Would you like to be able to charge your electric unicycle at an EV charging station? Then you’ve come to the right place. If you live outside of North America, the J1772 adapter that I’ll be discussing will not work for you.
Message me through social media if you know where adapters for outside of North America can be purchased and I’ll add it to this article.
The J1772 adapter allows you to plug your electric unicycle into Level 2 EV chargers. Level 2 chargers usually produce 16 or 30 amps at 240v, which means your charger must be capable of accepting 240v (if the charger says 220v you are fine). If you forget or ignore this, you will ruin your charger.
You can tell how many amps the charger produces by the kW rating. This information is easily found on Google maps. A 3.8 kW charger produces 16 amps and a 7 kW charger produces 30 amps. You will see variations of these numbers as you look at different chargers.
So enough of this technical jargon, why would you want to buy one of these adapters? Here are four great reasons why you may want to consider adding this adapter to your backpack:
1) Increase your charging options. You can use an app like PlugShare to find J1772 chargers or use Google Maps. Google maps can tell you how many chargers there are at a station and how many are being used (see picture above).
2) Charge a lot of wheels from one J1772 outlet. You can charge up to 12 wheels at once at 5 amps each.*
3) Charge at max amperage without the stress of flipping a breaker. You and three of your friends are doing a huge haul on your Monster Pro’s and don’t want to sit around waiting forever to charge. The four of you could charge at 15 amps each off of one J1772 outlet.
4) Charging availability during off business hours. On my most recent long haul I was riding for 23.5 hours and it would have been difficult to charge in the early morning hours or late at night without access to a J1772 charger.
Where can you buy a J1772 adapter? I got mine from Tucson EV (www.tucsonev.com). I’ve had a good experience with the owner Rush. He can customize your adapter for your needs. You can select the number of pigtails you want (1–3 pigtails) and the type of receptacle you want on the pigtails. The adapters go for $81 to $121.50 depending on the number of pigtails you want. I do not receive a commission from these sales.
How do you use the J1772 adapter? It’s quite simple. Plug your charger into the adapter and wheel. Then activate the EV charger and plug it into the adapter.
There are many charging stations that do not charge a fee, but be aware that the owner may be more picky about who is charging on their charger; however, when you do find yourself having to pay, make sure you’re getting charged by the kilowatt hour and not the charge time. Getting charged by the kilowatt hour is the cheapest.
You’ll notice my adapter in the video does not resemble what is currently posted on Tucson EV, and that is because Rush has switched to molded receptacles and shorter pigtails since I bought mine. Skip to minute 1:12 to see how to hook your electric unicycle to the EV charger.
This adapter isn’t for everyone, but if you’re like me and enjoy long distance hauls on your wheel, this will probably be useful. One last thing to consider before buying an adapter. Research the availability of EV chargers in your area. There is no point in getting one if you can’t use it.
*When you double the voltage from 110v to 220v, the current is reduced by half. A battery drawing 5 amps from a 110v outlet will only draw 2.5 amps from a 220v outlet.