The connected garage just got smarter. Home-based 240-volt charging stations are becoming de rigueur for many electric vehicle (EV) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) owners, as cars with high-capacity battery systems can be painfully slow to charge when plugged into standard outlets. Fulfilling the need for faster charging, California-based ChargePoint produces 240-volt home charging stations—referred as Level 2—that charge up to 6 times faster than standard 110-volt outlets (which are referred to as Level 1). And with the recent addition of Amazon Alexa integration, voice commands can be issued by homeowners to manage the charging process with their ChargePoint Home vehicle chargers.
We have been bitten more than once by the dreaded I-forgot-to-plug-in-my-car bug when opening our garage door in the morning. With a ChargePoint Home station in your garage and any Amazon Alexa-compatible smart speaker in the home, the command “Alexa, ask ChargePoint if my EV is charging” will tell you if your car is charging or not. Furthermore, simple Alexa commands can be used to check if your car has been plugged into the ChargePoint station, begin a charging session, check on how many miles of range have been added, or if you have enough range to get to your workplace.
These ChargePoint Home stations are wall-mounted and require access to a 240-volt power source, so you may need to seek an electrical professional to facilitate the installation. The Wi-Fi-connected charger can receive software updates over the home network, and integration with Nest smart-home products through the Works with Nest program can enable energy consumption reporting on EV charging in the monthly Nest Home Report. The ChargePoint mobile app can also be used for managing the home charger, as well as connecting to public charging stations on the broad ChargePoint network.