Duosida EVSE Review

by Ben N on July 5, 2018

The Duosida Level 2 EVSE is one of the most popular aftermarket electric car charging units out there. I purchased one to see if it’s what it’s all cracked up to be.

To start with, you might see the Duosida advertised under other brand names – Duostar, Orion, Maxx-16, etc. Don’t worry, they are all the same unit.
You’ll see the first feature of this unit when buying it – THE PRICE! Hands-down, it’s one of the least expensive EVSEs out there.

The second big selling point of the unit is that it’s both Level 1 AND Level 2 compatible. That’s right! It will run on 120 OR 240V! Of course, you want to charge from 240V power whenever possible, but having the OPTION of 120V power makes the Duoside much more versatile. With a single unit, a person has the ability to make use of either charging voltage. This is ideal for a travel EVSE that you keep in the car.

The Duosida features a 25 foot long 14 gauge cable. Don’t be fooled by one of the sellers offering a 28 foot cable. The main body itself is about a foot long and the short lead cable to the wall is about 2 feet long, so yes, 28 feet in total, but only 25 in the main section of cable.

The J1772 connector itself is UL listed, although the unit as a whole is not.

Four LEDs on the body give a useful amount of information, telling if it’s connected to power, connected to the vehicle, if there is an error, and whether the vehicle is charging or has completed charging.

Mounting options are very basic.
A keyhole on the top back of the unit is designed for single-screw mounting. Just run a wood screw into your garage wall and hang the unit up. It won’t fall off, but neither does it feel very solidly mounted. It is easy to hang up and take down for when you want the Duosida to go with you. If you want the unit mounted just a little better, I would recommend adding a heavy tie-wrap with an eye as a secondary point to screw to the wall. Otherwise a one-hole conduit strap would also work well to secure the cable.

Not included:
The other disadvantage of this class of smaller, more portable type EVSEs is that they lack a holster for the J1772 connector and a cord wrap. The cord wrap can easily be replaced with any kind of utility hook. You just want a place to wrap up your cable out of the way and keep it off the ground. Some small hose-holders work well for this too. Some people also like having a holster for the end connector. If you do, there are plenty of dedicated holsters available for sale as well.

Overall, it’s easy to see why people like the Duosida – it’s inexpensive and dual-voltage. That’s a great combination for a second EVSE or one you keep for travel.

So, what’s lacking? The big shortcoming is simply the fact that it’s only rated at 16 amps. That’s fantastic for cars like the base model Nissan Leafs and other vehicles with a 3.3kW charger built in. However, more and more cars are featuring larger batteries and more powerful chargers. If your car has a 6.6kW charger, you might want a more powerful EVSE to maximize your power in and minimize your charging time.

If you are interested in a more powerful EVSE, Clipper Creek makes some excellent units.

Lastly, we ARE starting to see more EVSEs available that do both 120 and 240V. The 2018 and newer Nissan Leaf has the option of an upgraded EVSE which does both voltages. (A removable end connector swaps between a standard outlet and a NEMA 14-50 connector.) Also, the 2nd Generation Chevy Volt includes an EVSE which is capable of 240V power. It simply needs an adapter on the end to go to your favorite 240V outlet.

You might also be interested in the Amazing-E EVSE.
It’s a well designed unit and the internal circuit board is actually made by Clipper Creek. Unfortunately, it does NOT do 120V charging. Read the review here.

Make sure to choose whatever EVSE will work best for you, but for a basic, portable EVSE that is 120/240V compatible, it’s hard to beat the Duosida.

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