Clipper Creek Introduces Smaller, Cheaper, More Portable 240-Volt Charging Unit
You want to buy an electric vehicle but you’re renting your place? You don’t want to pay to have a home charger hardwired into an abode that you don’t own? Or maybe you are thinking about moving sometime soon? Then, Clipper Creek has a home EV charger it says is for you: the just-released LCS-25P.
The LCS-25P plugs into a 240-volt home outlet. “It installs in a matter of minutes if you have the outlet available,” Will Barrett, inside sales manager at Clipper Creek told PluginCars.com. “Put the four screws on the wall, hang the box, and plug it in.”
The 20-amp Level 2 home charger includes a 25-ft cord and sells for $549. That includes a three-year warranty. Clipper Creek developed it “based on market feedback and demand,” said Barrett.
The latest edition to the Clipper Creek lineup is a reconfiguration of an existing product, the LCS-25, which must be hardwired. The main limitation of the LCS-25P is power delivery, said Barrett. It will charge most electric vehicles overnight, but a bit slower. It wouldn’t make any difference for model years 2011 and 2012 Nissan LEAF, because the onboard charger for those cars is rated at 3.3 kilowatts. For the 2013 model year, and any other EV with a 6.6 kW charger, the amount of range added in an hour would be around 15 or 16 miles—rather than 23 to 25 miles that could occur with a charger rated for 30 amps.
Most drivers charge overnight, so it wouldn’t make any difference. The LCS-25P putting out 4.8 kilowatts would take about five hours to fully charge a Nissan LEAF from empty to full—while a 6.6-kW pull would take around three and a half hours. The differences would have more impact on a vehicle with a much larger battery, like the Tesla Model S.
Why So Big?
Like the LCS-25, the LCS-25P is small, measuring just 11 in. x 4 in. x 3 in. That’s significantly smaller than the home-charging units of competitors such as Aerovironment. “Clipper Creek engineers have been building charging stations for electric vehicles since the mid-1990s,” said Barrett. “We have figured out how to shrink it all down.”
How do competitors measure up, literally? They are larger, but also more powerful. With a 20-amp charger, Clipper Creek strikes “a balance between as much power as we can fit into the small package and the cost,” said Barrett.
Barrett defended the slightly longer charging times as a very good trade for the smaller size. “People charge overnight and the difference between four and five hours is not that big.”
Competition from other established manufacturers include:
- Aerovironment’s EVSE-RS 30-amp home charging station measures 12 in. X 12 in. X 8 in. and sells for $999, including a 20 ft. cord. It must be hardwired into your electrical system.
- Bosch’s Power Max 30-amp. charger measures 16 in. x 14 in. 5 in. It costs $593 with an 18 ft. cord and $749 with a 25 ft. cord. It also must be hardwired. It includes a three-year warranty if installed by a Bosch certified electrician. Otherwise the warranty is one-year.
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