Hello, my name is Meredith. I live in New Jersey and use a JuiceBox Pro 40 to charge my all-electric BMW i3. When you’re shopping for an electric car, one thing you don’t always find out at the dealership is that you probably should buy a proper 240V, Level 2 home charging station if you want to get the most out of your shiny new EV.
Sure, my 2018 BMW i3 came with a 120v “Occasional Use Charger”, or “OUC” as BMW calls it. However, if I wanted to use that exclusively to charge the car, it would take MORE THAN 24 hours to fully recharge the car if the battery was fully depleted and that wouldn’t work for me. My JuiceBox will fully recharge my car in less than 5 hours, even if the battery is totally flat.
Deciding which home charger to get can be a little confusing. There’s a lot of choices, and since this is a relatively new item for most people to purchase, many don’t know what they really need, until they have already bought one and notice its deficiencies.
For instance, some chargers come standard with a 16-foot cable. If you’ve never owned an EV before, you might not realize how important it is to have a cable that can reach different areas in your garage or driveway. This can be especially true if you have more than one car, and need to reach both sides of a two-car garage. If your charger is mounted outside, you may need the cable to reach around another parked car, so I’d recommend getting a cable that’s at least twenty feet long.
Some other chargers aren’t safety certified, or even rated for outdoor use; both features I considered mandatory, even though my charger is located inside my garage. Safety certification and outdoor rated means the charger has been thoroughly tested, and it’s built tough enough to be used in adverse weather conditions.
Then there’s the flexibility of having a unit that can plug in, instead of being permanently mounted and hard-wired. If you’re new to the EV world, you might not even know that some of these charging stations can simply plug into a 240v outlet. There’s a couple reasons why I think it’s a good idea to get a plug-in home charger. First, having an electrician simply install an outlet in your garage will probably cost less than if you ask them to hard-wire the charger. It really shouldn’t cost much more, but for some reason it usually does. Secondly, you can unplug the charger and take it with you if you move, have a second home that you visit, or frequently visit a friend or relative that lives far away. You just need to have an outlet there to plug it into.
I’d also advise getting a charger that is WiFi connected with an app that allows you to monitor the charging, get notifications and keep records of your charging sessions. This will allow you to know exactly how much the car costs you to charge. Without that, you are really just guessing how much electricity the car is using.
Finally, make sure you don’t buy a low-powered charger. Your EV today may only accept 32 amps or less, but EV manufacturers like Tesla are allowing higher rates of home charging, and others are following. You don’t want to buy a charging station that is considered “slow” in a couple years, and takes too long to fully charge your EV. Make sure you get a charger that can deliver at least 32 amps, preferably 40 amps and you’ll be future-proofed.
The one charging station that checked all the boxes for me is the JuiceBox Pro 40, and I’ve been happily using it for about a year now. It comes standard with a 24-foot cable, it plugs in, it’s wifi-connected with smart-charging features and records all my past charging history. It can deliver 40 amps, and though my i3 can only accept 32 amps, I know my future EVs will most likely be able to accept more.
Plus, the best part is the JuiceBox Pro 40 is priced LESS than most of the competition that doesn’t offer many of these features. Honestly, I’d be willing to pay more for a JuiceBox than what the other chargers cost, because the JuiceBox offers more, but I gladly paid less! Owning an EV is great, and charging it is a really important aspect of living the EV life. You’ll be plugging in nearly every day, so make sure you make the right choice when you choose a home charger. I love my JuiceBox Pro 40, and believe you will too!