State of Charge

                                Charging Station Reviews

We independently review every item we recommend. If you buy through our links, we may earn a small commission that helps us continue to make quality content for you. Thanks for your support!

Autel MaxiCharger Lite 50-Amp EV Charging Station Review

An updated smart EVSE offering solid performance at a good price
Published on January 06, 2024
Last updated on May 14, 2024

If you know much about electric vehicle charging stations, then you've probably heard about Autel's MaxiCharger line of electric vehicle supply equipment, as it is one of the best-rated on today's market. The company has done a great job of offering a variety of options, power levels, and colors meant to suit the needs of nearly anyone with an EV.

You may recall me reviewing an Autel MaxiCharger in the past, and you'd be correct. The 40-amp Maxicharger Elite turned out to be an excellent device in terms of its specs, construction, and smart-charging features, but it had the worst cold-weather cable that I've ever tested. After my review went live, Autel reached out to me with a pledge to fix the problem and a promise that they'd ship me an updated version of the charger once that happened.

Well, it's finally happened. Let's see how the new version does in my extensive tests.

AUTEL
amazon.com
$569

Key Specs of the Autel MaxiCharger Lite 50-Amp

  • Charger: AC Level 2
  • AC Connector: Type 1 (SAE J1772)
  • Power Input: Hardwired
  • Rated Current: 50A
  • Adjustable Current: 6 – 50A
  • Maximum Power: 12 kW
  • Dimensions (without cable): 13.23"W x 7.36"H x 3.35"D
  • Cable length: 25 feet
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet
  • Safety Certified: Yes
  • Hits

  • Solid construction
  • Packed with smart features
  • RFID/APP Access Control
  • Misses

  • Cable Performance
  • Too many configurations
  • Charge dock not illuminated
  • Installation

    The Autel MaxiCharger Lite came neatly packed, its box holding the unit's body, a mounting bracket, a 25-foot charging cable with a J1772 connector, screws, Torx wrenches, installation guide with amperage labels, and an optional plastic plug to cover the cable opening in the bottom should you decide to hardwire from the back of the unit. My version came with an integrated connector holster, but a remote connector version is available as well.

    The MaxiCharger Lite can be used from 16 to 50 amps, with the amperage adjusted either via DIP switch in the body of the unit or via the app. This particular unit is intended to be hardwired, but Autel also sells a 40-amp version with a NEMA 6-50 and 14-50 plug for plug-in use. Since hardwiring can be a complicated process for most consumers, I highly recommend that folks have these kinds of EV charging stations professionally installed to reduce the risk of dangerous electrical issues. I personally recommend my YouTube channel sponsor Qmerit for the installation of EV charging equipment. As North America’s leading provider of installation services for EV charging, home energy storage, and other electrification technologies, you can count on them to get the job done right.

    But if you're getting the Autel MaxiCharger Lite at a lower power level with a NEMA plug, or are determined to install the hardwired version yourself, you'll want to start out by installing the mounting bracket along a stud in your desired location. There are two screws in the back of the body of the unit that will slip into pre-drilled holes and lock into place when you slide the body over that bracket. There's a small tab at the bottom of the mounting bracket where you can install a provided safety screw, which will make the unit much more difficult to steal should you mount it outside. Then it's just a matter of plugging in or installing your power cable, making sure your MaxiCharger is set to deliver the correct power output, and connecting the device to the internet. More on the last part in the next section.

    The Autel MaxiCharger Lite is a 50-amp EVSE with a maximum power rating of 12 kW, with adjustable power options available from 6 to 50 amps. Its J1772 connector makes it compatible with any EV sold in North America, though those with a NACS port will need an adaptor. The 25-foot cable should allow you plenty of installation flexibility, while its NEMA 4x-rated casing should be enough to protect against harsh elements. It's also UL and Energy Star certified and comes with a 3-year warranty.

    Since the Autel MaxiCharger Lite is a smart charger, it comes with a variety of connectivity options to make your life easier. Unlike most EV charging stations, which have a single way to connect to the internet, the MaxiCharger has three: Wi-Fi, ethernet, and Bluetooth. Then you just need to download the Autel Charge app, register it, and scan the QR code from the side of the unit or the back of the installation guide to pair it to your app. Next up, you link the unit to your network using whichever connection type is most convenient for you. After you’re all set up, the app will be able to tell you how much it costs to charge your EVs, schedule your charging, and set the maximum power for it to deliver. You can also order RFID cards to allow access to the unit without the app.

    Have more than one EV in your household? The Autel MaxiCharger Lite can power share with up to 6 other MaxiChargers, making them a great choice for multifamily installations with a limited number of circuits.

    Testing

    I couldn't call this a comprehensive review if I didn't put the EVSEs I assessed through a gauntlet of tests. I know that EV charging stations aren't cheap, and none of us want to spend hundreds of dollars on a unit that ultimately fails to meet our needs or expectations. So how did the Autel MaxiCharger Lite do?


    The Cable Deep Freeze Test

    Those of you who've seen a few of my videos know that my Cable Deep Freeze Test is a staple, at least for those of us living in areas that see frigid winters. If you've ever tried to wrestle a frozen cable into submission in the early hours of the morning, you know exactly why this test is so important! For the MaxiCharger Lite, this test is even more critical, because it's the same test that the original MaxiCharger flunked so badly back in 2022. So I was eager to see the improvements Autel claims they've made. In order to give you the best visual comparison, I also froze the ChargePoint Home Flex –my personal gold standard for cold-weather climates– alongside the MaxiCharger. I put the Autel MaxiCharger Lite into my commercial ice cream freezer for 24 hours before pulling it out for the test. When I did, the internal temperature measured -16° F (-26.7° C). The coiled charging cable came out stiff and reluctant to give up its impression of a spring. Meanwhile, the ChargePoint cable came out of the freezer super flexible, despite having been left in the freezer more than 24 hours longer than the MaxiCharger! Don't get me wrong, the new MaxiCharger is better than it was the last time I tested it, but it's still not good enough to receive a passing grade from me.


    The Cold Weather Power Test

    In order to check that the unit would charge without issue after reaching such a low temperature, I plugged the chilly MaxiCharger Lite right into my Chevrolet Bolt. The unit lit right up and went to work, earning a passing grade on this test as well.


    The Connector Drop Test

    Right on the heels of the Cable Deep Freeze Test comes my Connector Drop Test, where I test a connector's durability by dropping it to the concrete floor of my garage five times from about waist height. The MaxiCharger I tested back in 2022 had the awkward honor of being my first-ever failure in this testing category, breaking after only three drops. This updated version passed the test with a good, strong connector.


    The Extreme Heat Test

    The Extreme Heat Test didn't exist back when I did the original review on the MaxiCharger, so I was looking forward to seeing how it would hold up. This test lets users see how a unit will handle charging in extremely hot temperatures. I positioned a heat lamp in front of the MaxiCharger Lite for two hours until its temperature reached 121.5° F (49.7° C), then plugged the unit into my Chevrolet Bolt EV for another 2 hours of charging at max power while it continued to bake. The Autel MaxiCharger Lite continued charging with no issue– it didn't derate, shut off, or suffer any other failures, in spite of reaching a temperature of 153.5° F (67.5° C). That's a solid pass from me.


    The Automatic Restart Test

    This test checks to see if a charger will continue to charge an EV after the unit goes through a power outage. Most modern EVs are supposed to resume a charging cycle as soon as power returns, but sometimes the feature doesn't work like it should. I simulated a power outage while the MaxiCharger Lite was charging my Bolt, and it immediately returned to juicing up my car. That's a pass on the Automatic Restart Test.

    In order to make it easier for you to compare the EV charging equipment I've reviewed, I created a point-based system called the ChargerRater. With the ChargerRater, every EVSE is rated on a 15-point categorical system, which are then added up to produce a final score out of 100. The Autel MaxiCharger Lite really shone in the Power & Waterproof Rating category, and honestly didn't score badly anywhere. Overall, the Autel MaxiCharger Lite came away with an impressive 97 points and 4.8 stars out of 5.

    Since charts can only measure so much, I also give the charging stations I review a score of my own. I gave the Autel MaxiCharger Lite a rating of 4.45 stars out of 5, and after averaging it with the ChargerRater score, the MaxiCharger Lite earned a final score of 4.65 stars. This is one of the highest scores I've ever given on State of Charge, and one well-earned for a really good product that comes packed with features at a decent price. It's definitely going to be on my recommended list moving forward.

    The Autel MaxiCharger Lite 50-amp is currently available for $699 on Amazon, but if the 40-amp version with a NEMA 14-50 plug is more fitting for your needs, you can find it for $399 on Amazon (as of April 9, 2024). Check out my video for more details, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

    4.65 / 5
    Autel MaxiCharger Lite 50-Amp

    By: Tom Moloughney

    Tom has been covering the electric vehicle scene since 2010 and has written for Forbes, Plugincars, GreenCarReports, BMWBLOG, and InsideEVs. He's a former director at Plug In America and specializes in the North American and Chinese electric vehicle markets, with a strong emphasis on EV charging and charging equipment. Tom is also the host of the EV charging YouTube channel, State of Charge.

    Latest News From State of Charge

    EVChargingStation’s Comment Policy

    We welcome polite, respectful comments, but rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. All comments are reviewed prior to publication.  Thanks for joining in the conversation!

    0 Comments

    Submit a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Share This