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There are no bad reasons to get an electric car. The largest slice of the emissions pie comes from transportation, so a large number of people going electric would have a meaningful impact on carbon emissions in the US. And we probably don’t need to tell you about gas prices right now, with every street corner in Los Angeles advertising an eye-wateringly steep $6. Going electric will save you pain at the pump, and an EV can save you money even when gas prices are more normal.
If that’s not enough to sway you, then consider the fact that electric cars are just plain fun to drive. They run quietly and are incredibly zippy. Because they use energy efficiently, they accelerate much quicker than the average gas-powered car.
Of course, there are a few drawbacks with EVs, most of which stem from recharging. Although the Federal Government is making a big push to install more charging stations, there’s still a long way to go. But for day-to-day use, most people are likely to charge their cars at home in their garage. Even EVs with a shorter range are more than capable of handling your daily drive, which is estimated to be an average of 25 miles per day.
What To Know About Electric Vehicle Chargers
But how do you actually charge your EV at home? For that, you should consider investing in an electric vehicle charger. You can actually charge your car with a regular outlet, which is called Level 1 charging. But this is very slow, so you’ll want to pick up an EV charger. The best EV chargers will offer quick speeds, and they’ll also have handy features like app compatibility. These apps will allow you to check the time remaining on your car’s charge. These chargers are Level 2 chargers, which are the best option for households. Fast Charging is level 3, and these are typically found in public places. We won’t delve into too much detail about level 3 charging because it’s not what most people will install in their homes. Instead, we’ll go into a little detail about level 2 charging.
More on Level 2 Charging
If you’re hardwiring your EV charger, then you’ll need to pay for setup. Otherwise, you can plug your charger into a 240-volt socket. These are typically used for heavy appliances like dryers and ovens, rather than the standard 120-volt sockets used for small home appliances like computers and lights. However, there’s a great deal of variation in these sockets, so you’ll need to consider what kind you have and if any installation will be needed. Splitvolt has a great, in-depth guide on these outlets.
With those considerations in mind, we’ve rounded up some of the best electric vehicle chargers that you can buy right now.
1. ChargePoint Home Flex, NEMA 6-50 Plug
ChargePoint runs the largest network of charging stations in the world, but they also manufacture chargers for home use. As the name suggests, the Home Flex is for home, and it’s flexible; it can deliver a charge of between 16 and 50 amps depending on your needs. That also means you can use more power when electricity is cheapest, saving you money. Everything can easily be controlled from the app.
2. Grizzl-E Level 2 EV Charger
Grizzl-E’s EV charger is one of the most no-frills options on this list, but that’s not a mark against it. There’s no WiFi or app compatibility, but ultimately, all you really need is a plug and a reliable supply of electricity. This unit is water-resistant and protects your car against overcurrent and overvoltage. The Grizzl-E supplies up to 40 Amps. This charger is manufactured in Canada.
3. Wallbox Pulsar Plus Level 2 Electric Vehicle Smart Charger
The Pulsar Plus Level 2 charger is a great way to power up your car at home, providing up to seven times the charging speed of Level 1 charging. Plus, the app allows you to use Bluetooth or WiFi to save money by charging at off-peak times, and you can even control the charger using your smart home speaker. The Pulsar delivers up to 40 amps of power.
4. EVoCharge EVSE
The EVoCharge EVSE is another good, no-frills option for anyone looking for an at-home charger. While it lacks the smart features of some of the other chargers, this option does allow you to adjust the amperage to charge at the best level for your needs. It utilizes a NEMA 6-50 plug for easy setup, which is included with the unit. Plus, a wall mount is also included.
5. JuiceBox 40 Smart Electric Vehicle Charging Station
The JuiceBox is one of the more convenient options on this list because it’s available with either a plug or the option for hardwiring. If you want to save yourself the trouble of installation, you can use this charging station using a regular NEMA 14-50r outlet. Like Wallbox, Juicebox has an app that allows you to monitor the time remaining until your car is charged and other factors.