How to Charge Your Electric Car At Home Without A Garage. Outdoor electric car charger

Which portable electric car charger is best?

Although you are prepared to stride boldly into the future with the purchase of a hybrid or entirely electric vehicle, the sad fact remains that many towns and cities lack the required infrastructure to make charging your car safe and easy. Fortunately, by purchasing a portable electric car charger, you can ensure that you can always fill up your battery bank by charging your car indoors and outdoors. With a top-of-the-line unit like the Pulsar Plus 40 Amp NEMA Ultra-Compact Level 2 Electric Vehicle Smart Charger in your trunk, you can enjoy high-tech electric vehicle charging with monitoring capabilities, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and much more.

What to know before you buy a portable electric car charger

If you live in the United States, make sure to get a Level II charger

Portable electric car chargers aren’t like regular portable electric chargers; given that the United States power grid infrastructure is based around the 120 V standard, Level I chargers will be unable to provide you with charging speeds that are sufficient for Rapid recharging. As such, any portable electric car charger will need to be compliant with NEMA 6-20, 6-50, or 14-50 plugs, which are specific types of outlets commonly found in garages, laundry rooms and other areas with large power draws.

While such outlets are reasonably common, you may find you have to have one custom installed in your garage in order to make use of your Level II charger. Unless and until the United States makes the transition to a 240 V power grid, NEMA plugs are going to be your portable electric car charger’s best friend.

Understand the inherent dangers and purchase adaptable equipment

While this will hopefully comment no surprise to you, engaging with the amperage levels that a portable electric car charger is capable of producing can easily lead to injury or even death. Depending on your particular model of electric car, it may only be capable of using chargers that can produce a specific range of amperage. Since the batteries for electric cars are notoriously expensive and difficult to repair, it is highly advisable to consult your owner’s manual to ensure that any charger you purchase is compliant with the vehicle’s standards.

However, for those who can afford the more capable models of portable electric car charger, you can enjoy features including variable amp settings, which allows you to get around the need to use a NEMA plug by adjusting on the fly. Whether you are charging on a 16 W outlet or a 50 W outlet, you can ensure quality transmission of energy that can be monitored in real time.

Offers wide compatibility with major models and manufacturers of EV’s

If you happen to be fortunate enough to be driving around in a luxury electric vehicle such as the Porsche Taycan Turbo S or the Tesla Model S Plaid, more power to you. For everyone else who is driving around more affordable but still very impressive electric vehicles, you are blessedly free of having to purchase expensive and proprietary charging technology.

As such, all of the selected models of portable electric car chargers have been specifically selected for their ability to service the vast majority of electric vehicles from a wide variety of manufacturers. Regardless of whether you drive a Nissan LEAF S, Chevrolet Bolt EV or BMW 5 Series 530e, any of these models will ensure your car charges swiftly and easily.

What to look for in a quality portable electric car charger

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity to provide real-time monitoring

While not every model of portable electric charger provides such capabilities, being able to monitor the status of your car’s batteries through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi is extremely convenient. In addition to providing real-time monitoring capabilities, some chargers can also adjust the required amperage levels by accessing free companion apps as needed.

In addition, for those living in more urban environments or dealing with particularly expensive time-of-use electrical rates, you can fill up your car on the cheap and ensure you never go over with automatic scheduling functions. If you’re willing to invest a little more in your portable electric car charger, you can save yourself a considerable amount of money in the long run.

Extra-long charging cables, simple charging indicators and faster charging

As anyone who has ever bought a new or refurbished smartphone can attest, the factory charging cable that is provided meets your basic needs but is often too short for practical use. Given the frustration that can be caused by overcharging your phone, imagine how you would feel if you couldn’t reach a convenient outlet and your electric vehicle was fully drained.

Thankfully for you, in addition to providing anywhere from three to seven times faster charging speeds than the factory equipment provided, all of the selected models of portable electric car chargers feature cables anywhere from 21 to 25 feet in length. In addition, they all come with clear indicators that let you ensure a proper connection and inform you when your batteries are fully charged.

Provides sufficient levels of IPX protection to allow outdoor EV charging

While you might not happen to need the gasoline provided by the vast majority of service stations and convenience stores, you certainly might appreciate the overhang when dealing with inclement weather. As mentioned previously, dealing with electricity can be extremely dangerous, so you should ensure that any portable electric car charger is suitably constructed to prevent you from injury or worse.

For those who are unfamiliar, IPX stands for ingress protection and a larger number indicates a greater level of protection offered. When dealing with portable electric car chargers, it is highly advisable that you purchase a charger that is at least rated for IPX5 or IPX6 for waterproofing as well as protection from overheating, overvoltage and much more.

Portable electric car charger cost

Depending on your desired features and any budget constraints, a quality portable electric car charger can cost between 199-650.

Best portable electric car charger FAQ

Is it alright to leave my electric vehicle plugged in overnight?

A. Since it is an industry-standard practice to incorporate technology to prevent your vehicle from becoming overcharged, there should be no issues with leaving your vehicle to charge overnight.

charge, your, electric, home, garage, outdoor

Will cold weather affect the battery capacity and charging rate of my electric vehicle?

A. Unfortunately yes, cold weather can lead to significant decreases in your overall driving range as well as causing significantly longer charging times.

What’s the best portable electric car charger to buy?

Top portable electric car charger

What you need to know: This top-of-the-line portable electric vehicle charger has impressive technical capabilities.

What you’ll love: This unit features the ability to charge at 50 A using NEMA plugs as well as conventional outlets with an adjustable capacity from 16A up to 40A. In addition, this unit offers live monitoring via Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and a free companion app.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit malfunctioning following firmware updates.

charge, your, electric, home, garage, outdoor

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top portable electric car charger for the money

What you need to know: This is an affordable and capable portable electric car charger.

What you’ll love: This unit features level 2 EVSE charging speed up to three times faster than the factory-provided charger. In addition, this unit has IP55 rating waterproofing, UL94V-0 rating flame resistance and 12 months warranty with after-sales service.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit failing within months of purchase.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

What you need to know: A rugged and reliable portable electric car charger that has a 21-foot extension cord.

What you’ll love: This unit features a 240V 32 Amp Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger with a J1772 Cable and NEMA 14-50 Plug. In addition, this unit offers simple LED lights for charging levels and fault indicators.

What you should consider: Some users have reported issues with the unit being prone to chronic overheating.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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How to Charge Your Electric Car At Home Without A Garage

When it comes to electric vehicle charging solutions, the same technology used for commercial charging stations applies for home use. This means that while having a garage is a nice amenity, you can still charge your electric car without a garage of your own — even if you live in a climate with particularly warm or cold weather. But, depending on the solution you want to use, you may need to hire an electrician to ensure your outdoor setup is safe and secure.

How a NEMA 4 Rating Impacts Outdoor Charging

When installing an outdoor charging station, there’s some criteria to consider.

The gold standard to knowing if you can have a charging station for your electric car without a garage is whether your charger has a NEMA 4 rating. Formed nearly a century ago, NEMA (the National Electrical Manufacturers Association) sets standards for companies producing electrical products, equipment and wiring.

EvoCharge’s Level 2 chargers are all NEMA 4-rated, which means they meet the following criteria for outdoor charging:

  • Provide protection for personnel against access to hazardous parts.
  • Offer protection for internal equipment against solid foreign objects commonly found outside — like dirt and windblown dust.
  • Protection for the charger’s internal equipment against rain, sleet, snow, splashing water, and hose-directed water.
  • Provide protection against external formation of ice on the enclosure.
charge, your, electric, home, garage, outdoor

This means that despite exposure to extreme temperatures and a range of challenges by nature, EvoCharge provides charging solutions that offer good protection from the elements. With the NEMA 4 rating, our EVSE and iEVSE Home chargers work normally from.22℉ to 122℉ (-30℃ to 50℃). Exposure to temperatures outside of this certified range can decrease the functionality of the product.

Smart EV Home Charger

Easily manage your charging with iEVSE Home, EvoCharge’s Smart electric vehicle (EV) home charger. With Wi-Fi connectivity and a user-friendly app, you can take control of your station’s charging capabilities.

Shop iEVSE

Other Considerations for Outdoor EV Charging

If charging your electric car without a garage, try setting up your charger in a spot that offers some insulation and protection from the elements: against your home’s siding, near a shed or a shady place if you live in a hot weather climate. Isolating your charger from bad weather and extreme temperatures can go a long way in keeping your EV charger running its best.

Whether using the EVSE or iEVSE Home outdoors, your charger will need to plug into a 240v outlet. We recommend hiring a certified electrician to hardwire the unit with a water-tight conduit since 240v plugs are not weather-proof.

Note that the iEVSE Home is a Smart charging solution, which runs on an app. If you don’t have decent Wi-Fi near your charging setup, the EVSE is a simple plug-and-use system that does not require Wi-Fi. Both chargers come with an 18- or 25-foot cable, giving you plenty of length to reach your electric vehicle.

Use the EVSE or iEVSE Home for charging an electric car without a garage.

By using a NEMA 4-rated charger, and mitigating the weather and climate conditions at your home, you can benefit from charging your EV at home outdoors just like those who charge in a garage. If you want to know more about how to charge an electric car at home without a garage or our Level 2 chargers, contact us.

How to Determine the Best Location to Install Your EV Charging Station

One of the major selling points for home EV charger stations is convenience.

As a homeowner who has just purchased an electronic vehicle (EV), you will likely now be in the market for a level 2 charging station. Naturally, you will want to maximize your convenience by installing your charger in an optimal location for your EV charging needs.

With level 2 EV charging at home, qualified electricians can customize your installation and place the charging equipment in the best place for you.

In this article, we will provide you with recommendations for determining and selecting a prime location for your at-home EV charging station installation.

Indoors versus outdoors

While your charging station can be installed indoors or outdoors, an outdoor charger must be specifically designed to offer protection from the elements, such as rain and lightning.

An outdoor charger will also require you to ensure that the distance between the charger and your EV’s charging port is well within the length of your charging cable, for optimal positioning, and to ensure the location is functional for your needs.

Indoor charging provides you with the convenience of charging your EV while your car is parked in the garage.

In either installation, a permit is required by homeowners’ insurance carriers and local authorities.

Permitting is best handled by an experienced electrician. If you decide to file the permit by yourself, remember that you will be responsible for correcting any errors, and for all the costs of doing so. On the other hand, if an electrical contractor files the permit, they are responsible for correcting the work and all costs to do so.

In addition, you will need a dedicated 240-volt circuit that may draw anywhere from 32 to 80 amps. Depending on the amperage draw of the charger it may require modifications to your electric panel or the installation of a new panel.

Once again, you will need an experienced electrician for this complex and potentially dangerous work. A 240-volt current can cause fire, injury, and other damages and when it comes to this type of electrical work, mistakes caused by inexperience can be deadly, costly, and avoidable.

We encourage you to read our previous article for additional information regarding the benefits and risk mitigation of hiring a licensed and experienced electrical contractor to install your electrification systems rather than attempting a DIY at home.

Garage space constraints: will it fit?

You can typically work with your contractor to find an optimal location to mount your EV charging station in the garage. Mounting the EV charger closer to your electrical panel will help reduce the installation cost and it is worth considering proximity when mapping the location out prior to installation.

While uncommon, if there is no space available to install the EV Charger in your garage, as mentioned above, you can install an outdoor charger, so long as it is within cable length restrictions.

Clearances around your vehicle

At this time, automakers have not yet adopted a standard for EV charging port location, making optimal EV charging station installation a more specific determination for the charging needs of each vehicle.

For example, while Ford and Chevrolet have standardized a front left EV location, the charging port for Mercedes and BMW is located on the right rear of their EVs. Finally, Nissan and Audi place the port on the front end of the vehicle.

While each automaker has their logical reasoning for the charging port placement on their electric vehicles, the varying locations add an additional layer of complexity; you will need to consider your EV’s details to achieve the optimal location for your EV charger installations. The key here is to optimize both the charger and charging port locations so that the cable will not obstruct traffic around your EV.

Vehicle accessibility

Start with the position of where you plan to park your EV in your garage or parking space. Then select a location for your EV charger that will fully allow you to access your EV without hindrance or obstruction. Next, ensure that the charging cable easily reaches your EV charging port without excess tension.

You can estimate this length by measuring the distance from your charger station, then adding approximately 10 feet.

Notably, cables for Level 2 chargers can be up to 25 feet long. Check with your charger manufacturer to verify the specific lengths they provide that meet the needs of your vehicle and are available to you. In general, your cable should be at least 20 feet long.

  • Loading and unloading: To avoid tripping over the charging cable while unloading from the rear of your EV, make sure that the cable runs on the side opposite of where you would typically walk to access the cargo area or any other frequently traversed routes.
  • Clearances: Test this space to ensure that side clearances are adequately providing no interference with door functionality or access to your charger.

On the left or the right?

This determination will largely depend on where your charger port is located on your EV and where the EV will be located in your garage or parking space. Situate the charger to best avoid having the cable impede foot traffic. Thankfully, charging cables range from 6-25 feet in length, enabling you to mount your charger on the left or right side of your EV. Additionally, most U.S. vehicles are left-side drive, so it may be of greater benefit to locate the cable on the opposite side to avoid obstructions when accessing your EV.

Distance from EV to charging station

Finally, to ensure the optimal EV charger location, consider where you usually park or where you intend to park. Then, install the charging station at the best distance from your EV possible within the length constraints created by your cable and the location of the charging port on your EV.

To sum up, you want to avoid the hassles of public charging by installing a home EV charging station for maximum convenience. To maximize that convenience, selecting the optimal location for your EV charging station installation is crucial.

The process for determining the prime location in your home is complex and must be done on a case-by-case basis as one size does not fit all.

All of this means that you will need an experienced, dependable partner to work with you from the beginning to design and implement the right installation for you.

Qmerit is that partner.

We simplify installations for EV drivers across the U.S. and Canada. With an unsurpassed network of certified electricians specializing in EV charging technologies, Qmerit will stand alongside you from start to finish of your project to achieve success in your EV charging station installation.

Get started today by providing basic information about your home and submitting a few photos. We are happy to assist you by providing upfront pricing or a custom quote offer, depending on the needs of your home and the complexity of your project!

Greg Sowder President, Qmerit Network

Meet ChargePoint Home Flex

A wall outlet just doesn’t cut it anymore. Add up to 37 miles of Range Per Hour to your EV with ChargePoint® Home Flex, a 240-volt Level 2 home charger that delivers up to 50 amps of power. Most drivers will use 32 or 40 amps. 48 or 50 amps will give you the fastest charge, but requires hardwired installation and may require electrical upgrades. Contact a licensed electrician to set the amperage that matches your electrical panel capacity and vehicle requirements to see how fast you can charge.

Set ChargePoint Home Flex to

to add up to 37 36 30 25 18 12 miles of range per hour.

Charges an EV, including your Audi BMW Chevy Chrysler Ford Honda Hyundai Jaguar Kia Mazda Mercedes-Benz Mitsubishi Nissan Polestar Tesla Toyota Volvo

ChargePoint Home Flex can charge any EV, including your next one. It also works with your home, now and in the future.

Convenient, connected and smarter than ever

Use the ChargePoint app (available on iOS and Android) to make owning an EV even easier.

Home, work and around town — we’ve got you covered.

Find places to charge away from home

Search for spots, filter by charging speed, see if stations are available and more.

Schedule charging when energy is cheapest

Save money and reduce hassle by setting a schedule for charging.

Never forget to charge when you set regular reminders.

Connect to your Smart home

Manage charging with your voice using Alexa and set charging speed in the app.

Track all your charging in one place

Home, work and around town — we’ve got you covered.

Find places to charge away from home

Search for spots, filter by charging speed, see if stations are available and more.

Schedule charging when energy is cheapest

Save money and reduce hassle by setting a schedule for charging.

Get reminders to plug in

Never forget to charge when you set regular reminders.

Connect to your Smart home

Manage charging with your voice using Alexa and set charging speed in the app.

Safe and reliable for your home and your EV

ChargePoint Home Flex is UL listed for safety, ENERGY STAR certified for efficiency and backed by a 3-year warranty to protect your EV investment. It’s easy to install indoors or out, no matter your electrical capacity, and the 23-foot charging cable can reach any parking configuration. We don’t think you’ll have any issues, but 24/7 phone support is available just in case.

Save money on home charging

There are many rebates, tax credits and other incentives that can save you money on home charging, especially when you get a Smart charger like Flex.

Renewed for 2021The U.S. federal tax credit gives individuals 30% off a ChargePoint Home EV charging station plus installation costs (up to 1,000). Buy and install by December 31, 2021 and claim the credit on your federal tax return.

Perfect charger, looks great works really fast. Quality is great and the app works great with my phone. Highly recommended.

Install once, charge whenever

No matter what you drive or how much space is available in your electrical panel, ChargePoint Home Flex fits right in. Have a licensed electrician install it indoors or outdoors using a NEMA 6-50 plug, 14-50 plug, or hardwired connection, and set the appropriate charging speed — up to 50 amps. Hardwired installation is required for 48A, 50A charging. Click here for more installation resources. Click here for more installation resources.

Need help finding an electrician to install ChargePoint Home? Qmerit can connect you with a licensed electrician installer near you.

By EV drivers, for EV drivers

EV charging is all we do, and we do it all—from home charging to charging around town. We’ve delivered more than 172 million charges to all kinds of cars at hundreds of thousands of places to charge worldwide, and we’re always working to make EV charging even easier.

Fast, reliable, and excellent customer service

ChargePoint is an excellent product, easy to install and has excellent customer service if or when trouble shooting may be needed. Quality.”

.Spencer

Worth the Money

Installing the faster charger has made owning an electric car as carefree as owning a gas-powered car. I can go from 40% to 80% in about 2 hours. My state offered a 500 refund as well, so a big win!”

.Jennifer

Fast and convenient charging at home

Love this charger. Easy to store and attach for charging. Not too heavy or bulky. Plug in at night and have a full charge when you leave in the morning. Takes the stress out of finding a charging station and worrying about the time needed to charge in a public place.

.Maria

Great Product

What a great addition to the home garage. My charger has been reliable, easy to use and, frankly, a good-looking addition to the house. So convenient to use and so FAST, I used to have to wait 14-15 hours for a full charge, now I can recharge in a few short hours.

.Bob

Fast, reliable, and excellent customer service

ChargePoint is an excellent product, easy to install and has excellent customer service if or when trouble shooting may be needed. Quality.”

.Spencer

Worth the Money

Installing the faster charger has made owning an electric car as carefree as owning a gas-powered car. I can go from 40% to 80% in about 2 hours. My state offered a 500 refund as well, so a big win!”

.Jennifer

Fast and convenient charging at home

Love this charger. Easy to store and attach for charging. Not too heavy or bulky. Plug in at night and have a full charge when you leave in the morning. Takes the stress out of finding a charging station and worrying about the time needed to charge in a public place.

.Maria

Great Product

What a great addition to the home garage. My charger has been reliable, easy to use and, frankly, a good-looking addition to the house. So convenient to use and so FAST, I used to have to wait 14-15 hours for a full charge, now I can recharge in a few short hours.

.Bob

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