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I learned a lot about the different EV chargers that are available from this article. There's also a checklist of what to look for when selecting a home charger.


How to Choose the Right Charger
When shopping for an EVSE, consider the following:
  • Cable length: The length of the charge cable has an impact on where you can mount the EVSE and how easy it is to reach the charge port on the car. Remember that your next EV may have a charging port on a different location on the car, and you’ll want to be able to reach it.
  • Cable management: It’s handy to have a hook to wrap the unused portion of the cable around. Otherwise, if the cable is scattered, it adds clutter in the garage, collects dust, and might cause someone to trip over it. The ability to place the holster for the connector away from the unit might add flexibility in a tight single-car garage.
  • Size: A wide wall charger or a thick one that sticks out far from the wall may encroach on space or your flexibility in placing it in the garage. For instance, a narrow unit might fit between two garage doors and pose a minimum space intrusion.
  • Ease of plugging/unplugging: We like to see a high quality, substantial coupler that lets you smoothly and effortlessly plug and unplug in and out of the car’s port. A solid and secure holster is an advantage, and it gives you confidence that the coupler will stay secure.
  • Smart or dumb charging: Some EVSEs have a smartphone app that communicates with the unit over WiFi or through Bluetooth. With an app, you can monitor the charging and view various stats. This sounds like a nice feature to have, but it isn’t essential because most EVs have their own app that communicates with the car.
  • Ability to delay charging: You may benefit from cheaper off-peak electricity costs, depending on your utility company. In such cases, being able to easily delay charging can save real money. Some cars, like those from Tesla, allow you to control the charging time from within the car or via an app.
  • Resuming charging automatically after a power outage: If you live in an area that has frequent power outages, it’s nice to know that charging will resume once the power is back on. That's better than being surprised when your EV isn't sufficiently charged when you’re ready to drive.
  • Weatherproof: For those without a garage, look for an EVSE that can stand up to inclement weather. (Manufacturers of most of EVSEs claim that they're weatherproof.)
  • UL Listed: It’s wise to pick an EVSE that’s Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or ETL (Edison Testing Laboratories) listed, which indicates it complies with safety standards established by nationally recognized testing labs. Every charger featured here has such a safety rating, indicated with a seal.
  • Hardwired or a plug-in type: The early EVSEs were mostly hardwired, meaning they were permanently installed. Current offerings are mostly plug-in units. We prefer those because of their portability and easier installation. You may still need to have a professional electrician run a 240-volt line and install an appropriate outlet in your garage or outdoor location.
 
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