State of Charge | Charging Station Reviews
Grizzl-E Smart EV Charging Station Review
One of the least expensive 40-amp smart chargers on the market
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Remember back when we reviewed the Grizzl-E Classic EV charging station, a rugged model manufactured by Canada-based United Chargers and built to withstand even the most extreme weather conditions? Well, there's an improved version of that fabulous charger out, only this one has smart connectivity. Not only is it built to last, but it’s also easy on the wallet, considering its cost compared to other similar smart chargers.
The Grizzl-e Smart is packed full of features that easily make it one of the most popular (and recommended) EV charging stations that we’ve reviewed, too. Smart connectors in general allow you to keep tabs on charging, costs, and more, all from your mobile device. If you don’t have the necessary 50 amp circuit needed to use the Grizzl-E at full power, the company is more than happy to provide internal dip switches to let you de-rate the power. Its NEMA 4-rated enclosure gives it the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions, and its ‘EasyEVPlug’ is a remote connector holster that means that you can install your connector where it’s most convenient for you. The Grizzl-e Smart is absolutely a good pick for your home charging station needs.
Key Specs of the Grizzl-E Smart
The Grizzl-E Smart is very straightforward to install. You’ll want a dedicated 50 amp circuit with a NEMA 14-50P outlet close by, or if that’s not possible, United Chargers can provide you with a pre-set dip switch to de-rate the power down to 16, 24, or 32 amps instead.
You attach a metal wall bracket to the wall with three center-aligned screws, preferably along a stud for extra stability. Then you attach the mounting bracket to the back of the charging station with an Allen wrench to lock it into place. Once that’s done, the two brackets lock together and are held in place by a security pin in the back. Plug it into your outlet, and you should be good to go.
The security pin is handy because it secures the Grizzl-E while also allowing for quick removal if needed. If you’re mounting the unit outdoors or anywhere where there’s a possibility of theft, United Chargers sells a security lock to replace the pin for an additional $14.95.
The Grizzl-E does come with a remote holster, but if it's not quite what you're looking for, we suggest checking out this holster and cable hook instead.
After everything’s properly connected, you can plug in your Grizzl-E Smart and let it do its work. With the full 40 amps, you should be able to add 25-32 miles of range to an EV per hour of charging, depending on how efficient the EV is.
One of the best features of the Grizzl-E Smart is the fact that it can connect to any Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) compliant EV charging station software. Rather than being stuck with whatever app your charger manufacturer decides to stick you with, you can try out different apps and their features before picking the one you like best. On top of that, the Grizzl-E Smart is also capable of becoming a commercial charging station that can collect payments with the help of a QR code. That makes this EV charging station perfect for places like apartment buildings, workplaces, and public parking garages.
The Grizzl-E Smart has a NEMA 4-rated metal enclosure and a thick charging cable meant to resist all sorts of extreme weather, but even so, we didn’t cut it any slack when it came to putting it through its paces.
The Cable Deep Freeze Test
Everybody loves our cable deep freeze tests. Considering that this particular charger hails from Canada, we were eager to see how it would fare after 14 hours spent in an ice cream freezer to simulate cold weather exposure. The temperature inside the freezer read -10.5° F when we pulled the cable out, but despite being marketed as an upgraded version meant to remain pliant in cold temperatures, the resulting flexibility wasn’t that impressive. The Grizzl-E Smart’s cable might perform a little better than average compared to others we’ve tested, but the cable did remain stiff until it warmed up a bit. But we can’t count the cable as a complete bust. United Chargers claims that their charging cable is durable enough to be run over by a car without damage. They also claim that the cable’s outer jacket won’t crack in extreme weather.
The Extreme Weather Test
In order to simulate driving rain, we thoroughly drenched the Grizzle-E Smart charger with a garden hose, even going so far as to give the outer seals a direct blast of water. Not willing to stop there, we went so far as to take it off of the wall mounting and dunk the housing into a bucket of water, even holding it under a bit at the end. After thoroughly toweling it off and plugging it back in, the Grizzl-E Smart charger immediately lit up and began charging an EV without any issues.
After averaging in the ChargerRater score with my personal rating of 4.75 stars out of 5, we gave the Grizzl-E Smart a final rating of 4.7 stars out of 5. While it’s advertised as a rugged device meant to laugh in the face of inclement weather, we just felt like it could have been a little better– the connector felt a little cheaply made, and the cable could have been more flexible. But on the upside, it’s a 40 amp Wi-Fi-enabled smart charger, both safety certified and Energy Star certified, and it does what you need it to do.
The Grizzl-E smart charger is an excellent value and one that will remain on our list of recommended chargers for some time to come. It’s available for $539 with a three-year warranty from Grizzl-E’s website, though there’s a five-year warranty available as well for an extra $120. Check out our video and let us know what you think in the comment section below.
By: Tom Moloughney
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