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Grizzl-E Duo EV Charging Station Review

Charge TWO electric vehicles at the same time
Published December 26, 2022

Prepping to charge a single electric vehicle (EV) at your home is one thing, but what if you have more than one? EV charging equipment isn’t cheap, plus you usually have to be able to connect a charger to a specialized power outlet rather than a standard household socket. Wouldn’t it be convenient to have a dual port EV charger that allows you to charge two EVs from one outlet?

Well, now you’ve got an option for that.

A Canadian electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) company known as United Chargers is the manufacturer of two of our favorite charging stations– the Grizzl-E Classic and Grizzl-E Smart. They’ve been focusing on EVSE research, development, and manufacturing for several years now, and their attention to quality shows. Both charging stations scored high on my ChargerRater scale and are units that I have no problems recommending for regular use.

United Chargers recently released their newest consumer product, the Grizzl-E Duo. It’s a plug-in charging station with two charging cables that allows users to simultaneously split the available current to charge two EVs. Considering how much I like its other products, I was excited to get my hands on the Grizzl-E Duo and run it through my thorough testing process.

UNITED CHARGERS
amazon.com
$799.00

Key Specs of the Grizzl-E Duo

  • Charger: AC Level 2
  • AC Connector: Type 1 (SAE J1772)
  • Power Input: Hardwired, NEMA 6-50 plug, NEMA 14-50 plug
  • Rated Current: 40A
  • Adjustable Current: 16 – 40A
  • Maximum Power: 9.6 kW
  • Dimensions (without cable): 6.25" x 6.5" x 10.25"
  • Cable length: 24 feet
  • Connectivity: -None-
  • Safety Certified: Yes
  • Hits

  • Excellent price
  • Robust construction
  • Charge two EVs with one charger
  • Misses

  • Connector feels cheap
  • Cable is too thick and heavy
  • Scheduled departure time software is incomplete
  • Installation

    The Grizzl-E Duo is a plug-in EV charging station that can be ordered with either a NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 6-50 plug configuration. It arrives with two J1772 connectors with attached 24-foot cables and two remote connector holsters. It also comes with a two-piece metal mounting plate, a security pin, screws, and drywall anchors for easy wall installation. The Duo doesn’t turn up with a paper installation manual and user’s guide; instead, you can scan a QR code to download those documents electronically.

    Installation isn’t complicated. Just attach the first section of the mounting plate to a stud with the supplied screws, the second section of the mounting plate to the unit, and slide the unit into place. You can insert a security pin to give the Duo an extra level of security, so it doesn’t fall off the wall. The pin also provides a quick release should you need to quickly remove the unit from the wall.

    As long as your unit is on a dedicated 50-amp circuit, it should be able to deliver the full 40 amps of power it’s rated for. If you don’t have a dedicated 50-amp circuit, don’t fret– the Duo can be derated to deliver less power so it won’t overload the circuit. Much like the Grizzl-E Classic and Grizzl-E Smart, the Grizzl-E Duo has adjustable power settings that you must manually configure inside the unit through dip switches.

    There are four screws on the front of the unit, which you can unscrew with an Allen wrench to open it up. Once inside, adjust the dip switches in the upper left-hand corner to change your output to 16, 24, 32, or 40 amps. Once you’re done, ensure the gasket is seated correctly and the bolts are retightened properly, so the unit’s NEMA 4 rating isn’t compromised.

    The Grizzl-E Duo can also be hardwired if you wish. If that’s the route you want to go, remember that the safest choice for the home installation of a hardwired EV charging station is to hire a licensed and bonded electrician.

    The unit comes with two remote connection holsters, so you can install them wherever is most convenient since the charging cables are nice and long. These particular holsters have a very wide, tapered opening that I especially love because you don’t have to line it up perfectly to plug it in. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same about the connectors themselves, which feel rather cheap and plasticky.

    The Grizzl-E Duo can deliver up to 40 amps (9.6 kW) to a single EV, and with its 24-foot charging cables, you have plenty of room to move around. However, if you've got two EVs plugged in at the same time, that maximum drops to 32 amps (7.7 kW). Why is that?

    The Duo actually needs to "reserve" 8 amps for the second vehicle in case it is set to charge later or needs to wake up and precondition the battery after the initial charging session is complete. So even if you've got two vehicles plugged in and one finishes charging before the other, the second vehicle can only receive up to 32 amps. This may make the Grizzl-E Duo's claims of being a 40-amp charger seem slightly misleading at a glance.

    I was shocked to discover over the course of testing that the Duo is being shipped out with a known software issue. There's a feature known as 'scheduled departure time' which allows users to tell their EV what time they'll be leaving. The car can then calculate when to start charging, that way it can be completely charged just before they're about to leave. Unfortunately, if the Grizzl-E Duo receives this command from the vehicle, it will flag an error and refuse to start charging, leaving you with a depleted battery when the time comes to make your trip.

    Since this isn't a smart charger, United Chargers can't just send out an over-the-air update to fix it in the future, meaning that the current version will never work as intended. They are working on the issue, but it isn't clear when a solution will be released. So if the scheduled departure time feature is important to you, the Duo probably isn't the unit for you to buy right now.

    But don't confuse scheduled departure time charging with regular scheduled charging– when you set a preferred time for your vehicle to begin charging. Duo is working just fine in that regard.

    The Grizzl-E Duo is also UL safety certified. It comes with a NEMA 4 enclosure, meaning that the Duo's aluminum case can be mounted outdoors with extra protection against moisture and wind-driven rain.

    Testing

    I don’t cut the EVSEs I test any slack during the testing portion of my reviews, and that’s because I understand how important it is for consumers to know exactly what they’re buying. Just because a charging station looks good on a website doesn’t mean that it is made of quality materials or can hold up under extreme weather. I ran the Grizzl-E Duo through its paces, and this is what I discovered.


    The Connector Drop Test

    The last thing you want to do is accidentally drop your charging connector and watch it shatter on your garage floor. Replacement parts and units are expensive, so it’s smart to check that your equipment can withstand a little rough handling. I test connectors by dropping them around five times in a row from about chest height to the concrete floor of my garage. The Grizzl-E Duo came away from my test in great working order without any cracks or broken pieces.


    The Cable Deep Freeze Test

    Do you have to contend with fierce winter cold in your area? Then it’s essential that you know how a potential EV charging station will hold up under those kinds of conditions before you buy it. I test EVSEs by putting them in a commercial ice cream freezer for 24 hours to simulate how the charging cable will act in frigid climates. The temperature inside the freezer had reached -15.5° F (-26.3° C) when I finally pulled the Grizzl-E Duo out. The cables were frozen pretty stiff– I could work with them, but I feel like United Chargers could source better cables for cold weather performance.

    To make it easy to compare the different EV charging stations I’ve reviewed, I developed a point-based system called the ChargerRater to rate EV charging equipment. Every EV charging station is rated on a 15-point categorical system that I then tally up out of a final score of 100. The Grizzl-E Duo zeroed out in the Smart/Non-Smart category because it doesn’t have any smart features, but it scored highly in regards to its cost and value. Overall, the Grizzl-E Duo scored a total of 92 points and 4.6 stars out of 5.

    I gave the Grizzl-E Duo my own personal score of 4.4 stars out of 5 due to the software issue, the unruly cable, and because I didn’t really love the connector. Averaging that score in with the ChargerRater rating, the Grizzl-E Duo came to a total of 4.5 stars out of 5. It’s a robust unit with nice long cables, and it’s priced very well for a unit that can charge two EVs at once.

    The Grizzl-E Duo is available for $799 on Amazon. Prefer to buy a smart charger instead? You can also find the Grizzl-E Smart for
    $499 on Amazon. Check out my full review in the video above, and let me know what you think in the comments below.

    4.5 / 5
    Grizzl-E Duo

    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.

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