The best part about owning an electric vehicle (EV) is that you can power it with a household source of energy, i.e., a power plug. You can stop going to gas stations, you don’t have to save up for fuel — just plug in when you get home and get a good night’s sleep. When you wake up the next morning, your car is charged, the air still smells clean, and life’s good!
But before you get to experience the bliss of owning an EV, you need to set up a charging location with the help of an electrician. Modern cars need more power to charge up than most North American household power points can provide. That’s why you need to get a 240-volt 14-50 plug or hardwired connection installed and buy a wall charger. Preferably, a faster Level 2 charger, otherwise your car might not be fully charged the next morning.
This sounds expensive and tedious, but it’s a one-time investment. You can even get most of your money back in the form of a tax credit of up to $1,000. Once the wall charger is installed, charging your car is as simple as plugging in at the end of the day!
But not all chargers are cut from the same cloth, and you need to do a bit of research before you buy one. We’re here to make it simple for you with a comparison review of two popular wall chargers in the market — the Juicebox 40 EV charger and the Tesla Wall Charger. Both of these are Level 2 chargers and either can be used outdoors, too. Read on for our comprehensive reviews of each of these to find out how they fare in a side-by-side comparison.
Product Review: Juicebox 40
You can use the Enel X Juicebox 40 EV charger to charge any modern EV on sale today, including Teslas. It prioritizes form over function and has several features to make it more user-friendly than some other wall chargers on sale.
It’s a 40-amp charger that puts out a maximum of 9.6kW of alternating current. This rating is likely to be adequate to fully charge most budget-friendly EVs overnight. Some modern EVs can charge at an even faster rate of up to 11kW, but you’ll need a more expensive 50A charger and possibly a hardwired connection to charge those.
Hardwiring is optional for the Juicebox charger, and you can save $10 on the price by going for the hardwired model that lacks a plug. But if you change houses often or rent your current residence, it’s more practical and less invasive to go for the Juicebox 40 charger compatible with a NEMA 14-50 port. You’ll still have to get the port installed, but the charger itself comes with a quick-release mount to ease removal.
Another nifty feature is the security lock that comes in handy if you charge in a public parking spot. The charger comes with a hefty 25-foot cable, with no shorter or longer options available. It has a large, good-quality hook for hanging the charging cable when not in use. The power cord that plugs into the 14-50 plug is 2-feet long. You can find the complete manual on Enel X’s website here.
Once the unit is installed and powered up, you can connect it to the app via Wifi. It can retrieve your local power rates and charge your car when the rates are lowest. Alternatively, you can program the system to run on a schedule, so that it powers your car at the same time each day. But if all of this sounds too complicated, relax — you can simply plug in your car to charge up. Wifi installation gives you a range of features and accessibility, but it’s not an absolute requirement like it is for some other chargers on the market.
So there you have it — the Juicebox 40 is a cost-effective, practical and efficient device that makes charging your car a breeze. It offers a wide range of features to help you save on electricity costs, and can be connected to your phone via the Enel X app. Look elsewhere if you have an EV with a massive battery that can’t be charged overnight on 9.6kW. For most people, the Juicebox 40 will be a user-friendly home charging solution.
Product Review: Tesla Wall Charger
The Tesla Wall Charger is one of the most popular Level 2 chargers in the market, and for good reason. It offers the most cutting-edge connectivity and smart features, offers one of the highest power outputs, and doesn’t cost as much as other Level 2 chargers. That’s why it’s likely at the top of your list of home chargers if you’re thinking of buying a Tesla.
The first thing you need to know about this charger is that you’ll need a hardwired connection to get the most out of it. Your average household ‘new dryer’ plug doesn’t offer enough juice on tap, so you’ll have to rely on an electrician or one of Tesla’s technicians to run new high-voltage cables to power your Tesla Wall Charger. This is the only way to get the maximum 11.5kW of AC power, and it makes moving houses slightly more tedious.
You’ll also need a 60-amp circuit breaker. Tesla’s customer support helps you out every step of the way, and detailed installation videos and manuals are available on the company’s website. Specifically, you don’t need a hardwired connection if you have a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range variant. That’s the only car and model Tesla sells that can’t be charged at 11.5kW, so a standard 4-pin dryer plug works just fine. The maximum power output you’ll need with this car is 7.7kW at 32A.
For anything else, we recommend getting the hardwired connection to help you power up at the maximum possible 11.5kW and 48A. On average, you can expect to add 44 miles of range per hour of charging. The charger is compatible with all Tesla models and can charge most non-Tesla EVs at a reasonably fast charging speed. Better hardware and software integration means that it is most consistent and effective when charging a Tesla.
As you’d expect, the Tesla Wall Charger is a smart device that connects to your Wifi and can be controlled and monitored with the same app as the car. The app has a full database of all Tesla and Chargepoint public chargers in North America. It helps you plan routes, schedule charging times, and access connected car services all from the same application.
Juicebox 40 vs Tesla Wall Charger Buying Guide
Let’s Compare the Two
Choosing the right home charger is quintessential to getting the most out of your EV. If a Tesla is your only ride, there’s little to debate over — the Tesla Wall Charger’s lower price makes it an easy winner. But if your home charger will be used to charge more than one EV or a non-Tesla EV, the Juicebox has a price advantage over most other chargers in the market.
The best part about the Juicebox 40 is its simplicity — it’s easy to buy off Amazon, requires one electrician visit to be installed, and has a simple plug-in-and-charge operation. It has all the options that you expect — app-based connectivity, charging scheduler, Wifi, and a long cable that’s practical for all kinds of private and public parking spaces.
That being said, there is no pedestal mount for the Juicebox, so it has to be mounted on a wall that’s tough enough to bear the weight of the charger as well as the long and heavy cable. That’s not an issue with Tesla, since you can buy a pedestal-mounted Tesla Wall Charger instead.
Despite the lower wattage, charging speeds are not likely to be an issue with the Juicebox for most users. At the maximum-rated 9.6kW, you can expect range increments of 30 miles per hour. In comparison, Tesla’s Wall Charger gives you approximately 44 miles per hour of charging.
Our verdict for Tesla owners remains unchanged — buy the Wall Charger. For everyone else, the Juicebox 40 is a quick off-the-shelf solution that you won’t regret. Even though it’s slightly pricier than the Tesla Wall Charger, the Juicebox 40 fits the needs of most EV buyers in the USA.
Just as carmakers need to recognize the need for pocket-friendly EVs, charger manufacturers need to make inexpensive chargers. To accelerate EV adoption in North America, the industry needs a multi-faceted approach to make both purchasing and owning an electric car less costly. Viewed from that lens, the Juicebox 40 is a step in the right direction.
FAQs (Reader and Pro Tips)
Are there any cons to using the Juicebox Charger vs Tesla wall charger?
Here’s what readers are saying:
– No issues when using a Juicebox for charging a Chevy Bolt and A Tesla Model 3.
– You cannot use the Juicebox with the Tesla Charging Network if you want to charge other Tesla owners for the use of the Juicebox, though the Juicebox has some nice features that enable chargebacks.
– Juicebox might save you money. For one user, the local utility has a reduced rate for Juicebox smart charger but not for the Tesla Wall charger and the savings can be as much as 5-cents per kWh.
– The Juicebox has a nice long 25ft charge cable which is useful if you park further away from your house or outside your garage. The onboard charge scheduler in the Tesla Model 3 can be used with the Juicebox for auto functions.
How fast does Juicebox 40 charge a Tesla?
JuiceBox 40 amps should be fine for most Level 2 uses with a Tesla. Keep in mind that 40amps X 240V = 9.6kW — which means that you can charge even an empty 100kWh Tesla in 10 hours or overnight. If you are using a Juicebox 40 at work, you’ll be able to add 80kWh in an 8-hour workday.
What level is a Tesla Wall Charger?
The Tesla Wall Charger is a Level 2 alternating current (AC) home charger