The Barcelona-based EV charging gurus at Wallbox have been designing and building innovative EV chargers for years. They sent us their first entry into the North American residential EV charging market, the Pulsar Plus, for a review. We put this brilliant compact charger to the test and it is clearly a serious contender for a number of reasons.
Disclaimer: Wallbox sent us the Pulsar Plus in advance of public availability free of charge for the purposes of this review.
Right out of the box, the Wallbox Pulsar Plus stands out with its compact footprint. Wallbox has clearly put a ton of effort into making it as small as possible, while achieving an impressive 9.6 kW peak charging speed at 40 amps (on a 50 amp circuit) on the version with a NEMA 14-50 plug.
The wired version cranks the speed up even further, to a shocking 11.5 kW at 48 amps (on a 60 amp circuit). The charging speed can be customized via the smartphone app for owners hooking the Pulsar Plus up to circuits with lower power ratings down to 16 amps.
Remember: the charging rate of any EV charger should be set to no more than 80% of the rated power of the circuit breaker for the circuit. For example, an EV charger plugged into a 30 amp circuit should be set to charge at no more than 24 amps. Consult a professional electrician with any questions as we clearly are not professionals in that space.
On our wired unit, installation was a breeze. We selected a location to mount the unit that was slightly above and to the right of the NEMA 14-50 plug for it. This makes it easier to install in more compact places where wall real estate is at a premium. The smaller, lighter size of the Pulsar Plus also makes it far easier to install for the DIY types out there.
To mount the unit, we simply found the stud and mounted the backplate for the Pulsar Plus directly to the stud with the included mounting screws. Wallbox includes 2 screws with drywall anchors in the box, but mounting directly to a stud generally results in a more stable installation.
After mounting the backplate to the wall, we secured the Pular Plus to the plate with 2 small screws on the two lower corners. It was a breeze and was up on the wall in around 5 minutes. Most of the installation time of any EV charger is typically spent getting electrical service to the location of the charger. This can be done in advance and should be done by a certified electrician. Always seek professional help if you are not sure how to proceed as 50 amps is a serious amount of power.
The Pulsar Plus comes with a holster for the J1772 charging nozzle that is secured to the wall the same way as the main unit. We sunk 2 screws directly into the stud and we were off to the races. The hoster includes a convenient hook that serves as a wire management system for the 25′ charging cable. Our charger is located within a few feet our EV, but it’s nice to know that we can charge any EV, no matter where the charging port is located on the vehicle.
We plugged the unit in and as it booted, installed the Wallbox smartphone app. It’s available for both Android in the Google Play store and in the Apple App store. The app requires a brief registration before asked to look for a nearby charger via bluetooth. Setup was a breeze and in a total of 15 minutes from the time we first cracked open the box, the Wallbox Pular Plus was installed, powered on, and connected to our app, ready to charge any EV on the block.
The app lets owners see the charging status and customize the charging experience to their exact needs — or not. The beauty of the Pulsar Plus is that you can literally do nothing with the app and simply plug it in when you need to charge. It will faithfully serve your needs, delivering power day in and day out to keep your vehicle humming along.
On the other hand, the app unlocks a ton of additional functionality for those looking to fine tune charging times, use actually electricity costs to see the cost of charging over time or per session, view charts and graphs to your hearts content, schedule charging time, and more.
The 40A Wallbox Pulsar Plus is available starting today for $649 directly from Wallbox, on Amazon, and other approved retailers. The 48A wired build of the Pulsar Plus will arrive later this year at a retail price of $699. At those prices, it certainly slots into the market at a competitive price point that makes it worth considering.
As with other EV chargers, the Wallbox Pulsar Plus is eligible for relevant federal, state, and local tax credits and rebates, where available. This includes the U.S. federal tax credit for up to 30% of total equipment and installation costs, up to $1,000.
The compact footprint of the Pulsar Plus makes it easier to install and takes up less real estate than many other EV chargers available today. The thinner charging cable for the nozzle eliminates the need to wrangle with an angry snake when plugging in for the night. In our house, that makes it easier for me to delegate the task of plugging the car in to my children.
As a connected charger, the Pulsar Plus puts the power to view charging sessions, schedule charging, view history, and much more into the hands of owners via the integrated app. If you want to get crazy, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant integration also allows for voice control of charger functions and notifications.
It’s an impressive package that locks in a top position in the list of residential EV chargers for customers around the world, now including North America.
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