Is Level 2 Charger Worthwhile?

Discussion in 'Gen 1 Prius Plug-in 2012-2015' started by jasbar2, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    Hugh? Fake?
    Oh ... guess we have a difference is what 'recently' is. Since nationwide sales of PHEV's (Volt) just started a couple months ago ... and Q.C. infrastructure started before that ... about 15 months ago ... and the installation of multiple Q.C.'s in the same cities began over a half year ago ... well that's what I based my 'not so' comment on. Being that Q.C. infrastructure began when Q.C. chargable cars began ... being not this month ... not last month ... and not as late as mid last year. Hope that's more clear. Sorry for diverging off the topic of, "Is L2 worth it".
     
  2. pfile

    pfile Member

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    Someone is wrong on the internets! Quick, to the forums!
     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    Interesting, I'll have to check the above site out. It helps that Nissan moved their HQ to TN. I hear there are a bunch of QCs in/around Portland, OR.

    pEEf posted about his experience about using the not available to the public DC QC in Vacaville, CA at My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - My first DC Quick Charge. There's one in Cypress, CA at Mitsubishi and My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - (Un)Official Mitsubishi (Cypress, CA) L3 Scheduling Thread is one of several threads on it. I believe hill himself has used that one.
     
  4. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    CHAdeMO

    Yep, J1772 for L1 and L2 charging is TOTALLY different than CHAdeMO and the above pic is right.

    Kinda on that note, the SAE and a bunch of automakers have decided to get behind the weird beast (another connector tacked onto J1772). See My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - 7 manufacturers support J1772 L3 DC Quick chrgr over CHAdeMO.

    This was a reasonably accurate translation of the situation at the time (from My Nissan Leaf Forum • View topic - Agreement on Charging Standards?):
    Now there's this (from http://www.mynissanleaf.com/viewtopic.php?p=183351#p183351 ):
    CHAdeMO Association supposedly lists how many CHAdeMO stations there are worldwide.
     
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  5. bigal

    bigal Junior Member

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    Re: Experience with Leviton

    I just got my Plug-in and was interested in getting the 240V charger from Leviton. Somewhere I had gotten the impression that it would cost me $999 installed. I logged on to their site and I found no mention of price. Instead they had one of those long notices that you have to acknowledge (but who reads those multi-page agreements?) some where in that acknowledgement was the pricing tack ons. I had to get a site survey after giving Leviton $100 only refundable with the installation. I received a call from a rep at Leviton and, all on the phone site unseen, he tacked on another $200. Well I felt that there was a bait and switch going on here so I backed out. I did get my $100 refunded.
    So beware that $999 charger costs at least $1200.
     
  6. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    Re: Experience with Leviton

    From http://toyota.leviton.com/faq-customers:
    The $999 is for a basic installation which has certain limits like only 20 or 25ft between the main panel and the L2 EVSE. I would ask what the $200 is for specifically. The Prius Plug-in has only been out a month, so they are just starting to do their first Toyota installations, so before before attributing it to malice, I would attribute it to inexperience.

    I was hoping that they would be more knowledgeable, but Leviton and the local contractor were unaware of local incentives/requirements before I brought them up.

    Also keep in mind that a portable L1 EVSE costs about that much, so an L2 EVSE at that price installed is not that much in relative terms. Unfortunately, the EVSE prices so high due to low volume right now.
     
  7. devprius

    devprius /dev/geek

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    Leviton wants over $1800 to install my L2 charger. $1289 for a standard install, plus $575 for taxes, permits & fees. I called up the city, they said the permit fee was only $140. Apparently the city also requires a $50 business license, which the contractor is passing on to me. Also, there was some mention of having to do a whole plan drawing, plus load calculations, for which the contractor wants a separate $240 or so to do. There's some other fees buried in there which I don't agree with as well. I need to get a breakdown of them from Leviton and confirm with the city what they are charging.

    Needless to say, I'm pretty annoyed and upset and at this point I want my $100 back. I can understand that I have to pay the permit fee since it's my house the work is being done on. But to have to pay a business license fee? That's the cost of doing business. You, the contractor, should absorb that. And line load calculations? It's reusing the existing electric dryer circuit. A circuit which I've had for 12+ years. Which I've used almost daily for 12+ years. A circuit which drew the same amount of power that the EVSE will draw (less, probably. The dryer circuit is rated at 30A, Leviton wants to put in a 20A circuit). And then they mentioned something about having to submit line drawings. Quite frankly it sounds like the contractor is padding his quote hoping he won't get caught.

    At this point I've been charging for a month using the supplied 120V EVSE. It's been working fine. It's an annoyance to be constantly putting the charger back in the car, or having to get it out, but t takes me all of an extra minute or 2 when I leave in the morning, or get home, so it's not been such a big deal. The only reason I could see to get the L2 charger installed would be to cut down on charging losses. I start charging at 1am, so it doesn't really matter to me if it stops at 2:30am or 4am.
     
  8. hmcgregor

    hmcgregor New Member

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    Would you be moving the dryer circuit, or just hooking up the EVSE to it?

    If your just hooking up the EVSE to it you have two choices.

    Buy an EVSE (Home Depot, 16 or 30 Amp for about $800), and then have an electrically inclined friend wire it in for you. This could be against building code in your area, so be careful.

    Option 2, but an EVSE (Home Depot, 30 or 16 Amp), and get the correct plug for your dryer circuit outlet, and the appropriate heavy AWG wire, and wire up via the plug. This should have no building code issues, as you are plugging an appliance into an existing receptacle.

    We have opted to wait for the L2 EVSEs to come down in price, since even $800 seems a little high right now.
     
  9. devprius

    devprius /dev/geek

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    I'd be essentially moving the dryer circuit from the inside rear of the garage to the outside front of the garage. So rewiring the existing dryer plug is not an option. :-(

    The panel for the house is inside the garage up by the front, so putting in another 220V circuit up by the front would be easy to do, but there's no convenient place to mount the EVSE on the inside. The whole idea was to mount the EVSE on the outside of the house eliminating the need to open the garage door to plugin (we park in the driveway).

    At this point I'm leaning towards getting a second portable EVSE and leaving it plugged in all the time at home. I still will have to open the garage door, but at least I won't have to be constantly plugging & unplugging it from the wall.
     
  10. bigal

    bigal Junior Member

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    GE WattStation

    I ordered the GE WattStation at Home Depot. I compared the Leviton and found that the WattStation is more attractive. Otherwise the specs are almost the same.
    The exceptions I found are the
    1) Pricing looks the same -maybe
    It's questionable if the Leviton installation kit is extra
    2) current ratings. GE 30amps, Leviton 16.
    I really don't know the advantage of more current. This depends on what the Prius can take.
    3) The cord on the GE is 2ft shorter than the Leviton's 18ft.
    4) The aesthetics.
    Leventon looks a bit "clunky" looks like it would fit well in a car repair garage. The GE is attractive with a lighting display that looks great and easy to read.

    My installation will consist of:
    1) 240V NEMA 6-50P plug in the garage
    2) Cable from the plug in the attached garage to the 200amp breaker box in the basement
    3) Install a 220V breaker.

    I think the Level 2 charger will increase our over all car battery range. Much of our travel is local so if we can turn the battery around in a shorter time we'll get more use of the battery. With our home solar system our battery charged miles are significantly cheaper.

    Charger is on the truck.
    More to come.
    Al
     
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  11. LenP

    LenP Member

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    Re: Experience with Leviton

    I bought a Legrand 220V charger, it cost $750 and had my
    electrician install it. It works great.:)
     
  12. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    Re: GE WattStation



    As I posted, I too got the Wattstation because in the end I felt the same way. The Wattstation was a better deal for me...
     
  13. LenP

    LenP Member

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  14. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    Did you find out what the extra $290 on top of the $999 standard install is for?

    The Leviton price also includes installation (there are some limits such as distance to the subpanel), but not permit fees.
    None for the Prius Plug-in as it draws 12A, but it may be good for futureproofing if you get a (PH)EV later that can take more. Also, Leviton does have a 30A version which I discovered from the Leviton info folder I got from the electrical contractor.
    Interesting, I thought the GE one looked too plasticky in the pictures. The Leviton one looks very old fashioned.
    Just to clarify, the Leviton unit can be converted to hard wired.
     
  15. Paradox

    Paradox Prius Enthusiast / Moderator
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    But that gloss black and silver trim rings shines oh so nicely once a coat (or in my sick mind 4 or so coats) of Zaino is applied. And the LED trim rings which illuminates where the handle is stored is quite bright and makes it 'cool' looking. I also like the button right on the front to kill all power to the unit if going on vacation etc. Yeah, you could pull the plug on any unit which is a plug version and not hard wired but it was still nice they thought of adding a simple button.
     
  16. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    I plan on charging once per 24hr period at night. Is there anything wrong with just plugging the thing in the wall at night into a 110V 15A socket?
     
  17. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    If your circuits are only measuring 110V, you better get an electrician out there ASAP to check things out because 110V (or 115V) hasn't been used in ages. 120V is the standard for single-phase residential wiring and has been across the USA for quite some time. If you are seeing significantly less than 120V that could indicate some issues either with your household wiring or local transformer.

    Ideally you'd be using a dedicated 120V 20A circuit.

    If that's not available, you'd use a dedicated 120V 15A circuit.

    If that's not available, you'd use a 120V 15A circuit which isn't used by anything else while you're charging.

    If that's not available, you'd use a 120V 15A circuit which isn't used by anything else that can draw heavy loads of more than a couple amps.

    In all cases it helps to use a circuit close to your main service panel and always make sure the outlet in question is in good shape and holds the cord securely. If in doubt, replace the outlet with a heavy-duty outlet - they only cost $5 from Home Depot and absolutely do not use a stab-in type connector as they have been known to have issues.
     
  18. mozdzen

    mozdzen Active Member

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    I've got 120 - I use the terms 110 and 120 interchangeably to distinguish from 220/240.
    I've got an open 120V/20A slot in my fuse box. Looks like I'll have to run a wire up the wall, through the attic above the garage and down along a post in the garage.
     
  19. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    It may be used interchangeably, but saying that you have a 110/115/220/230 outlet is incorrect and a habit that should die!
    For long term use I would highly recommend that a dedicated 20A circuit be run if you don't have one already. You'll get lower voltage drop compared to your typical 15A circuit which means that charging will be slightly more efficient and you'll also be sure that the circuit is in good shape for sustained high current draw!

    It's too easy to melt a plug or overload a circuit which is why Toyota recommends a dedicated 15A circuit. And if you're running a new line the cost to run a 20A circuit over a 15A circuit is next to nothing.
     
  20. jbrad4

    jbrad4 Active Member

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    When I charge at a public Level-2 charging station the car says "Charge Power 1.9 kW". 1900 Watts / 240v = 7.92 amps. Some people say that you have to allow for 85% efficiency. OK, so 7.92 / .85 = 9.3 amps. This tells me it doesn't matter what the charging system is rated at, as long as it can produce 10 amps you are golden with the Plug-In Prius. Now, if you are going to charge a Volt or a Leaf you probably need more power (higher current) capability.
     
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