· energy efficient rebates · 6 min read

EV Charger Shopping Guide

Our comprehensive guide helps you navigate the diverse options available, ensuring you make an informed decision that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Our comprehensive guide helps you navigate the diverse options available, ensuring you make an informed decision that suits your needs and lifestyle.

Investing in a Level 2 home charger is now more affordable, thanks to the Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Credit or 30C tax code. This federal incentive offers a tax credit of 30% of the installation cost, up to $1000. Additionally, many utility providers offer rebates ranging from $150-$750. For state-level incentives, check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

What’s a Level 2 Charger?

The government recommends Level 2 chargers for their efficiency and reduced charging times, making them a more sustainable option for daily use. They operate on a 240V circuit and offer a range of 6.2 to 19.2 kW, with most around 7.6 kW. This allows for charging times of around 3-8 hours, compared to 11-20 hours with Level 1 chargers.

Common Features in Comparison Tables

When shopping for an EV charger, you might come across various comparison articles or tables. Understanding the features listed can help you make an informed decision. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Max Power Output (Amps): The amp rating indicates the charger’s maximum current output. A higher amp rating will result in faster charging. For example, a charger with 20% more amps should provide approximately 20% faster charging time.

  • Installation: The most common plug types for home installations are NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50. The NEMA 6-50 is less common and is often used for commercial applications. Hardwiring is another option and is often chosen for its potential for better integration with renewable energy systems, such as solar panels.

  • Chord Management: Modern chargers offer various solutions for managing the charging cable. They can come with a wall mount, a separate holster, or a J-hook. Some even come with built-in chord management, providing a neat and organized charging environment.

  • Outdoor Rating: NEMA 3R is the base rating suitable for most outdoor installations. NEMA 4 offers enhanced protection, and NEMA 4X/IP66 offers the highest protection against elements like dust and water, making it ideal for outdoor installations.

Base Level 2 Charging Options

For those who prefer straightforward Level 2 charging options without the bells and whistles of smart features, brands like Lectron and Grizzlee offer reliable and cost-effective solutions.

Lectron: Lectron offers a range of EV chargers that are compatible with various electric vehicles. They provide a simple yet effective charging solution that is easy to install and use. Check out Lectron on Amazon.

Grizzlee: Grizzlee’s Level 2 EV charger is a heavy-duty and portable electric vehicle charging station suitable for normal and cold weather. It offers adjustable amperage and is compatible with all EVs and PHEVs sold in North America. Check out Grizzlee on Amazon.

Both Lectron and Grizzlee offer warranties and customer support, adding an extra layer of security to your purchase

What is a Smart EV Charger?

Smart EV chargers are not just about convenience; they’re about intelligent energy management. These chargers come with a host of features designed to make your EV charging experience both convenient and efficient.

Wi-Fi Connectivity: The cornerstone of any smart EV charger, Wi-Fi connectivity allows you to monitor and control your charging sessions directly from your smartphone.

Electricity Tracking: Keep tabs on your energy usage with real-time tracking. This feature is a boon for those who want to manage their energy consumption and costs effectively.

Time-of-Use (TOU) Rate Scheduling: Smart chargers enable you to schedule your charging sessions during off-peak hours when electricity is cheaper, thanks to TOU rate scheduling. This can lead to significant cost savings over time.

Solar Compatibility: If you have a solar panel system, some smart EV chargers can sync with it to only charge your EV when you’re producing excess solar energy. This ensures that you’re making the most out of your renewable energy source.

Solar + Storage: Take it a step further with a home battery system. Some smart EV chargers can integrate with your home battery system to create a comprehensive Smart Home Energy Management System. This system automates charging and storage, helping you navigate and manage demand charges, excess solar generation, and Time-of-Use pricing.

By offering these advanced features, smart EV chargers don’t just provide convenience; they offer a way to make your entire home more energy-efficient and eco-friendly.

Smart EV Charger Options

Emporia Vue Smart EV Charger

Emporia offers a smart charger that not only charges your EV but also provides real-time electricity usage data. Integrated into Emporia’s comprehensive smart energy platform, you can monitor your energy consumption, set charging schedules, and even integrate with solar power systems. Check out Emporia on Amazon

JuiceBox 48A Smart Charging Station

JuiceBox offers a feature-rich smart charging experience. With voice control via Amazon Echo, you can easily start or stop charging sessions without lifting a finger. The free JuiceNet app allows you to control and monitor your charging remotely, set reminders, and even get notified when your car is fully charged. Plus, you can participate in the Enel X JuicePoints program to earn cash rewards for smart charging in eligible areas. Check out Juicebpox 48A Juicebox on Amazon

ChargePoint Home Flex Electric Vehicle Charger

ChargePoint is a well-known name in the EV charging industry, and their Home Flex charger is no exception. It offers up to 50 amps of power and can be set to work with any home electrical supply. The ChargePoint app allows you to schedule charging during off-peak hours to save on electricity costs. Additionally, owning a ChargePoint home charger gives you access to their extensive public charging network. Check out ChargePoint on Amazon

These smart chargers are generally compatible with a wide range of electric vehicles, making them a versatile choice.

What is a Bi-directional EV Charger?

Bi-directional EV chargers, expected to become available in 2024, offer a range of capabilities. Not only can they charge your EV, but they can also send electricity back to the grid. Some models will even allow for direct DC-to-DC charging from your solar panels to your EV, eliminating the need for AC conversion. These chargers are set to bring a host of new functionalities to the realm of sustainable energy and EV technology.

Compatibility and Installation

Before making your purchase, it’s crucial to ensure that the EV charger you’re considering is compatible with your vehicle. Most chargers are universal, but it’s always a good idea to double-check. You can usually find this information in the product description or by contacting the manufacturer directly.

As for installation, you have a few options. Some chargers come with a plug-and-play feature, especially if you already have a dedicated 240V outlet. However, for a more permanent and potentially renewable energy-integrated setup, hardwiring might be the better option.

If you’re not comfortable with DIY installation or if your setup requires more advanced electrical work, professional installation is advisable. For trusted installation services, check out Qmerit, a reliable service provider in this field.


Choosing the right EV charger can be a complex task, but with the right information, you can make an informed decision. Whether you’re looking for a basic Level 2 charger or a feature-rich smart charger, this guide has covered the essential aspects to consider. Don’t forget to take advantage of federal and state-level incentives to make your purchase more affordable.

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