LENZ Level 2 EV Charger – Full Review

LENZ is a California-based startup that designs and sells a variety of helpful EV charging necessities. The company’s founder has an engineering background with professional experience at Rivian prior to starting LENZ, this gives the company more credibility and a technical edge over rival charging equipment manufacturers. LENZ’s first home EV charging station is competitively priced and focuses on simplicity and safety. We used the LENZ Level 2 charger for several weeks and came away impressed.

What we loved

  • Durable, weatherproof enclosure
  • Stays cool at 40A
  • Pliable charging cord

What could be better

  • Holster and cord management could be better
  • The status LED is not very bright in daylight

Installation

The LENZ charging station is a plug-in style product with a NEMA 14-50 input plug, the most common 240-volt receptacle for Level 2 EV charging. If you already have access to a NEMA 14-50 outlet near your parking location, installation can be a simple DIY wall mounting project. However, if you require the installation of an outlet or require electrical panel upgrades, consult with a licensed electrician for your home’s specific needs.

The LENZ charger is housed inside a durable enclosure and comes with two metal mounting brackets. The wall mount is installed using three screws (all installation screws and wall anchors are provided, but you will need tools to drill holes), and the inverse section mounting bracket is bolted to the back of the charger enclosure using hex bolts.

After all of the screws and bolts are secure the charging station easily slides into the wall mount and is secured using a metal pin. This setup allows for very easy disassembly and removal if you need to move the unit. However, this could also pose a risk of theft if installed in a publically accessible location.

The included cord holster is a two-part plastic piece that is secured to the wall using two screws. Once installed, it feels durable enough to support the weight of the cable and J1772 gun for daily use.

Having access to NEMA 14-50 outlet and installation tools, we managed to complete the installation in around 20 minutes while following instructions.

LENZ EV Charger box contents
Installing the wall mounting bracket
Mounting brackets
Mounting the two brackets together

Hardware, Design, and Safety

The LENZ charging station enclosure is a simple rectangular box, made of metal all around. Instead of a bespoke design, it looks like a common electrical box with a coat of paint that houses EV charging electronics. However, these product decisions allow the product to be very durable while less expensive to manufacture, allowing LENZ to target a more competitive price point.

The front cover of the unit can be removed by undoing four hex bolts, where we found weatherstripping gasket material along the perimeter. This helps the LENZ charging station earn the NEMA 4X rating against moisture penetration and corrosion. This charging station will have no issue withstanding the outdoor elements and can operate in extreme temperature conditions ranging between -22°F to 122°F.

Most users will not need to access the inside of the charging station unless they need to reduce the current limit from the default 40 amps to lower operating modes. A dedicated 50-amp circuit is required in your home to operate the charging station at 40 amps. The LENZ charging station can be restricted to 32, 24, or 16-amp modes using internal dip switches. These hardware dip switches enhance safety for homeowners, because hidden hardware dip switches make it impossible to accidentally overload the circuit breaker after the initial configuration.

On the subject of safety, the LENZ charging station’s electronics have the typical protection against overvoltage, overcurrent, and overheating. In addition, the unit meets the UL 2594 spec and has Energy Star and FCC certifications. Many competing products in this price category lack safety and energy efficiency certifications.

The LENZ charging station does not have any displays, apps, or networking functions. Instead, the electronics inside focus on the single job of safety and efficiently delivering power from the home circuit to the EV. A single LED status indicator light changes color and flashing modes to indicate what the charging station is doing. While this minimalist design is functional, we wish the LED was at least a little bit brighter so it would be easier to read the station status at a glance from a distance, in daylight. If we had to nitpick.

The square body of the LENZ charging station doesn’t allow for much cable management. Some products have sculpted enclosures for wrapping and holstering the J1772 cord, while LENZ includes a separate external holster for both coiling the cord for storage and holstering the J1772 connector. The holster appears to be durable enough for the task. However, we noticed that the holster angles the J1772 connector at an almost perpendicular 90-degree angle to the wall. In practice, this means the section of cord right before the J1772 connector can stick out by as much as 12-18 inches away from the wall, potentially causing contact with the car’s side mirrors when driving out of a tight garage space. Other holster designs we’ve seen angle the J1772 gun at a ~45-degree angle to keep that loop of cord closer to the wall. But this too, is a minor issue that won’t affect everyone.

LENZ EV charger Installed on the wall
NEMA 14-50 input plug
Hardware dip swithces
Locking pin
Front cover removed

Specification Summary

SpecLENZ Level 2 Charging Station
Charging LevelLevel 2 (240v)
Max Amps40 amps
Lowest Amp Mode16 amps
Cord Length24 feet
Charging ConnectorJ1772
Wall PlugNEMA 14-50
ConnectivityN/A
Warranty3 years
Enclosure RatingNEMA 4X, corrosion and extreme environments resistance

Charging Cord, J1772 Connector, and Performance

The cord is where many EV charging station manufacturers often try to save costs. For example; even Porsche recently had to reduce the power output of their original equipment 40 amp charging station via software because their charging cords were becoming too hot. There are many other low-cost charging stations sold online with advertised output between 40 and 50 amps that probably do not have sufficient material to handle that much current.

In our testing, we have no such problems with the LENZ charging station. It was used almost daily for several weeks at 40 amps without issues or any error faults.

The most demanding test was a 60 kWh charging session of a Tesla Model Y Long Range at 40 amps. While the charging cord felt warm to the touch after several hours at full load, it was not exceedingly hot. The main enclosure was even cooler; it helps that the all-metal construction can act as a heatsink.

The charging cord is 24 feet long and houses three 10 AWG gauge wires within its rubberized insulation, which is enough copper to safely carry 40 amps. The insulation material has a nice thickness for daily-use durability, while still feeling easy enough to handle. We had some particularly cold December mornings when the temperature inside our garage was near the freezing mark, and the cord material remained soft and pliable enough to wrap the cord for storage. Stiff cables in cold weather are a common complaint among competing products.

The LENZ charging station comes with an industry-standard SAE J1772 connector, which is used by the majority of non-Tesla EVs for the time being. To charge a vehicle with a Tesla plug, you will need to use a J1772-to-Tesla adapter which is included with Tesla cars. LENZ can also sell you their own version of the adapter too.

The J1772 connector on this charging station felt durable enough for daily usage and had zero problems interfacing with our J1772-to-Tesla adapter during our testing. A clumsy family member even dropped the J1772 connector onto a concrete floor without causing any visible damage.

J1772 connector
LENZ charger connected to Tesla
Main charging cord gauge
LENZ EVSE stays cool at 40 amps
After charging for 3 hours at 40 A
Cord stays cool to the touch

Verdict

The LENZ Level 2 charging station gets a lot of core features right. It will deliver 40 amps all day (or all night) without fault, can withstand the elements with a durable enclosure, and includes a high quality cord. For someone looking for a simple, non-networked, plug-in, set it and forget it type charging experience, the LENZ charging station is easy to recommend. It’s easy enough to install and relocate as needed, and the whole package is backed by a generous 3-year warranty.

Shopping Options

Disclosure: Independent review by Michael Kim from EVchargerReviews.net. We participate in affiliate programs, and we may earn income when you use our links. We hope you think that is fair, based on the amount of work that goes into our reviews. 

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