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Emporia Power good EV charger assessment: Extra energy telemetry for a lower cost


Emporia Power Emporia EV Charger

9 / 10


execs and cons


  • Nice aesthetics and construct high quality
  • Detailed vitality telemetry all the way down to the second
  • Integration with VUE unit for whole-home vitality monitoring
  • Wonderful app

  • No choice for a white cable with a white unit
  • No integration with third-party DC charging companies

extra shopping for decisions

Over the past yr, I’ve bought two EV vehicles: a Polestar 2 and a Kia EV6. I’ve additionally had the chance to take a look at a number of completely different Degree 2 quick AC EV chargers — specifically, those of the “good” selection, that are Wi-Fi- and app-connected and can provide you an accounting of your vitality use (in kilowatt-hours and greenback equivalents) and may also be used for clever scheduling together with your vitality supplier for off-peak charging.

Aside from Tesla’s house charger, I’ve examined all of the main contenders for best home EV charger within the good class — ChargePoint, Electrify America, Grizzle-E Sensible, and Emporia Power. 

Whereas I like them for various causes, the Emporia Power unit is my favourite. Why? Worth, the extent of element of vitality consumption telemetry and app high quality, and the potential for whole-home vitality monitoring.

Additionally: The most effective house EV chargers

Aesthetics and construct high quality

As a result of it is priced round $100 to $200 under its principal rivals, you would possibly count on the Emporia EV Charger to sacrifice industrial design and construct high quality and be restricted in options, however that is not the case.

Additionally: I attempted to cost my Tesla with an Anker PowerHouse 767

I discovered the construct high quality to be wonderful. And the Emporia has a clear, flat, and streamlined design (in a alternative of white or black) that fades into the colours of most garages and residential exteriors. 

I might like an choice for a white-colored twine as an alternative of a black one in a future mannequin, however that is nitpicky. I’ve my unit mounted outdoors my storage, and when the twine is coiled up, you possibly can’t inform it is there.

Technicals and set up

The rounded-corner rectangular machine is encased in weather-resistant plastic. It has 4 LEDs on the entrance with indicators for system energy (inexperienced), Wi-Fi connection (multicolor), cost (multicolor), and fault (orange). It comes with a heavy 24-foot cost twine and a heavy plastic-encased SAE J1772 connector deal with for the EV — if in case you have a Tesla, you may want a J1772 adapter, offered by Tesla and third events.

graph of charging data

The Emporia house display in graph view.

Jason Perlow/ZDNET

The unit comes with a mounting bracket and makes use of eight drywall anchors to safe it in place (see the set up and utilization information) (PDF). You will want a distinct drill bit and anchors if drilling into strong concrete. 

Earlier than putting in the Emporia, or any EV charger, for that matter, you will want a 240V 14-50 NEMA outlet (you too can use a 6-50 NEMA outlet, as I do, and use an adapter cable) and a breaker to accommodate your residence’s most cost velocity. In my case, I may accommodate a 50A breaker, which yields a most cost energy of 39A/40A as a result of the NEMA customary solely permits for 80 p.c utilization of the circuit. 

The Emporia machine has a most cost energy of 48A however requires a devoted circuit (with out a NEMA receptacle) and a 60A or greater breaker to do that; any product promoting 48A/50A output wants a devoted circuit, equivalent to the favored ChargePoint machine. You will need to seek the advice of an electrician to find out in case your residence may even accommodate 60A or greater service.

The unit may also be stepped all the way down to 15/20/25/40/45A breakers through the preliminary configuration, which will even decrease your cost energy. 

Additionally: This NASA area tech may make your EV cost sooner, too

Remember that for those who’re charging in a single day, you will not see an enormous distinction between 32A, 40A, and 48An influence output, particularly in case you are doing a partial cost/top-off versus charging from, say, 10 or 20 p.c battery. Within the latter case it’s possible you’ll want to start out just a few hours earlier; whether or not it takes four hours or 6 hours to cost to full will not matter to most households.

After mounting and connecting to energy, the set up is a breeze. You obtain the Emporia Power app (iOS and Android), choose “Add a Gadget,” then hook up with the unit by way of Bluetooth and set it to your Wi-Fi community.

The unit helps 2.4GHz networks solely, which appears on par for a wise EV charger. We had no issues connecting to our house Wi-Fi regardless that our neighborhood is congested with 2.4GHz SSIDs.

The Emporia app

Emporia Power’s unit differs from the opposite clever EV chargers as a result of its product is a whole-home vitality hub. Whereas you should buy the charger only for charging your EV for $399, the corporate additionally sells it as an built-in bundle with 16 circuit sensors, its Emporia Vue vitality monitor, which integrates together with your circuit panel (PDF), and 4 good plugs, for $564. 

I didn’t have the chance to check the Vue or the good plugs, however the thought of getting a whole-home vitality administration and monitoring resolution could be very engaging. The Vue may also regulate your EV charger to mechanically cost your automotive to devour extra vitality produced by your solar energy system — I haven’t got a solar energy system, however I might actually look into this resolution if I did.

Additionally: How Schneider Electrical plans that will help you take management of your vitality payments

The Emporia app additionally integrates with Ecobee, Emerson Sensi, Honeywell Complete Join good thermostats (sorry, no Nest or Amazon), Emporia Power’s Bluetooth-connected house backup batteries, and EVs which have SmartCar knowledge API community connectivity.

I did not have the chance to check the SmartCar characteristic, but it surely appears attention-grabbing as a result of it can know remotely in case your automobile is charging wherever, not simply from an Emporia machine.

The app’s house display reveals you which ones gadgets you’ve built-in for monitoring (Charger, SmartCar-connected EVs, Thermostats, Sensible Plugs, Batteries, and Circuits), and there’s a principal graph view that reveals your vitality use all the way down to the second, if crucial. 

So, for instance, you possibly can view the stay throughput of the charger because it ramps from only some amps as much as the complete 48A, in case your circuit helps it, and because it reduces charging velocity towards the tip of the cost cycle. The graph view will even present you views of vitality consumption by the minute, hour, day, week, month, and yr, measured in kilowatt-hours, amps, equal gallons of gasoline, automotive miles, CO2 offset, and even bushes. In the event you’ve set your vitality supplier — in my case, FPL — it will possibly additionally present you the way a lot vitality you consumed in {dollars}, on a per-charge foundation, within the day by day logs and the graph views.  

The machine can also set charging schedules depending on whether or not you are enrolled in a “time of use” kind of billing or in case your utility supplier payments on a peak or off-peak cycle, so you possibly can optimize when to cost your automobile. In my case, as a consequence of my vitality utilization, FPL would not advocate a Time-of-Use plan or care if I take advantage of vitality peak or off-peak, so I haven’t got scheduling turned on within the app. Nonetheless, if I lived elsewhere the place this vitality use impacted my billing, I might allow it and examine these packages. 

As Emporia Power would not personal a charging community, you will not get consolidated billing stories as you’ll from Tesla, ChargePoint, or Electrify America’s apps when used with their house chargers — that is most likely the one destructive I see about this machine. Nonetheless, I am not somebody who closely makes use of these networks, as most of my charging happens at house.

Backside line 

The Emporia EV Charger is a strong and promising machine that may assist you to handle your automobile’s vitality consumption with whole-home monitoring for those who purchase it as an built-in resolution with Emporia Power’s Vue unit and accompanying sensors, which is helpful for photo voltaic customers trying to cost their automobiles with surplus vitality. 

Nonetheless, even for those who do not buy the good EV charger as an built-in resolution, the unit has different options, equivalent to scheduling choices to optimize charging instances in accordance with peak or off-peak cycles, thus serving to you save on electrical energy payments. With all these options packed into one single machine, Emporia’s good EV charger is price contemplating in order for you an environment friendly manner of managing your property vitality system and monitoring your automobile’s vitality consumption.

Options to contemplate

The ChargePoint Flex might be essentially the most premium EV charger available on the market at present accessible and integrates with ChargePoint’s EV charging community, so you’ve a full understanding of your greenback and cents energy consumption at house and ChargePoint places.

The Grizzle-E, made in Canada and from chrome steel, is a “robust” and weather-hardened EV charger that is available in “dumb” and likewise app-connected good variations. This might be my alternative for those who stay in an surroundings with excessive chilly or warmth and have to have the field mounted outdoor.

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