The Ford Escape is the American automaker’s second best-selling crossover/SUV, behind the Ford Explorer. It’s available with a plug-in hybrid variant that offers up to an EPA-estimated 37 miles of range in electric-only mode with its 14.4-kWh battery pack. The Ford Escape PHEV does come with a Level 1 charging cable that you can plug into your standard household 120-volt outlet for charging. The question you likely have is whether or not it’s worth the money to upgrade to a Level 2 home charger for faster charging times. The answer? It all depends on your driving habits.
Here, we’ll compare the charging rates from the standard Level 1 charger with an upgraded Level 2 home EV charger and guide you on your way to deciding whether a Level 2 charger is worth it to you.
Level 1 charging
With the included charging cable and your standard household power outlet, the Ford Escape PHEV will take 10 to 11 hours to fully charge. You can roughly expect to get about 4 miles per hour on Level 1 charging, with the last bit of juice taking a bit longer than average.
Depending on your daily commute, Level 1 charging may be sufficient. If you drive under 25 miles per day and are able to charge overnight without interruption, Level 1 charging is likely adequate for you. But if you take multiple trips throughout the day and want to get the most electric miles possible, Level 1 charging probably won’t meet your needs.
Level 2 charging
Like most plug-in hybrids on the market, the Ford Escape PHEV max acceptance rate or maximum charge rate isn’t that high. In the Ford Escape PHEV’s case, it’s 3.3 kW so it won’t even take full advantage of what a 32-amp EVSE has to offer, which is around 7.7 kW. That being said, charging with a Level 2 charger is noticeably faster and it’ll take you roughly 3.5 to 4 hours to fully charge your Ford Escape PHEV with one.
Perhaps the more important point is that you’ll get about 10 miles of range per hour of charge with a Level 2 charger. This might be beneficial if you have an hour of downtime in between trips and are able to plug in your Escape PHEV. If you typically only charge overnight however, then the faster charging rates are less of a benefit.
Recommended Level 2 home EV charger
As we mentioned, the Ford Escape PHEV’s max charging rate of 3.3 kW means you can purchase a 32-amp Level 2 home charger. The only reason we would recommend a higher-amperage charger is if you plan on upgrading vehicles in the future to a BEV that can accept faster charge rates. Keep in mind, installing a Level 2 home charger will require a 240-volt outlet if you’re doing a plug-in solution. If you’re planning to go hardwired, you’ll need an available circuit breaker.
Knowing that, if you believe a Level 2 home charger is right for you, we recommend the JuiceBox 32 if you only need something for your Ford Escape PHEV. The JuiceBox is also available in 40- and 48-amp versions, if you want to future-proof yourself.
As for the JuiceBox 32, it’s a 7.7-kW charging station and you can choose between hardwired or plugging into a NEMA 14-50 outlet. This home EV charger is WiFi capable and by using the JuiceNet app on a mobile device, you’ll be able to remotely control the charger. The app supports charging schedules, reminders, notifications, and more. The JuiceBox lineup of chargers is also compatible with Amazon Echo or Alexa if you wish to issue out voice commands.
We highly recommend the JuiceBox chargers because we ourselves use the commercial ones at the EV Pulse office. Again, if you plan on upgrading to a BEV in the future and want to invest only once into a Level 2 home charger, it’s worth considering the JuiceBox 40 or even the JuiceBox 48. Just make sure you have an available circuit in your electrical panel that can accommodate the charger.