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Which Level 2 charger do you have, are you happy, and why?

3654 Views 45 Replies 23 Participants Last post by  Docrwm
I've posted several times about how happy I am with Level 2 charging at home because of the convenience and my local rate of 1 cent per kWh. I've seen several threads about Level 2 charging but they're either about a specific charger or about Level 2 charging generally, but none about which chargers people are using, whether they are happy with the unit they have, and why. For my purposes Level 2 charging is absolutely brilliant. Plug in overnight with a timer set, charge from 11:05p - 6:55a during the week and 24hrs over the weekend, and wake up to plenty of range. Having to use DC Fast chargers recently during work my wife had done to the house that blocked off the Level 2 charger just reinforced for me the ease of use and low cost of having that charger on the wall in the garage.

I watched a ton of YouTube videos about charging when I was considering an EV. I found a guy in NJ that seems to take the whole process the most seriously, and Level 2 in particular. His channel is called State of Charge - I also watched a ton of videos about installing chargers. After all that research I concluded that I wanted to have a local electrician do the installation because I wanted my charger on a 60amp dedicated circuit. I have 150amps coming into the main breaker and had enough capacity to handle it. I know our I-Paces charge at 7.68 which is 32amps on a 240 volt circuit but I wanted to future proof the charging station as I am not the only driver in the house. I also came to the conclusion that I wanted a smart charger with a good app. Since I was going to place it inside the water intrusion rating (IP67 or IP 68) was less of a concern. What is a concern is UL listing. I found it odd that not all chargers are UL listed given the amount of power they deliver - mostly overnight. Finally, I wanted it hardwired in place as the addition of a plug seems to only add a very small bit of versatility (we're not moving any time soon) and adds another potential failure point.

After reviewing all the sources and coming up with my wish list I reviewed a ton of products and found that our friends in the UK have a lot of choices that are smarter and more flexible that are not available in the US. However, ultimately the ChargePoint Home Flex rose to the top of my list. It met all my criteria. Then I went in search of getting one below MSRP. The $749 price put it near the top of the list from a cost standpoint. I was fortunate enough to have had a conversation with a Georgia Power executive a year or so ago and recalled that they said GA Power has a deep commitment to supporting EVs. So, I went to their website to see if they had a program (got money back on my old refrigerator when we replaced it with an energy-star model) and they did. Georgia Power will give you $250 back on a level 2 charger if you are a residential customer - better yet they have 6 models that you can buy directly from them and get the $250 taken off the top. No one else I could find was discounting the Home Flex. So, I got it shipped to me for $499 plus tax. Sweet.

Installation was a bit of a hassle as I wanted to put the unit between the two garage doors in the dead space between the rails. I came to that conclusion when I watched several videos of people putting theirs on one side of the garage and then having to go through gymnastics to get the cable across to the other side, not be able to charge cars in the driveway, etc. My Ipace isn't going to have a cable dragged across its paint!

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Between the doors, with a 23 ft cable, means that I can charge either side of the garage and both the parking places in front of the garage doors from the single unit. It added around $500 in conduit and labor to the cost of the job but I thought it would pay off in the long run - it already has several times as my wife had the delivery people put all the flooring on my side of the garage for storage for a week or so and I was able to charge easily in either outside parking place.

So, how has the Home Flex been for the past 5 months? In one word: Outstanding. I did have to put a repeater in for WiFi coverage but I had planned to do that for the IPace itself so that updates of the software would be smoother. The unit has performed flawlessly. I get 7.68kWh delivered overnight from the unit with a very flat charging curve. Initialization and programming were easy. The app works like a champ and the data management is excellent. The LED (Green in the photos) is also a huge plus IMHO - its easily visible across the garage unlike some other units and its brightness is adjustable in the app too. Oh, and the attachment point for the J1772 connector is also brilliant. It swings up when empty to make locking the unit in place when done easy but it then swivels down with the weight of the plug and cable to make it more out of the way. I'm still fiddling with the cable management but overall - love it.

So, what was your process, which one did you choose, and are you happy with it?
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Great write up thanks. I am generally a very tech oriented/savvy guy but or L2 chargers I tend to go the other way. The most trouble I have had has been with "smart" feature laden chargers. I find that I have no need for the information and control (I can usually do almost everything with the car settings) so I tend to go with the dumbest chargers (like mustart mentioned above) myself. Never have had any issues with those cheap/dumb ones, yet all the "smart" ones (including the ridiculously priced Porsche branded smart Taycan one) are the ones that crash, need to be power cycled, etc etc.

So unless you must have the smarts I would go with a non connected, no smarts, just give me the juice one. I use ones that go up to 9 KW (mainly because I don't want to hard wire them). No issues and not a single failure so far (I own something like 4 of the dumb ones).
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