Excluding charging hours for TOU pricing?

Discussion in 'Prime Plug-in Charging' started by r.p., Dec 1, 2021.

  1. r.p.

    r.p. Junior Member

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    Our utility (SCE) has Time Of Use pricing: expensive between 4pm and 9pm, cheap otherwise.

    I’d like to be able to plug in any time and simply inhibit charging between those times. But I’ve not figured out how to do that.

    is it possible?
     
  2. vvillovv

    vvillovv Senior Member

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    Which year and model trim?

    It should be, but only manually by changing setting on the MID. Or leaving the Charge rate setting on Low
    2 AMPs?. high = 8 AMPs The Low charge setting takes about twice as long charging as the High charge setting, in the Prime.
     
  3. r.p.

    r.p. Junior Member

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    We have a 2022 Prius Prime.

    As I poked around this forum, I found some similar questions. The answer I don't like is "buy a smart plug and control it from the internet" (because I've never seen a smart plug that can handle Level II charge currents).

    More reasonable is "set the program to have a departure time of 6AM", which will presumably start charging somewhere after midnight and have it fully charged for a morning trip.

    But what if you have a 15 mile morning commute and an afternoon commute? If I set two departure times -- one for 6AM and another for 4PM -- is that sufficient to guarantee that it WON'T charge between 4pm and 9pm?
     
  4. MalachyNG

    MalachyNG Member

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    I don't think you can guarantee the car will not charge between certain hours. If you select "charge now" after parking it'll begin a charge and won't stop until it's full or you unplug it. If you set a scheduled departure it'll decide when to charge based on LOC, ambient temp and whether it's plugged into level 2 or not. Very doubtful it'll start charging before 9pm if your scheduled departure isn't until the next morning.

    You can set it to begin a charge at a certain time so it won't start charging during your higher rate hours, but it may not be fully charged by the time you leave in the morning if you set it too late and it won't run preconditioning.

    I think the main reason people suggest a timer on the plug is to be sure you don't charge during a higher rate time even if you mistakenly hit charge now right at 4pm.

    I'll have to play around with my car later to see if you can schedule multiple depart times on the same day. The prime doesn't seem to pull that much power for an EV so grabbing a few kwh by mistake shouldn't break the bank. It only draws 16amp on level 2 and i think its like 6kwh for a full charge. It's not much more than running a dryer for a few hours. Obviously you don't want to do it every day if your rates are high by it's not like you're fast charging a tesla either.
     
  5. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    If your daily use is routine and has a predictable departure time, then using the charge schedule and setting the departure time would be the best practice. But a said already, it will not automatically "avoid" the time of high electric rate. Some people had success using a smart plug with a remote app on the phone to control the charging, but I don't know if any app will allow you to program to turn OFF just between 4pm and 9pm.
     
  6. MalachyNG

    MalachyNG Member

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    All my smart plugs and lights use a similar method to If This Then That. For a scheduled event you set a condition (time) and an action (flip on). Then you build a companion event for a different time too turn it back off. Many interface with ITTT, Alexa, Siri and Google home so you can use whichever service you're most familiar with on many of the smart outlets you can buy.

    Doesn't the Prime begin a charge cycle if you unplug it and then plug it in again? Wouldn't a timer on the outlet just make it begin charging at 9pm every night and it won't follow the schedule you set up?
     
  7. r.p.

    r.p. Junior Member

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    I'm seeing that as a recurring theme, but since so many utility companies have TOU plans that exclude certain hours, it's a huge opportunity for Toyota to provide a charging plan to support them.

    Does anyone here have a short path to Toyota development team?
     
  8. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    I have never played with a smart plug set-up for my PP charging. For one thing, it is hard to find a quality-made plug that can go up to 15A max. I just don't trust using a sub-standard quality plug, which most of those smart plugs found online, for sustained high amp (~12A) operation for a long time day after day.

    That being said, about your question, yes scheduled charging is canceled, and the "Charge Now" option is enabled by simply plugging the charge cord into the port and unplugging and re-plugging it. What I don't know is what happens if the smart plug is OFF position when you plug the charging cord into the car and then later smart plug turn the power on. Would the charging start at that time? I can see that once charging is started, it can always be turned off by the smart plug by simply programing it to "OFF" at 4 PM (time which high rate for TOU starts.

    We don't have TOU pricing for our electricity. So, I have no use for such gadgets.
     
  9. t_newt

    t_newt Active Member

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    I use a Smartthings 15A plug that has worked reliably over the years with my Prius Prime 120V plug. That requires a Smartthings hub to control it though. I set up the TOU schedule into the Smartthings app. Nowdays WiFi controlled plugs are very cheap and I've seen several 'heavy duty' ones that are designed for reliable 15A service.
     
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  10. MalachyNG

    MalachyNG Member

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    TOU pricing is likely to be more common as EV adoption rises and gas prices go higher. I don't think we've put enough attention into upgrading our power grids. Rates will go up and capacity may not keep up with demand. Power companies are going to need to encourage spreading power use outside peak ours to keep from disrupting service. If everyone starts buying electric cars and installing level2 chargers in their homes we may see new peak demands before or after regular commute times. I do wonder what happens when every household is drawing nearly a months worth of power every day to recharge a couple of BEVs with big dense battery packs.
     
  11. MalachyNG

    MalachyNG Member

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    I don't use TOU either. So it's not really anything I've looked into for my Prime.

    I know if you quickly disconnect and plug the charger back in the car will begin a recharge cycle. I do have to wonder how it will react to losing power for a while and then power coming back without disconnecting it from the car. If your power goes out at 3:45pm and comes back at 4, will the car start charging at 4 during a peak price time even though you plugged it in early in the day expecting it to wait to charge until the morning?

    I think it would be convenient for Toyota to add a stop charging option in the app like it does for starting a charge early.
     
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  12. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Member

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    Use a 20 amp spa/pool timer to lock-out those times. Now you can forget about scheduling, just plug it in and walk away.
     
  13. r.p.

    r.p. Junior Member

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    Great suggestion, but dang: why force everyone to purchase hardware, when Toyota could provide this functionality with a simple software update?
     
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  14. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    LOL, That's because if you wait for Toyota software engineers to do anything, it will never get done right. I have abandoned buggy Toyota App (Entue App before that) altogether on my PP.
     
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  15. BiomedO1

    BiomedO1 Member

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    That and the fact that it may introduce even more bugs into their software......:):p:D:rolleyes::LOL::mad::(

    This isn't a personnel computer and may involve jumping over a bunch of regulatory hurtles for all of the various countries Toyota is in.

    Then Toyota will have a PR issue. Why are they adding features and not stomping out known bugs in their software? That's a whole new can of worms.
     
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  16. ETC(SS)

    ETC(SS) The OTHER One Percenter.....

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    Why put this in Toyota's lap?

    If you're charging at home why not put your charger on a programmable circuit or outlet?
    This will "future proof" your home charging circuit against TOU seasonal changes, getting another (perhaps domestic) BEV, etc...etc...

    There are countless DIY solutions out there for homes with things like pumps, heaters, etc and even if you're not comfortable with (or allowed to) making house wiring mods, there are lotsa electrical contractors out there, and even some - er...."plug and play" solutions.

    WARNING
    Some underdeveloped parts of the world use 220v for "mains" (household outlet) power.

    ...so tread carefully!
    If you're competent enough (or allowed to) replace an electrical outlet and/or have normal reading ability at an 8th grade level, you probably can do this work yourself.
    That does not mean that you SHOULD do it.

    Good Luck!
     
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  17. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    Huh? The U.S. is the outlier for voltage standards by using 120V. Pretty much the only developed countries that don't use 220V or 240V for household service are in North America and Japan.
     
    #17 CharlesH, Dec 7, 2021
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2021
  18. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

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    To use a month's worth of power in one day I would have to charge 184 Prius Primes or 15 extended range Model 3s from dead to full in one day.
     
  19. PiPLosAngeles

    PiPLosAngeles Senior Member

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    Unfortunate, too. I'd love to be able to use 16AWG to wire my house with 2,400W circuits. So easy to work with compared to 12 AWG.
     
  20. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    I have my car schedule set up to start charging at midnight and about every two hours till noon. Then I have a "depart at" 3 PM since that's when it starts to get expensive here. No matter what time I get home, it will start charging within 2 hours. I use a level 2 ESVE so it finishes in a touch over two hours. It will not start charging between 3 and midnight.
     
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