REVIEW – At the risk of sounding a little too Californian, I hereby reveal that I have two electric cars. While there is a lot of infrastructure here to support them, without a level two charger at home I wouldn’t be able to make it to work every day. What can I say? I also have a California-style commute. When my old level two charger started to flake out on me, I jumped at the chance to review the FLO Home X5 Electric Vehicle Charger.
What is it?
The FLO Home X5 Electric Vehicle Charger is a 30A Level 2 wall-mounted electric car charger
What’s the the box?
- FLO Home X5 Electric Vehicle Charger
- Some instructions
- An adapter that connects your charger to the WiFi in your home
- An ethernet cable
- 100 % aluminum, waterproof, impact and corrosion-resistant enclosure
- Output power 6.2 – 7.2 kW
- Output Current 30 A (adjustable from 6 to 30 A)
- AC Input voltage 208-240 V @ 60 Hz
- AC Input connection Hardwired, L1, L2, G, Under and rear hardware entry options
- Security Features Integrated GFCI 20mA, 3 reset attempts at 15-minute intervals
- Plug: SAE J1772 designed to withstand 10,000+ charging cycles
- Indoor/Outdoor. Operating temperatures from -40°F to 122°F / -40°C to 50°C
- 25 ft. cable
- Charges most vehicles in 6-8 hours with 30A / 240V / 7.2kW
- 5-year warranty
- Flo Mobile App: Dynamic power-sharing, remote start & stop, charging schedule, real-time status, charging history
- UL and Energy-Star certified
- Dimensions and Weight: 432 mm x 193 mm x 175 mm (17” x 7.6” x 6.9”), 11.23 kg (24.76 lbs)
- Impact rating: IK10
Setup and Features
Installation for the hardwired FLO Home X5 EV charger has to be done professionally, so that took a lot of pressure off of me, because I didn’t know how I was going to mount this thing to the side of my house. I called an electrician and because I already had the wiring done on my panel and had a 240W plug installed, it was relatively easy for the electrician to install it. For a few hundred dollars he was done in a few hours. From my point of view it was completely worth it. The Flo website makes a point of mentioning that electricians love the “easy and flexible hardwire design.” I asked my electrician if he found it easy to install and he just kind of nodded. Perhaps your electrician will be more complimentary.
The FLO Home X5 EV charge itself is a sleek looking unit and it has a light that changes when it’s ready to go, when it’s properly plugged in, and when it is actually charging. I appreciate that because there were times with my old charger that I didn’t have things connected properly and my car didn’t charge overnight. That can be a disaster. For my Tesla I had to use my adapter because it can’t take the J1772 plug. The adapter slid on and off easily, which is not something I could say about my previous charger. The button on the top of the handle is easy to push and I’d call the handle fairly ergonomic. The 25 foot cord loops around the Flo X5 r and is more than long enough for my needs. This unit can be installed outdoors as mine is and comes with a 5-year warranty. If you live at the beach, the housing is aluminum to resist corrosion in salt air. You will notice that my charger is not shiny aluminum like the X5s on the website. Apparently, they sent me one of their few “Carbon” colored versions, so don’t be confused if you go to buy one of these. Mine is an X5, it’s just a black one.
One of the nice things for me (and maybe you if you’ve gone all-in on electric) is that you can buy a second FLO Home X5 charger and they can share the same circuit through “dynamic power sharing. ” Basically, you can plug both cars in and it will split the power going to them based on available power and the state of the batteries in the individual cars. If one car finishes charging, it will re-allocate the power to charge the car that’s left faster. As a two EV household, this could be a game changer for us.
This charger comes with a gadget that plugs into your WiFi router and into a wall outlet to communicate with the FLO Home X5 . This allows you to monitor the charging through an app on your phone. It uses your house wiring to do that, which is kind of a great idea because my old charger just connected to the WiFi directly, but my signal where it was installed was a bit weak. The drawback, of course is that you need to hook it up to your router and that might not be convenient. In my case, it was fine.
When I went to pair my station to the Flo app I had an issue, and I really hope the people who sent this unit to me take note. There is a special serial number that is only found on a slip of paper in the packaging. It is a white paper glued to a piece of brown paper that matches the brown box, making it easy to overlook if it is upside down, as mine was. My installer didn’t notice it and neither did I, so when I went to check out the app I was stuck. I had to go down to my recycling bin and dig out the box and I did find it, but if I’d waited until after trash day I would have been in a fix. I hope the people at Flo either print this information on the instructions or put it on neon colored paper or something more obvious because it’s super easy to overlook. I think if I contacted customer service they could have sorted it out, though. I did have to contact Flo customer service on another matter, and it’s 24/7 and very responsive.
Once I had the magic number, my FLO Home X5 EV charger paired to my account and the app was full of functionality. You can set a charging schedule, monitor the output and energy transferred and also search for nearby charging stations and set favorites. You will also receive an email when your charging session is done that summarizes the statistics of your charging session.
What I liked
What I’d change
- Print the serial number on something other than the same colored paper as the box.
The FLO Home X5 EV charger looks great and was super easy to set up, apart from the serial number issue. I look forward to using it for years to come.