Americans understandably fear switching to electric vehicles after more than 100 years of using gasoline. Two of the top three concerns about electric vehicles relate to charging, with 60 percent of AAA respondents saying there are not enough places to recharge; and 58 percent worry about running out of battery power while driving.
Wall Mounted Home Level 2 Charging Boxes (240V) or Electric Vehicle Power Equipment (EVSE) are the answer to this, virtually eliminating the need for public charging for the owner. Most Tier 2 chargers can fill anything but the largest electric vehicles overnight for 8 to 10 hours. But there are almost as many varieties of chargers as the EVs themselves.
Level 2 chargers are an added cost as most manufacturers only provide a Tier 1 charger with the vehicle, although Tesla recently introduced a Tier 1 charger as an optional extra. These chargers work well for plug-in hybrids with a small battery, but it can take tens of hours to charge a 300 mile EV.
The Ford F-150 Lightning comes standard with a mobile power cord that provides 30 amps of charging power. Optionally, buyers can choose the Ford Charge Station Pro, which requires professional installation, for $ 1,310.
The Chevrolet Bolt also comes with a Tier 1 charging cord, but recommends adding a Dual Tier Charging Cord (Standard on Bolt EUV) for faster charging at home if buyers have access to a 240V outlet. Chevrolet will also cover installation costs if purchased tier 2 home charger.
Level 1 charger is optional for Mercedes-EQ electric vehicles. It doesn’t offer tier 2 from the factory, but recommends the ChargePoint Home Flex Charger, which costs $ 725 on Amazon.
Nissan recently announced a partnership with Wallbox, an electric vehicle charging company, allowing owners of the 2023 Nissan Leaf and the upcoming 2023 Nissan Ariya to add a Level 2 charger to their purchase.
Non-manufacturer Tier 2 chargers range from $ 500 to $ 1,000, although professional installation will cost extra for chargers that are not plugged into a standard 110V outlet. Buyers who already have a 240V circuit in the garage will get lowering the price of this installation. Here’s what buyers should think about when choosing a tier 2 home EV charger.
Once upon a time, the most important factor when choosing a home EV charger was compatibility with your vehicle. Fortunately, now with Level 2 charging, the regular J1772 connection point works on every car in North America, except Tesla, which uses its own proprietary connector. However, even Tesla come with an adapter, so if a buyer changes the Ford to a brand, the Level 2 Home Charger will still work.
The difference between Levels 1 and Level 2 is clear. Ford Mustang Mach-E can recover approximately 5mph of charge on tier 1 system. Can recover over 20mph of charge on tier 2 charger. Mercedes EQS sedan gains approximately 4mph of charge on 110v circuit and approximately 40mph on 110v circuit hour of charging on EVSE level 2.
Level 2 chargers deliver from 16 amps to 80 amps. Compare that to around 12 amps on a tier 1 charger, and buyers will see how much faster it can be charging. Any charger that delivers 40 amps or more will work perfectly for any modern EV and many to come. Those that provide this type of current will require a 240 volt circuit. Buyers should remember to check their EV maximum charging rate as well as the factor.
Installation is a common and relatively simple job for an electrician as long as buyers have two open spaces in their electrical panel. If they don’t, they’ll need a larger panel. An electrician can estimate the costs in advance. Don’t be afraid to consult more than one professional.
Connecting a level 2 charger to a panel without an outlet will cost more (it will also be durable). If a 240V outlet is already used in the garage by a dryer (or welding machine), buyers will not be able to use both at the same time.
Cable length and location
Buyers will need to consider where their charging port is located on an electric vehicle to decide where to install a tier 2 charger. Wire lengths range from approximately 12 to 25 feet. The Nissan Leaf charging port is located at the front of the vehicle. Most electric vehicles have them on the side, sometimes near the front fender and some in the rear.
Level 2 chargers can be placed both outdoors and indoors, but buyers should make sure the charger they choose is resistant to the elements. Under most building codes, they will have to be hardwired, so they won’t be able to be taken away if the buyer moves.
Most Tier 2 chargers have an app bundled to program charge times, find the cheapest rates, and set the car for morning conditioning, which saves the battery before it starts spinning. Most chargers also have LED lights that let their owner know what they are doing. It would also be wise to look for a charger that will automatically restart if the power goes out. Buyers would not want to wake up after a quick breakdown of an uncharged vehicle.
Here are some highly rated examples of Amazon’s Tier 2 EV chargers below.
This wired charger provides a maximum current of 48 amps and is backed by a three-year warranty. It comes with a 25-foot charging cable and is suitable for outdoor installation.
Emporia Smart Level 2 EV Charger
This charger can be wired or plugged in and is also suitable for outdoor use. It has a maximum load of 48 amps but is set to 40 amps. It must be connected to Wi-Fi to change the default speed.
JuiceBox 40 The intelligent charging station for electric vehicles
The JuiceBox 40 is, as the name suggests, a 40 amp unit that can be used both indoors and outdoors. It comes with a cable holder and a three-year warranty can be scheduled to charge it when the price is lowest.
Autel MaxiCharger Home Smart EV Charger
The Autel MaxiCharger is one of the most powerful chargers available, and comes with a 25-foot cord holster. Wi-Fi is expandable, and resistance to weather conditions allows it to be used outdoors. Autel also offers 24/7 support.
Wallbox Plusar Plus Level 2 EV smart charger
Wallbox Pulsar Plus connects to Wi-Fi and can be controlled by voice using Alexa or Google Home. It charges 16 to 48 amps, and like the others, it can automatically benefit from off-peak electricity rates.
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