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Getting a new car is not an easy decision. My last car was only 5 years old, I had named it Rosie and my husband called it my spaceship because he said it looked futuristic. It was a Range Rover Discovery and looking futuristic was it's only future-forward thing going for it.
As a designer, I tend to choose form over function more often simply because I like to look at nice things. Perhaps choosing form over function is an occupational hazard, but as I meditated on how I can make my life more in alignment to my true self and highest calling, I realized that there are aspects of my life that I need to change.
Caring for our Mother Earth is something that I write about a lot. In my heart, I truly feel connected to the well-being of future generations, and I came to the realization that driving around a gas car was not in alignment with my purpose!
These aspects of switching to electric seemed like a big undertaking:
installing the charging station at my house
planning road trips to accommodate charges
wanting a car that is still able to take me to the mountains (especially snowboarding in winter)
Let's start with the actual car itself. I chose a 2021 Volkswagen ID4, it is not technically new as it has $10k miles on it. On the outside, it has clean aerodynamic lines that make for a striking presence on the road. On the inside, plenty of room makes it spacious for passengers and the extra large moon roof to look at the stars–it transformed how I thought about electric cars. Best of all, it was ALL WHEEL DRIVE! I test drove the car at Lexus of Bellevue on a Thursday. That night, I had a dream of driving it again and the following morning, I couldn't stop talking about the possibilities of having an electric vehicle. Friday afternoon, I was back at the dealership trading in Rosie. I named my new EV, Evie.
Now that I have Evie home, deciding what EV charging station to install was another big decision. Evie came with a charger that I could plug her into a 110V wall outlet in the garage, but it would take over 24 hours to fully charge Evie with that charger. It does require a licensed electrician to install a new outlet, but here are the options I found and I'm hoping that my research can help others when making a decision about which EV charger to choose.
Ultimately, I ended up purchasing the Autel MaxiCharger for quite a few different reasons. First (ofc), I like the "looks" of it for my particular house. I live in a mid-century and it is painted dark grey. With an older house, it is always tricky doing any new electrical work. Luckily, we had updated all our electrical a few years ago, but I need an exterior mounted box. Most of the boxes are white and would stick out on a dark colored house. The Autel box is dark grey and will hopefully "blend" in better. Looks were not my only deciding factor, installation specs and how quickly it will charge both factored into my decision. Lastly, I liked the $599 price. It is definitely not the cheapest charger I found, but it was a price I felt comfortable with, especially after reading through all the reviews.
Here are a few other chargers I was also weighing in on:
The EVO-Charge Smart Level 2 EV Charger with WiFi, Up to 32 Amp, 25-ft Cable, 240V, UL Listed Electric Vehicle Charger, NEMA 6-50 Plug, Indoor/Outdoor, Up to 8X Faster Than Level 1 $699. It was more than the Autel and it's box was WHITE (no-go for me). Also, I did like the chargers that plug directly into the box without the extra hook on the wall--again, a designer's decision.
I liked the Primecon because it had a super long chord and I have a really long driveway, so I was thinking it might be convenient to have the longer chord. It is a Level 2 Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger (220V / 240Volt, 16Amp) Portable EVSE Smart Electric Car Charger, 30', 40', and 50 Feet Lengths (NEMA 10-30P, 40 Feet). Ultimately, I decided against this one because I thought the long chord would end up being really messy, I wanted something sleek. The Primecon was reasonably priced at $459; I still think this charger is a really good value, it just wasn't for me.
The Juicebox was my favorite at first.
It is a next generation Smart Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station with WiFi - 48 amp Level 2 EVSE, 25-Foot Cable, UL & Energy Star Certified, Indoor/Outdoor Use. The price tag of $739 pushed it over for me. There were probably the most reviews on this charger on Amazon, but ultimately, I found just as much value in the Autel as I did in Juicebox and I liked the Autel price better.
There are hundreds of choices out there for your EV chargers. I definitely recommend checking all specifications for your particular car. All of these chargers work for all EV cars on the market except some may require an adapter for Tesla. However, if you are buying a Tesla, you are pretty much encouraged to use Tesla stations, which is one of the 1,000 reasons I did not choose a Tesla. I like to have a range of options. One other thing I would look into prior to purchasing your EV, is to talk to an electrician to find out how much installation costs for your particular home. I've heard estimates range from $250-$5,000 and it depends on how the electrical system is set up in your home and where you want the charger to be located.
I was also considering the Bosch Charger. My favorite dishwashers are made by Bosch and I love the looks of it. It is designed for easy installation and low maintenance, the Bosch EV300 Level 2 AC Charging Station is a compact, yet powerful charger, providing 32A capacity and charging up to 4 times faster than with a standard EV cord. It comes with a price tag of $915, which was the biggest factor I had in not choosing it.
Good luck on your EV journey--I feel good about my decisions and how they align with my higher goals in this lifetime, I hope these reviews help you on your EV journey! I can't wait to write articles about my adventures I have with my Evie.