Disposable charging cable?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by plugable, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. plugable

    plugable Junior Member

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    When I was reading the "When charging" tag that's attached to the charging cable today, I saw something that I hadn't seen discussed before. At the bottom of the tag, it describes the indicator lights on the unit, and what it means if they are lit or flashing. So, if the Power indicator light is lit, and the Error warning indicator is flashing, it indicates that "It will soon be the end of the charge counts. Be careful." If both of the lights are lit, it means that "It has been the lifetime of charging cable. Can not be used." Does anyone know what that lifetime count is? Do partial charges count? Can a ScanGuage be used to reset the counter? :) I'm guessing that it probably doesn't matter too much as charging cables will be a whole lot cheaper than they are now whenever that happens.
     
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  2. bisco

    bisco cookie crumbler

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    since they don't tell you how many charges it has in it, there is no way to know if partial charges count or how much they count. i suspect everything counts and the cable will last the life of the batteries or car unless it is defective.
     
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  3. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    That sounds like BS, as the EVSE is a simple GFCI safety switch, generates the 1Khz pilot signal, and has a relay to switch the AC power on and off to the charger, no such thing as a counter for # of charges... It could be they have MOV's (for surge/lightning protection, essentially a built in surge suppressor), that if they take too many "spikes", need to be replaced, but that's no reason to throw away the EVSE, those are like $5 parts.. Of course Toyota probably doesn't want to deal with EVSE repair, but there are third party companies, such as evseupgrade.com that will likely be able to replace / repair defective components in the EVSE
     
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  4. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    This sounds like a Jinglish (or Engrish) translation problem. I suspect that it means the cable has failed. Anything can and will fail eventually, but some devices have indicators.

    I don't believe they intended to imply that the cable is good for only a limited number of charges.

    Tom
     
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  5. andyprius

    andyprius Senior Member

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    Must be a liability thing, I have never heard of any electrical wiring wearing out. Totally stressed cabling that you see on old cars with corrosion, loose terminals, old boats, yes they are all stressed. But I do not see how the lifetime of the cable can be considered on the new Pip. Just a CYA tag.
     
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  6. bvoyles

    bvoyles Junior Member

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    I just went out and actually read the tag on my charging cable, and sure enough it says exactly that. Why would the cable be subject to a limited number of charge cycles? Rather than a limited cable life, I wonder if the cable circuit has the ability to warn the user when the actual battery life is near the end due to charge resistance, etc.? It will be interesting to find out exactly what the tag verbage means.
     
  7. qbee42

    qbee42 My other car is a boat

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    Connectors can and do fail. They all have a design life of a certain number of operations, so the charging cable really does have a finite life. However, in practice the cable life should easily exceed that of the car.

    Tom
     
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  8. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Yes, the J-1772 connector is only good for 10,000 insertion/removal cycles, why with charging twice per day, every day of the year, thats only 13.6 years :)
     
  9. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    GFCI's trip more easily as they get older, so perhaps that limits the EVSE lifetime.
     
  10. innisfree

    innisfree New Member

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    Great idea,lol
     
  11. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    The Panasonic EVSE does indeed have a cycle counter. Each contact closure of the relay increments an onboard EEPROM. I do not yet know the expiration count.

    I haven't ever seen any other EVSE's with this "feature". It's like a "warranty timer" as far as I'm concerned. Maybe they do it do dissuade people from using them full-time.

    We'll have a reset procedure developed for this soon over at evseupgrade.com, and when we upgrade the EVSE's in the future we will remove the counter function altogether.

    -Phil
     
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  12. iRun26.2

    iRun26.2 New Member

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    I connect my charge cable at least three times per day and sometimes four (not always full charges). Eventually I may get to the point where I need a new charge cable (according to your calculations).

    I wonder it will be possible to get it refurbished without buying an entire charging cable. Hopefully by that time, a lot of that stuff will be quite a bit cheaper than they are now.
     
  13. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    iRun26.2, the 10,000 is an estimate, it will probably last longer. I only use the included L1 Toyota supplied EVSE at work, at home I have a Schnieder EV Link EVSE, and the OpenEVSE I built as a backup/spare (anticipating getting a full EV eventually). I woudn't worry too much about the 10,000 number, by then replacement J-1772 male heads should be $25-50, the bigger issue that far out will likely be getting a replacement 4.4KW lithium pack... Hopefully by then, there will be 10-12KW packs that fit in the same space that are inexpensive as well :)
     
  14. iRun26.2

    iRun26.2 New Member

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    You raise a good point. While I still use the charger cable that came with my PiP at work and at home, I hope to upgraded to a L2 charger at home (in the not too distant future). This would greatly reduce the number of times I use the included charge cable.

    I also expect that there may even be a time when my work might install a charger (when my boss buys an EV :rolleyes:).

    Now I wonder if there is any kind of limit to the number of times the car's connector can be connected and disconnected?!
     
  15. iRun26.2

    iRun26.2 New Member

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    Sometimes, when I do a timed charge, I forget to look to verify that the car's charging light comes on and then turns off (signaling it is ready to charge at a latter time). I unplug it and then plug it back in again. Maybe I better be more careful not to do this any more!
     
  16. acceleraptor

    acceleraptor Member

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  17. IanIanIanIan

    IanIanIanIan Member

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    My guess is that there is a surge arrestor in the EVSE. The type known as MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) have a limited number of surges they can cope with (the same applies to many computer cable surge arrestors, see their instructions) the circuit typically counts them and locks out the supply at a fixed limit often 15-20 surges to protect the supplied equipment. Just a few pennies to replace the MOV at the end of its life.

    The surge arrestor circuit will protect the car from nearby lightning strikes which if they got into the car's circuits would create mayhem with the electrics.
     
  18. iluvmacs

    iluvmacs Member

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    ...Could possibly be that they are protecting the relay cycle rating?? That's a limited life device and has the potential to fuse closed from arcing (usually many hundreds of thousands of cycles though), which would render it unsafe. But there are better ways of dealing with that issue than just keeping a count and locking out after a hard limit...
     
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  19. Priusmpg

    Priusmpg Active Member

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    I was at my toyota dealer on Monday for the '14 plugin at 43,500 miles. I complained that my charge port not being as smooth, and having to pull the connecter really hard to get it out. The tech had the audacity to tell me that the supplied evse is only for "emergencies" and is not recommended or intended for regular use. He told me to purchase a new level 2 evse and use that, but since I had already been using it normally, he has to void the cars charge cable and charging system warranty. Me realizing his level of, excuse the language, bull shit. I decided to head over to the other dealer who easily replaced the evse and the charge port.

    Maybe, he's mentioning the charge cycle or was incredibly misinformed.
     
  20. SLOW_RR

    SLOW_RR Member

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    I certainly hope you also report the idiot to Toyota! They need to know what some of their dealers are pulling! Let as many other people know as possible and name the dealer when you talk to them.....
     
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