Is Level 2 Charger Worthwhile?

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

  1. devprius

    devprius /dev/geek

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    I couldn't get a straight answer out of Leviton. Best I could determine it was to cover the cost of the extra conduit to run it from the main panel to the location I wanted. Apparently if the proposed location is right near existing wiring/outlet, you can the cheap price. If they have to do anything extra, you get get charged extra. A lot.
     
  2. pEEf

    pEEf Engineer - EV nut

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    FYI, It's improper to call the EVSE a "charger", as the charger is inside the PiP. You can properly call it an EVSE, a Charge cord, Charge Station, etc.

    For those that are looking for a low-cost option for Level II, we are now accepting orders for upgrade of the PiP EVSE to Level II operation. It will also still operate on 120v if desired for the original Level I experience. It will allow charging up to 1.44kW when on 120v, and up to 2.88kW when on 240. The unit will automatically detect the input voltage, no settings needed. You can typically have an L6-20 outlet installed for under a few hundred dollars, or you can use a "Quick220" device or dryer adapter for a "no electrican" upgrade.

    Here's what the completed upgrade looks like:

    [​IMG]

    The new cord is a high-quality UL Listed assembly with a fully molded L6-20P for 208/240v operation, (a full foot long) and if you want to charge on 120v, there is a separate 2 foot adapter that connects to this and presents a standard 15a 120v plug. (NEMA 5-15P) This offers enough cord that you can usually avoid having the EVSE box hanging from the wall outlet (bad).

    [​IMG]

    The cost of the upgrade is $239 plus shipping, and add $20 for the 120v adapter. We have performed thousands of upgrades worldwide for both the Nissan Leaf and the Mitsubishi iMiEV.

    See http://evseupgrade.com/ for ordering and more information.

    -Phil
     
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  3. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    I have Phil's EVSE upgrade for my LEAF - highly recommended as it will let you charge twice as fast. I have a bunch of adapters made up so I can plug in to a wide variety of 120V and 240V circuits along with a "Quick220" made based off of a design that Phil published on mynissanleaf.com that Phil dubbed the Easy240.

    If you are considering running a dedicated 120V circuit for your PiP, I would highly recommend running a 240V/20A circuit instead (or in addition to the 120V circuit, can never have too many outlets!) with a L6-20 outlet and using it with the modified EVSE. The cost of running a 240V/20A circuit will be basically the same as running a 120V/20A circuit - the amount of copper needed for each is the same!
     
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  4. ryogajyc

    ryogajyc Active Member

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    Hm, based on the Residential Site Survey Summary, I think the Level 2 Basic Install is $999, which is limited to a 20ft run. I think this basically accommodates those who have the subpanel in the garage, but those with the subpanel outside will probably go up to at least the Level 2 Standard Install which goes up to a 100ft run. If you have the Residential Site Survey Summary, it would indicate if the $1289 was for a Level 2 Standard Install or for a Non-Standard Installation, which might be useful for others who are looking for an L2 EVSE.
     
  5. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I like 'E' nozzle.
    :p
    But yea ... it's impossible to get folks to use standard terms. My favorite mis-stated charger term is for Quick Chargers (QC) ... more often than not the media (in particular) call them level III.

    .
     
  6. raygundan

    raygundan New Member

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    Just got our quote back-- the permit is nearly $1700 on top of the $1300 for the unit and install. $3000!! Yikes. Suggestions?

    I've looked at the evseupgrade.com site, but I don't know much about them. Their warranty is for only a single year as opposed to the 10-year warranty the "official" charger comes with, and although it's cheaper... $979 for the upgraded EVSE plus whatever it costs to get the 240v outlet put in is a lot to spend on something that's only guaranteed to last a year. Are there any other options out there?
     
  7. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    Evseupgrade can also convert your existing Toyota supplied 120V unit to operate on both 120V (L1) and 240V (L2), you just have adapters for 120V that connects to the L6-20P plug they install on the unit, Phil (PeeF on this forum) owns evseupgrade and is very reliable and solid... The upgrade of the Toyota unit is also a lot less money, around $250 I seem to remember.

    Here is the simple AC adapter that allows a converted Leaf (or Toyota) EVSE to plug into 120V, same as before it was converted...

    eBay - New & used electronics, cars, apparel, collectibles, sporting goods & more at low prices

    Depending on the distance from your electrical panel to your garage, any decent electrician should be able to do that for under $400-500 you can even do it yourself for less than $100 in parts
     
  8. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    If the upgraded EVSE fails out of warranty, the EVSE upgrade guys will be able to repair it for a good price, but I don't see that being an issue.

    Is the Leviton EVSE really warranted for 10 years?

    If you hire your own electrician, you can also have him install one of the easily available L2 EVSEs out there from Leviton, GE, Schneider, ClipperCreek. Some of these are are now available from Home Depot/Lowes. Cost for these is between $800-$1000. LeGrand also makes some, but the quality seems poor from what I've seen.
     
  9. Tracksyde

    Tracksyde Member

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    There are EVSE units that just plug into a regular 240V outlet, if that is what you are looking for. Paradox speaks highly of the GE Wattstation. From his pictures, it appears that simply plugs into a 240V.

    evseupgrade.com is well-known in the Leaf community and everyone speaks highly of his/her/their work.
     
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  10. raygundan

    raygundan New Member

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    Looks like Lowes has that GE unit as well as one by Square D. I'll look into a quote for just the outlet and see if the permit fees are lower for that. I think if it were my car, evseupgrade.com would be the way I'd go, but I'm not sure my wife will be comfortable with a modified charger.
     
  11. devprius

    devprius /dev/geek

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    Is this going through Leviton? I'd ask for a specific breakdown of all the costs involved for the permit. Leviton, or rather, it's contractor, wanted $575 for the permit to install mine, when it turns out that the city only was charging $140 for the permit and there was a bunch of unnecessary stuff that the contractor was trying to slip in. I ultimately passed on Leviton and instead will get an EVSE elsewhere and have a local electrician do the install.
     
  12. fjpod

    fjpod Member

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    I like the idea of the GE model that easily unplugs...you could throw it in the car if you were going to a place where you knew there would be a similar outlet. It would also make it easier to steal out of your garage.

    But with the limited battery pack in the PiP, I don't think I would bother.

    Does the OEM charger draw 8 amps or 16? I understand there is an upgrade on some of these 120 volt chargers that can simply double the speed of charge. An advantage in some cases,... but it could also be a disadvantage if you are out and about somewhere and want to charge, but cannot be sure the outlet is a dedicated 15 or 20 amp circuit.

    It is what it is. I would leave well enough alone.
     
  13. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    The OEM 120V L1 charger unmodifed can draw up to 12Amps, the Schnieder 240V L2 EVSE in my garage shows charging power at 1.9KW when charging the PiP, that calculates out to an 8Amp draw on each 120 leg, or 16amps total power drawn.
     
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  14. fjpod

    fjpod Member

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    So the EOM charger isn't bad in comparison to the Schneider units. Although there are 220 volt chargers that draw 16 and even 32 amps per leg...but its possible the PiP can't handle that.
     
  15. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    When I checked the draw as reported by my SmartMeter, it was around 1.4Kw additional due to the OEM charger. That pretty much comes out to 12A @ 120V, assuming a power factor of 1, which I think is reasonable for the charger.
     
  16. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Does the Scheider have a power meter built in or was the 1.9 kW from the PiP display? IIRC people report ~1.0 kW from the PiP display on 120V so that would imply that the 240V pulls closer to 10A.

    BTW - if you count current on each leg of 240 as "16A" then you're also getting "24A" on 120V as 12A comes in on the hot and 12A goes back out on the neutral.
     
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Senior Member

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    most of you are talking about EVSEs, NOT chargers

    To be clear and to get the terminology straight, the charging cord/cordset w/brick on it is really an EVSE, not a charger. Same goes for the Leviton, Aerovironment, GE or whatever other EVSE you buy and mount on the wall. I believe I've seen these wall-mounted EVSE referred to as charging stations.

    For L1 and L2 charging, the charger is inside the car.

    Regarding http://evseupgrade.com/, pEEF here (and Ingineer on MNL) runs it. His upgrade is pretty economical for Leaf owners since they can send in the OEM Leaf L1 EVSE and get it upgraded.

    For those who don't have a Leaf EVSE, one used to be able to buy them for ~$500 and then get them upgraded. IIRC, he also used to stock Nissan's L1 EVSE and he could upgrade those. Unfortunately, Nissan massively increased the price on this in the past few months.

    He can (per http://evseupgrade.com/) upgrade the Toyota PiP's EVSE but the wiring is only good for 12 amps. Price for that is currently $239.
     
  18. mitch672

    mitch672 Technology Geek

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    the "1.9KW" reported is from the display on the PiP. If you do the math on 1.9KW @ 240V (divide 1,900 / 240), you will see the current draw is 7.91AMPS @ 240V, its simple E=IR that all first year EE's learn.

    The Schnieder is capable of supplying 32Amps, however, the onboard charger has to draw that current, the EVSE is a simple pass through switch, with a relay and some safety circuitry (GFCI), and it also generates the "pilot" signal, which tells the connected car the capabilitys of the circuit, in other words, the car is supposed to not draw more than the EVSE reports, via the Pilot signal, which is a 1Khz square wave, the percentage on, tells the charger the current supported by the connected circuit.

    Please view this link, for a detailed explanation of how the pilot signal works on a J-1772 EVSE:

    J1772Basics - open-evse - The Basics of the J1772 pilot protocol - Open Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) - Google Project Hosting
     
  19. drees

    drees Senior Member

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    Before you get all condescending you might consider reading my earlier post fully and confirming how much power your PiP indicates while charging on 120V and comparing that to the actual V/I coming out of the wall.

    I am well aware of Ohm's law and J1772 protocol.
     
  20. CharlesH

    CharlesH CA HOV Decal #5 on former PiP

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    Does the power factor come into play with the charger? With AC, Volts * Amps does not give Watts unless the power factor is 1, due to voltage vs. current phase issues. I know this is obvious to the engineers here, but I was just wondering if this is an issue.
     
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