ChargePoint, an electric vehicle infrastructure company based in California, is a leading innovator of home and corporate EV charging. Their chargers are designed to be intelligent, easily usable, and modern-looking. A typical customer would be somebody who can take advantage of many sophisticated networking capabilities and is willing to pay a bit extra.
The higher initial cost can quickly pay off thanks to charger’s ability to precisely manage charge times, so that it would operate only during super off peak hours, when the cost per kWh is significantly lower.
EVSEs by ChargePoint can be configured to accommodate needs of each individual customers using a convenient online configuration tool, or by choosing one of many pre-configured options from third-party retailers, such as Amazon.
How to Choose
To select the best charger for you, it’s important to consider three things: the length of the charging cord, installation type, and the maximum charging speed.
Let’s start from the charging speed. ChargePoint home chargers come in either 32A or 16A configuration. The 32A version can charge up to 6 times as fast as a standard 110V outlet and delivers up to 25 miles of extra range per each hour of charging. It requires a 40A circuit breaker and is often limited by an onboard charger present in the particular vehicle. In comparison, the 16A version adds just 12 miles per hour of charging, but it can function with a cheaper 20A circuit breaker.
Both versions can be installed as a plug-in or as a hardwired charger. The plug-in requires a NEMA 6-20 (for 16A station) or 6-50 (for 32A station) outlet and enables owners to easily relocate their charger. Its only downside is that it cannot be installed outdoors.
Finally, you need to decide on an appropriate length of the charging cord. The shortest cord measures 12‘ and comes only with Home 12 station, while the 18‘ and 25‘ is compatible with all charging stations. The cord should be long enough to comfortably reach the charging port on your electric vehicle.
What We Like
- Fast charging speed: All home chargers from ChargePoint are fitted with a standard J1772 connector, thus ensuring compatibility with all electric cars and an increasingly larger number of electric motorbikes. The 32A version is able to deliver up to 25 miles of range per every hour of charging, which is six times more than what you would get from a regular OEM 110V charger.
- Easy installation: The ChargePoint Home EV Charger comes with an easy-to-understand installation manual that tells new owners exactly what they need to do to set everything up. The installation of hardwire charger should be left to qualified electricians, but the plug-in version is compatible with NEMA 6-20 or NEMA 6-50 outlet, depending on the power of the charger. When installed, the included ChargePoint application for iOS and Android devices will automatically connect to the EVSE. Using this application, users can connect the charger to their Wi-Fi network, set all preferences, schedule charging times, or set up reminders and notifications. The application is really well designed and its user interface is modern and intuitive. It’s very easy to get used to the convenience of being able to monitor the charging status from virtually anywhere.
- Integrates with Nest: Nest is a manufacturer of various Internet-enabled home automation solutions. Their products include a high-definition Wi-Fi security camera, a smoke detector, and, most importantly, a beautiful thermostat that automatically adapts to your preferences and programs itself to make you feel comfortable and save energy at the same time. The ChargePoint can communicate directly with the Nest Learning Thermostat to better track your electricity usage, provide you with detailed reports, and schedule charging on hours when electricity costs less money.
- Safe charging: The ChargePoint Home EV charger comes with 3-year manufacturer’s warranty to cover absolutely any problems that could happen. It’s unlikely that you would need it, since the device is designed for maximum reliability and with safety in mind.
- Beautiful design: There’s just something about the design of the ChargePoint Home EV charger that makes us like it even more. It’s compact, doesn’t offensively grab one’s attention but still manages to look very sleek, and the beautiful LED status light elegantly combines form with function. The LED is green when the device is connected to the Internet and ready for charging, blue when it’s sending a current to the car battery, and red when something happens and it needs your attention.
- Customizable: Universal solutions rarely work great for everyone. More often than not, a majority of people end up compromising, and only a very small minority gets something that works perfectly for them. This is not the case with ChargePoint Home. The charger is available both as a plug-in and as a hardwire version, each in either 32A or 16A configuration. If you park close to the charger, you can save a few bucks and choose a shorter charging cable, or you may prefer to have the flexibility of a 25’ cord. You can customize everything exactly to your liking via a convenient online configuration tool, which also takes care to explain advantages and disadvantages of each version.
What We Don’t Like
- A few missing features: The ChargePoint Home EV charger is, basically, a yardstick against other chargers should be measured. There are only a few minor nitpicks related to the mobile application. It would be nice if the app could show a total kW delivered during each charging session and also display amps and voltage with the current charge rate. All of these things could be very easily added with future updates, and we have no reason to believe that ChargePoint won’t listen to customer suggestions.
The ChargePoint Home EV charger is an excellent solution for those who are happy to embrace modern technology and pay for extra features, such as the integration with Nest. The whole unit leaves only a very little to be desired, and we have no doubts that it will serve its new owners for many years to come.