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Shell Portable EV Charging Station Review

Last updated Jan 5, 2022

The Shell Recharge portable charging station is offered in 40-amp and 32-amp versions, which is relatively compact. It feels solid and well-made. The whole unit is about 17 pounds, so it’s not light compared to other portable electric car chargers because it has a thick cable.

A NEMA 5-15 to 14-50 adapter is included because this unit is a Level 1 / Level 2 charging station. You can charge from the NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 5-15, a regular 120-volt household outlet. 

It has a regular J1772 connector that all electric vehicle charging equipment in North America comes with, other than Tesla.

Overall Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0

Shell that has been selling you gasoline, probably for your whole life, is getting in the EV charging game. Shell acquired Ubitricity, one of the UK’s largest electric vehicle charging networks. Recently they purchased Greenlots in the US, so they’ve been quietly acquiring public charging networks, but now they’re getting in the home charging game. They’ve come out with this new portable Level 2 charging station which we will review today.

Competitive Price

The 40-amp Shell Recharge retails for $499.99, and the 32-amp version retails for $449.99, so it’s competitively priced. It’s not overpriced for a 40-amp portable charging station with a display showing the output current, temperatures, all the good stuff you want to see. That’s a pretty good price, so it’s positioned in the market pretty well for what it has to offer.

Power Output

The 32-amp version will deliver up to 7.7 kilowatts to the car. That’s good enough to add somewhere between 20 and 30 miles of range per hour of charging, depending on how efficient your electric vehicle is.

If you opt for the 40-amp version, you should be able to add somewhere between 25 and 40 miles of range per hour of charging. Again, it’s highly dependent on how efficient your electric vehicle is. Even though it takes in the same amount of energy, it charges faster if it uses less energy to go the same distance than another electric vehicle.

Both units plug into a NEMA 14-50 receptacle. The 40-amp unit needs a dedicated 50-amp circuit, while the 32-amp unit needs a dedicated 40-amp circuit. It’s technically okay with NEC for you to run a 40-amp circuit to a NEMA 14-50 outlet.

If you buy the 32-amp Recharge, I recommend running a 50-amp dedicated circuit to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet. Maybe you don’t need it at this time. Still, in the future, you might get an electric vehicle that can charge at a higher rate and get a different electric vehicle charging station that’s more powerful, or you may have two EVs in the garage in one day. Then you can split the circuit with two electric vehicle charging stations. When you do that, you probably want as much power as possible, so you can charge both electric vehicles as quickly as you can.

The Shell Recharge is a dual voltage electric vehicle charging station that means it can charge from 120-volt that is called Level 1 charging, or 240-volt that is Level 2 charging. You use this adapter that’s included with the Recharge. You simply plug in the NEMA 14-50 plug to the 14-50 side of the adapter, and you have a regular NEMA 5-15 plug configuration that will plug into a standard household outlet.

The Shell Recharge has adjustable power delivery on Level 2 and Level 1 charging. On Level 1 charging, it defaults to 16-amp power delivery. If you have a NEMA 5-15 outlet on a 15-amp circuit, the charger won’t deliver 16 amps without overdrawing the circuit.

Connector

The Shell Recharge has the industry-standard J1772 connector that all electric vehicles in North America use other than Tesla. Tesla uses their own proprietary connector, but they also supply their customers with an adapter that allows them to charge on charging stations that aren’t Tesla, for instance, the Shell Recharge.

It doesn’t come with a connector holster or any type of cable management either, so you either leave the cable coiled up on the floor, or you buy a connector holster with a hook.

It’s got a nice rubberized handle. It has a rubber cap to protect the pins when it’s not in use. There is a tiny hole in the top of the button on the connector, so you can slide a little lock in there and lock it so that somebody can’t unplug it.

That lock doesn’t come with the unit, but they’re relatively easy to buy, and they only usually cost five or ten bucks. You can get those online or at your local hardware store.

Safety Certified (No)

Currently, this charging station is not safety certified.

Smart Charging (Half)

The Recharge is not a Wi-Fi enabled smart charger. It doesn’t come with an app or anything like that. However, it’s not entirely dumb either.

The charging station has a small display screen that shows very useful information, such as the current temperature of the unit, the line voltage of the circuit you’re on, how long your current charging session has been going on, the current power draw in kW and also the total amount of energy it’s delivered to the vehicle in kWh.

Besides, the unit is intelligent enough that it reads the line amperage and will lower the power delivery to match the circuit’s rating.

Automatic Power Regulation

The unit will sense the circuit it’s on and adjust its output accordingly for both Level 1 / 2 charging.

If you have the 40 amp version, it’ll always default to the maximum it can deliver, but it will check the line current, and if it determines that the line can’t deliver that much, it’ll derate the power automatically. Of course, you can also derate the power manually.

The Recharge allows you to set scheduled charging, so it charges your vehicle at a specific time. You may want to do that if you’re on a Time-of-Use electricity plan and pay less to charge during off-peak hours.

Weatherproof Rating

The Shell Recharge has a waterproof rating of IP66, the equivalent of a NEMA 4 rating, which means it’s good for outdoor installations, and it also has extra protection for driving and blowing rain and snow.

However, when charging from a 120-volt source, you need to notice that the 120-volt NEMA 5-15 adapter is not outdoor rated. You could use it outside if you’re in an area where it doesn’t rain often or if you know it’s not going to rain, but don’t leave this outside plugged in and charging the vehicle in either rain or snow. There’s a big warning label on the adapter that reminds you not to be used in outdoor or wet conditions.

Warranty

The Recharge only comes with a one-year warranty out of the box for you. To get that second year for free, you have to go to their website, fill out the warranty information and register the product.

TIPS

The Shell Recharge portable charging station is an overall excellent value with a competitive price.

Even though it’s not Wi-Fi enabled, the screen displays unit temperature, line voltage, how long the vehicle has been charging, real-time power draw in kW, the total power draw for the charging session in kWh, all the information that you need.

In addition, it senses the available power that the circuit can provide, and then it will derate it to a safe level.

The most valuable point is that it’s super portable, so you can put it in the trunk or frunk of your car and drive around.

Check here for Tesla home charger!

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