GEAR: Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment

Beginner
Clipper Creek HCS-40
Clipper Creek HCS-40
AeroVironment (AV)
AeroVironment (AV)
Bosch Power Max
Bosch Power Max
GE WattStation Wall Mount
GE WattStation Wall Mount
Electric Motor Werks’ JuiceBox
Electric Motor Werks’ JuiceBox
Schneider Electric EVlink
Schneider Electric EVlink
Siemens VersiCharge
Siemens VersiCharge
Clipper Creek HCS-40
AeroVironment (AV)
Bosch Power Max
GE WattStation Wall Mount
Electric Motor Werks’ JuiceBox
Schneider Electric EVlink
Siemens VersiCharge

EV owners can add about 20 to 25 miles of range per hour of charging with a 240-volt home charging station—officially called Level 2 electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE)­. Compare this to Level 1 charging at 120 volts from a common household outlet, which only adds about three to four miles in an hour, and you’ll see why an EVSE is a useful complement to your EV.

Clipper Creek HCS-40

Many experienced EV drivers put Clipper Creek chargers at the top of their list. In production for more than 15 years, the equipment isn’t the most attractive, but is considered affordable and durable. It has no display or software to go wrong, is compact and has a 32-amp limit and a 25-foot cord. ($590 hardwiring or $644 for plug-ready; 3-year warranty; clippercreek.com)

AeroVironment (AV)

The slightly less revered AV charging station has about the same specs and footprint as the Clipper Creek, but a nice wraparound cord-handler. Options include a plug-ready version, a 25-foot cord, and full-service installation. ($799 to $999; 3-year warranty; evsolutions.avinc.com)

Bosch Power Max

This unit has a nice style, and is compliant with all of the major EVs on the market. It comes with an 18-foot cord; if you want it with a 25-foot cord, you’ll pay about $150 more. Purchase includes a free consultation with a vehicle-charging advisor who does onsite cost estimation, then works on installation and inspection. ($593/$749; 3-year warranty; pluginnow.com)

GE WattStation Wall Mount

Attractive, but pricey, some users think it’s too big or too loud. The on/off button avoids a phantom load, while other EVSEs—especially those with connectivity—continue to use energy. At 16 feet, the cord for this unit is slightly shorter than most. Make sure it reaches all the way around your electric car. (From $599; 3-year warranty; bit.ly/GEwattstation)

Electric Motor Werks’ JuiceBox

The base price for the Premium Assembled Unit of this open-source EVSE is below most others, and includes a 6-foot input cable with 14-50P plug. This California-manufactured 60 A charging station includes a 25-foot cable for 32 A charging. Its open-source flexibility is built around an Arduino microcontroller, ready to adapt with special displays, Wi-Fi, remote control, or other modifications being dreamed up by the developer community. ($438 or $508 with a 60 A charger cable; 1-year warranty; emotorwerks.com)

Schneider Electric EVlink

Priced competitively while earning high marks from EV drivers, the EVlink’s low profile and small size mean it takes up little room. It comes with an 18-foot cord, docking port, and cable holder. This unit is available from big box and online stores. ($599; 1.5-year warranty; schneider-electric.us)

Siemens VersiCharge

This reasonably priced 30 A charger gets high ratings from consumers. It is German-built with a high-quality finish, good cable management, and is smaller and lighter than some competing products. Its 20-foot cord is adequate, and includes a function to delay charging to utilize off-peak utility rates. The hard-wired model cannot be installed outdoors. ($699 for the universal model­—plug-in; 3-year warranty; bit.ly/VersiCharge)

Comments (5)

webb.rowan's picture

The whole electric car deal seems like a new toy for people now. One where there's always a constant bevy of attachments and add ones so that you can "improve" or "enhance" your new toy in this way and that. I'm really not surprised if the new equipment and kit is the thing that really drives the price of the cars up. Sooner or later it will happen!

greg rossel_3's picture

I am looking at the technical challenges of making a diversion from a grid tied PV system to a EV car charger. I wonder if anyone has attempted this. There are some obvious challenges in linking a variable solar resource to the on board EV charger. setting up communications link to shift the charge rate base on available resource is going to be the key. At the end of the day it may just be easier to use batteries as a buffer but hope to avoid the inefficiency and conversion losses?

Wonder if any one has connected a DC resource into a Volt or Leif charger system?

AtlSwiss's picture

This has been done in Atlanta, A friend does manage his electric loads dinamically, even when clouds lower his energy making capacity to minimize feeding back to the grid at a very low rate of $0.04 His setup is amazing and I would love to submit an article about it.

Michael Welch's picture
Hi Greg. I'm not sure why you want to do this. Sure, the efficiency of array-direct is better than through an inverter, but not a whole lot -- and worsens when you add batteries. And that seems offset by the potential problems with a variable solar resource, and the possibility that the car's battery management system is designed to communicate directly with its on-board charger. It makes more sense to me to use the grid during off-peak times for car charging, and let your array pump energy back to the grid during peak times.
Jim and Elaine Stack's picture

Just so EVeryone knows there are a lot of EVSE units out there. This is a great list but there are many more. Since Home Power people are Do It Yourselfers like me you might want to check the Juice Box EVSE that has a low cost DIY version.
Also please try to charge Off Peak to help the GRID just like when your Solar lowers the loads during the day. I also hypermile and go 100-140 miles on a charge in my 2013 FORD Focus EV that is rated at only 76 miles /charge. It has liquid cooled lithium batteries that have not lost any capacity in 2 Hot Phoenix summers. Adjusting the Nut behind the wheel makes a big difference.
I made a free website about EVSE read EVSEinfo.webs.com

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