Picking the right EV charger can be tricky - your car is a precious investment and you don’t want to cause any damage with a shoddy product.
Don’t worry - here’s our top ten tips and considerations to help you make the right choice.
EV Chargers - What To Think About
1. Level One Or Level Two
To charge your EV, you can either use a Level One or Level Two setup. The traditional 110-volt outlet you have at home is an example of L1, for instance.
These are cheaper and easier to install but take forever to bring your EV’s lithium ion battery back to full charge. Some as long as 24 hours!
Level Two charging requires the installation of a 240-volt outlet outside your home or in your garage, which is a costly but worthwhile process.
Reducing the charge time to as quickly as just four hours, you’ll be glad you opted for this much more efficient outlet.
2. Portable Versus Permanent?
You’ll definitely want to think about a permanent, mounted charger at home, for convenience’s sake.
However, a 240-volt portable charger plugs in anywhere and charges your car no matter where you end up.
Should you decide to move home or head out on a road trip, you’ll be grateful you can take your line with you instead of having to completely uninstall it.
3. Amps, Amps, Baby
You should aim for a charger that wields, at the very least, 30 amps of power - your circuit breaker also needs to be able to withstand 40 amps, minimum.
Whilst certain EVs can charge on less, and cheaper chargers only deliver 15 or so amps, if your EV is capable of taking more power you should use it!
4. Correct Cord
A small but significant part of the charger is the type of cord used - its length in particular is especially important.
You want to be able to plug it in without stretching, so aiming for at least fifteen feet is the minimum but we’d recommend a twenty five footer if you can.
5. State Cash Incentives
Your local area or state might offer financial cash incentives, helping you to install a charger for way less than it would otherwise cost.
Some can be limited to workplaces or public installations, so be sure to do your research before making your purchase and expecting money back!
6. “Smart” Charger?
Certain models of EV chargers can be hooked up to your Wi-Fi, allowing you to track the charging status of your car from wherever you are on your cell phone.
Even more excitingly, these modern chargers can even detect when your power company is having an off-peak or discounted rate and only charge your vehicle during this time. Amazing!
7. Inside, Outside
Depending on which charger you opt for, it will either need to be installed inside your garage or outside the home.
Some may think them unsightly and not wish to ruin their yard’s aesthetic with an ugly charger (though nowadays the setups are small and sleek!)
Therefore, ensure the charger you choose can be positioned where you’d like it to go before you buy!
8. Charging Speed
More expensive chargers will deliver power faster is the general consensus, but pricey doesn’t always mean quick!
Be sure you read the fine print and use an efficiency calculator to work out how quickly your EV will charge using the device of choice.
9. Ease Of Installation
Where one EV charger requires minimal installation, other models require a professional to set them up correctly.
Failing to establish the appropriate connection between your power source, the charger and your vehicle has dire consequences!
Either have an expert on hand to help ensure the charger is properly connected, or pick a charger that can just plug into an outlet in your garage and work straight away.
10. Always Avoid Imitations
It might be tempting to buy a cheap EV charger from any old company offering a discount. If it sounds too good to be true, believe us - it probably is!
Counterfeit or knock-off chargers can be annoying and take forever to replenish your battery, but more importantly, they can be incredibly dangerous.
From posing a fire hazard to possibly damaging your car itself and rendering it undrivable - not just the battery, but the whole car - they really aren’t worth it!
Don’t be swayed by the low price tag - invest in a quality EV charger right off the bat, and it should last you for years to come.