New to EVs? Seeking Advice on Portable Level 1 & 2 Chargers!

Discussion in 'General' started by LeoEvCharging, Apr 18, 2023.

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do you prefer wall mount level 2 charger or portable level 1 & 2 universal charger?

  1. wall mount level 2 charger

  2. portable level 1 & 2 universal charger

  1. LeoEvCharging

    LeoEvCharging New Member

    Hello to all the EV enthusiasts out there!

    As a newcomer to the world of electric vehicles (EVs), I'm excited to embark on this journey of sustainable transportation. I recently became an EV owner and I'm loving the experience so far. However, I'm in need of some guidance when it comes to choosing a portable Level 1 & 2 universal EV home charger, and I'm hoping to get some advice from the community.

    Since I'm new to EVs, I'm still learning about the different charging options available. I've been using the Level 1 charger that came with my EV, but I'm looking to upgrade to a portable charger that can provide faster charging and more flexibility. I've heard that there are universal chargers that can be used for both Level 1 and Level 2 charging, and that they come with different features and options.

    I would greatly appreciate any advice or recommendations from experienced EV owners. What portable Level 1 & 2 chargers do you recommend for beginners like me? What should I look for in terms of charging speed, reliability, and ease of use? Are there any specific brands or models that you've had a positive experience with?

    As a beginner, I'm also interested in any tips or considerations to keep in mind when choosing a portable EV charger, such as power output, cord length, and safety features. I want to make sure I'm making a wise investment that meets my charging needs.

    Thank you in advance for your help! I'm eager to learn from your expertise and continue the discussion on portable Level 1 & 2 chargers in the comments below. Let's help each other on this exciting EV journey!
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  3. marshall

    marshall Well-Known Member

    I don't have any use for a portable charger.

    However, if one visits campgrounds often, I could see where one would be useful.

    If one visits relatives that have a 240 volt receptacle, there may be some usefulness there too if you carry a long extension cord.

    In addition, if there is a Orange charger outlet on your route, there may be some usefulness there.
  4. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber

    If it is a binary choice, the portable. But in reality, I have both.
    • Wall unit - does not risk wearing out gird power plug and the wall plug supports metrics and fine control of current and time of day charging.
    • Portable - when the wall unit fails (everything fails!) It also lets me use RV parks and open 110-120 VAC outlets. The problem is wear on the grid socket.
    Not everything has to be done at once. Start with the portable and plan on the wall unit when time and money permits. Savings over gas will soon pay for a quality wall unit and 1/3d can be written off on taxes.

    Bob Wilson
    Domenick likes this.
  5. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I'd say two factors for portable versus wall unit are:
    1. Do you want to carry a charger with you when traveling?
    2. Hardwiring a wall unit is safer and can support higher maximum power.
    My home EVSE is hardwired which eliminates the outlet connection as a point of failure, although I'm only on a 40 A circuit. But I'll soon be upgrading to 80 A for the F-150 Lightning, and at that point hardwiring is the only option since maximum for NEMA connectors is 60 A.

    I currently carry a Level 1 portable EVSE that came with my EV for "emergency" charging, but I've thought it would be nice to have a portable Level 1/Level 2 dual charger. Cost is the issue, you'll spend almost as much for the portable charger as you do for a wall unit.
    Domenick and insightman like this.
  6. danrjones

    danrjones Active Member

    For chargers, go read / watch Tom's reviews. He's the expert.

    I ended up buying an Autel charger when it was on sale for something like $450 - I got the NEMA 14-50 Plug version, which does limit you to 40 amps instead of 50 amps, but that was fine with me. Amazon has it for $559 right now. I chose the one that has the separate wall hanger, and that's been great, so you can hang the charger nozzle separately from where the charger is, if you wish. Now in Tom's review he had two major issues - one, the cable was *really* bad in cold. But I'm in a garage, so I didn't care, and the cable indeed has been just fine. His second issue was that during a drop test a part broke - but Autel had no issue sending a replacement part. Many brands won't ,and tell you to junk the whole unit -> which I think is wasteful! NO Issues for me so far. My one complaint would be the charger unit is a lot larger than it needs to be, AND / or they should install a screen to actually use the front space they have. At $450 I think it was a good deal. At $559, not sure? Now is this really "portable"? Well, technically it is since you could unplug it and take it with you, but I do not. I have a VW EVSE that we got with our ID4, and that's the one I keep in the ID4. I does both Lvl1 and Lvl2, and I think maxes out at 30 or 36 amps? To be honest, I've never pulled it out except to test it at home.

    You can find the Autel here:
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2023
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