Why doesn't a Prime or other 110V charge EV not have ONLY a normal 110V inlet plug as best option?

Discussion in 'Prime Main Forum (2017-Current)' started by The Big Sleaze, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. The Big Sleaze

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    Or at most have something about 1/2 the size of a gas cap (because maybe there is big legal/safety reason not to have exposed contacts to plug regular 110v female side into because somewhere down the line that male side is connected to power???) that resides under the little hatch that you plug into your 20amp rated standard cord? Sure, I guess it could have another CAR MOUNTED inlet plug for faster charge options like household 220 or whatever.

    Why aren't "the guts" of whatever is in the special $400 cord not contained in the car rather than an EXPENSIVE and rather bulky and hard to put away monster mutant cord thingy?

    Two reasons I'll never charge outside my own garage:
    1)the cord costs $400 and Primes are common enough there might be a black market, and even a failed attempt to steal one if locked up would be a big problem. If someone cuts and steals a good quality 15amp 20ft cord that has been locked (twice length of Toyota cord) its 1/10 costhttps://http://www.ebay.com/itm/20ft-15-Amp-Indoor-Outdoor-Household-Extension-Cord-With-Lock-by-AC-WORKS/264926250352?hash=item3daed5c570:g:1~4AAOSwhCZbdJXr, and replaceable at any hardware store, and I'll also have a nice quality cord for general purposes.

    2) I've worked a lot of construction, and even I really hate getting my hands dirty rolling up cords. I've found various rollers that mitigate most of that for NORMAL CORDS but stowing the special Toyota cord is going to be a wrestling match and not really worth the $1.50 worth of gas a full charge saves.

    And shouldn't there be an easy way to tell your Prius "I'm using a long and weak cord, so today we are only going to pull 6amps, not 12amps" and not worry about it taking 10 hours instead of 5 hours?

    I don't even know which, if any, of any of those EV Charging stations now seen at malls etc would work on a Prime. Do they or is there a quick paper printable cheat sheet or Google Maps, etc? Do you gotta sign up with your Credit Card to use them or is it considered "gratis" because Govt tax deductions? Only time I've seen a Prime charging in the wild was at SFO parking garage with extension cord from the (amazingly) just regular live 110v outlet on a wall.
     
  2. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    First of all, You can buy a level 1 / 2 cord for a bit over a hundred dollars on amazon. Level 2 will charge a Prius Prime in about 2 hours from a 220V outlet. It's an SAE J1772 standard charging cord.

    Second, the cords are complex because there are some safety related signals sent back and forth to ensure that they don't pass the 110 or 220 volts until it's properly plugged in on both ends. Believe me, you want that safety.

    The "charger" is actually built into the car. The cord is just a very safe way to get the house current to the car.

    The charging stations will work... except the Tesla models. Any charging station that has a SAE j1772 cord will be compatible.
     
  3. The Big Sleaze

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    nice to know they can be had for less than $400 and Dealer, but if they are $148 and work on lots of other cars it still seems like theft risk.

    I'm no EE but still not getting whats the big diff and big deal to plugging in a car and plugging in any other piece of equip. My way of thinking says the car doesn't know if the 110v outlet is in a wall or end of a cord. Surely it would be trivial to have a system the inlet on the car is dead as a doornail and fully insulated and disconnected and safe as plugging in a lamp, even in pouring rain, with its own top rated GFI, etc, then you push a button and it STILL waits a good 3 count for you to take your finger away and then you see lights count down to "charging A-OK".

    Also seems like giving you a weird awkward BULKY 10ft cord and saying "and don't you dare think about using any extension cord" is kind of a copout.
     
  4. schja01

    schja01 One of very few in Chicagoland

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    As far as outright theft as opposed to vandalism the plug is locked by the oval button which will prevent someone from removing the cable while actually charging. After the charge completes it unlocks automatically. Incentive to not leave you car tying up the now unused charger. I never tested it but if you are charging outside of your home overnight and have it programmed for charge prior to departure I "believe" it remains locked the whole time until the charge completes.
     
  5. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    The EVSE(charge cord) monitors the electric supply coming from the wall, and tells the charger on the car what that supply is. It also checks that the cord is properly plugged into the cord, and monitors temperature. So there is two more wires in the plug for that.
    [​IMG]
    The EVSE 'brains' could be installed in the car, but you'll lose out on the safety features. For one thing, the car will have no clue what gauge cord is connecting it to the wall. Then your typical extension cord isn't built for the same amount of use that EVSE's are built for; their plugs will wear out quicker. If a surge fries those 'brains', it will cost a lot more to replace them in the car than to get a replacement EVSE now.

    The ease of selecting a lower charge amperage varies with the cars. There are after market EVSE's than have a selection switch on them.
     
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  6. The Big Sleaze

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    IIRC the lock feature was only for higher end Primes above the base LE. But as a practical anti-theft, anti-DAMAGE matter I'd want it to disconnect as normal as can be and not have some crazed copper theft troll trying to bust it off my car.
     
  7. The Big Sleaze

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    Car wont know what gauge cord, but thats basically same as Owner's Manual saying "Don't plug into sketchy house wiring" or "Check condition and amp rating of extension cord".
    Sounds same as the EVSE not knowing how sketchy the wall outlet's wiring might be. My 2008 vintage track home will trip breakers in one room and at one unrelated outlet in garage for no reason even on light loads. As I mentioned above, it would be nice and EE-wise trivial to be able to tell the car "only pull a light load during this charge".

    I'm thinking if the guts of the EVSE are behind a plate with 3 screws inside the car, and otherwise "naked", they would be cheaper to replace than the quality heavy duty housing and cord of the external regular EVSE.
     
  8. The Big Sleaze

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    I'm kinda wondering what would be required to mod a Prime so that the EVSE cord is stuffed into the car and "always plugged in" or if required gets manually plugged into the car from relocated car plug in the interior, and a standard 110V female cord plugs into the where the car's EVSE used to be. No Gender Dysphoria jokes, please.

    Yeah, I know such a mod would completely blow any Warranty and Toyota Dealers would probably refuse to even rotate the tires.

    Still not getting what the big safety issue is, VS other random plugging in of much less well engineered devices. Maybe its just because all sorts of cheap lamps, fans, hairdryers were around and produced by firms that didn't care too much about Liability, and now the danger exists but Grandfathered in? Sorta like how motorcycles would never be allowed if invented today?
     
    #8 The Big Sleaze, Jan 2, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  9. walterm

    walterm Active Member

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    There is a way to limit the charge current from the default 12A to 8A - look in the 'charging' section of the owner's manual, (page 123 of the 2017 manual, not sure about other years).
     
  10. Washingtonian

    Washingtonian Senior Member

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    If it ain't broke don't fix it. Aren't you the guy who wanted to turn a rear-ended Prime into a pickup? Do you own a prime?
     
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  11. Elektroingenieur

    Elektroingenieur Senior Member

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    Few kinds of electrical equipment for home use have the same combination of hazards as chargers for electric vehicles: continuous, relatively high current demand; frequent connection and disconnection; use in damp or wet locations; and unattended operation, often while dwelling occupants are asleep. The engineering controls in the SAE J1772 standard and in National Electrical Code Article 625 (and their equivalents in other countries) help to mitigate these hazards.
     
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  12. The Big Sleaze

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    To me, having to mess with an external, rather awkward cord IS "broke", just like when my old car's alternator when out and I had to hook it up to a battery charger, then unhook it, every day until fixed. An old car without electric fuel pumps and computers etc will go about 200 miles on battery just running the spark plugs, a new car will go maybe 30 miles. Both similar to full EV or Prime, respectively, and both still rate as "broke" due to inconvenience of awkward maintenance.

    Yeah, thats me and one reason I'd dare try a Prime Ute is I've got a stock 2020 Prime LE to refer to.

    I'm not the only Prime owner who doesn't feel its worth the hassle of charging, due to awkward non-user friendly design. Any plug-in device where space and weight is not critical and that need to deploy and stow a cord regularly should have self reeling, self storing cord, like some household vacuum cleaners. IMO that should be 3x as important for a car that will likely be charged outside where the cord will get dirty and otherwise abused. What hurts cords is getting rolled up the wrong way, and a good spool prevents all that and greatly increases cord life.
     
    #12 The Big Sleaze, Jan 2, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2021
  13. Salamander_King

    Salamander_King Senior Member

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    Where would be the place outside of your garage that you do charging with your own EVSE? If it's on your driveway, is that theft risk? I did my charging on my driveway but never worried about theft. In fact, my car is almost never locked on my driveway.
     
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  14. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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  15. jerrymildred

    jerrymildred Senior Member

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    I am an EE and a former industrial electrician.

    So, suppose you could just plug into the car with a regular extension cord. And suppose that whoever wired the outlet at the other end of the extension cord was ignorant of the proper procedure and not only had the hot and neutral reversed, but they didn't even connect the ground. So far, I've seen that potentially deadly combination twice and the first time it happened it hurt like stink.

    Now, when you connect that extension to the car, the body of the car (which is sitting in the driveway on rubber tires) is at 120 volts and your barefoot child puts his or her hands on the car.

    That would add up to a dead kid and all sorts of paperwork.

    And by the way, the Prime's EVSE isn't 10' long. More like 21 feet as I recall. I pretty much only charge at work and at home. Home is an L2 EVSE that always stays in place. I take the OEM EVSE with me to work where it takes maybe 10-15 seconds to deploy and connect or to disconnect, coil, and stow the cord. Over-under coiling is quick and tangle free.
     
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  16. The Big Sleaze

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    They do mention "cable handling system" which I assume is vacuum-cleaner style self reeling.

    (C) Overall Cord and Cable Length. The overall useable length shall not exceed 7.5 m (25 ft) unless equipped with a cable management system that is part of a listed the electric vehicle supply equipment or electric vehicle charging system
     
  17. john1701a

    john1701a Prius Guru

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    That's quite a misunderstanding of the technology available. The 120-volt EVSE is designed to be either hung on a wall for routine use in that location or packed up into the car for opportunity recharges. That's it. If you want something that can get dirty and be otherwise abused, you purchase a EVSE actually intended for that purpose.

    This isn't rocket-science, it's just basic consumer goods. You want better, you pay for better. Expecting the cord that comes standard with the vehicle to be able to cope with extremes simply is not realistic. That's what aftermarket choices are for.

    Take a look at some of the 240-volt EVSE available. They can be setup outside and be used for years, through winter & summer extremes. Some of us have owned units like that for years. It's no big deal.
     
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  18. The Big Sleaze

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    pretty sure the EE Dept at Toyota could build a cheap, reliable fail safe that first looks at what current has just plugged in and go "Whoa!" and not proceed. It ain't like plugging a big simple saw motor that is all hard wired without any "ifs" considered.
     
  19. JimboPalmer

    JimboPalmer Tsar of all the Rushers

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    The J1772 standard already has excellent safety features, read the sections on safety and signals. It really is MUCH safer than NEMA 5-15 can be made to be.

    SAE J1772 - Wikipedia
     
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  20. dbstoo

    dbstoo Active Member

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    Sleaze, you are complaining about nothing. You start by saying that you are ignorant in this area, then go on to prove it when you shift the complaint to theft of cables. If you read the manual you'll find that your problems are addressed. It seems that you are simply trolling when you complain about the cable theft and then complain that a locked cable may invite thieves to damage your car.

    There is not a charging system on earth that can detect poor wiring in your house without overloading it till it burns or pops a breaker.

    There are enough trolls on this site already.
     
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