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    jasbar2 New Member

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    PIP arrives shortly. Trying to decide if it is worthwhile to buy a Level 2 charger plus installation.
    Convenience of fixed unit is an advantage. Keeping Toyota provided Level 1 solely as a backup/mobile unit is another.
    Time to charge is of some benefit but is not a huge issue since PIP recharges pretty quickly.
    Without garage, my installation would be outside. Can Toyota Level 1 charger be kept outside on a semi-permanent basis?
    Thoughts, Level 2 model recommendations.
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    devprius /dev/geek

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    I'm in the same boat as you. I'm currently using the provided L1 charger. I have it plugged into a nearby garage outlet and ran underneath the garage door to my car which sits in the driveway. Every morning I unplug it, put it in the trunk, and every evening I have to plug it back in. It's a bit of a pain, but it's doable. An L2 charger permanently mounted outside by my garage would be a lot of help to me. I could unplug a lot more easily. However, it will cost me at least $1200 to do, if not more.
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    Rebound Senior Member

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    I'm going to install both 120V and 240V dedicated circuits, but I'm going to use the Toyota charger until a reasonably-priced 240V EVSE becomes available. I want to pay no more than $300, and ideally much less, for the luxury of dropping my charge time from 3 hours to 1.5.

    Also, there are government programs here that provide free EVSE's for Leaf and Volt owners, but not Prius owners. I will wait a while to see if that changes.
    1 people like this.
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    ukr2 Active Member

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    I also use the provided 120 vac EVSE. I installed a new 20 amp outlet just inside the garage with the cable also running under the door. At work, until the building owner agrees to allow me to install an outdoor outlet, I'm running a 25' 12-gauge cord out the office window to plug in the cable.

    I'll be able to convert either to 220 vac if a Level 2 cable becomes available at the right price.

    Why aren't the FREE EVSE programs including the PIP? Call your Legislatures !!!
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    crewdog AARPrius User

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    Right now i only have the dedicated 120v outlet in the garage.

    A good portion of my driving is making short round trips, about half within EV range.

    In the 3 days the PiP has been home, I haven't really needed a quick turnaround that a 240v recharge would bring, but i could easily adapt my driving habits around a 240v charge.

    For now, I'm more inclined to agree with Rebound and wait to see if a more reasonably priced 240v evse becomes available.
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    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator

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    On weekends and even somne days during the week I am in and out to run errands a few times so for me having the ability to fast charge in 1.5 hours is worth it. So yes, I am very glad I got my level2 charger. It's worthwhile if you know you'll make use of it. You'll probably never pay back what it cost driving around in EV for those short commutes but it makes it more fun. And since I got the installation, electrical work etc done for free and got the 40% Fed tax credit for the unit it was a no brainer for me.
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    gwmort Active Member

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    If charging time isn't a big factor for you you might want to consider getting a second 110v EVSE to permanently (or semi-permanently ) leave at home. I find one of the biggest advantages of the garage EVSE is not having to unpack and repack the mobile unit every morning and evening. If you could just leave it on the wall and unplug and go it will be much more convenient.
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    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Rebound Senior Member

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    I've been eyeing that. It's expensive because the connector that attaches to the car costs about $260, and the guy's selling his circuit board for over $200. He's probably just covering his cost, and he's a Hero of Technology for building those and showing us where prices will go, but it's still expensive. I think his can go to 40 Amps, where I believe Prius maxes out at 15.

    For the Leaf and EV owners, 240V is must-have. For Prius... I can wait.
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    Batteries_Included New Member

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    Another level 1 charger (110V) from Toyota dealers is $1200. I would love to have a spare one. Is there an aftermarket already for this type of parts?

    If there is, it would be relatively easy to make a "permanent" but slow charging station for home.
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    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    you are thinking of someone else, Chris Howell is selling the tested, built and loaded with firmware OpenEVSE PCB for $100 (used to be $85), I just added an LCD display to the one I am building, and yes, the most expensive part is the 30A J-1772 cable & connector, $261 from Avent, but that is because the volume of EV's and PHEVs is so low, its not a "mass produced" item in enough quantity yet. The ones from China are of questionable quality too as well, so we are avoiding them, for the most part. This is why the EVSE is so expensive, BTW. You can build a 30A, 40A or even a 75A EVSE, it all depends on what relay/contactor you use, and the gauge of the AC wiring chosen. The PiP only needs 13A or so, but the smallest J1772 cable most go with is rated at 30Amps (think of it as future proofing,and the cable is more rugged)
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    LenP Member

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    Rebound Senior Member

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    That's the one I was thinking of, I just got his price wrong.
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    LenP Member

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    I'm Mr Electronics ,but I just spent $38,0000 on this car, I'm not saving a few pennies and building a charger and voiding my warranty.:)
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    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Len, it's not a "charger", it's a smart extension cord. The charger is inside the PiP.
    There is a relay that switches the 120/240 to the cable once all of the safety checks pass (GFCI, pilot signal negotiation, stuck relay detection), it's very very simple. Go look at the schematic on the OpenEVSE website.
    There is nothing you could do to "mess up" your new PiP, unless you are not competent with wiring simple AC circuits, and have some low voltage experience as well.
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    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #00005

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    If the EVSE already has GFCI circuitry in it, why are we supposed to plug it into a GFCI outlet?
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    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Quality EVSEs always incorporate their own GFCI, as when you get up to 30A, 40A, 75A, there are not exactly GFCI breakers in all of those ranges, and they are expensive, if availble. If there is current leakage to ground, the EVSE is supposed to shutdown the power to the J-1772, this could be caused by a faulty onboard charger, for example. most every EVSE that's built to specs has a GFCI in it, in fact you probably should not plug in most EVSEs into GFCI outlets, as they tend to "false trip" at too low a level (5ma), the GFCI in the EVSE in general uses 20ma as the trip point.
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    LenP Member

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    I know all this...excuse the use of the wrong term, but Toyota will use any excuse to void their warranty if you use any non certified equipment and there is a failure to their charging system. I agree they are charging a fortune for a few dollars worth of components and it's not worth it.
    PS: Even the use of the term, charging station is wrong, except for level 3 DC, they are all glorified extension cords. :D
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    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Len, do what you are comfortable with, there is no way they can even tell a differrent J-1772 EVSE was used... the electrons all look the same :)

    I am just making a suggestion, for those who are electriclly inclined, DIYers, this is not for everyone, but it is an easy weekend project for most, and you can build yourself a portable L2 EVSE capbable of 30A charging (not needed until the 6.6KW chargers start arriving in vehicles in a year or two), for under $500. Install your own L6-30R 30A 240V receptacle in your garage (or have any licensed electrician install the outlet, if you want for about $150-$250), and you have a working EVSE, not only capable of handling the PiP, a Chevy Volt, or even a Nissan Leaf, but even the next version of those as well (the 2013 Leaf is rumored to come with a 6.6KW onboard charger option, which means its 23KW battery could be charged in less than 4 hours)
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    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #00005

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    But doesn't the EVSE that comes with the PlugIn specifically instruct the user to use a GFCI outlet :confused: Does that mean that the one Toyota provided does not have a GFCI in it??? The 12A load is within the capacity of common home GFCI outlets, isn't it? I understand the concern about home outlets having a hair trigger trip threshold, and I would move my EVSE to a more convenient outlet if I didn't feel pushed to use the GFCI one.

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