State of Charge | Charging Station Reviews
Emporia 48-Amp EV Charging Station Review
A high-powered EV charging station with great features that’s easy on the wallet
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Emporia is no stranger to the smart home energy management scene, but did you know that it now has its own EV charging station? The Emporia 48-amp EV charger quickly gained a lot of interest when it first came out earlier this year, and once it finally became UL safety certified, I knew that I’d have to test this one out. Thanks to a combination of its high 48-amp power, smart charging features, and its integration with Emporia’s other home energy-saving and monitoring devices, there’s no doubt that the Emporia EV charging station will make a splash on the EVSE scene.
Of course, expectations and reality don’t always line up, so once I got a hold of one of the units, I made sure to use it for a while before giving it my full review.
Key Specs of the Emporia 48-Amp
The Emporia comes with nearly everything you need for the plug-in installation outside of a Phillips head screwdriver– screws, drywall anchors, an Allen wrench, and the unit itself. The bracket that mounts the unit to the wall is already attached to the back at delivery, so after removing the screws to pop it off, you can install it in whatever location is most convenient for you. Considering that the power cable is longer than most at almost two feet in length, you have a lot more flexibility in your mounting options than with some chargers. Then all you need to do is insert the NEMA 14-50 plug into your dedicated outlet and you’re ready to charge.
The connection holster can either be attached to the unit itself or in another location that works better for you. When attaching it to the unit, all you need to do is slide the holster mount into the provided grooves to lock it into place, and then add the bracket’s third screw to really secure it. But if you’d rather mount the holster closer to the charging port of your car (or anywhere else, for that matter), you can easily do so with the extra screws that Emporia provides.
The Emporia EV charging station can also be hardwired for extra charging power. Remember, any time you install a hardwired EV charging station in your home, it’s always a good idea to hire a licensed and bonded electrician to make sure it’s done correctly for maximum safety.
The Emporia can deliver up to 9.6 kW and 40 amps if it’s plugged in using the NEMA 14-50 plug, and up to 11.5 kW at 48 amps if it’s hardwired. Not all vehicles can accept this much power, but the Emporia charger will only provide the amount of power that your EV can safely accept, making it a good choice for your charging needs regardless of brand. It’s also UL safety certified, Energy Star certified, and the enclosure is a watertight NEMA Type 4 made to withstand the elements.
As long as you’ve got a WiFi connection handy, the Emporia can provide you with a variety of smart services to make your charging experience even better. Not only can you monitor charging through the app, but you can also adjust your EV’s charging rate and schedule charging to take advantage of variable utility rates. On top of that, the Emporia EV charging station can pair with Emporia’s other smart devices to do things like automatically charge with excess solar power and curb charging during periods of peak demand.
I can’t say that I was impressed by the connection holster. The connector faces upward, exposing it to rain and dust unless you use the rubber cap, and the rubber cap is just a hassle to take on and off. I much prefer connector holsters where the connector plugs into the unit. The holster also prevents you from easily grabbing and pulling the connector out by the handle– the design forces you to grab it by the plug and maneuver it out of the cradle instead, requiring both hands for the task. There’s no way to grab the connector by the handle and go straight to charging, and I think that’s terrible.
The only redeeming factor of the connection holster is the fact that it’s made of metal, not plastic. So you may want to consider purchasing an aftermarket connector holster with cable management like this one if you can’t stand the original.
I make sure to put all of the EV chargers I review through a variety of tests that simulate common experiences we encounter in everyday life. The basic specs of any EV charging station are critical to know about before buying one, but I also believe that it’s important for consumers to know about the durability of a charging station’s connector as well as its performance in extremely cold weather before they make a purchase.
The Drop Test
Everyone drops the connector now and then, so it only makes sense for me to test the Emporia’s durability so that you know what to expect as a buyer. I drop the conector from about chest height to a hard concrete floor, five times in a row, and then check it over for any damage that could lead to expensive repairs or even outright replacement. The Emporia came away from my rough handling with little more than a few scuffs, so I’m pleased to report that it’s a strong, well-made connector.
The Cable Deep Freeze Test
Our deep freeze tests always garner a lot of interest, so there’s no way we’d pass over the chance to put another charger through this particular experiment. This time around, I left the Emporia EV charger in a commercial ice cream freezer for over 24 hours to see how it would hold up under extreme cold. The interior temperature measured at -6.5° F (-21.4° C) when we pulled the unit out, and I could hear the cable cracking as I unrolled it. However, in spite of the Emporia’s big, thick cable, I was able to unwind it and manipulate it into larger loops much better than I’d expected. It turned out to be stiff but bendable, and I would be able to recommend it for cold weather climates and outdoor installations.
After averaging the ChargerRater star rating with my own personal score of 4.55 stars for this unit, the Emporia crossed the finish line with an overall score of 4.6 stars out of 5, one of the highest ratings I’ve ever given on State of Charge. It’s a very good unit, and a few minor tweaks, it could easily become outstanding.
The Emporia is available from Amazon for $499. Take a look at my full review in the video above and tell me what you think about the Emporia in the comments below.
By: Tom Moloughney
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