AeroVironment: official charger of the Chevy Bolt

The 2017 Chevy Bolt is coming to California and Oregon before the end of 2016, and along with it comes its very own official charger from AeroVironment.

The company’s EVSE-RS charger has been available for some time, and AeroVironment is not new to the EV charging game. The company is kind of an unofficial charger for everyone else; it sells models compatible with just about every EV on the market — Ford, Fiat, BMW, Nissan, Toyota even Tesla. And though it’s available through dealerships that sell the Bolt, the AeroVironment charger doesn’t come with the car like a prize in a Cracker Jack box. It’s an official accessory that buyers will have to purchase. The retail price for the 30-amp 240-volt charger is about $1,000.

It is a Level 2 charger, which means it will charge your Bolt (or any EV) five times faster than plugging the car into a regular household outlet, which is known in the EV universe as Level 1 charging. The EVSE-RS is rated to be used indoors or out, so if you don’t have room inside the garage to park your car, it can be installed elsewhere so you can charge in the driveway.

No other electric vehicle on the market right now has an official charger. Tesla does have the Wall Connector home charger that is designed to work with its cars, but both the car and charger are made by a single company. Other companies like ChargePoint, GE, Siemens and JuiceBox all make home EV chargers that you can buy on Amazon. So it may be easier to buy an AeroVironment charger at the dealership when you buy your Bolt, but it’s not absolutely required.