They say necessity is the mother of invention. We think that's fitting for a new product developed to help EV owners charge their cars at home without needing to invest a lot of money to upgrade their electrical supply.
We're talking about NeoCharge, a smart circuit splitter that allows EV owners to share a single circuit for multiple uses. NeoCharge plugs into an outlet and provides two receptacles (one on each side) so two items can be plugged into the same outlet. So why would someone need a circuit splitter to charge an EV? Actually, there are two distinct use cases for NeoCharge to help EV owners charge up with the least inconvenience and expense.
Use Case #1: Charging your EV from an appliance outlet
Many people have a 240v outlet in their garage because they have an electric clothes dryer or water heater there. If they do, chances are it's either a NEMA 14-30 or NEMA 10-30 outlet and on a dedicated 30-amp circuit.
They then get an EV and would like to use the outlet to charge their car to save the expense of installing another outlet on a dedicated circuit. Even worse, their home's electricity supply might not be able to provide another 240v circuit without a service upgrade that can cost upwards of $5,000.
They now have the option of purchasing a NeoCharge and sharing the existing outlet between the appliance and their EV. NeoCharge will safely split the power so the circuit is never overloaded and both the car and the appliance can safely get the power they need.
The outlet on the left side of the NeoCharge is the primary outlet and will take priority if both sides are calling for power. Typically, an owner would plug their appliance on the left side so it has power whenever you need to use it.
If a car is charging from the right side outlet and you turn on the appliance, the car will pause charging until the appliance is finished. If you plug in your car while the appliance is running, the car won't begin charging until the appliance has completed its task. Once it does, the vehicle can receive up to 5.7 kW which is the maximum draw from the 30-amp appliance outlet.
Use Case #2 Charging two EVs from a single outlet
More and more households are becoming two-EV households as more compelling electric offerings become available. Once you have two EVs in the garage, the question becomes "How do I charge both of these in the least expensive, most efficient way possible?". You've got a few options:
- Just share the one charger. Some people will find this solution workable; others won't.
- Install a second outlet, mostly likely a NEMA 14-50 on a dedicated 50-amp circuit. This option can cost anywhere from $300 and up. If you don't have the extra electric capacity, then you need a service upgrade which again, can cost up to around $5,000.
- Buy a dual-connector charger, like the ClipperCreek HDS-40. The HDS-40 can deliver up to 32-amps (7.7 kW) to the vehicle(s). It will safely split the power delivery to 16-amps between the two vehicles, allowing a single 40-amp circuit to charge two cars. Keep in mind if the unit ever fails, you cannot charge either vehicle, and that can be problematic.
- Use a simple RV outlet splitter to plug in both cars, and set the car's timer to avoid having them both charge at the same time. We strongly recommend you DO NOT use an RV splitter to charge two EVs. There no circuit overloading monitoring and if something goes wrong the consequences can be disastrous.
- If you own a charging station that's capable of load-sharing, like the Enel-X JuiceBox, you can get a second one and wire the two together so that they both share the same circuit. They basically do what the NeoCharge does internally between the two or more chargers.
- Purchase a NeoCharge and use your existing NEMA 14-50 outlet to charge two EVs. The Dual EV NeoCharge can deliver up to 40-amps (9.6kW) to the cars and can safely charge the vehicles sequentially or simultaneously.
If you want to charge both EVs at once, you need to lower the power demand from the vehicle or EVSE. For instance, Tesla vehicles allow the owner to set the amount of power it accepts. If you set the maximum power draw on the two vehicles to 20-amps, the NeoCharge would charge them both at once, giving both cars a power supply of about 4.8 kW.
Output power: 24A/5.7kW—40A/9.6kW
Voltage: 240 VAC nominal, single phase
Input: NEMA 14-50P NEMA 14-30P, or NEMA 10-30P
Outputs: 2 x NEMA 14-30R, NEMA 10-30R, or NEMA 14-50R
Dimensions: 5.25″ x 5.25″ x 2.8″
Weight: 2.5 lbs
Warranty: 2 years
Not for Everyone
As we mentioned above, the NeoCharge isn't meant for all EV owners. If you have the ability to add a dedicated circuit for an EV charger or need a second circuit for your second EV and you have the extra electricity capacity available, it's probably best to just install the second outlet.
In most cases, it's also less expensive to install the second NEMA 14-50 outlet on its own dedicated circuit. However, two NEMA 14-50 outlets going to your garage for EV charging means you have 100-amps of power for EV charging alone, and many older homes simply don't have the extra capacity to do that.
However, if adding another dedicated circuit is either too costly or not permitted (if you live in a condo you may not be allowed to install a new 240v circuit in your garage) than NeoCharge may very well be the best option to charge your EV(s).
The Dual-EV NeoCharge can deliver 40-amps and costs $499.00. The Appliance NeoCharge can deliver 24-amps to the car or appliance and costs $449.00. NeoCharge is the only EV circuit splitter that's been safety certified and is UL listed. That's important to note because we're sure the price reflects the fact that UL certification is a complicated and expensive process. Personally, we believe it's money well spent because safety is of the utmost importance with EV charging products.
NeoCharge is not intended for outdoor use and comes with a two-year warranty you can buy NeoCharge directly from their website, or from Evannex. Let us know what you think about this new product in the comment section below.