Updated: October 14, 2016
EV Charging Station Reviews:Electric vehicles are becoming increasingly popular in states like California, Oregon, and Washington. The West Coast has both technology and environmentalist that push for 'greener' cars on the road and consumers have obliged by purchasing Chevy Volts, Nissan Leafs, and the now famous Tesla S (Model X is coming in 2016). The issue that arises for consumers after buying an electric car is where are they going to charge it. Many have charging stations at work they can use, but what about when the car is parked in your garage or driveway at night. Owning a home EV charging station is really what these car owners need. A simple, yet cost effective way to charge their cars batteries overnight so it's ready to hit the road in the morning. So, the big question is - How much does an EV charging station cost? Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) is what you need to buy in order to recharge your electric vehicle. Residential charging stations for your vehicle will cost anywhere $500 to $900. There are quite a few manufacturers to choose from including Bosch, ChargePoint, AeroVironment, Siemens, Clipper Creek, JuiceBox, GE, Leviton, and EVoCharge. Just what should you look for? We have included a buying guide down below with our top picks based on research, usage, price, reliability, and convenience.
Choosing a Home EV Charging Station - There are several factors you'll want to consider when choosing your EVSE. More power is typically better as even the lowest priced 240-volt EVSEs will operate at 15 amps. With an overnight charge you are looking at 70 miles worth of a charge. If you go with an EVSE that charges at 30 amps, the ability to full charge a Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, or similar electric vehicle takes less than 4 hours (sometimes even faster). Some of the 40 amp connectors (Leviton has one) are good for the Tesla with a dedicated Tesla High Power Wall Connector. Unfortunately those units will cost you upwards of $1100. Look for charging stations with longer cords. Most cords range from 15 to 25 feet. Depending on where you setup the station and where your car gets parked, 15 feet goes quickly. The cord itself should be a reel-up cord system. One that can be stored away when not in use and easily pulled out when you need it. A few models of charging stations have the curly cords - good but not great. Portability is one term we read a lot about with charging stations. Essentially your EVSE can be mounted to the wall in your garage once you have a 240 volt outlet installed. Otherwise you may have to get an electrician to hard wire it in. Once the outlet is installed, you can hang the EVSE and plug it in no problem. If you were to ever move, the charging station can come with you simply because it's not hard-wired in. Most units will have displays on them to let you know when the car is charging and when it has been completed. We looked up our friends at Consumer Reports to see if they had done a head to head comparison of the latest EVSEs but they only gloss over their capability and don't offer a direct comparison at this point. We choose to go to websites like Plugincars.com and Amazon to see what actual owners are saying about the charging stations. Resoundingly, a few units took center stage with their price and results. Browse the best sellling electric vehicle charging stations here. As electric vehicles evolve and more models get designed, we feel like the price and variety of charging stations will give consumers way more options. Typically the early adopters to any technology pay a premium for it, but as more of the masses adopt electric vehicles, the cost of charging stations will come down in price dramatically. Also, the ability to drive further distances on shorter charges should also increase. You may even find some homes being built the appropriate amp outlets just for EVs.