OpenEVSE Electric Vehicle (EV) Charger Review

Last Updated: Apr 2021

The OpenEVSE 48 is one of the smallest, lightest 48-amp chargers available on the market today. But it doesn’t mean it’s not powerful.

It can deliver up to 48 amps to the car, which is the most that any electric vehicle made today can accept.

So you can’t buy an EV today that can actually get more power on level 2 charging than what the OpenEVSE can deliver now.

Overall Rating: 4.4 out of 5.0

The OpenEVSE comes in a 40-amp unit, which costs 529 dollars; a 48-amp unit which costs $599. It’s also available in a 32-amp version for the European market, and the charger comes with a different connector.

You can also buy a kit and put this together. The OpenEVSE sells this as a kit with all of the parts and you can just put it together yourself.

You’ll save seventy dollars if you buy the 40-amp kit, and you save a hundred dollars if you buy the 48-amp kit. It’s a significant saving.

This article talks about some features of the OpenEVSE Advanced Series 48-amp EV charger. The main features of the OpenEVSE Advanced Series 40-amp EV charger are the same as the 48-amp charger except for the power delivery. The OpenEVSE 40 delivers 40 amps, which is 9.6 kW to the EV.

Power and Weatherproof Rating

Power Delivery – The OpenEVSE 48 delivers 48 amps, which is 11.5 kW to the EV. There’s a portal where you can change the power level. You can adjust the power level from six amps up to 48 amps.

Weatherproof Rating – It has a NEMA 4x outer casing, which means it can actually take a direct hit from a hose, and water will not go into the enclosure. Even if you live in an area where you get blowing rainstorms or strong blowing snowstorms, this unit is still fine to locate outside.

NEMA 4x means the enclosure is very tight, and you’re not going to have any intrusion inside that enclosure.

Construction and Durability

Weight and Dimension – The OpenEVSE is one of the smallest, lightest electric car chargers available on the market today. It weighs only 9.7 pounds and has a tiny dimension.

Connector – The OpenEVSE has the J1772 connector, which is the industry standard.

All electric vehicles sold in America today that aren’t made by Tesla use that connector. So if you buy a Tesla, you need to get an adapter to use the OpenEVSE home EV charger to charge the Tesla. The supplied adapter with the Tesla will work.

Connector Holster – The unit comes with a small remote connector holster. It still needs to be attached firmly to the wall. It works well, and the lip on the top of the connector holster is tall enough to hold the cable.

Cable Length and Pliability – The unit has a standard 24-foot long cable, which is longer than 20 feet. It’s one of the longest cables available on the market today.

The cable doesn’t performs terribly, better than the cable of the JuiceBox charger, but definitely not as well as some of the better cables like the Chargepoint Home Flex charger.

Plug-In and Hardwired – The OpenEVSE comes in a plug-in version. Of course, you can remove the plug and get the unit hardwired if you’d like. It comes with a plug that you can use in either a NEMA 14-30, a NEMA 14-50 or NEMA 14-60 outlet.

The OpenEVSE 48 is a plug-in unit that can deliver up to 48 amps. There are no other units that are available today that offer a plug-in option for 48 amps.

The Tesla wall connector comes in a hardwired version.

The ChargePoint Home Flex that can deliver up to 50 amps is required to be hardwired.

If you’re using more than 40 amps with the Enel X JuiceBox charger, they give you a plug-in unit up to the 40-amp version. If you want the 48-amp version, it has to be hardwired.

But with the OpenEVSE 48, you can install a NEMA 14-60 outlet on a dedicated 60-amp circuit and plug the unit into it; then it’ll deliver 48 amps.

Robust Construction – The OpenEVSE 48 is a well-made and solid unit. The NEMA 4 rated enclosure is very durable.

Smart Charger

The OpenEVSE is a smart charger, but it’s not a conventional one. You don’t download an app, and what you do is when you turn the unit on, pair it with your wi-fi and then go to a private Ip address in your network.

Digital Display – The OpenEVSE is plastic and clear, so you can look right into the unit and see the wires. It also has a digital display. On that display, you can see real-time power draw in amps, so you can see the power delivered during this current charging session in watt-hours and also the cumulative power that the unit has delivered.

You do have to go into the network to switch that. You can’t do that from the main display screen. It’s not a touch screen, and it just displays the amount of energy that it’s given.

Time Scheduling – You can set schedules. If you’re in a time of use and you want the car to charge during a certain period of time, you can tell it to charge for a certain number of minutes, like 50 minutes, and then shut off. You can also ask it to add a certain amount of kilowatt-hours

Resume Charging – It can automatically restart, which basically means that if there’s a power outage in the middle of a charging session, and once power is restored, the unit will automatically start recharging the car.

Eligible to Participate In Utility Demand Response Programs – The OpenEVSE can participate in Utility Demand Response Programs. It can save you a lot of money in the long run.

Power Share – The OpenEVSE is power share capable, but it’s not the standard power share. If you’re in an apartment complex and you need to string a bunch of OpenEVSE EV chargers together, they can configure it for you. However, if you just order one online and get it at your house, it will not power share with another OpenEVSE, and the two chargers can’t share a single circuit.

Warranty

Warranty – The OpenEVSE has a 3-year warranty.

Conclusion

The OpenEVSE is not energy star certified.

The unit doesn’t have extensive charging record data. Unlike some of the other competing smart chargers, the OpenEVSE does not store all individual pass charging records, and it doesn’t keep as good a record as some of the competing units. You can’t go back and look.

It’s not safety certified, and it hasn’t been UL listed. But all the components they use in the OpenEVSE are UL components. It’s just they’re put together. It’s been on the market for quite a few years, and it’s safe.

The OpenEVSE hasn’t gone through the expense of getting the unit safety certified, which can be from tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases.

That’s probably why this is such a good unit, high powered with a lot of features at a low price.

Although it’s a smart charger, it doesn’t communicate with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.

Overall, the OpenEVSE 48 is a good quality, high-powered home EV charger at a reasonable price.

 

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