Credit to Author: Kyle Field| Date: Tue, 17 Sep 2019 19:45:09 +0000
Published on September 17th, 2019 | by Kyle Field
September 17th, 2019 by Kyle Field
ChargePoint casually dropped its new residential electric vehicle charger into the market today and it packs a special feature that allows it to play well with any input amperage from 16 amps up to 50 amps without much fuss. The new ChargePoint Home Flex brings the same ChargePoint experience into the garage without having to worry about whether or not the output amperage of the home circuit is an exact fit for the electric vehicle (EV) charger before purchasing it.
On the outside, you wouldn’t be able to tell that anything was different as it looks the same as ChargePoint’s existing Home charger, but things get exciting when you take a peek under the hood. We talked with ChargePoint’s Product Marketing guru Danny Allen about the new Home Flex and he told us that the goal with the new Home Flex was,”to let a buyer buy a product and know that the charger will work with their home and their car.” The Flex does that, in spades.
It is installed like any other EV charger that can be wired directly into a home circuit or buyers can opt for a version with a plug on the end that can be plugged directly into either a NEMA 6-50 or a NEMA 14-50 outlet. After the connection is made, buyers can simply set the amperage of the home circuit in the ChargePoint app and it’s off to the races.
The desire to offer buyers more flexibility came in parallel to a desire to deliver even faster speeds than ChargePoint’s existing Home EV charger. “We wanted to increase the amperage capacity of the charger, but retain the really well reviewed design of the existing home station.” The Flex offers an impressive fast charging speed of 50 amps, which, at 240 volts, offers charging speeds of up to 12 kW.
The Flex is a really neat offering at this early stage in the EV market, where buyers might start with a plug-in hybrid that can only charge at 3.3 kW. They might not want to pay to have an entirely new high amperage circuit run to charge the car. The Flex lets them install their EV charger on a lower power circuit and get all their home charging done today. In the future, when the time is right to upgrade to a longer range battery electric vehicle, they can just upgrade their home to a higher power circuit for faster charging of their new electric vehicle.
The flexibility built into the charger saves EV drivers money on upgrades today and lets them make that decision when they actually need a faster charge in the future. The impressive part is that they can charge both cars, on a 16 amp or 50 amp circuit with the same charger. It’s about as future proof as a home EV charger can get.
As with ChargePoint’s existing Home charger, the new Flex comes packed with intelligence and WiFi connectivity to make your charging even easier and cheaper. This thing even gets software updates to ensure that it is bringing all the latest features to owners. Drivers can tap into that intelligence to schedule charging to start at a specific time, which is a great way to avoid getting slammed by higher time-of-use rates that utilities are increasingly adopting. For all the smart home fanatics out there, it also features Alexa integration to let owners check the charging status, along with a number of other functions, from the comfort of the couch.
Buying a ChargePoint charger lets drivers see all of their home, workplace, and public charging on the ChargePoint network from inside the app. ChargePoint is already the go-to public EV charging network in much of the United States and adding a Home Flex to the garage makes the end-to-end charging experience that much more seamless.
We will be posting a much more in depth review of the Home Flex in the coming weeks, but until then, you can pick up a ChargePoint Home Flex starting today on Amazon or at ChargePoint.com for $699. The Home Flex by default lets owners use a circuit from 16 amps up to 50 amps to charge their vehicles with its 23-foot long charging cable and its J1772 connector.
Kyle Field I’m a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. TSLA investor.