Should you get a Level 2 charger for your Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe plug-in hybrid?

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The updated Jeep Grand Cherokee promises to be one of the best Grand Cherokees to come from the storied brand. New for this generation is the addition of a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

A 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine is mated to an electric motor and a lithium ion battery to deliver better acceleration than a 5.7-liter V8-powered Grand Cherokee and drive up to 26 miles on electricity alone.

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Photo credit: Jeep

Level 1 standard charging

That means that the Jeep Grand Cherokee comes with a plug. If you charge at home on a standard home outlet, you’ll need around 12 hours to make it happen. That’s a long time, for sure, but if you’re only driving back and forth to work and don’t exceed that 26 mile barrier, you’re probably OK with just home charging.

Level 2 charging

If you’d like to cut that time down to around 2 hours, and you do if you drive around a lot during the day or want to be able to top off quicker, then you’ll need a Level 2 charger.

juicebox 40 home ev charger

A level 2 charger, like this one from Enel X, is easy to install at home. You simply need a NEMA 14-50 plug in your garage — the same type of plug your dryer uses — and then you just plug in and mount the box. It’s internet enabled so you can view charging status through an app, and it’s standard J-1772 connector works on the Jeep in your driveway, plus any other non-Tesla electric vehicle that might stop by. Fun fact: It’ll also charge a Tesla with an adapter that comes free with all Tesla vehicles.

RELATED: How much do home EV charging stations cost?

If you don’t want the internet connectivity, you can go with something a bit simpler. Why would you want the internet connectivity? You can set the charger to only work during off-peak hours to get a better rate from your electric company (if available). The Jeep can also set up scheduled charging, of course, but if you have more than one plug-in vehicle it’s easier to set up the schedule from the charger than setting up multiple vehicles.

clipper creek hcs 40p home ev charger

This unit from ClipperCreek does the job of putting electricity into your Grand Cherokee without any of the extra hardware. The brand is reviewed positively and should be durable enough for an indoor or outdoor installation.

If you’d like to see more options for home EV chargers, check out our recommendations for the best home EV chargers.

What about a hardwired charger?

There are more powerful chargers available that need to be hardwired to your electricity panel in your home or garage. For EVs that are coming in the future, it’s worth having one permanently installed.

For the Grand Cherokee 4xe, it won’t take advantage of the higher speeds that a hardwired connection offers. It’s good for future-proofing, sure, but not something you’ll utilize until you go to a fully-electric vehicle.

The advantage of a plug-in model, like the two we recommend above, is that you can easily unplug it and take it with you if you move.

Or, if you have a welder or air compressor in your garage, you can unplug the charger and then plug in that tool and be able to use it. The NEMA 14-50 plug is just more versatile than a hardwired charger.

It’s what we’d recommend for your Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe, and we do believe if you have the space or ability to install a charger, you should. Your experience will be more enjoyable than waiting for a level 1 charge to complete.

Written by Chad Kirchner
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