger which is IP66 rated. None of these claims represent any official information, they’re just a best guess that is based on their control boxes.

All 3 chargers come with a 1-Year warranty.

Pulsar Plus 48A

Wallbox Pulsar Plus offers a compact size and a powerful performance for faster electric vehicle charging at home. Designed for easy installation, Pulsar Plus can charge any electric car on the market and is future-ready to handle tomorrow’s more powerful EV batteries.

Including Teslas using the Tesla-provided adapter.

Compact Design, Powerful Performance

240V, Level 2 charging technology in an incredibly small size. With adjustable capacity from 16A to 40A or 48A, depending on model. Pulsar Plus can add up to 30-35 miles of range per hour.

Connect Pulsar Plus to your Smart device using the myWallbox app to wirelessly control and monitor your charger via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

Use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to control and monitor your charger.

Pulsar Plus lets you plug in, charge, and manage your schedule even when you can’t connect to the internet.

myWallbox

Take control of your energy with one intelligent app

Installation Services

Ready to install? Schedule your installation with our certified partner, COIL

Choose between 40 and 48 Amps.

Pick the charger that’s right for you and take advantage of adjustable capacity from 16A up to 40A or 48A. Pulsar Plus 40A allows an easy NEMA 14-50 plug installation.

Alternatively, if you want to future-proof your installation with higher power today, you can choose the Pulsar Plus 48A and be ready to charge your EV even faster.

Looking to buy an EV charging station? Here is everything you need to know to make an informed decision.

Only a few years ago there were very little choices for electric vehicle charging equipment. When I got my MINI-E in 2009, BMW partnered with ClipperCreek to supply the home charging station, or as BMW called it, the Wallbox to charge the fleet of 450 MINI-Es in service in the US. Tesla also reached out to ClipperCreek back in 2008 to supply the charging equipment for the initial Tesla Roadsters. Neither company really had any choice, because at the time ClipperCreek was pretty much the only company that could deliver this specialized EV charging equipment.

One example of the new, lower-priced units is the AmazingE. The AmazingE has been available for a little over a year now, and seems to have a relatively high customer satisfaction rate. It has an Amazon rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars, and the reviews on many online EV forums are mostly satisfactory.

High Powered or Low Powered? That Depends.

Before we start the comparison, we’d like to talk a little about the power delivery of these units. Some manufacturers like to boast about the charging speed of these units in their advertisements, and it can sometimes get a little confusing. We’ve seen claims of charges three times as fast and lightning fast being used, and some people new to EVs may not fully understand how EV charging works. Some EVs can only accept 16-amps of power, while others, like the new Audi e-Tron for instance, can accept up to 40-amps. Therefore, make sure you know your car’s charging capabilities before you purchase charging equipment, or you may not pair the correct device with your car’s charging ability, and your driving needs.

Most EVs today come with a 120-volt portable EVSE. Some EVs however, come standard with a portable level-2 unit, and this trend seems to be increasing. Tesla for instance, provides a 120-v/240-v Mobile Charger with every car they sell. Therefore, Tesla owners typically wouldn’t be in the market for a portable unit like those we’re comparing here. Audi is also going to be providing a high-powered (40-amp) portable 240-v EVSE with every e-Tron, so it’s possible that more OEMs may start to follow Tesla’s model of including a 240-v EVSE with the car.

If your EV comes with a portable 240-volt charger, then you probably have no need for another one. In that case, you’re more likely to be in the market for a higher-amperage wall mounted unit. As for charging speed, it is true that a 16-amp portable 240-volt EVSE will charge an EV at nearly three times as fast as a 120-volt, 12-amp unit as the ads claim. Just make sure you know exactly what charging equipment came with your EV before making a purchase, or you may end up buying something that isn’t really better than what you already have. The advertisments that claim their products will charge your car 3 times faster don’t always tell the whole story.

There are also many EV owners who may be better served buying a 32-amp wall mounted unit for only a little more than the cost of many of these lower-powered, portable 240-volt units. These wall-mounted chargers are twice as powerful as the 16-amp portable units we’re discussing here today. Therefore, powerful is a relative term, and we urge customers to do their due-diligence before purchasing any EV charging equipment.

Part of your research should be determining whether or not it’s even possible to add a dedicated 40-amp or 50-amp circuit necessary for a 32-amp or 40-amp higher powered wall unit to your home. Many homes, especially older ones, cannot add a 40-amp circuit without an entire service upgrade that costs thousands of dollars. Those in that position may have no choice but to settle for a lower-powered 16-amp 240-volt EVSE. All three of the units in our comparison can deliver 16-amps of power, which will charge a typical EV at a rate of rough 11 to 15 miles of range per hour, depending on how efficient the vehicle is.

One last consideration is the plug. While they all use the same industry-standard J1772 connector to plug into the car, each of the three units in our comparison uses a different wall plug on the other end. The variety of different types of outlets can be a big problem for those who want to take these small, portable units on the road with them. It’s not an issue for home charging, because you can install the outlet you need at home, your place of work or maybe even at a relative or friend’s house.

However, trying to find an available NEMA 14-30 outlet at the local shopping mall, or a NEMA 6-50 at a rest stop along the highway can be challenging. The NEMA 14-50 outlet seems to be the most popular, and that’s probably because Tesla uses it for their Mobile Charger. Tesla has had them installed for destination charging in many locations, as have Tesla owners. If it’s your intention to use your portable 240-volt EVSE at multiple locations and opportunity charge whenever possible, we’d recommend investing in an array of adapters, definitely including a NEMA 14-50, so you’re ready for any available 240-volt outlet that you come across.

The Contenders

ClipperCreek has been making electric vehicle charging equipment at least as long, if not longer, than anyone in the business. Many manufactures have turned to them for the standard level 1 charging equipment that is supplied with their electric vehicles. The LCS-20P we’re using for the comparison is the heaviest of the three and weighs 6 lbs. However, it also has a standard 25-foot cable, which is 5-feet longer than the other two units. It has a built-in cable management by coiling the cable around the unit, and securing it in place with a locking strap. There are four holes (two on top and two on the bottom of the unit) which allow for easy wall mounting and removal if desired. The unit is NEMA 4 rated which is good for outdoor use even in extreme weather.

ClipperCreek includes a wall-mounted connector holster in the box with all of their EVSE, which is especially useful if you’re going to be charging outside. We at InsideEVs recommend always holstering or capping your EVSE connector when not in use to prevent dust, water and other contaminants from infiltrating the connector head. Unlike Webasto or AmazingE, ClipperCreek doesn’t provide a carrying case or bag with the unit. However, as mentioned above, it does have a nice cable management system to make handling and transporting it easy.

One notable point is that ClipperCreek is the only company that allows their customers to choose which plug they would like on the unit. They offer the LCS-20P with four different plug configurations: NEMA 14-50, NEMA 6-50, NEMA 14-30 or NEMA L6-30. By allowing the customer to choose which plug is used, the customer could potentially save up to a couple hundred dollars by not needing to install a new outlet, or needing to upgrade the wiring in the existing circuit. We got our unit in a NEMA 14-50 plug configuration because that seems to be the most popular. Plugshare even has a 14-50 plug option in their search criteria, so you can search a destination for available outlets. You can’t do that for the other 240v plug configurations.

The TurboCord was developed and sold by AeroVironment until earlier in 2018 when Webasto purchased AeroVironment’s EV charging business. AeroVironment specializes in Unmanned Aircraft Systems and tactical missile systems used for surveillance and reconnaissance by the military, so EV-charging equipment should be pretty simple for them. They did in fact, prove their engineering expertise when they developed and introduced the TurboCord in 2014.

The TurboCord is tiny, and weighs only 4 lbs. It’s so small and light, that it plugs directly into the outlet, so there’s no need to have any kind of wall mounting system. It has a 20-foot cable and the unit has a NEMA-6 rating, which is not only good for all kinds of weather, including direct hose spray like the NEMA 4 rated ClipperCreek and AmazingE, but it is also rated for up to 30 minutes of complete immersion in up to a meter of water. It’s the smallest, lightest and highest NEMA-rated unit of the three. Webasto includes a wall-mounted cable hanger in the box, but not a connector holster.

The TurboCord is also the only 120-volt/240-volt unit of the three in our comparison. It’s worth noting that you can get the TurboCord in a dedicated 240-volt configuration for 389, which is 110 less than the dual-voltage version we have that retails for 499. To switch from 240-volts, to 120-volt charging on the dual-voltage unit, you simply remove the 240-volt adapter and locking clip, and plug the unit into any simple household outlet.

When the unit is charging on 120-volts, it will deliver up to 12-amps (1.4kW) of power which will charge a typical EV at about 3 to 5 miles of range per hour. Add the NEMA 6-20, 240-volt adapter, and the charge rate jumps up to roughly 11 to 15 miles per hour. Having the ability to switch between 120-volts and 240-volts is desirable, because the one unit is all you ever need to charge at home or take with you on the road.

The AmazingE is the lowest-cost choice of the three, and by a significant amount. At only 219.00 it’s a good value for a solid 240-volt portable charger. Like the ClipperCreek unit, it’s NEMA 4 rated, which is fine for use in all outdoor weather conditions.

Unlike the two other units, there’s no cable management system. The only thing included for cable management is a small Velcro strap attached to the cable. As for wall mounting, there are two brackets on the rear of the unit which will slide over screw heads to hold it on a wall. It works, but it’s not as easy or as secure as the ClipperCreek’s mounting process. There is no connector holster included but their website does have a connector holster available for 19.00. It’s actually the exact same holster that’s included with the ClipperCreek unit.

In fact, the AmazingE is sold through, serviced by, and uses components made by ClipperCreek, and that offers buyers a higher level of confidence, since ClipperCreek is an established brand with high customer satisfaction. As mentioned above, AmazingE has started off well, and currently has a very-high 4.8 of out 5-star rating on Amazon, which is part of the reason why we chose to include it in this review, instead of one of the other new-to-market portable 16-amp EVSE.

On the negative side, AmazingE only offers an 18-month warranty, which is half as long as what ClipperCreek and Webasto offers on their products. That’s a significant shortcomming in our opinion, and buyers should definitely take warranty length into consideration when making a purchase decision. It also uses a NEMA 14-30 plug which aren’t very common in many public places. We’d recommend getting a NEMA 14-50 adapter if you have an AmazingE and plan to charge on the road at times.

By the numbers:

ClipperCreek HCS-20P Webasto TurboCord AmazingE

Power: 16-amps @240v 12-amps @120v 16-amps @240v 16-amps @240v

Weight: 6 lbs. 4 lbs. 4.6 lbs.

Cord Lenght: 25-feet 20-feet 20-feet

Dimensions: 11L x 4W x 3D 5.5L x 3.7W x 1.8D 9.2L x 3.5W x 2D

NEMA Rating: NEMA-4 NEMA-6P NEMA-4

Plug: (NEMA 14-50, 6-50, L6-30 or 14-30) NEMA 6-20 NEMA 14-30

Connector Holster: Included No Optional

install, right, charger

Cable Mgmt: Built-in w/locking strap Included- wall mounted Velcro Strap

Warranty: 3 Years 3 Years 1.5 Years

Price: 395.00 389.00(240-v only) 499.00 (120/240v) 219.00

Other Considerations

As mentioned above, there have been a lot of new entries in the portable 240v EVSE market in the past couple of years. The units selected for this comparison are, in our opinion, some of the better choices available today.

InsideEVs also reached out to Duosida to see if they wanted to be included in this comparison test, but they didn’t respond back. Duosida offers a low cost (sub-200) portable 120v / 240v EVSE that is marketed and sold under 4 or 5 different names (Zencar, EVChargeSolutions, BougeRV, OrionMotorTech and more). However, this unit seems to have many unfavorable ratings on Amazon, with customers complaining that their units failed within the first year of use. Also, the Duosida website states that the product is only covered by a 30-day warranty, so buyer beware.

Another consideration worth mentioning is the fact that ClipperCreek offers a variety of different power level options to meet the customer’s needs. We focused on 16-amp unit here, because 16-amp units are the most popular, and what the majority of the competition is offering. In addition to offering four different plug configurations, ClipperCreek also offers their LCS models in power ratings of:

  • 12-amps (2.8 kW). Delivers about 8-11 miles of range per hour
  • 16-amps (3.8 kW). Delivers about 11-15 mph (The model used in our comparison)
  • 20-amps (4.8 kW). Delivers about 14-19 mph
  • 24-amps (5.8 kW). Delivers about 17-23 mph

Choosing the right level 2 portable EVSE for your needs is a personal decision based on budget, the charging capability of your EV, the power you have available at your house, the daily driving range you need, and perhaps the outlets you have available for you to use at work or other locations you frequent.

The three units we present here are all very capable, well made devices and InsideEVs feels comfortable recommending all of them. With that said, it would be hard to say that ClipperCreek isn’t our favorite brand for portable EV charging for the following reasons:

  • They offer units in 4 different power levels, and all come in 4 different plug configurations
  • All of their units come with the industry-best 25-foot cables
  • All of their products come with a robust 3-year warranty
  • They have built-in cable management, and include a wall-mounted connector holster
  • ClipperCreek has a long history of making top-quality products great customer service

But that’s not to say that someone might be looking for the least expensive, well-built 16-amp portable EVSE available and find ClipperCreek’s 395.00 price a little too high. Those people may find the 219.00 AmazingE the right fit for them (provided they can look past AmazingE’s kitschy cartoon advertising!).

The TurboCord’s ability to switch between 120-volts and 240-volts is a feature that others will put a premium on. It’s small, light, and comes with a nice carrying case, but at 499 it’s more than twice the price of the AmazingE. On the other hand, the warranty is twice as long as the AmazingE’s, and it’s the only unit of the three that’s NEMA 6P rated, which means it can be fully submerged in up to a meter of water for at least 30 minutes and still operate and quality like that does come with a price.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all when buying electric vehicle charging equipment, there are some important features and other considerations when shopping for one. First, make sure your home can accommodate the electric demand the unit you want needs. Make sure it’s paired well with the amount of electric your EV can accept (the car always dictates how much power it will accept, so you don’t have to worry if you get a charger that can deliver more than your car’s maximum charge rate). Decide which plug you want, and get adapters if necessary. Check to see if the unit is safety certified and that it has at least a NEMA 4 outdoor rating for adverse weather conditions. Make sure the cable is long enough for your needs, and that you have a holster or cap for the connector when not in use. Finally, don’t rush to buy a unit that is a few dollars less without thoroughly checking product reviews and ratings.

There are a lot of new entries to this market, and many of these units aren’t built as well, and don’t have the proven track record as the three we used for this comparison. Since these devices will likely be used every day and for many continous hours, and if they aren’t well-made you could run into serious problems. Saving a few bucks today could be very costly down the road, so do your homework before buying an EVSE, and certainly make sure it’s safety-certified and market tested.

Leave a Comment