With my 22-year-old Toyota Camry (which I’d vowed would be my last hydrocarbon-burning vehicle) teetering on the brink of total engine failure, it was time to realize my plan of buying a Nissan Leaf. But I knew that I’d need a charging station, one that would allow me to charge it in my driveway, since the garage hadn’t had space to accommodate a car in decades. So once I knew that a Leaf used an industry-standard charging connector, I began to research charging stations.
Five things immediately impressed me about the Grizzl-E: (1) It’s affordable. (2) Instead of a smart-phone app to set the charging current (not a good choice because I don’t have a smart-phone, and because it could be hacked), or a front-panel switch (which could be bumped to the wrong setting), it uses an internal DIP switch. (3) I can get it with a 24-foot charging cable, useful if I have to park on my father’s side of the driveway. (4) The charging plug hook is a separate piece, allowing me to put the charging unit inside the garage and the cable outside. And (5) it’s Canadian-made, a product of North America, designed to survive outdoors under far less forgiving weather than what I get in Southern California.
But would it fit? The most practical location has a large cabinet in the way, a military-surplus locker, older than I am, that can’t be moved intact without dismantling other things. Mr. Nikiforov gave me the critical dimensions, allowing me to cobble together a clearance mock-up (which turned out to be a fraction of an inch larger than the real thing). It told me my first-choice location wouldn’t work, but since there aren’t any front-panel controls, just a single indicator light, all that really mattered was that I mount it where the indicator light could be seen, and so I found a place high on the wall, above both the garage door and the cabinet, that would work.
There were delays in getting the 240V power socket moved to the front of the garage (it finally happened on Christmas Eve). Since I ended up placing the order on Christmas Day, there were understandable delays in getting the Grizzl-E. But the local Nissan dealer had a Leaf on hand, a low-mileage 2018, that met all my requirements, so the only delay on that was because I needed to return a rental car and get my checkbook. So by the time the Grizzl-E arrived, I’d been using the car’s portable charger in level-1 mode for a week, and so I began the installation immediately.
First up was swapping the power cord: since it’s only a 30A circuit (a repurposed electric clothes dryer circuit that had never been used, since we’ve always had gas dryers), with a 14-30 socket, the 14-50 line cord had to be replaced (with an off-the-shelf replacement dryer cord). Since a 30A power cord is quite a bit smaller than a 50A cord, I built up the diameter with 7 layers of heat-shrink tube, so that the strain-relief could get a good grip on it. And of course, while I had the front panel open, I also double-checked that the DIP-switch had been factory-configured for the 24A rate, as requested.
I jury-rigged it so that I could plug it in without any danger of it falling (over six feet onto a concrete floor), and plugged it into my car. It worked flawlessly, and the next morning, I set about mounting it.
After a week of running the charging cable under the garage door (the same as I’d been doing with the portable charger), it was time to finish the installation. I’d planned on hiding the cable behind a bush next to the garage door, but that meant that the Easy EV Plug hook wouldn’t work by itself. So I’d spent several evenings fabricating a cable hanger from a piece of a composite deck plank, some scrap ABS sheet, and some scrap stainless steel sheet metal, for a bracket to mount the Easy EV Plug sideways. Knowing it would be outdoors, I used all stainless steel fasteners as well. Once it was ready (and painted to blend in with the trim color of the house), it went up more quickly and easily than I had any reason to expect. Then it was time for the hole: a 7/8 inch hole through over six inches of wood surrounding the garage door. Once that was drilled, it was time to pull the locking pin and take the unit down, so that I could remove the cable, pass it through the hole, and then reconnect it. Mr. Nikiforov had suggested that I take a picture of the wire configuration, so that everything would go back correctly; I found it easier to simply swab some paint on the terminal strip, to match the wire colors.
Once everything was back together, it was time to re-mount it, take up the slack in the charging cable, and test it. Once again, the unit performed flawlessly.
Between the simple, rugged design and the ease with which I adapted it to my unusual mounting situation, I would recommend this unit to any first-time electric vehicle owners, or to anybody else looking for a simple, rugged, electric vehicle charging station.
- Gasket is already included with the lid, charger is NEMA 4 and you can power wash it.
- Grizzl-E can be easily hardwired by any electrician, manual describes what need to be done.
- We offer inexpensive lock pin as accessory for the charger.
— Quality parts, made and tested (prior to shipping) in Canada– 3 year warranty
— Exceptional customer service – I even heard directly from the CEO – how often does that happen? This just speaks volumes about being invested in product and client
— Very competitive price for quality and features (adjustable Amperage – which competitors as of now, charge Arm and Leg for – which I don’t have any extra limbs)
– I bought the premium cable version, 24 foot – have it hooked up to my 50 AMP circuit (thanks to my Mr. electrician magician) and situated in front of my driveway – this thing is solid and cable is thick and pliable even in 9 degrees F (see photos) and layered with a 1/4 inch or ice
– Charges my Honda Clarity in about 2 hours from ZERO (about 24 miles per hour)
– Has helped electrify my 34 mile commute (which I usually complete in full electric with the exception of days below 20F, where I’m on hybrid more for about 4-6 miles.
As for the quality – we stand behind our products! Grizzl-E charger has been proudly made in Canada with the highest quality and tested with ALL EVs on the road today and have been tested in both winter and summer conditions.
United Chargers CEO
Member of the Board of Electric Mobility Canada
EV owner and enthusiast since 2012
CEO of Autochargers.ca Corporation – Canadian Reseller and installer of all EVSE brands in Canada since 2013.