The first thing first time EV buyers should know, public charging sucks.

Even with Tesla's Supercharger network and Electrify America's growing network, public charging is still a pain. There is simply a much better, more enjoyable way to own an EV and thats by bringing a charging station to where your car spends the most time, at home.

While there is plenty to unpack in every charging provider's offering there are a few inescapable truths for EV owners to consider.

Apps Aren't Everything

It seems silly to point out but this is usually the biggest deciding factor for many EV owners and it's also one of the most pointless. However, it seems like it must be said, your charging station doesn't need an app.

this is one of the least usable features from any charging provider

In fact, this is one of the least usable features from any charging provider. Why? Well, simply put its totally redundant. Most every EV sold these days come with an app already, and one that gives owners far more information than their charging station comes with. Do you want an app for your iPhone charger also? Of course not, there is no purpose to that solution. Sure you can see how much power is being used, you may even be able to adjust the output as well, but guess what you can do the same thing with the app that came with your car in the first place.

this is one of the least usable features from any charging provider
If you want to feel tech-savvy and constantly check up on your phone what your charging station is doing you can, but it's definitely not a feature you should spend extra on or choose an inferior station over.

Look for Intelligence

While your charging station certainly doesn't need an app, it could certainly use a good deal of intelligence. The more challenging your charging scenario the more this feature comes into play. No two charging situations are the same and depending on your living arrangement, the age of your home and existing power supply can drastically change just what your charging station can do.


The largest charging station Tesla provides for in-home use is 100A, but most homes don't actually have this much power available. In fact, most apartment garages don't have much more than this either, by choosing the wrong station you could block off every other owner from installing a station. This can be a big problem for "dumb" chargers. However, intelligent charging stations can dynamically change their output based on the power supply. This means that no matter your charging situation the station will work at its optimal level.

If you live in anything but a brand new home (and even then) you'll be better off looking for a provider that supplies SmartPower or dynamic power management.

Know Your Charging Speed

Its surprising but many people don't know the basics of charging so here's a quick breakdown:

*Level 1 *- This is just a 120V wall outlet and is the slowest form of charging at will typically take 100 hours to charge a Tesla from empty to full. You should only use this if its an emergency or your EV is very low range (Sub-60 mi), otherwise, this charging setup is more trouble than its worth.

Level 2 - A 240V dryer plug will do the trick here and takes around 8 hours to fully charge up a Tesla. While eight hours is a long time, consider that you should only need to charge up 1-2 hours every night and your vehicle typically sits in its parking space for upwards of 15 hours overnight. In any scenario, this is the ideal set up for in-home charging.

Level 3 - This level is the fastest charging speed and has the most ambiguity around its definition. Any charger from 25kW all the way up to 350 kW can be considered Level 3. The one thing to know, however, is these charging stations are more ideal for public chargers than at home as their costs are exorbitant and consistent usage of these stations can damage the battery.