How to Choose the Best Level 2 Portable Charger for Your Electric Vehicle

As electric vehicles (EVs) become more popular, the need for efficient and reliable charging solutions grows. One of the best ways to ensure your EV is always ready to go is by investing in a Level 2 portable charger. This article will guide you through the process of choosing the best Level 2 portable charger for your electric vehicle, covering key features, benefits, and important considerations.

Understanding Level 2 Chargers

Before diving into the selection process, it’s essential to understand what a Level 2 charger is. Unlike Level 1 chargers that use a standard 120-volt household outlet, Level 2 chargers require a 240-volt outlet. This allows for significantly faster charging times. While a Level 1 charger may take over 24 hours to fully charge an EV, a Level 2 charger can often do the job in 3 to 8 hours, depending on the vehicle and charger specifications.

Key Features to Look for in a Level 2 Portable Charger

When choosing a Level 2 portable charger, several key features should be considered to ensure you get the best performance and value for your money.

Charging Speed

The primary reason for choosing a Level 2 charger is the faster charging speed. Look for chargers with high power output, measured in kilowatts (kW). Most Level 2 chargers provide between 6.6 kW and 9.6 kW, but some high-end models can offer up to 19.2 kW. The higher the power output, the faster your EV will charge.


Since you’re looking for a portable charger, the size and weight of the unit are crucial. A good portable charger should be lightweight and compact enough to fit in your vehicle’s trunk or storage compartment. Additionally, it should come with a durable carrying case for easy transport and protection.

Cable Length

The length of the charging cable can affect the convenience of your charging experience. A longer cable provides more flexibility in where you can park and charge your vehicle. Aim for a cable length of at least 20 feet to ensure you have enough reach.

Plug Type and Compatibility

Ensure the charger is compatible with your EV’s charging port. Most EVs in North America use the SAE J1772 connector, which is standard for Level 2 chargers. However, some vehicles, like Teslas, use a different connector and may require an adapter. Verify the compatibility before making a purchase.

Smart Features

Many modern Level 2 chargers come with smart features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone apps, and programmable charging schedules. These features can enhance your charging experience by allowing you to monitor and control your charger remotely, track energy usage, and set charging times to take advantage of lower electricity rates.

Durability and Weather Resistance

Since you may use your portable charger in various locations and conditions, it’s important to choose a unit that is durable and weather-resistant. Look for chargers with robust construction and certifications such as IP54 or higher, indicating protection against dust and water splashes.

Safety Features

Safety should always be a top priority. Ensure the charger has built-in safety features like overvoltage protection, overcurrent protection, short-circuit protection, and temperature monitoring. These features help prevent accidents and damage to your vehicle and charger.

Benefits of a Level 2 Portable Charger

Investing in a Level 2 portable charger offers several significant benefits:


A portable charger allows you to charge your EV wherever there’s a compatible outlet, providing flexibility and peace of mind, especially on long trips or in areas with limited charging infrastructure.

Faster Charging

Compared to Level 1 chargers, Level 2 chargers significantly reduce charging times, allowing you to get back on the road faster.

Cost Savings

While the initial investment may be higher, using a Level 2 charger can save you money in the long run by reducing the need for public charging stations, which often have higher rates.

Important Considerations

Before purchasing a Level 2 portable charger, consider the following:

Installation Requirements

Although Level 2 chargers are portable, they still require a 240-volt outlet. Ensure you have access to such an outlet or plan to install one in your garage or other frequent charging locations.


Level 2 portable chargers vary widely in price, typically ranging from $300 to $800 or more. Balance your budget with the features and power output you need.

Brand Reputation and Reviews

Research different brands and read customer reviews to gauge the reliability and performance of the chargers you’re considering. Reputable brands with positive feedback are more likely to provide a dependable product.


Choosing the best Level 2 portable charger for your electric vehicle involves considering several factors, including charging speed, portability, cable length, compatibility, smart features, durability, and safety. By understanding these key elements and weighing the benefits, you can make an informed decision that ensures your EV is always ready to hit the road. Investing in a high-quality Level 2 portable charger will enhance your electric vehicle ownership experience, providing convenience, efficiency, and peace of mind.

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