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Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Sun Aug 02, 2020 6:32 am

I've had my 2017 i3 for about a month now, and I love it, but would also love to charge more quickly at home. My husband tried to find ratings and reviews of home chargers (mainly to check the quality on used ones that we've found for sale), but without much luck. Do any of you have suggestions, or your own review of used Level 2 home chargers to get or avoid?

Thanks in advance.

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Re: Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Sun Aug 02, 2020 12:22 pm

I understand your conundrum because I was in the same boat 5 months ago. There are so many choices. Think about what you need first. Do you want it hardwired or transportable? There are many options available. Do your research, ask around, make sure you have it correctly installed (electrically).

I installed a 16 amp charger from Primecom.tech that had a 35 ' chord with an optional 120 volt add on plug so I can travel with it. Nice setup and it was UL and CSA approved. I like the small LCD screen that gives me lots of information such as the total KWh accumulated charge. I would gone for the 32 amp charger but thought the 16 amp would be easier for the long term life of the i3's battery. It takes about 6 hrs to charge and I am OK with that.

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Re: Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Sun Aug 02, 2020 1:04 pm

I have a Clipper Creek device that has been serving me well for over 5-years now. Basically, they are pretty simple devices. The actual battery charging is done and controlled in the car, so the EVSE is basically a smart power cord. A good portion of the cost is in the cable and plug. A bit more if you want a plug-in device, rather than hardwiring it. Some are rated for use mounted outside in the rain, some are not. Clipper Creek has been making these for a very long time in the USA, so that was one reason why I chose it.

Some EVSE plug-in versions are 120/240 compatible, and that can give you some more flexibility if you wish to take it with you.

You can spend more if you want something other than simple status lamps, like built-in timers, Wi-Fi control, power meters, etc. THey're not necessary, but may be useful to you.

The i3 does allow you to set up a low-cost time window, but it sometimes has issues.

When charging, even with a time window, if the batteries' charge is low when you plug in, it may still start outside of that window and bring them up to a safer level, then wait. Plus, if there's not enough time within the window to fully charge the vehicle, it may start outside of it. So, overriding that with a timer in the EVSE may not be as safe for the vehicle long-term, but may be more convenient.

I do not know if this is still an issue, but some EVSE devices, if there was a power hiccup, would not restart charging unless the plug was removed, then replaced in the vehicle. I would hope that glitch was fixed in those that had it. That problem did exist near the beginning on some EVSE devices.
Jim DeBruycker
2011 535i x-drive GT, 2014 i3 BEV
Soon (hopefully!) A 2021 X5 45e will replace the above

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Re: Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:21 am

No real 'review' sites (and many review sites for products are pretty useless, as they collect money from the vendors for putting products in their 'best of' review lists, so tend to give good reviews no matter what).

Decide if you just want a more inexpensive 'dumb' level 2 home charger, or one you can control via an app. Then look at just UL certified ones. That will eliminate a lot of the Chinese junk. UL certification will make it US manufactured, or at least US designed, and manufactured to US specification, and passed testing and inspection by the Underwriters Laboratory. I'm a little leary of the cheaper all-in-the-cord portable chargers - have heard of too many of them burning out after a year or so, including name brands like Clipper Creek - had a CC that got so hot it melted the plug on the charger (new dedicated circuit and new receptacle). Clipper Creek replaced it immediately with a new one, and I immediately sold it on eBay.

After that I went with just a 'dumb' wall mounted charger after researching the company, Evocharge, two years ago, and have had no issues with it. Built by a company that makes commercial chargers for apartment complexes and business parks - so more robust manufacturing. Sells on Amazon under the Evocharge name, and now also as an 'Amazon' branded charger.

https://www.amazon.com/EVoCharge-EVoInn ... B07BKMX3NL
Mark H.
2015 i3 Rex, Capparis White, Tera World, Technology & Driving Assistant, Parking Assistant, Harman Kardon Audio System, 19 inch 427 wheels, EVoInnovate EVSE

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Re: Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Mon Aug 03, 2020 3:34 pm

My advice is "bigger is better". Large electrical components in a bigger box is more reliable than small (delicate) components in a small box. We have two Clipper Creek evse's and a Flo/AddEnergy charger. All have been reliable over 5 years. Simple is also better than complex.

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Re: Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 6:06 pm

I have a pluggable Duosida 16A L2 EVSE that you can find on eBay for $150-$160 (depends on what plug you want on the end). This charges at 3.3kW/hr.

I wouldn't mind a faster 32A L2 EVSE, but it was too easy to use an existing available 20A fuse-box breaker for the 16A EVSE. My lowest-cost electricity window is midnight-3pm, so theoretically I could completely recharge my 42kW i3s in that 15-hour period.

Back when I was commuting, I actually charged at an L2 ChargePoint charger, as the kW rate was lower than my cheapest at-home rate.

So I will likely stay with the 16A L2 EVSE unless/until I get an EV with a larger battery.

(I find it interesting that EVSE and ChargePoint are in blue text.)

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Re: Where to find Level 2 home charger ratings/reviews?

Wed Aug 05, 2020 7:59 pm

There are two fairly informative online articles reviewing EV chargers that I uncovered:


And Tom Moloughney wrote a good article on the subject back in 2018:

https://insideevs.com/news/341500/the-u ... p-5-picks/

I hope these are helpful to you.
Timothy Simonds
2017 BMW i3 Rex

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