The best EV charging stations for 2020

When you brought home your shiny new electric vehicle or hybrid electric vehicle, it came with a home charging cord. But that charger was likely a Level 1, and there are now Level 2 home charging stations that provide you with a multitude of options to help lower your electricity bill, extend your car battery life, and deliver power faster. Some are even programmable. 

From the five best electric vehicle charging manufacturers come our top 10 charging stations. Brands like Enel X provide Wi-Fi enabled stations to help you keep tabs on your car, but Clipper Creek delivers rugged, outdoor options for charging just about anywhere. All are Level 2 chargers and have the universal SAE J1772 connector that works with any EV charging port (Teslas need an adapter). Tesla owners should purchase the Tesla charging station from the company, but these stations will also work with an adapter you purchase from Tesla. Before you buy a charging station, keep in mind that Level 2 chargers cannot be plugged into a standard 120-volt outlet, so a larger 240-volt outlet is required. You also have to make sure your home’s electrical system can handle the charging station. Manufacturers should provide instructions on how to determine that. Now it’s time to see what the best EV charging station is for you.

Enel X JuiceBox 32 and JuiceBox 40

The Enel JuiceBox comes in 32 ampere or 40 amp models and is Wi-Fi-enabled, allowing you to monitor and schedule charging with the JuiceNet mobile app or web portal. The charging station features a built-in cable rack and security lock. You can choose to buy the model that hardwires into your house or the plug-in model that comes with a NEMA 14-50 plug or the optional NEMA 14-30 or 10-30 plugs. 

The charging station can be controlled and monitored with Amazon Alexa or Google Home, and it’s the only one on the list that can. Indoor or outdoor use is possible because the unit is weatherproof, dust-tight, and made of polycarbonate. Also, you are able to connect two or more JuiceBox charging stations to the same circuit, in case you have multiple EVs. The JuiceBox’s Energy Star certification is currently pending. 

Price: $599.00 and $609.00

Hardwired or plug: Both

Amp rating: 32 and 40

Wi-Fi capability: Yes

Cord length: 25 feet

Indoor/outdoor: Both

Warranty: 3 years

Siemens VersiCharge and VersiCharge Smart-Grid

Siemens VersiCharge stations are rated at 30 amps. They aren’t as powerful as the above JuiceBox, but the model without Wi-Fi is the second most affordable on the list. Until recently, you couldn’t get a VersiCharge with Wi-Fi, but you can now with their latest Smart-Grid model. However, it’s one of the most expensive on the list. Like with most Wi-Fi-enabled charging stations, you can use a smartphone app to monitor, adjust, schedule, and stay up to date on your EV charging.  

With the non-Wi-Fi model, you can program it to start charging as soon as you plug in, or set a delay of two, four, six, or eight hours to avoid pricey peak hours. It can be used outdoors, thanks to its NEMA 4 enclosure. The unit also has a 20-foot cord and comes with a NEMA 6-50 plug (like the Wi-Fi model). However, the hardwire unit only has a 14-foot cord and should be used indoors. 

Price: $437.88 (hardwired), $459.99 (plug), and $755.78 (Smart-Grid)

Hardwired or plug: Both

Amp rating: 30 amps

Wi-Fi capability: VersiCharge does not, Smart-Grid does 

Cord length: 14 feet for the hardwired model and 20 feet for the plug-in and Smart-Grid

Indoor/outdoor: Both

Warranty: 3 years 

ClipperCreek HCS-40 and HCS-50

ClipperCreek is one of the original EV charging station companies and still sells some of the most durable and powerful units on the market. The 40 model is rated at 32 amps and the 50 model at 40 amps, but there is also a 24 amp model that is slightly cheaper. With its NEMA 4 enclosure, the unit can be used outdoors, and there is also a “ruggedized” model for more money that’s designed for extreme weather conditions. For about double the cost, you can get a dual charging station that includes two connectors, but only for the 32 amp model. You also have the option of connecting two units to the same circuit.

ClipperCreek stations can be hardwired or plugged in with either NEMA 14-50 or 6-50 plugs. There is a drawback if you want to remotely control your charging, though — Wi-Fi is not offered on any model. Also, you can’t set a charging delay to avoid peak hours; charging starts as soon as you plug it in. For additional money, you can also opt for the more powerful 48 and 64 amp models. 

Price: $565.00 and $635.00

Hardwired or plug: Both

Amp rating: 32 and 40 amp

Wi-Fi capability: No

Cord length: 25 feet

Indoor/outdoor: Both

Warranty: 3 years

ChargePoint Home 32A and Home Flex

ChargePoint, also known for its network of public charging stations, offers two models for home charging. The base model is rated at 32 amps, is Wi-Fi enabled, and works with Nest and Amazon Alexa. The ChargePoint app used to control and monitor charging can also be used to locate and pay for public charging stations. The plug-in model is only for indoor use and uses a NEMA 6-50 plug. However, the hardwired model can be used outdoors. 

The company’s latest model, Home Flex, offers adjustable amperage up to 50 amps so owners can match their electrical panel’s or car’s capacity. The plug-in model can be used outdoors (unlike the Home 32A) and comes with a NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 5-50 plug. Home Flex can also be used with the ChargePoint app, Nest, and Amazon Alexa. Both models are Energy Star certified, making them the only ones on this list. Interestingly, the older Home 32A plug-in model is currently more expensive than the newer and more powerful Home Flex model. 

Price: $559.27 (32 hardwired), $776.00 (32 plug), and $699.00 (Flex plug or hardwired)

Hardwired or plug: Both

Amp rating: 32 amps, and adjustable up to 50 amps with the Home Flex

Wi-Fi capability: Yes

Cord length: 18 or 25 feet with Home 32A, and 23 feet with Home Flex

Indoor/outdoor: Yes

Warranty: 3 years 

Zencar 16A and 32A

Zencar charging stations are by far the most affordable on the list, and they are still good products. The Zencar units also differ from the rest because they’re only available as plug-ins, can only be used indoors, and come with the shortest warranty of one year. Also, neither model is Wi-Fi enabled. The 16A is the least powerful on the list with a 16 amp rating, and the 32A is rated at 32 amps — currently the company’s most powerful. The 16A can be optioned with a wide assortment of plugs, so if you have an old or rare outlet, this might be the charger for you. The newer 32A model has fewer plug options, but a NEMA 14-50 plug is one of them. Also, the amperage can be adjusted on the 32A model.  

Price: $199.99 (16A) and $349.99 (32A)

Hardwired or plug: Plug

Amp rating: 16 amps and 32 amps

Wi-Fi capability: No

Cord length: 25 feet

Indoor/outdoor: Indoor

Warranty: 1 year

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