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How to Pick a Level 2 Charger (@Tech)

At Tech recently produced a video about whether or not you need a Level 2 charging station and what to consider if you do.

How to Pick a Level 2 Charger (@Tech)

You got an EV and now it’s time to charge the car. If you’re having issues getting a full charge overnight with a basic outlet it’s time for a Level 2 charger. If you’ve done some research you know how confusing some of the options are. What speed do you need? Do you need a charger or just an outlet? What connector is right? In this video we are going to answer all of those questions.

The first thing we need to consider when getting a charger installed is the current needed. While it’s true that the higher the Amps in our outlet the faster you’ll charge, that only works to a certain amount. For example, a 40 Amp outlet can output at 9.6 kilowatts but a 2017 Nissan LEAF can only accept at 6.6 kilowatts due to the limitations of its onboard charger.

In that case you’re spending extra money on a faster outlet for no real benefit. But if you have something like a Tesla which can charge at 11.5 kilowatts you’re going to be using all the possible power.

If you’re not sure what speed your car is capable of, ClipperCreek has a great document that shows the capabilities of each EVs onboard charger. I’ll be sure to drop a link to that in the description along with a handy calculator that will tell you your charge power as a result of your outlet’s current.

Now that we know what speed our car can charge at we’ll need to pick between our plug options. If you’re going to need 40 Amps or less then you can get an outlet installed for your charger. However due to the limitations of the NEMA 14-50 standard we can’t have current greater than 40 Amps. If you’re going to max out your Tesla you’re going to need a 48 Amp charger which needs to be hardwired. Any charger capable of a current over 40 Amps will need to be hardwired. Kind of unfortunate but that’s just the way it is.

But what if you don’t need more than 40 Amps? Well we get a couple of options on whether we want to get a hardwired or outlet based charger. There’s really no difference between hardwired out outlet based, because of that I’d always go for the outlet model if available since you can take it with you if you need and you can always get a better model later on if you need a faster charge.

This also raises the question, do I need a charger in the first place? Teslas are a great example of why you might not need a charger. Their mobile connector comes with a modular plug allowing you to swap out the traditional outlet connector for a NEMA 14-50 plug. This means that all you need to do is get a NEMA 14-50 outlet installed and you’re good to go.

You can also do something similar for other EVs as well. One important thing to note however is that the Tesla mobile connector is only capable of 32 Amps where the ClipperCreek charger right here does 40 Amps so in this case there is a benefit of using a dedicated charger because you’re going to achieve higher speeds.

Here’s where you might not want to do that though. Unless you’re certain you won’t be needing your mobile connector with you, need to bring it with you every time you leave. It’s a hassle to deal with the long cable and takes up much more time every time you unplug. If you keep your charger at home all of the time you’ll be out of luck if you need it and won’t have it with you.

That decision is up to you but I would really prefer to have a dedicated charger for home use that I can just unplug and not have to worry about having to do anything more than hanging it back up.

So now we must answer the question, it it worth getting a Level 2 charger? Absolutely! There is no question that a Level 2 charger is worth it in every way. Whether or not you want to get a dedicated charger for this purpose is more up to you, I think it’s definitely worth it and if you want to learn more about the ClipperCreek HCS-50P which you’ve seen in this video, be sure to check out our review which we’ve linked in the description below.

Other than that, that’s all you really need to know when picking out a Level 2 charger. Just determine what speed you car is capable of and whether or not you need a dedicated charger. Besides that it’s pretty simple and easy. To see all the options for yourself go to ClipperCreek’s website and take the quiz to find out which charger fits your EV’s specific needs.

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