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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The included EVSE is for emergency use only in my view. I could upgrade it for 220 to be more flexible, but it wasn't designed for that use so prefer to keep it stock. So when I'm on long trips I'd like to bring along a Level 2 EVSE. I have a JuiceBox Pro 40A but that thing is a monster. The holster cable is huge and it is quite heavy, but it does stow nicely under the false floor.

So instead I'm wondering if there's a lighter/simpler option for 'in a pinch' at a campground or whatever option, suggestions?

  • Level 2/7 kW/40 A ideally
  • Relatively small and light
  • Comes with a plug easily converted to every other standard I might come upon

Thanks -
 

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One of the best choices for flexibility and small size is actually the Tesla UMC. I got a slightly used one off ebay for under $500. You'll also have to get a Tesla->J1772 converter. But once you have that converter, then any Tesla destination charger is usable, plus you've got a 40-amp charger that is very small. The UMC comes with adapters for a 14-50 plug and a standard 110v outlet, but you can get additional adapters for almost any standard plug. And it adjusts the max amperage according to the adapter you use, so it'll automatically drop to 30 amps if you are using a 30 amp dryer plug.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One of the best choices for flexibility and small size is actually the Tesla UMC. I got a slightly used one off ebay for under $500. You'll also have to get a Tesla->J1772 converter. But once you have that converter, then any Tesla destination charger is usable, plus you've got a 40-amp charger that is very small. The UMC comes with adapters for a 14-50 plug and a standard 110v outlet, but you can get additional adapters for almost any standard plug. And it adjusts the max amperage according to the adapter you use, so it'll automatically drop to 30 amps if you are using a 30 amp dryer plug.
Pretty expensive isn't it? You get the UMC for say $500, IIRC the adapter is $200+ (now $700), and also don't Tesla destination chargers require some kind of activation? I have to believe they require some account with Tesla, now that they are no longer offering free life charging.

Ideally I'd find one that was cheap too :nerd:
 

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Destination chargers are simple L2 chargers installed at businesses and tourist spots - no activation required.

Super chargers require activation and the adapter doesn’t work for superchargers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Destination chargers are simple L2 chargers installed at businesses and tourist spots - no activation required.

Super chargers require activation and the adapter doesn’t work for superchargers.
Ah clear, thanks. My workplace is probably installing 16 Tesla destination chargers (they'll pay for it).


Just checked, the adapter costs $400, yikes, now the Tesla charger is in the range of $900 to use. Way too expensive.
 

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Ah clear, thanks. My workplace is probably installing 16 Tesla destination chargers (they'll pay for it).


Just checked, the adapter costs $400, yikes, now the Tesla charger is in the range of $900 to use. Way too expensive.
I think people are still getting the adapter for $260 - the adapter alone is worth while so you can use Tesla L2/Destination chargers - the mobile EVSE is a "separate" purchase IMHO - all part of the kit any serious EV road warrior should have in car for maximum charging options.
 

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I bought a Jekayla 32A portable charger, $379 includes shipping. Has a J1772 on one end and a NEMA 14-50 on the other. Can plug into a 240V NEMA 14-50 receptacle I had installed in my garage or at a campground that has 50 AMP receptacle for RVs. There is a 40A version for a little more, but the maximum amps that the Bolt can use is 32A.
 

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After much research and advice from this forum I too have chosen what mboni and Mr. O'Rourke suggested, and was able to apply the discount code for the adapter as well. Now all I need is the bolt �� Car is on order and build date was actually this week so hopefully soon I will be part of the charging community��
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
The Tesla is a good suggestion, but I don't really feel good about that for several reasons.

  • First, it's all Tesla, which went their own way with an exclusive connector. I don't really want to buy into that system.
  • Two, the adapter. Sounds great, but read this report on using it with the Bolt. It only works with TWCI not TWCII (obviously Tesla put in smarts to prevent people from doing this. Also, according to the manufacturer instructions its quirky, you have to be careful about connection order. Three, apparently you can accidentally go about 40 amps, not good. Also, if I was a Tesla owner I'd be peeved seeing people using this. Finally it's expensive and bulky, even with a coupon.
  • Three, the Tesla chargers aren't readily available, and now Tesla has gone over to a version without adapters. You can get them on eBay for $$ but I'm not interested in unobtanium for a common item (EVSE).

The $375 Jekayla looks like a good option. A bit more expensive than others, but has a nice screen, comes with a nice screen and gets good reviews. However does it work at 120V? According to a comment from the manufacturer

Adapter is not ok if you want 110v. The only way is peeling off 14-50 plug and change it to 5-15p. We have another charger directly fits for 110v. You can check it on our storefront.
So this is out. When the foreign market (probably Chinese) says don't do it, don't do it!

I think the best option is sticking with the JuiceBox. Downside it's 20 lbs not including adapters which is twice the other options. Upside is it has a wifi interface (connect to the car wifi) for full configurability, adapters for various connectors and voltages, and you can get a nice carrying case for the adapters and unit. Weatherproof too.
 

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After much research, I decided to give the 32 amp "EV power plug" a try.

At $250 it is far and away the least expensive option. It is a no frills unit but the specs look good.

I will take pictures and post.

I will review it shortly on the forum...

Stay tuned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
After much research, I decided to give the 32 amp "EV power plug" a try.

At $250 it is far and away the least expensive option. It is a no frills unit but the specs look good.
Not finding it in a search. Again, does it support 120V, various amperages?

So far they all have at least one compromise. It's either size/weight (JuiceBox), non-intended use/hinky jinky (Tesla), or flexibility (others). Seems like a hole in the market and a good opportunity for somebody, why not make a flexible, relatively lightweight unit that comes with a case and adapters for just about every situation you could find? Just toss it in the back and you are prepared to grab a charge in odd situations.
 

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The Tesla is a good suggestion, but I don't really feel good about that for several reasons.

  • First, it's all Tesla, which went their own way with an exclusive connector. I don't really want to buy into that system.
  • Two, the adapter. Sounds great, but read this report on using it with the Bolt. It only works with TWCI not TWCII (obviously Tesla put in smarts to prevent people from doing this. Also, according to the manufacturer instructions its quirky, you have to be careful about connection order. Three, apparently you can accidentally go about 40 amps, not good. Also, if I was a Tesla owner I'd be peeved seeing people using this. Finally it's expensive and bulky, even with a coupon.
  • Three, the Tesla chargers aren't readily available, and now Tesla has gone over to a version without adapters. You can get them on eBay for $$ but I'm not interested in unobtanium for a common item (EVSE).

The $375 Jekayla looks like a good option. A bit more expensive than others, but has a nice screen, comes with a nice screen and gets good reviews. However does it work at 120V? According to a comment from the manufacturer



So this is out. When the foreign market (probably Chinese) says don't do it, don't do it!

I think the best option is sticking with the JuiceBox. Downside it's 20 lbs not including adapters which is twice the other options. Upside is it has a wifi interface (connect to the car wifi) for full configurability, adapters for various connectors and voltages, and you can get a nice carrying case for the adapters and unit. Weatherproof too.
First off Tesla went their own way to avoid the design nightmare that is the SAE Combo Adapter - the reason Tesla when their own way was they wanted Fast DC charging (Supercharging) to use the same connector as L1/L2 AC charging - have seeing the SAE Combo Adapter, and the sleek/simple Tesla Connector I disagree with your assessment. The SAE Combo connector is a beast and un-necessarily complex.

Two - the instructions are not as bad as you make them out to be. I use my Bolt with multiple Tesla Wall Connectors (version 1 & 2) every week - never had a problem). 40 AMP is _NOT_ a problem since the Bolt can only draw 32 AMPS - Most Tesla owners are avowed EV fans and just happy to see a fellow EV owner doing the EV thing - it's expensive and bulky until you realize you now have access to an entire charging network (not superchargers) that you wouldn't have with out the adapter.
2.5 - let's not confuse being compatible with a Tesla Wall Connector (fixed installed non portable version 1 &2) with the Tesla UMC (portable configurable EVSE up to 40 amps) - the UMC is a great high quality portable proven EVSE (100's of thousands of them in daily) and it's light and fairly priced - there are no reports of any problems using the adapter with a UMC - and you simply can not beat the green light animation while it's charging - that animation makes the charger at least 4 times faster than all other competitors…>:)

Tesla UMC's are currently sold out - bummer - this happens from time to time - but I'm sure they will be back in stock - there are now 3 mobile Tesla chargers
1. Original Tesal UMC with adaptable plugs
2. New Tesla UMC with a fixed NEMA 14-50 - still a good portable EVSE but now limited to just 14-50 plugs
3. Newer Tesla UMC for the Model 3 - with a new style of adapter plugs

I agree not to overpay for an EVSE on eBay

that being said yes there are other portable EVSE's but all of them have some sort of compromise vs. the Tesla UMC in my opinion, which may account for why they are cheaper.

Features of the Tesla UMC are:

1. works on a wide wide wide range of plugs with a proper set of adapters
2. it's light and compact
3. it goes up to 40 amps (50 amp circuit)
4. it's fairly weather resistant - in a nice sealed rubberized coating
5. proven reliable with over 4 years of in market service and 100's of thousands of units sold and used (Tesla is well north of having sold 250,000+ EV's and a UMC ships with each one of them)

Also I know it's hard to avoid conflating the two - if you buy a Tesla UMC as your portable EVSE - you have two choices
1. you _MUST_ buy the adapter
2. you _MUST_ modify it (for extra $$) to have a J-1772 connector attached to it

however the Adapter is a separate purchase that has it's own benefits - i.e you can use it to access and charge with other Tesla chargers you might encounter in the wild - so even if you don't want a portable Tesla EVSE, or buy a different J-1772 EVSE, the adapter itself is a useful addition to any serious EV road warriors charging kit - my goal is to maximize my charging options for when I'm traveling with my BEV - and the discounted adapter cost is minimal vs. the pain/suffering of being stranded with no charging options…the simple fact is having the ability to use Tesla L2 chargers (not superchargers) greatly expands the set of available charging locations, and that advantage will continue to grow as Tesla continues to expand the destination charging network.

my recommended kit for _ANY_ BEV owner wishing to maximize travel charging options is:

1. a good, portable, adaptable EVSE in the car (adaptable = able to use multiple types of plugs) - Tesla's UMC is one of a range of choices in this space
2. a good NEMA 5-20 extension cord with 5-15 adapter (L1 charging)
3. accounts/memberships with a range of charging networks
4. A Tesla to J-1772 adapter so you can use Tesla chargers also
5. Chevy Bolt with the DCFast charging option
6. a used/refurbished iPad with Plug-share and other EV centric apps installed for on the road charging planning

but as always make your own informed purchasing decisions -the good news is more and more choices are appearing everyday so it's not quite the waste land it was a couple of years ago…this is all good news!
 

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With the high cost of owning a second EVSE (besides the hard-wired one on your garage wall) as well as an adapter (maybe two: wall plug adapter to EVSE & Tesla to J1772 adapter), recommendation #5 makes that $750 seem a lot more reasonable now, doesn't it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
First, thanks for your informed post

First off Tesla went their own way to avoid the design nightmare that is the SAE Combo Adapter - the reason Tesla when their own way was they wanted Fast DC charging (Supercharging) to use the same connector as L1/L2 AC charging - have seeing the SAE Combo Adapter, and the sleek/simple Tesla Connector I disagree with your assessment. The SAE Combo connector is a beast and un-necessarily complex.
I think you misunderstand, the compromise is not the Tesla unit itself. I agree it's a better design than SAE Combo. The issue I have is the adapter needed to get that to work with my car because fundamentally the Tesla charger is incompatible. I'm sure it works fine, but it's non standard and awkward (which doesn't detract from having it for use with a Tesla destination charger). My only beef with Tesla doing a better standard is that it's proprietary, open standards are almost always better (adoption, cost, longevity), even if not as well designed as proprietary.

Tesla UMC's are currently sold out
I had read they have a new design which isn't universal and so are done with the original that came with the adapters (won't sell it anymore).

that being said yes there are other portable EVSE's but all of them have some sort of compromise vs. the Tesla UMC in my opinion,
Agree, they all have an issue or two, but you have to agree that using a Tesla on any other car is a compromise too.

4. it's fairly weather resistant - in a nice sealed rubberized coating
JuiceBox is listed as water proof, see below.

I think we're largely in violent agreement, however let's compare with the JuiceBox side by side

  • Weight/portability Tesla wins
  • Weather sealing JuiceBox wins
  • SAE support JuiceBox wins
  • Futureproof JuiceBox wins (either 40A or 75A)
  • Control flexibility JuiceBox wins (with the WIFI control you can set time, amperage, total kWh and other parameters) and you earn rewards with reporting
  • Availability JuiceBox wins
  • Interchangably fixed mount and portable JuiceBox wins (just take it off the wall bracket and unplug)
  • Support JuiceBox wins (Tesla won't help you from using your EVSE to charge a non-Tesla car, nor will GM)
  • Electrical connectivity Equivalent (variety of adapters)
  • Cost Call it equivalent since the SAE adapter is useful in other contexts

Thanks for your post, it helped me dig out of my brain what was floating around, weighing an extra 10lbs is a small compromise - I'll stick with the JuiceBox.

Having said that the Tesla is a great option, thanks to you guys for working that out.
 

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After much research, I decided to give the 32 amp "EV power plug" a try.

At $250 it is far and away the least expensive option. It is a no frills unit but the specs look good.

I will take pictures and post.

I will review it shortly on the forum...

Stay tuned.
The unit i am referring to is strickly level 2 charging ranging from 16 to 32 amps. It is not intended for level 1 charging. I assumed most people would just keep the GM supplied unit in their cars for level 1 charging.

This unit is very basic but again, nothing comes close to it in price. Once it arrives and I try it out I will post the review. I should receive it next week.

Others who have bought and used it seem very satisfied.

If I deem it worthy, I will post where to buy it. I do not want to mislead the forum in any way so I am taking a conservative approach for now.
 

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We have a TurboCord Duo for our Volt, and will likely purchase another by the time the Bolt arrives.
 

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I got the 8/16/32A KHONS EVSE with a 20' cable and a NEMA 14-50 plug for around $300 shipped from China via Alibaba, and kept around my OEM charger. I made adapters to do NEMA 5-15 to NEMA 14-50 and vice versa for both chargers. That gets me 8/12/16/32A 110V or 220V charging about $350 with adapters. It would have been nice to get 12A and 24A on the KHONS charger, but I didn't think to ask for it when I bought it, and with Alibaba, you rarely get more than you've asked. Most of the weight is in the cable, not the box.
 

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