If you have a standard Level-1 charger at home and are looking to upgrade, then the next natural step would be to get a Level-2 device. In this review, we’re going to see what the HCS-50 EVSE is all about. It has consistently scored high ratings among its customers so we have high expectations for this charging station.
40 amps, 9.6 kw Output Power
There are two things you need to be aware of when searching for the best EVSE for your home. First, what is the maximum output power? In the ClipperCreek’s case, it delivers 40 amps of power at 9.6 kW, making it a quick-charging device for frequent travelers and commuters can make the most use of. At its peak performance, the ClipperCreek offers 37-plus miles of travel per charging hour.
The next thing to look out for is what your car’s acceptance rate is. For instance, does it support 40-amp charging or is it limited to 32 or even 16 amps at a much lower kW rating? If so, then the ClipperCreek would be suitable for those who are looking to upgrade their EVs in the near future.
Another important point of consideration is whether the EVSE is hardwired or comes with a plug (if so, what sort of plug?). You won’t need to worry about follow-up questions with the ClipperCreek; it’s a hardwired device that draws power from a dedicated 50-amp (at least) circuit.
The main benefit of hardwired chargers is there are fewer cables in sight and no risk of damage to its power cord it runs through a wall. However, if ever the device fails, then detaching the EVSE can be a pain to do. Thankfully, at lease based on numerous reports by satisfied customers, failure before the extensive three-year warranty is extremely rare.
Another thing to be aware of is that hardwired EVSEs are obviously not portable. The ClipperCreek cannot be taken with as a backup charger for long trips. If you aren’t a long-distance traveler, then this may not be a problem.
25-foot Cord and Cable Management
The only cable is plain sight is the power cord with the SAE J1772 connector on the end. The cord measures 25 feet long, making it easier to plug into the car without a lot of twisting and turning. The cable itself can withstand drops and almost anything short of crushing.
The ClipperCreek even comes with a holster where the connector can be stored safely to prevent dust and moisture from making contact with the pins. The holster mounts onto the to help keep the cable and connector out of dust and moisture’s way during storage. This add-on is truly a breath of fresh air compared to simple hook and wrap systems.
NEMA 4 Enclosure for Outdoor Installation
The ClipperCreek’s enclosure is rated NEMA 4 against moisture and dust. This means the ClipperCreek is mainly used for outdoor installation, though you could just as easily install in your garage (if you have one) for extra protection against the elements.
Speaking of the elements, the ClipperCreek’s over-molded casing surrounding the cable makes it operable in extreme temperatures between -22° and 122°F. Rain or shine, snow or global warming, the ClipperCreek will keep on charging.
However, while we’re talking about outdoor installation, we should warn you that this EVSE does not come with anti-theft systems in place. If it’s gone, there’s no find me feature, no alarm, nothing. The padlock that comes with this device will do nothing to deter thieves.
Simple 4-Light Display
There are smart EVSEs and there are not-so-smart EVSEs. The ClipperCreek belongs somewhere near the not-so-smart end of the spectrum. This device does not connect to your smartphone via internet or Bluetooth so there are no charging monitor reports, no voice command options, and no programmable scheduler.
There are only four lights on the unit that indicate its working status (power, charging, power fault, and charging fault). However, this is by no means the end of the world; most EVs nowadays have their own mobile apps that let owners stay in the loop regarding charging status.
The thing you should be mindful of is plugging this device in during off-peak hours to save a couple hundred bucks on utilities annually.
Verdict: Should I Get the ClipperCreek HCS-50 EVSE?
It’s undoubtedly one of the best performing, most reliant Level-2 charging stations out there. The only triky part is hardwiring the device—a task we recommend leaving to the pros—but everything else is straightforward.
No more buttons than necessary, no confusing displays. Just plug it in and let the EVSE handle the rest.