With more than 160,000 employees all across the world, Schneider Electric is among the largest global specialists in energy management, automation, and distribution. The history of the company dates back to 1988, when they started manufacturing electrical circuit breakers, switchgear, and sensors in France.
The company is always keen on embracing latest technological trends, so it was just a matter of time before they introduce their own electric vehicle supply equipment. Schneider Electric EVlink Home Charging Stations are designed to help owners of electric vehicles conveniently charge their cars at home without being burdened by complicated installation and operation of the charger.
The EVLink Home has been tested for auto and grid interoperability by major Auto Original Equipment Manufacturers and utilities. Schneider Electric is also partnering with leading retailers to help customers install the product as soon as possible. Let’s take a closer look at what exactly makes the EVLink EVSE such a popular solution among EV owners.
The Schneider Electric EVlink Home Charging Station requires an input voltage between 208 and 240 Vac. Additionally, you need to have a two-pole circuit breaker capable of handling up to 40 A current, as the station operates on 30 A. Schneider Electric recommend the use of AWG 8 copper or aluminum wire rated for up to 90 degrees C or higher.
With all these prerequisites met, the installation itself is fairly simple:
- Install the branch circuit as required by local electrical codes.
- Remove the two screws–located at the bottom of the unit–that secure the cover to the unit.
- Remove the cover from the charging station and set it aside.
- Remove the appropriate knockouts in top or back of the enclosure required for installation of cable clamps or conduit.
- Mount the electric vehicle charging station so that bottom of the box is, at least, eighteen inches from the floor.
Keep in mind that this station must be connected to a grounded, metal, permanent wiring system; or an equipment-grounding conductor must be run with the circuit conductors and connected to the equipment grounding terminal or lead on the product.
What We Like
- Design: The Schneider Electric EVlink Home Charging Station has that sleek futuristic look that EV owners seem to really enjoy. The green accent around the enclosure almost makes it feel like a piece of state-of-the-art medical equipment, rather than a charger. The overall design is, indeed, a very positive departure from those ugly metal boxes that plague the market. Great job, Schneider!
- Security features: Schneider Electric made sure that the charger would be safe to operate even in case something unexpected happened. The integrated ground fault function tests the charger before each cycle begins to ensure that everything is in working order. The integral ground fault interrupter is set at 20mA, and the EVlink can automatically recover and restart after ground fault interrupt or main power loss. You will never find yourself in a sticky situation just because your charger decided to stop charging because of some minor hiccup.
- User interface: The user interface of this charger follows the same design guidelines as the rest of the unit. The most prominent elements are the segmented charge and delay charge progress indicators. There’s also a stop button and a power status and system detected fault indicator. As your car continues to charge, the little ring of lights will tell how much charge the car has taken. Everything is easily visible even from a distance, which means that there’s no need to walk all the way to the charger to look at it up close.
- Build: The non-metallic enclosure is lightweight, but built to last. The plastic feels very sturdy and doesn’t produce absolutely any creaks and cracks. The charger also comes with a convenient cable holder that is independently mounted from the enclosure. That way, you can place it exactly where it suits you the most.
- Versatility: With the Schneider Electric EVlink charging station, there’s no need to worry about exact voltage. As long as you are between 208 and 240 V, you are good to go.
- Personalization: If the basic white enclosure doesn’t suit your taste, you can choose from over 600 designs or upload your favorite photo to make your EVlink charger uniquely yours with a custom skin. All skins are made from high-quality materials and they show no signs of fading or peeling even after months of use. We are quite confident that it will look like new no matter how long you keep it on.
- Customer support: We and most owners of this charger can say nothing but words of praise about the quality of Schneider’s customer support. Forget about long waiting times and unpleasant off-shore support staff. The person on the other side will always help you with any problem and quickly answer your questions.
- Delay Charging: With delayed charging, you can schedule charging for a set period of time to help reduce energy costs and environmental impact by charging during off-peak demand hours. To use the delay function, all you have to do is press the delay button. Each press of the delay button delays the charging by one hour. The progress indicators will glow in accordance with the number of hours of delay that is requested. To cancel the delay function, just hold the delay button until all progress indicators turn off; it’s that simple.
What We Don’t Like
- Inadequate cable strain relief: The relatively heavy cable doesn’t have a proper strain relief at the point where it goes into the enclosure. As a result, we have seen it being pulled out of the box, which could lead to damage. Users need to be aware of this and make sure that they don’t tug on the cable more than what’s really necessary.
- Impossible to switch off the lights: If you decide to use the Schneider Electric EVlink Home Charging Station in a hardwire configuration, you will find it impossible to switch off the indicator lights. Even though they are not too bright, it would still be nice to have the option to turn them off to save a few watts each hour.
Schneider Electric demonstrated that they aren’t global specialists in energy management and automation for nothing. Their EVlink Home Charging Station looks fantastic and performs remarkably well. Hundreds and thousands of happy customers from all around the world best demonstrate the success of this product.