Electric Vehicle Charger Buyer's Guide
Why Buy an Electric Car Charger?
Having an electric vehicle charger in your home is convenient, efficient, and great for your wallet. And, like electric vehicles, they’re always getting smarter. EV Chargers like JuiceBox Pro 40 and ClipperCreek (now featuring JuiceNet software) offer advanced Wi-Fi control and smart grid features that automatically adjust to provide as much power as your EV is able to accept. No longer will you have to travel to the garage to check your charge; with JuiceNet technology, you can manage your charge rate and power consumption right from your smartphone or tablet. Stop and start charging remotely and see your charge data in real-time. Or, ask Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home to check it for you.
How to Choose an EV Charger
The plug-in option is optimum for users who think they will need a portable charger. A certified electrician may need to install a dedicated breaker in your home's electrical panel, but besides that, the only installation required is for the wall mounting station. Once the bracket is mounted, you can slide the EVSE charger in and out easily, allowing you to use it at home and also detach it easily to take it with you.
A certified electrician can hardwire an EV charging station directly into your home's electrical panel. If you have a Tesla Model S or X and want to maximize your charging speed then you will need a 75 Amp charging station which must be hardwired into your electrical panel.
Get the Power you need
Most customers will prefer the efficiency of a 32-40 Amp charging station, as they maximize the charging speed of their electric vehicle. Your electric vehicle will have an onboard charger that limits the speed in which your car's batteries can be charged and due to their lower amperage will take longer to charge your car. JuiceBox charging stations automatically adjust to provide only as much power as your electric vehicle is able to accept and charge up to 10x faster than onboard chargers.
Tesla Model X and Model S have dual-onboard chargers which enable the batteries to be charged at a faster rate. These Tesla models can fully utilize a 75 amp charging rate (available with the JuiceBox Pro 75) whereas other cars would not charge any faster due to the limits of their onboard charger. Be sure to check the specifications of your electric vehicle to determine the limits of the onboard charger and the maximum charging speeds.
Make Your Charger Smart
With JuiceBox chargers, connecting your EV charging station to Wi-Fi can enable you to view real-time electricity use and set charging schedules to ensure your electric vehicle is always charged when you need it. If you are on a Time-of-Use rate plan, the scheduling functionality can also help to lower your bill by charging at the lowest electricity rates.
Smart Home Connection
You can connect eligible EV charging stations to their smart home devices such as Amazon Echo or Google Home. With Alexa voice controls or Google Voice Assistant users can start, pause or resume charging with simple voice commands.
Charging Levels Explained
Level 2 Charger: More powerful than a Level 1 Charger, Level 2 provides power at 220v or 240v. This level charges 10-25 miles in an hour and is ideal for frequent drivers who desire faster charge times. JuiceBox EV Chargers charge up to 10x faster than Level 1 chargers.
Level 1 Charger: Connects to the on-board charger and standard household outlet (120v) using a plug. Typically provides approximately 5 miles per hour charging. The slowest form of charging, this type of charger is ideal for those who travel infrequently and have a quick commute.
Charge Time Table
This Charge Time Table shows approximately how much electric range a typical EV can recover for charging stations with different capacities. Level 1 charging stations use 120 V, while Level 2 charging stations use 240 V. Charging capacity is rated in kilowatts (kW), while the vehicle's battery pack is rated in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
Level 1 EVSE
|Level 2 EVSE
40A/10kWJuiceBox Pro 40
|Charging Time||Miles per Charge|
If you have more than one EV, you can set up your two (or more) units to share one electrical circuit. Say, you have only 40A capacity in your panel but have two vehicles charging simultaneously. You can program your units to never exceed 40A combined draw. If only one car is charging, it gets the full 40A of current. When the second car shows up, the current gets shared 20A / 20A between the two. When one of the cars finishes charging, the remaining car ramps back to 40A.
Time-of-Use (TOU) Benefits
Many utilities have initiated time-of-use (TOU) pricing for business and residential customers. The idea is to charge higher rates for peak periods in order to encourage users to move high-demand power needs to off-peak hours. Smart charging goes one step further in that it allows for variable power use within peak and off-peak times. Some pilot programs have already begun with EV owners who want to charge their vehicles at the lowest possible price. Using such a program, a utility provider will slow charge when demand gets high, then return to regular charging when demand on the grid lightens.
Want your EV charger to get even smarter? Trim your utility bill by setting charging schedules so that your EV avoids consuming electricity at peak times. Or, check with your utility to see if they offer time of use (TOU) rate schedules to their customers who are EV drivers. You’ll be confident that your electric bills are correct as you track your energy usage daily and view your charging history. Or, don’t wait for your next energy bill to see the savings: view your cost savings per session right from the JuiceNet app.