There are a lot of companies making electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSEs) today. However few, if any, can claim to have been doing so as long as ClipperCreek. Formed in 2006, ClipperCreek products have been widely regarded as the industry standard for charging station quality and performance.
I’ve personally been using ClipperCreek home charging products since 2009 and have never had a single problem with any of the ClipperCreek EVSEs that I’ve used. You really can’t go wrong if you choose a ClipperCreek EVSE for your EV charging needs, but deciding which one to buy may not be an easy decision.
That’s because, similar to ChargePoint, ClipperCreek has a very large product line to choose from, with options including different cable lengths, hard-wired vs plug in units, and even different types of plugs. However don’t despair; the purpose of this article is to help you understand the differences, and allow you to choose the product that best fits your needs.
First, you need to understand the method of naming that ClipperCreek uses. All their product names use the same method – three letters, a hyphen, and two numbers. Example: HCS-40.
The first three letters describe the product line and the two numbers explain the amount of power the unit can provide. The product lines are as follows:
- ACS: Level 1 (120v) units that are hard wired. These are most appropriately used in places such as workplace charging, overnight airport parking lots, and other public places where the car will be parked for many hours at a time. That’s because level 1 EVSEs are low power units, and take very long to fully charge an electric vehicle. Example – ACS-20:
- PCS: Level 1 (120v) units that plug into a regular household outlet. The PCS-15 is basically the same as the portable level 1 EVSE that comes as standard equipment with most electric cars today. This EVSE is most suitable for occasional use, or daily charging of plug-in hybrid electric cars. Because it is a low power EVSE, it may not be sufficient for daily recharging of fully electric cars, unless the owner doesn’t drive more than 40 or 50 miles per day. Example – PCS-15:
- LCS: Level 2 (240v) units that can provide between 16 amps and 24 amps. While these provide more than double, and in some cases even more than triple the power of a level 1 EVSE, they are still considered low-power supply equipment as compared to most level 2, 240-volt charging stations. LCS units are smaller than the higher powered HCS line of EVSEs, and are better suited to be used as portable chargers for that reason. Example – LCS-20:
- HCS: The HCS line of EVSEs are ClipperCreek most popular units. These are all 240 volt, Level 2 stations that can be ordered in power levels ranging from 24 amps to 48 amps. They are physically larger than the LCS line, and are made to be hung on the wall, whether they are the hard-wired or plug-in model. Example – HCS-40:
As mentioned above, all of the model names have the three letters (ACS, PCS, LCS & HCS) followed by a hyphen and two numbers. The numbers represent the amperage of the circuit you need to install the unit on. For instance, an HCS-40 means the unit needs to be installed on a 40 amp circuit and an LCS-20 requires a dedicated 20 amp circuit.
However, as per the National Electric Code, electrical devices can only draw a maximum of up to 80% of the rated circuit, so to figure out how many amps the unit will supply to a car, you need to multiply the number in the model name by .8. For instance, the HCS-40 will deliver a maximum 32 amps. (40 x .8 = 32). ClipperCreek lists the amperage the unit will deliver in the product description, but it’s good to understand how the product names are given and how to figure out the power delivery if you don’t have access to the company website.
Pluggable or Hard-Wired?
Many ClipperCreek products come in both hard-wired and plug-in versions. If the model name has a “P” at the end, then it is a plug-in model, for instance, the HCS-40P. If there isn’t a “P” after the circuit rating number in the model name, then it does not have a plug, and must be hard-wired and permanently installed in place. Some of the HSC models also offer two different plug options, a NEMA 6-50 or a NEMA 14-50. This is mainly because some customers already have a 240v outlet in their garage, and these are the two most popular 240v outlet configurations. By offering both, the customer won’t have to have the outlet changed to use the EVSE.
Unlike many of their competitors, ClipperCreek makes this part of buying an EVSE easy. Every unit they sell comes standard with the longest cable allowed by code, 25 feet. Most other EVSE manufacturers offer a shorter-length cable as standard equipment sometimes as short as only 15 feet, and charge extra for a 25 foot cable. This is important to know if you are cross-shopping products. A 25 foot cable allows you the flexibility to charge your vehicle from various positions that are further away from the EVSE unit.
Since ClipperCreek offers so many models to choose from it can seem a little confusing at first, and I’ve had many new EV owners ask me which one they should purchase. The truth is you need to figure out which unit best suits your needs. What is the maximum power your EV can accept? If you have a plug-in hybrid EV you can probably manage just fine charging on a level 1 low power EVSE, but if you have a large battery, long range full electric car than you probably want to get a higher powered level 2 unit. Having the ability to recharge your car quickly will greatly improve its utility. That said, the HSC-40 is the most popular model that ClipperCreek sells. It can deliver 32 amps which is the maximum that most electric cars made today can accept.
However, if you are the kind of person that wants to make sure they are future-proofed and have the additional money in the budget to spend, the HCS-50 is a good choice as it can deliver 40 amps and will fully recharge virtually any EV while charging overnight. It will also cost a more to install because you’ll have to use a heavier gauge wire (6 gauge instead of 8 gauge), but you won’t ever have to worry about needing to upgrade in the future.
ClipperCreek doesn’t offer an in-house solution for WiFi connectivity for their products. However they have partnered with eMotorWerks to use their JuiceNet network. Available for customers that want ClipperCreek HCS-40, their most popular model, eMotorWerks upgrades the unit so it has WiFi connectivity, and utilizes the JuiceNet network. This allows the customer to monitor their charging session in real time, stop a charging session, limit the power delivery and offers access to energy consumption for all previous charging sessions. This allows the user to monitor exactly how much it costs to charge their car. This option costs $100 and the unit can be ordered directly from the eMotorWerks website.
ClipperCreek has been manufacturing electric vehicle charging solutions for over a decade and they have been widely regarded as the industry benchmark for quality products. They use high grade materials and components, do all of their manufacturing in the USA, and offer the widest variety of electric vehicle charging equipment available. There is a product for every EV charging need, you just have to decide which model fits your needs and budget the best.