The GE DuraStation Wall Mount is a very affordable option from General Electric aimed at people who value utility and reliability over fancy design and nice looks. It’s one of the cheapest Level 2 chargers that can operate either inside or outside and provide owners with the maximum power of 7.2 kW, which roughly translates into 10–20 miles per every hour of charging.
While GE specifically sells this unit is a hardwired charger, it is also possible to modify it to work as a plug-in charger.
The instructional manual recommends a 40A upstream circuit breaker, located either in a panelboard or load center. Users who want to power the charger with a typical 30A dryer circuit have to use the optional de-rate jumper to prevent the unit from drawing more than 24A, as exceeding 80% of the circuit capacity is highly discouraged for continuous use.
The first step is to install mounting feet to the enclosure using the provided template that is designed to help locate the correct wall-mounting holes. With all holes in place, it’s time to mount the unit by punching holes in the enclosure and securing it with a suitable mounting hardware. The last thing to do is connect power wires to their designated place and replace the front cover.
Overall, the installation is essentially painless and brackets on the top and bottom make everything water-tight and aid with the process. It’s no wonder that the GE DuraStation Wall Mount charging station is praised by qualified electricians, who appreciate its simplicity and reliability.
What We Like
- Affordable price: One of the main selling points of this simple charger is its affordable price. The low price doesn’t come as a consequence of poor build quality or cheap components – far from it. GE decided to target customers who see no added value in nice (but ultimately useless) plastic case and want a charger that would give them maximum value and utility. Indeed, there aren’t many other 7.2kW residential chargers to compete with their offering.
- Simple utilitarian design: The design of this charger is best described as utilitarian or functional. The case is as simple as it can be, and the same philosophy can also be found inside. This means that there is a lower chance of something breaking or causing problems.
- Fast charging: The DuraStation EV charger is capable of charging approximately twice as fast as a regular 110V outlet that comes with most electric vehicles. In practice, you’ll be able to reduce your charging time from 12-18 hours to just 4-8 hours.
- Easy wall mount application: Since the DuraStation is designed from the ground up to be installed in a wall mounted configuration, GE engineers could fully optimize each component and create the best user experience possible. For example, the cord wraps conveniently around the unit, thus keeping it safely off the ground.
- Protective enclosure: The charger is housed in an NEMA 3R protective enclosure, which is constructed for either indoor or outdoor use to provide a degree of protection against ingress of solid foreign objects or water and the external formation of ice on the enclosure. As such, the charger can be used in all weather conditions.
- LED indicator lights: The plain front cover features a bi-color LED light to indicate status and warn users in case it detects that something went wrong. It shines green during charging and turns red in the event of a fault. When not connected, the light blinks every second to let owners know that the charger is in stand-by mode.
- Deep customizability: We really like the ability to de-rate the unit’s voltage and amperage, thus easily avoid the installation of a new circuit breaker. Even though most people will probably want to upgrade anyway to charge at the maximum speed, it’s still a great way how temporarily save some money.
- Recognizable brand name: With over 40 years of experience and industry knowledge and more than 100 years of experience in the manufacture of electrical distribution systems, GE is a recognizable brand name that people trust. Only a small handful of companies can match their excellent resume and proven track record.
What We Don’t Like
- Can’t be fully switched off: Probably the biggest downside is the fact that the charger stays on all the time and cannot be completely switched off. The charger simply waits in a standby mode and is turned on and off by the vehicle itself. Power consumption when not in use is less than 2W, so it’s not a big deal; however, it would still be nice for GE to include a simple switch. Most people will want to use a dedicated circuit breaker to turn off the unit every time they leave their house for a long time.
- Sparse instructions: Apart from poorly printed sheets that provide only very brief instructions and a few wiring diagrams, new owners are mostly left to figure out small details by themselves. The PDF available online is much more readable, but it still lacks wire gauge recommendations and preferred install configuration. Anyone who’s not completely sure how to proceed should hire a qualified electrician.
If you see an electric vehicle charger as a functional piece of equipment rather than as something to be appreciated for its aesthetic value, the DuraStation from GE is sure to meet your expectations. The charger completely fulfills what it’s designed to do, and the absence of dedicated power button can be excused as a natural part of the simplistic design. After all, there’s always the General Electric WattStation charger to meet requirements of more demanding customers.