While public charging points for electric vehicles are becoming more common, a home electric vehicle (EV) charger will save a lot of hassle. Those capable of charging an EV at home have the utmost in convenience because the job can be done overnight or whenever the vehicle isn’t in use—no driving around, searching for a charging station, or waiting in long lines. What’s more, vehicle manufacturers warn that regularly using a public EV fast charger can actually shorten battery life.
There are plenty of home EV chargers on the market, but performance and features can vary considerably. So can the price. In this guide, we answer key questions and provide the information EV owners need to make a fully informed decision. We also have some excellent recommendations of what we believe to be the best home EV chargers currently available, offering solutions for every electric vehicle.
- BEST OVERALL: ChargePoint Home Flex Electric Vehicle Charger
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Megear Skysword II Level 1-2 EV Charger
- BEST SMART: JuiceBox 40 Smart Electric Vehicle Charging Station
- BEST WEATHERPROOF: Grizzl-E Level 2 EV Charger
- BEST MULTIUSE: Wallbox Pulsar Plus Level 2 EV Smart Charger
- BEST PORTABLE: Mustart Level 2 Portable EV Charger
How We Chose the Best Home EV Chargers
How drivers rely on their electric vehicles varies considerably, from occasional users to city commuters to those who travel across the country. In making our selections, we sought to ensure solutions for all users and all situations. As a result, we have both portable models and fixed installations.
We looked at a wide range of features and how these could benefit drivers in terms of shorter charging times and management strategies that might save money. Price being a key factor, we looked for chargers to suit all budgets and also consulted independent expert sources to check long-term reliability. Finally, curating owner feedback gave us valuable real-world information.
Our Top Picks
These are the home EV chargers that made our final cut. There should be something here that will appeal to most EV owners, from those interested in the latest technological advances to folks focused on value for money.
ChargePoint is one of the country’s most experienced manufacturers of electric vehicle chargers with over 100,000 public installations worldwide. The ChargePoint Home Flex Level 2 EV charger, the company’s consumer model, offers high performance and flexibility. Thanks to Wi-Fi and the included smartphone app, it can save you money by scheduling charging at off-peak times. It also provides detailed charging information and voice control via Alexa.
One key feature is flexible output, which delivers anywhere between 16 and 50 amps depending on the home supply. This gives potential for a class-leading speed of 37 miles per hour of charging. It comes fitted with a NEMA 6-50 or NEMA 14-50 plug or can be hardwired if preferred. A weatherproof NEMA case is recommended if installed outdoors, but it isn’t included. The cable length is 23 feet.
The ChargePoint Home Flex is one of the more expensive units, and many of its best features do depend on Wi-Fi. Although they have been reported, faults are rare.
- Input: 240 volts via NEMA 6-50 plug, NEMA 14-50 plug, or hardwired
- Output: 16 to 50 amps
- Cable: 23 feet with cable management
- Fast, flexible device rated for up to 37 miles per hour of charging
- Smartphone app provides money-saving charging options, detailed reporting, and integration with Alexa
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL) listed for electrical safety and Energy Star certified for efficiency
- One of the most expensive home EV chargers, plus a waterproof case is not included
Get the ChargePoint home EV charger at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Target.
EV owners looking for portability at a modest cost will want to check out the Megear Skysword II. It’s a Level 2 charger that weighs under 9 pounds and comes with its own carry case. While the supplied plug is a NEMA 14-50, it also comes with a 110-volt adapter so that in an emergency it can provide low-speed charging from any household socket.
As a Level 2 EV charger it delivers a fixed 16 amps, providing a charging rate of 11 to 15 miles per hour. A wide range of safety features is displayed via a straightforward LED array. The J1772 vehicle plug meets the IP65 standard for weather protection, so the unit can be used indoors or out.
The Megear Skysword II may not be the fastest charger, and there are a few concerns about long-term reliability, but the 2023 EV charger price is very competitive and represents good value for money.
- Input: 240 volts via NEMA 14-50 plug or 110-volt adapter
- Output: 16 amps
- Cable: 25 feet
- Budget-friendly portable EV charger works on all models, including Tesla
- Numerous safety features as well as straightforward LED array for status and fault alerts
- Includes an adapter for Level 1 use with standard 110-volt outlet
- 16-amp output typically provides a charging rate of only 11 to 15 miles per hour
Get the Megear home EV charger at Amazon.
First and foremost, the JuiceBox 40 is a fast home EV charger capable of delivering around 30 miles of travel per hour. It can be plugged in or hardwired and has a 25 foot cable. However, the key features of this model are the Wi-Fi connectivity, JuiceNet smartphone app, and the ability to integrate with Amazon Alexa or Google Home for voice control.
Schedules can be set to allow low-cost off-peak charging. The app can deliver reminders and advise when charging is complete. Settings can be controlled remotely, and a host of data is provided, including money-saving advice. An LED array on the control box itself also provides useful information while charging.
The charger can be installed indoors or out, and a lock prevents unauthorized use. The tough polycarbonate casing is described as weatherproof and dust-tight, though it is not Ingress Protection (IP) or National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) rated. For a full discussion of IP and NEMA, please see the section on Weather Protection below. While not the most expensive model, the JuiceBox 40 does have a premium price tag. Some buyers report struggling with Wi-Fi and app setup, but it’s impossible to know whether the fault is with the device or homeowner setups.
- Input: 240 volts via NEMA 14-50 plug or hardwired
- Output: 32 or 40 amps
- Cable: 25 feet with cable management
- Powerful WiFi-enabled charging station offers comprehensive control plus Alexa and Google Home integration
- Locking mount provides secure installation and prevents unauthorized use if fitted outdoors
- Has UL safety listing and complies with Energy Star certification for low power consumption
- Has a premium price tag, and some users struggle with the app/Wi-Fi connectivity
Get the JuiceBox home EV charger at Amazon or Best Buy.
The Grizzl-E is another rapid home EV charger that can be configured for 16, 24, 32 or 40 amps, depending on the circuit breaker available. At the highest rating, it will deliver up to 30 miles of charge per hour, which is very competitive. Yet the standout feature here is the protection offered by the NEMA 4 aluminum case.
Many EV chargers claim to be for indoor or outdoor use, but none are tougher than this. It meets the IP67 standard for dust and water protection, meaning it could actually withstand full immersion. It is also fire-resistant, meets the UL standard for safety, and will operate at temperatures as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit and as high as 122 degrees Fahrenheit.
Considering its performance, the Grizzl-E EV charger comes at a very reasonable price and is generally very reliable. However, the output of each unit is factory set; the company claims that this reduces installation costs. While that is often true, it does mean that it cannot be changed if the owner changes residence and the power supplied is different.
- Input: 240 volts via NEMA 6-50 plug or NEMA 14-50 plug
- Output: 16 to 40 amps
- Cable: 24 feet with cable management
- NEMA 4 aluminum casing is IP67 water-resistant; unit is also fire-resistant and UL safety listed
- Has a rapid charging rate of up to 30 miles per hour
- Easy-to-fit wall mount comes with anti-theft features
- Output is factory set and cannot be altered by the owner
Get the Grizzl-E home EV charger at Amazon.
The latest generation of electric vehicles uses a 48-amp supply for potential charging rates in excess of 35 miles per hour. The Wallbox Pulsar Plus is one of the few home EV chargers capable of meeting this level. It also comes with the ability to charge two vehicles at the same time using intelligent circuits that balance power so breakers won’t trip.
There are actually two versions of the Wallbox Pulsar Plus. The slightly less powerful 16-40 amp uses a 14-50 NEMA plug; the 16-48 amp must be hardwired. Both have Wi-Fi integration and use the included smartphone app for scheduling and monitoring. They are also compatible with voice control via Alexa or Google Home. Provision of Bluetooth means most smartphone features still work even when Wi-Fi is unavailable, though distance from the device is limited to about 30 feet.
The mount for the Wallbox Pulsar Plus is easy to fit and allows the unit to be unhooked and moved. However, the need to hardwire the 48-amp version makes this impractical with that model. A NEMA 4 watertight case allows for indoor or outdoor use.
- Input: 240 volts via NEMA 14-50 plug or hardwired
- Output: 16 to 40 amps, or 16 to 48 amps
- Cable: 25 feet with cable management
- Rapid charging for next-generation EVs or 2 vehicles at the same time
- WiFi-enabled with smartphone app allows remote access and control via Alexa or Google Home
- Bluetooth allows use of smart features if Wi-Fi is not available
- 48-amp model must be hardwired, requiring professional installation that may prove expensive
Get the Wallbox home EV charger at Amazon or Best Buy.
The Mustart home EV charger is unusual in that it provides the performance of a fixed unit in portable form. The 40-amp output can give a charging rate of up to 30 miles per hour, which is impressive for such a compact device. The price is competitive, too.
While it doesn’t have any smart features, the built-in LED gives plenty of information about charging status, duration, and electricity consumption. The control box meets the IP65 standard, and the EV connector is IP67, so it’s safe to use outside as well as indoors.
The Mustart EV charger weighs 13 pounds and comes with a carry bag, making it easy to take from place to place. However, there is no 110-volt option, so a NEMA 14-50 plug must be available in each location. A circuit fitted with a ground-fault circuit interrupter is recommended for safety.
- Input: 240 volts via NEMA 14-50 plug
- Output: 40 amps
- Cable: 25 feet
- No other portable EV charger we found can charge vehicles faster
- IP65 control box and IP67 EV connector make it safe for outdoor use
- LED lights and screen give comprehensive information and status alerts
- Portability relies on a NEMA 14-50 plug being available at each location
Get the Mustart home EV charger at Amazon.
What to Consider When Choosing a Home EV Charger
Every electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) comes with a Level 1 charger. These devices are safe but basic, and charging is slow. For those who want to upgrade, the following factors can be taken into account.
Input and Output Capability
The Level 1 chargers supplied with all EVs and PHEVs only require 110-volt input supply, so they can plug into any ordinary household socket. Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt supply to take advantage of the faster charging capability.
Output is usually rated in amps, though some also use kiloWatts (kW). Level 1 chargers output between 8 and 12 amps, which equates to a rate of 3 to 5 miles per hour of charging. For example, 12 hours of charging would only add 60 miles of range.
Level 2 chargers have variable output of anywhere from 16 to 50 amps depending on the breaker rating. At the upper end, that can result in a charging rate of 35 miles per hour or more. That’s seven times faster than the best from a Level 1 charger and explains why Level 2 EV chargers are now so popular.
There are a couple of points worth noting. Not all EVs can take advantage of the fastest charging rates. For example, some vehicles are restricted to 25 amps to protect the battery. It’s a figure worth checking before investing in one of the more expensive models. Also, a few Level 2 EV chargers will run off 110 volts if necessary. If a household socket is all that’s available, it will still work, but at the slower rate.
Plugs and Cable
There are usually two plugs on a home EV charger: one at the electricity supply end and one that connects to the vehicle. The exception is fixed chargers that are hardwired at the supply end.
Level 1 chargers use an ordinary 110-volt household socket, but Level 2 models use NEMA plugs. These are designed to carry higher amps and voltages, which in the case of home EV chargers, results in faster charging. A few Level 2 home EV chargers come with 110-volt adapters. This allows them to work as Level 1 chargers if no other power is available, though charge rates slow to the Level 1 equivalent.
At the other end of the cable, all American EVs use an SAE J1772 plug except Tesla. This means that anyone wanting a Tesla electric charger for home use either needs to buy Tesla’s own model (which can cost over $1,500 with installation) or use an adaptor. Tesla is aware of this, and all new models now have an adapter included. Other types of plugs are used in Europe and Asia but are not fitted to U.S. models.
Most home EV chargers have a cable length of between 20 and 25 feet. This is important because EV charging cable cannot be used with extension cords. Not only is it impractical because of the difference in plug and connector types, but it’s also unsafe because of the risk of fire. A standard 2-car garage is 20 feet deep and anywhere from 20 to 24 feet wide. Most cables will reach across that, but a few will not. A 3-car garage will take that width out to in excess of 30 feet. Clearly, the available cable length can have an impact on where buyers need the charger to be installed.
Level 1 EV chargers are usually portable because they are a basic plug-in device that can run from any household socket. Level 2 chargers can either be portable or fixed. DIY EV charger installation may be possible for those who have the necessary knowledge of household electrics, though most manufacturers recommend using a professional. In essence, a 240-volt circuit is required with a breaker of between 20 and 80 amps. The higher the amperage, the faster the charge rate available.
The cable length and any kind of cable management may impact on where a fixed charger is installed, though this aspect of the installation is relatively simple. Many can be fitted entirely outdoors, just like public EV chargers, though it’s important to check weatherproofing.
Most home EV chargers claim to be weatherproof, so they are safe for outdoor use. This may be useful if it’s difficult or inconvenient to get the vehicle into the garage for charging. While buyers frequently need to rely on the word of the manufacturer, there are two independent standards that can apply.
First is Ingress Protection, usually written as IP and two numbers. The first number represents dust protection, and the second is for water. Higher numbers are better. For example, IP65 devices are completely dust-tight and can withstand low-pressure water jets from any direction.
The other standard is the NEMA rating for enclosures/cases (which should not be confused with the ratings used to describe plugs). NEMA uses different “Types,” with NEMA Type 4 providing protection against “falling dirt, rain, sleet, snow, windblown dust, splashing water, and hose-directed water.”
Several home EV chargers now come with integrated Wi-Fi and smartphone apps that provide a range of advanced user-friendly features. It is possible to schedule charging to times when it’s most convenient or for off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper. Alerts can be set to remind owners to plug in.
Data is also available for things like charge time remaining, miles added, and the total electric car charging price. This allows accurate monitoring of travel costs and reporting for tax purposes if necessary. It is also possible to connect some EV chargers to smart-home systems like Alexa and Google Home, providing voice control. In a few cases, Bluetooth is also available. This allows smartphone apps to be used if Wi-Fi is unavailable for any reason, although range is only around 30 feet, so the EV charger and the phone need to be in close proximity.
The feature set of each smart-home EV charger varies, so those who are interested in advanced control will want to spend time investigating each one in detail.
Still have questions about which home EV charger might be right for you? Read below to check out some consumers’ most frequently asked questions and their answers.
Q. What’s the difference between Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 charging?
Level 1 is the slowest way to charge an EV using a device that plugs into a standard 110-volt household outlet. Although other EV chargers are faster, Level 1 will work with all current EVs and PHEVs, and keeping a device in your vehicle means it can be charged virtually anywhere in an emergency.
Level 2 EV chargers are now the most popular option for home installation and can charge a vehicle much faster than Level 1. The same technology is found in some public EV chargers. However, a separate 240-volt supply line is usually required for installation, often with an uprated breaker.
Level 3 chargers, also called Fast Chargers or Superchargers, use DC current for very rapid charging: 10 to 15 times faster than Level 2. However, they require very high voltage and so are usually only found in public electric vehicle charging stations.
Q. Should I use the charger that came with my car?
The charger that comes with your electric vehicle is a Level 1 charger. It is perfectly safe, portable, and convenient in that it can use any household socket. They are adequate for PHEVs, which have relatively small batteries. However they are slow and may not completely charge a fully electric vehicle even if left running all night. Given the affordability of many Level 2 chargers, an upgrade is often a good idea.
Q. What is the fastest Level 2 charger for home?
It’s a difficult question to answer. Several manufacturers claim that their home EV charger is fastest, and constant development means that the model that’s fastest today may not be next week. High amperage or kiloWatts are often suggested as a guide, but some EV batteries restrict charging power, so this isn’t always true.
The ChargePoint home EV charger that we chose as Best Overall is certainly one of the fastest, and the JuiceBox home EV charger is competitive. However, in order to get the best home EV charger for your needs, the other features offered should also play a part in your decision.
Q. Is it OK to charge an EV every day?
Charging an EV every day is not recommended unless the battery is sufficiently drained. It is not a good idea to “top up” overnight if the battery still has a charge level of 20 percent or more (as long as the remainder meets intended mileage). Manufacturers also recommend not charging above 80 percent in normal usage. Some smart-home EV chargers can be set with maximums less than 100 percent, and this helps extend the life of the vehicle battery.
Q. Are all home EV chargers the same?
No, they are not. While all home EV chargers are either Level 1 or Level 2, performance varies considerably as does the variety of features offered, and of course the price. The article above discusses these differences in depth and is an essential guide to choosing the best home EV charger for your vehicle and the way you use it.
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