Electric cars are getting more and more popular. That Much is clear. At least part of that can be attributed to the rise in popularity of the electric car chargers, which is obviously a vital consideration for anyone who wants to make the switch from traditional gas vehicles. If your infrastructure lacks in electric charging stations, you may have to fill the gap on your own. This is where the need to find the best electric car charger becomes apparent. There is a range of impressive options that can ensure you will always be able to charge your EV (electric vehicle) whenever you want to.
Finding the right electric charger for your needs is important. There are just a handful of factors that you will need to keep in mind. Naturally, you will also want to check out plenty of electric car charger reviews. They can help you to figure out which charger among the three major electric car charger types (Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3) will work best for you. Virtually all EVs come with a Level 1 charger, but these are traditionally the slowest. While purchasing and installing a faster charger can get a little pricey, the long-term savings are worth keeping in mind. Depending on your type of electric car, as well as how much you’re willing to spend, an electric car charger can charge a 240v battery charger in less than an hour.
Let’s break down the main considerations with electric car chargers. This will make it easier to consider the Fiat electric car charger or Tesla electric car charger, or whatever the case may be.
Where Is The Best Place To Charge My EV?
As far as an EV charger is concerned, the best place to charge will always be home. Over time, we can expect more public charging stations. However, in the meantime, many drivers, who will rarely need to travel more than fifty miles from their homes, will find that an electric charger on their property will be able to meet all of their needs.
As I mentioned before, the top electric car chargers on the market can get a little pricey. Keep in mind that electric car charger installation cost. However, these short-term costs are dramatically outweighed by the long-term benefits. I crunched the numbers after my first year with my EV. I was stunned to discover I had saved approximately $600 with the best level 2 charger for my needs (more on that later)! That covered my home electric car charger cost, and then some!
The Three Types Of Charging
I want to briefly cover the 3 main types of electric car chargers you are going to encounter. There are tons of electric car charger manufacturers for each:
- Level 1 charger: You will find that these chargers come standard with all new electric and hybrid vehicles. This electric car charger outlet needs to be a grounded 3-prong 120V outlet. It will give you roughly forty miles from eight hours of charging. If you don’t plan to drive a lot, the level 1 charger will suit you just fine.
- Level 2 charger: Designed for home or public charging, these chargers generally need a charging unit from 240V circuits. Your clothes dryer likely runs on 240V. While the specifics can vary from one EV to the next, most can get around 180 miles from eight hours of charging.
- Level 3 charger: Keep in mind that electric car supercharger costs can vary, but this is definitely the best option for those who plan to rely significantly on their EV. Also known as DC Fast Charging, these chargers come with the potential to add anywhere from fifty to ninety miles in just thirty minutes. There are three different types of plugs at this level, which cannot be interchanged. Japanese car makers utilize CHAdeMO, while European/American companies utilize CCS. Tesla uses a connector unique to their specific products.
A Few More Considerations With Buying The Best Electric Car Charger
In terms of which electric car charger is going to be the best for you, it really boils down to how much you plan to use the vehicle. For example, if you’re only going to use it for a work commute, then there really isn’t much sense in buying a level 2 or level 3 charger. Someone who will rely on the car for additional tasks/driving probably won’t enjoy waiting eight hours to get fifty miles.
What else should you try to remember, as you’re researching information?
- Remember that specific charging times/miles gained can vary from one vehicle to the next, so there’s really no such thing as a universal answer to the question of which charger is best.
- Cable length is something else you need to pay attention to. You are going to need something that will naturally work with your EV, but also something that will leave you with enough spare space while charging. Standard cables are around fourteen feet long, with the longest ones falling somewhere between twenty-five and twenty-eight feet.
- Features specific to your car charger can also vary from one product to the next. Decided ahead of time if things like time delays and remote monitoring capabilities are going to be important to you.
Our Top 3 Electric Car Chargers
At this point, we can discuss specific options. While there are a number of products on the market, I’ve cut things down to my three favorite options. I am supremely confident that you will be able to find what you need among these possibilities.
- Tons of features: From voice control (using Alexa or Google Home), to a water/fire-proof protective case, the Juicebox Pro 40 is an external electric car charger with a lot to offer. This 240V offers high charging speeds, as well.
- Sturdy: The twenty-four-foot cable is incredibly durable. It is also quite lightweight, despite being so tough, weighing just twenty pounds. This is one of the best portable electric car charger products on the market.
- Easy-to-use app: We found it was a snap to run everything with the app.
- WiFi issues: Some customers have said that the WiFi capabilities are a little lackluster, particularly in terms of staying connected.
- Difficult to install: DIY electric car charger installation is particularly difficult with this model.
- High upfront costs: If you opt to have professionals install this charger, expect to pay around $1200.
- Highly rated: As you will note from your own research, the HCS-40P is a 240V charger with some of the best reviews to be found on Amazon or anywhere else.
- Built for convenience: This is another example of an electric car charger built to be used with ease, regardless of where you happen to be. The cord is twenty-five feet long.
- Versatile: From the Nissan Leaf to the Chevy Bolt, the HCS-40P works well with all of them.
- Pricey: This is also another example of an electric car charger with a fairly hefty price tag up front. The (approximately) $1200 price tag is cut in half if you opt to handle installation on your own. However, unless you are particularly handy, or have the time to spare, I would suggest just having it installed by professionals correctly the first time around.
- Very straightforward: If you want the best EV charger for your needs to come with a lot of features, this may not be the one for you. It performs extremely well but lacks perks like WiFi capabilities.
- Several different versions: You can choose between Universal, Hardwire, and Smart Grid. The odds of finding exactly what you need through this particular EV charger manufacturer are excellent.
- Flexible controls: Simply in terms of features and controls, the VersiCharge for my money is one of the best values to be found anywhere. The Universal on its own, for example, generally sells on its own for less than $500
- 3-Year Warranty: Your purchase is backed by a strong warranty from a reliable manufacturer.
- A little confusing: Make sure you’re purchasing something that suits your needs.
- Not quite as sturdy: Compared to other products, particularly the two I mentioned above, the VersiCharge has been criticized by some for being a bit flimsier.
- Delayed charging: This useful feature is not compatible with all EVs.
Wrapping things up, I wanted to cover a few of the questions about electric car chargers that I encounter the most:
Q. Are these prices going to come down further in the near future?
A. Probably, but I wouldn’t recommend waiting that long, or for your local infrastructure to catch up with public charging stations. Having your own charger is a great freedom.
Q. Can I get an electric car charger rebate?
A. This depends mightily on where you live. You will want to do some research in this arena on your own.
Q. Will my electric bill go up?
A. Yes, although this is often offset by gas savings. You can also offset electric bill costs by using solar panel, or by doing more of your charging at night.
At this point, I would say you definitely have the basics necessary to find an electric car charger that will deliver the results you need. Clearly, a good EV charger will be something that helps you enjoy your electric car to the fullest.