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Complete review of the Lectron V-Box home EV charger

Original Post Date: September 7, 2022
Source: EnergySage
Read the full article here

Lectron has a large selection of wall-mounted and portable EV chargers. It's worth looking into all of them if you have a specific set of charging requirements, but for simplicity's sake, we'll limit this review to its wall-mounted Lectron Home V-Box 48 Amp Electric Vehicle Charging Station.

The V-Box is the older version of Lectron's wall mount products. The company still sells this model, but a newer, less expensive V-Box Pro series debuted in January 2024, with an accompanying app-based V-Box Pro with WiFi support due out later this year. We'll address the V-Box Pro in a separate review. This will focus on the original V-Box.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Lectron V-Box home EV chargers generally cost between $450 and $500, depending on the power capacity you select and if any special promotions are running.
  • The V-Box charges your EV up to 46 miles per hour and can be set to lower amp settings for a wide range of charging control and customization.
  • The charger also comes with a mountable V-hook to keep cables organized on the wall next to it.
  • Looking to power your EV on sunshine at home? Visit the EnergySage Marketplace to compare custom solar quotes.

The Lectron V-Box is a Level 2, 240V flexible amperage home EV charger with charging speeds up to 46 miles per hour. It comes with a 20-foot charging cable and it's rated for indoor or outdoor installation.

Key features of Lectron’s V-Box EV chargers

Wiring and EV compatibility

The Lectron V-Box EV home charger is compatible with all EV models as long as they can charge with a J1772 charge plug, which most EVs today have other than Teslas. Teslas come with a J1772 adapter, so you can still charge your Tesla with this common Level 2 charge plug.

Convenience

The Lectron V-Box can be used with most homes’ electrical systems. It has a bright LCD screen with a clear display of your charging status, temperature, and other technicalities. It also can change and customize amperage settings for a wide range of charging functions. It's versatile enough to install either indoors or outdoors in most homes, apartments, and condo complexes. (Do keep in mind that if you live in a multi-unit complex, you will need to confirm with your HOA or complex that you can install an EV charger at your parking spot.) The Lectron V-Box’s cable is lightweight and 20 feet long, providing a fair amount of flexibility in where you install it, though it is three to five feet shorter than many other home EV charger cables.

Connectivity & app

Most chargers can connect to your home’s WiFi network to receive over-the-air firmware updates, remote diagnostics access, and usage data tracking capability; however, the V-Box has no connectivity or smart features. There’s also no app to charge and manage your charging.

Warranty

The Lectron V-Box comes with a 1-year equipment warranty, which is shorter than the industry standard of 3 years. Lectron also offers a 30-day refund policy if the charger is unused and returned in the packaging it was purchased in.

Additional Lectron V-Box features

The Lectron V-Box is designed to self-regulate and self-correct. Thus, when small problems like short current occur, the charging station automatically restarts to repair and continue charging. This reduces the need for constant maintenance.

Additionally, this charger is rated pretty highly (IP55) when it comes to withstanding the elements — including rain and dust.

The Lectron V-Box EV home charger costs between $449.99 and $499.99 depending on the model, though Lectron also seems to offer discounts regularly on their site. You can also get a Lectron V-Box bundle, including a Tesla adapter with the 40A and 48A models.

Keep in mind that you’ll also have EV charger installation costs, as you’ll want a trusted, licensed, and experienced electrician to ensure your charger is correctly installed. According to Qmerit, most standard EV home charger installations cost between $799 and $1,999. Additionally, depending on your home’s electrical panel, floor plan, and wiring, you may need additional wiring, so your costs may increase.

One of the nice things about driving an EV compared to gas-powered vehicles (outside of avoiding the rising gas prices!) is that you can plug your car in overnight to charge and usually wake up to a full – or nearly full – charge. That said, the speed of your EV charger is helpful to know and consider. The Lectron V-Box EV home charger can provide up to 38 miles of charge on average, with up to 9.2 kW/ 48A output, depending on your specific EV’s make and model.

Your Lectron V-Box charger can charge at different speeds depending on a few factors, including:

  • Which option you select (40A or 48A, or if you select a lower output)

  • Your home’s circuit breaker output: higher output capabilities means quicker charging.

  • Energy use: power may be limited at certain times because of other energy use in your home – limited usage equals slower charging

  • The specific make, model, and options of your EV: bigger batteries will take longer to charge, efficiency varies by EV, and different EVs have different onboard charging capabilities, which will impact the charging speed

  • The age of your EV’s battery: over time, your battery will degrade, and its discharge rate (battery capacity / number of hours it takes to charge) will decrease

As with any EV charger, you’ll want to get a licensed electrician to install your V-Box and ensure any additional supporting electrical work is covered, such as if you need to do added wiring or upgrades to your electrical panel. While these can add to your cost, covering both the safety aspects and enabling long-term savings (compared to filling up a gas tank) will usually make driving and charging your EV at home financially beneficial.

If you are looking for an affordable home EV charger without any smart features, the V-Box may be a good fit for you. It provides simplicity in a charger and withstands extreme temperatures well. Lectron also offers other Level 1 and Level 2 chargers ranging from a 16A priced at $199.99 to a 40A priced at $514.99, including some specifically for Tesla owners. Overall, their products get great customer reviews.

There’s sometimes a misconception that home EV charging is expensive. However, it’s substantially less expensive in most areas than buying gasoline – especially if you’re using solar to power your charging. Your exact comparison depends on the cost of electricity in your area and the make and model of EV you own (since various models have different ranges).

Going solar is one of the best long-term solutions to lower your home EV charging costs. You can use the EnergySage Marketplace to compare several quotes from pre-screened installers, helping you find a system that fits your needs at the right price. If you’re planning to charge an EV at home, add a note to your profile so installers can right size your solar system to sufficiently power your EV.

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