Tesla
Oct 21, 2021

Building an at-home charging station

We took a look at some of the key features of the top charging stations on the market to help consumers find the right fit for their home.

Building an at-home charging station

There are many features to consider when researching at-home charging stations. As expected, many consumers look first at the power (kW) of different charging stations to determine which one will provide range the fastest. However, power isn’t the only key feature that makes a great at-home charging station. There are many other considerations to take into account when making your purchase. Do you have a spare slot in your fuse box? What kind of plug is available for your charger? How much do you want to spend on installation? Are you looking for an actual station or just a floor charger? We took a look at some of the key features of the top charging stations on the market to help consumers find the right fit for their home.

First, let’s talk about different plugs and how they will affect your charging rate. Almost every home has 120V plugs available, which allows you to install a Level 1 charger. Therefore, the cheapest route is to create a small charging station out of a standard plug with a 5-15 NEMA adapter, and simply plug the charger into the outlet. However, if you need to wire a new outlet or are looking for a faster charge, we recommend installing a 240V plug so you can utilize a Level 2 charger and charge your Tesla at a faster rate. Level 2 chargers power up your car at 4-10 times the rate of Level 1 chargers. Using a Level 2 charger also comes with a nice tax break. Currently, federal tax incentives cover thirty percent1 of the cost of the charger, up to $1000, for residential charge stations. Many states may offer additional tax breaks that can pump this number even higher.1

If you want a direct connection from your charger to your car, only Tesla offers the ability to charge without an adapter. You will need to buy an adapter for all other chargers listed in this article, but don't fret, as both Tesla and EcoKruz offer adapters for only $94.


Let's take a look at some of the different Level 2 charging stations on the market.


Tesla

We all know about the Tesla charger. The Gen 3 wall connector has a range of 2.8kW to 11.6kW and a cable length of 18ft. The Gen 3 can also be wired directly into a 240V single-phase electrical line, and the body of the charger has been slimmed down, so it isn’t as bulky as the previous generation2. Another exciting feature is the added 2.4GHz WiFi, which allows you to select the preferred current upon setup and monitor firmware updates in the Tesla app. Unfortunately, Tesla hasn't given us the the option to set our charge times with the Gen 3 connector, but we can always use an app to do the job. For example, Optiwatt offers a free interface to schedule your Tesla's charges and ensure you charge outside peak times to minimize the cost of every charge.

The Gen 3 does have a few downgrades compared to the Gen 2 wall connector, in regards to power (kW) and cable size. The Gen 2 comes in at a longer 24ft with a power range up to 19.6kW.  Tesla states that they get the same charge mileage at 11.6kW over 19.6kW, and no longer needed the higher maximum power in the new generation. The Gen 3 charger also uses a 2.4GHz signal, which has required some people to move their WiFi routers to a better position in order for the signal to reach the charger. Lastly, owners have occasionally complained that the wall connector overheats, reducing the charge rate of their vehicle. If you do have this station installed, inform your electrician about this possible issue so they may install a thicker wire gauge to help relieve the problem.

Cost: $500 to purchase from Tesla. However, as of this article, it is only available through third party sites at a slight mark up3.

ClipperCreek

ClipperCreek boasts 61 types of Level 2 chargers for a variety of different electric vehicle manufacturers. ClipperCreek lists two Level 2 charge stations that are suggested for Tesla drivers; the HSC-80 for higher mileage drivers and the HSC-60 for lower mileage drivers. The HSC-80 charger is rated for 64A and a maximum power of 15.4kW, while the HSC-60 is rated for 48A and 11.5kW of power, for those that don't drive as often. Keep in mind that ClipperCreek chargers are straight-forward chargers with no extra apps or interfaces provided, meaning most of the products only display charging lights when running. If you purchase a ClipperCreek from JuiceBox, in-app charging rates with a timer can be purchased for an extra $19 per month.4

ClipperCreek charging stations are easy to install and have quality housings. However, some owners have reported that the locking clip for the charger head is prone to breaking. ClipperCreek’s customer service is on top of this defect, and will replace the charger if this occurs. They will also replace most of their charger models if they break within six months, minus the cost of installation.

Cost: HSC-80 $969; HSC-60 $899.

JuiceBox

JuiceBox sells around five different styles of Level 2 chargers, but they suggest the JuiceBox 48 for Tesla drivers. At 48A, it only puts out about 11.5kW of power at its peak. However, despite lacking in output power, they make up for it in design of the charger and the app interface. The JuiceBox 48 design is very sleek, holding a front-facing charger and a cord holder for a 25ft cord. With an electrician’s assistance, you can directly wire it into your 240V electrical line or simply plug it into any available 240V plug.

The JuiceBox 48 also comes with several auxiliary features, including a security lock for outdoor or public access charging, Alexa and Google Home verbal commands once connected to WiFi, and a 3-year warranty.5 Users have reported solid charge rates that get the car ready within the charger's estimated time. As a possible downside, there have been some reports that the WiFi module experiences connection issues, and JuiceBox customer service lines can take some time to contact you back. Customers recently have been asking for an updated, more user-friendly app, so perhaps we will see a software update in the coming months.

Cost: $639


Bosch

Bosch offers six different charging station options for Tesla owners. The chargers range from 3.3kW to 25kW and have two options for installation: a 240V plug or directly wiring into a 240V line. The EV200, EV400, and EV600 cables range from 12ft to 25ft in length, have a maximum power between 3.3kW and 9.6kW, and increase in price as cable length and power go up.6 The EV800 is available for purchase on their website as well, but is aimed toward apartment complexes or other large commercial garages. The one station that piques the most interest is the EV2000, with a 25kW maximum power after wiring directly into a 240V single-phase line. This powerful offering claims that it doubles the speed of most other Level 2 home charging stations, but is the most expensive charging station we evaluated at $11,348.7

There are not many customer reviews on Bosch's EV2000, but the other models have a few notable customer concerns. Reviews recommend that every Bosch station be installed with 10A more current capacity than its rating would suggest, and that the EV200 and EV400 may break after extended use. As with any charging station, make sure you check out the product ratings and reviews prior to investing in any sizeable purchase.

Cost:  EV200 $475; EV400 $599; EV600 $695-$895; EV800 $1,697 - $2,885; EV2000 $11,348.


ChargePoint

The Home Flex product by ChargePoint brings several desired features to market with their at-home charging station. They offer a current selection switch that allows you to select which output you prefer, similar to Tesla wall connectors. The selection ranges from 16A to 50A, which should give you a power range of 3.84kW to 12kW, and comes with a 25ft cable. The Home Flex also features WiFi capabilities for an additional fee.

ChargePoint's companion app allows you to find available charging stations in your area if you aren’t charging at home. The app notifies you when your vehicle is fully charged, highlights when stations become available, indicates whether the station is free or paid, and allows you to pay through the app. However, ChargePoint does require a $25 initial deposit when you first decide to use this feature.

All in all, the ChargePoint offering is a well-rounded charger that allows you to use a network of charging stations with a ChargePoint account. Customers love the charger's power and speed, as well as Home Flex's easy installation.

Cost: $699, with choice of plug for 6-50 or 14-50 upon purchase.8


EcoKruz

The Bolt EV charger offers a nice 13 to 32A current range for 3.2kW to 22kW in output power. Other valuable features include a small screen on the box showing real-time power and current, a timer illustrating length of charge, and a temperature gauge for the entire system. It also comes with a 5ft mounting post if you do not wish to mount your charger on the wall. EcoKruz does not offer any online manuals or product breakdowns, but customer service will respond to any questions within a day via their text messaging answer service.9

Customers love the screen interface, and that there's no need for WiFi connection. There are some complaints that the cable isn’t as flexible as other chargers, and people have mentioned the screen can occasionally fail. However, customers have reported good response time from customer service for any concerns.

Cost: $999

Picking the right charger

Do you need a longer cord?

ClipperCreek, JuiceBox, Chargepoint and Bosch all offer longer cord options.

Are you looking for WiFi control from your phone?

Tesla only offers firmware updates via WiFi for your car, but if you would like to control your charge over the internet, ChargePoint offers this capability.

Do you want a direct connection to your Tesla, without an adapter?

Only Tesla chargers use their proprietary connector without an adapter. If interested, you can still buy their Gen 2 wall connector from third-party sellers. Once Tesla resolves some overheating issues, Gen 3 wall connectors will be back in stock as well.

Do you want an enclosed system wired directly into your wall?

Most of the models we talked about have that option, and even if they have a plug, you can always ask an electrician to see if it can be altered.

Do you want the fastest possible charge?

Go with Bosch, because they offer a 25kW charger which is one of the fastest on the market today. EcoKurz also claim they can perform similarly to Bosch with a 22kW charger.

Are you looking for a cost-effective charger?

Go with Tesla, JuiceBox, or ChargePoint due to their lower prices and consistent product quality.

Do you want to automatically charge your car during the cheapest rates?

ChargePoint's app offers this functionality, but there is a subscription fee and requirement to purchase a ChargePoint charger.

Alternatively, Optiwatt is a 100% free app that will automatically schedule your Tesla to charge during your cheapest electricity rates. You can use it to track your exact electricity costs, see how much you save on gasoline, and visualize your electric vehicle's benefit to the environment. Check it out!

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