The Emporia smart home EV charger is a relative newcomer to the EV charging scene, but it has quickly gained a lot of interest among prospective customers. The combination of high-power (48-amps), WiFi-connected smart charging features, plus an array of home energy-saving and monitoring devices that pair with the unit has made the Emporia one of the hottest new EVSE available today.
However, we've seen new units come to market and also garner a lot of attention only to fall short of our expectations once we've had the opportunity to use the unit for a while and give it our full review.
Emporia EV charger key features
The Emporia is a 48-amp unit, however, out of the box it comes with a NEMA 14-50 plug attached. When used as a plug-in charger, the unit is limited to 40-amps, which will deliver up to 9.6 kW to your electric vehicle. Owners that want more power, can elect to have an electrician remove the NEMA 14-50 plug and directly hardwire the unit. In doing so, the Emporia can then deliver 48-amps, which is 11.5 kW of power.
However, not all EVs can accept 48-amps, and the unit can only deliver what the vehicle can accept. However, if you do have an EV that cannot accept 40-amps or 48-amps, you can still use the Emporia charger because the vehicle will only take in the amount of power it can safely accept. In other words, there's no need to worry if you use a charger that can deliver more power than your EV can accept, regardless of the brand.
The Emporia EV charger has the North American standard J1772 connector so it can charge any electric vehicle without the need for an adapter, with the sole exception being Tesla EVs. However Tesla includes a J1772 to Tesla adapter with all of its cars, so Tesla owners can use the Emporia to charge their EVs without a problem.
Emporia EV charger ChargerRater score
We put the Emporia through our usual paces, using one for a few months to charge a Ford F-150 Lightning and a Rivian R1T before securing this new unit to do the full review including the unboxing.
The cable fared well in the cable deep freeze test where we freeze the unit for 24 hours in sub-zero temperatures. Even though it's a relatively thick cable (we measured 20.3 mm), it still remained pretty flexible after the deep freeze; good enough for us to recommend the Emporia for outdoor installations in cold weather climates.
The connector holster was the biggest disappointment on the Emporia. First off, it holds the connector facing upward where moisture and contaminants can settle on the metal pins and over time create problems. It does come with a rubber cap, but it's really inconvenient to have to remove and attach the rubber cap after every use. We much prefer connector holsters that the connector snaps into protecting the end of the connector from the elements.
Another problem we found with the connector holster is you cannot grab the connector by its handle and remove it from the holster. You have to either grab the lower section where the cable attaches, or the upper portion where the rubber cap is attached so you can remove it from the holster. You then need to reposition your hand in order to plug it into the vehicle. So it actually takes both hands to remove the connector and plug in the vehicle. That's definitely not good ergonomics and really inconvenient if you're also carrying something in your other hand.
We would recommend buying a 3rd party connector holster online if you get the Emporia charger, as they are a low-cost solution that will greatly improve the usability of the unit.
Emporia EV charger hits and misses
The Emporia finished up with a combined score of 4.6 stars out of 5. That's a combined score of the ChargerRater, our points-based EV charger scoring system, and our personal score. The Emporia received 93 points on the ChargerRater which translates to 4.65 stars, and we awarded the unit 4.55 stars, as the usability factor from the poor connector holster hurt its final score.
We don't have any of the additional Emporia products that can pair with the EV charger, but one unit is something that we'd like to try out at some point. When paired with the Emporia Gen 2 Vue Energy Monitor and a home solar array, the charger can be set to only charge the vehicle with excess solar generation, saving money and assuring that you only drive on clean renewable energy.
Source: State Of Charge