Electric vehicle charging cords come in a variety of flavors, powers, and applications. The folks at Lectron EV charging solutions are here to help. In the video below, Tommy demonstrated a variety of Lectron chargers for the home and to carry as backup in your EV that range from Level 1 120v plugs to Level 2 240v systems. Let’s take a look.
Basic Juice: Level 1 16A Portable Charger
Level 1 chargers rated to 16 amps come with your standard 120v plug that will work with any basic power outlet found in North America. The charger is not fast, but it’s a great emergency backup to always carry in your EV, since public fast chargers still number just over 100,000 in the U.S. Available 120v outlets likely number in the billions. This model from Lectron has a MSRP of $199 and is available here.
Level Up to Level 2: 32A Portable Charger
Moving to a Level 2 charger is a game-changer akin to going from Internet at dial-up speed to broadband speed for those of you older than 40 reading this. A common way to quantify the difference goes like this: A Level 1 charger adds 4 miles of range/hour to an EV battery. A Level 2 can add 32 miles of range/hour back to a battery. So a Level 2 charger is 8 times faster.
Lectron’s 32amp Portable Charger above shows that it’s pumping 14.4 kWh of juice back into Tommy’s Mini EV and costs $340. Bonus, the portable charger means you can take it with you and plug in at homes or buildings where a 240v outlet is available. The catch is that you will need a 240v socket to plug into. These are commonly used to power electric dryers in homes. If your garage has one, consider yourself lucky.
If not, you’ll need to hire an electrician to run power to your garage and install a 240v socket. A one-time cost that could set you back hundreds of dollars depending upon the complexity. But, the case could be made that you’ll need to do this anyway with the coming transition to EVs.
Level 2 Max: 40A Portable Charger
With Lectron’s 40A Portable Charger, you can pull through an additional 5 miles/hour of charging over a 32A Level 2 charger. That said, you will need to make sure the wiring, socket, and circuit breaker are ready for the 40A throughput. These are items that an electrician needs to address before you plug anything into the vehicle or the wall. But bumping your possible charge rate to roughly 37 miles of range/hour is worth the electrical work and the $400 price for this charger, especially if you’re looking to charge an EV needing to add back 200-plus miles of range each night.
The Case for a Dedicated Charging Station
The portable chargers shown above make a strong case for convenience. A wall-mounted charger such as the Lectron Charging Station above makes a strong case for security and durability. The 32A charger comes in at $484, which is roughly $100 more than Lectron’s portable 32A charger. But here’s what you get: A weatherproof box that could be mounted outside and handle cold-weather and heat; with the box on the wall the charger is kept off the floor and free from dirt, mud, slush, and water; the plug/cord are less likely to get ripped from the wall accidentally.
Help for Tesla Owners: Lectron J1772 to Tesla Adapter
All the charging cables and solutions shown above use the J1772 plug standard, which is the most common plug used by EVs. Unless you own a Tesla. Tesla uses its own proprietary plug that’s incompatible with J1772 chargers. Hence the need for the Lectron J1772 to Tesla Adapter. Anyone who drives a Tesla should have one, for the simple reason that there are only about 1,200 Telsa charging stations in the U.S. compared to 120,000-plus J1772 charging ports available. For $100, it fits in the glove box and offers peace of mind.
To see Tommy’s video on Lectron’s solution for drivers of J1772-equipped vehicles wanting to use a Telsa charger click here. To see Tommy walk through all the chargers shown above, check out the video below.