/ / What Is The Output Of The ChargePoint Home Charger?

What Is The Output Of The ChargePoint Home Charger?

There are two answers to this question – one that sticks to the letter of the question, and one that is probably of more use to anyone looking at buying a ChargePoint EV charger.

That’s because ChargePoint has two leading models with very similar names – on the one hand, there’s the Home, and on the other, there’s the relatively new Home Flex.

In the interests of thoroughness and usefulness, we’ll cover both options here.

The ChargePoint Home, released in 2015, revolutionized at-home electric vehicle charging, and one of the main ways in which it did that was by turning 7kW of output into 32 amps of power available to your electric vehicle. At the time, that was jaw-dropping, allowing for rapid charging of any electric vehicle, and putting the Home at the front of the charging game.

The output of the ChargePoint Home though was configurable – it could give you 32 amps if you had an electric vehicle that could take them, but you could also get 13, 20, or 24 amps if your electric vehicle could only take a maximum lower than the 32 amps.

The difference in the output translated into a positively spectacular change when you got out on the road. Most home chargers at the time could only give you around 10 miles of range per hour of charging.

The ChargePoint Home added up to 25 miles of range per hour of charging, and at the time, would fully charge most electric vehicles on the market in around four hours. That was one of the first times that home charging became a thing most people could genuinely believe in as a home convenience.

Both by increasing the output to 32 amps, and by increasing the range per hour of charge and cutting the charge time so significantly, it became a thing that people believed they could fit into their home life, and helped boost the take-up of electric chargers – and electric vehicle as a whole – across the USA.

The ChargePoint Home had the top of the market for home electric chargers to itself for a while, not least because its 7kW/32 amp offering was unbeatable, and it made home charging a viable reality for lots of American homes.

Since then, time has moved on, and the home charging market has moved on too. As more and more chargers reached the 32 amp threshold, more and more electric vehicles emerged that could take all those amps, get their charge, and translate them into longer distances between charges.

When the JuiceBox 40 was released, it raised the threshold again, to a full 40 amps of potential output, meaning it could outdo the ChargePoint Home, and cater to any and all electric vehicles that were then able to take more charge than the ChargePoint Home could deliver.

Needless to say, the ‘output wars,’ as practically no-one called them, or the ‘charge wars’ as surprisingly many people did, became the domestic, significantly less lethal version of an arms race, particularly between JuiceBox and ChargePoint, as they were the top models on the market, not only in terms of output, but in connectivity and app-powered remote charging.

And then things changed again. Apart from anything else, Tesla released the Model 3, which could take up to 48 amps of power, a demand beyond everything on the market. Sure, the JuiceBox 40 was still the closest thing to maximum output on the market, so it didn’t see much of a dent in its reputation or its sales, it was just that the best on the market wasn’t quite the best that could be taken by the leading electric vehicles anymore.

Enter the ChargePoint Home Flex

The ChargePoint home Flex is the newest offering from ChargePoint, and it offers up to 50 amps of power from an output of 12 kW. That means it can give electric vehicles like the Tesla Model 3 all the power they can take, for maximum high-speed charging at home.

What’s more, it looks likely that the 12kW output/50 amp power offering will be a threshold for much longer than the 7kW/32 amp offer was.

Why?

Because lots of OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) have already said they’re unlikely to make electric vehicle chargers that exceed the 40-48 amp range for the foreseeable future.

But why would they say that? Surely the more output you can get from a domestic circuit, the more power you can deliver to an electric vehicle, and let the charge race reach its natural limit?

Well, yes, but firstly, it’s not an easy ask to build that level of charger, and right now, with even the undisputed market leader in electric vehicles, Tesla, getting more than acceptable mileage figures out of a 12kW/48-50 amp charger, there’s absolutely no market incentive for OEMs to go higher.

It’d be like offering a charger that could supply enough power to get your electric car to the moon (which, admittedly, has to be on Elon Musk’s To Do List), but while still keeping the engine size the same, meaning you’d never get out of the Earth’s atmosphere. It’s currently a redundant thing to do – and it looks like staying redundant for some years to come.

And secondly, to get something like an 80-amp charger, you’d need way more resilience in your domestic electric circuits than domestic properties typically have in the US. You can get it right now, yes, but it would mean a probably costly rewiring job. And again, the likelihood of it being necessary to deliver that kind of output from a domestic circuit to power an electric vehicle charger any time soon is very small.

So the ChargePoint Home Flex, with its 12kW/50 amp offering looks likely to become a reasonable domestic standard for years to come. Certainly, other companies might redevelop their models to meet and challenge that output/power standard, but it seems very unlikely they will exceed it any time soon.

Upto the 12kW/50 amp standard, it made sense to redevelop and redesign the fundamentals of EV chargers.

Beyond that threshold, where the cost of an electric vehicle and the rapid charging home station to make the most of it comes with an added cost and the hassle of a major rewiring job, it will make more sense for electric vehicle manufacturers to work on extending the range-per-charge of their vehicle, and the charge-storage capacity of their batteries.

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