Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:55 am
Delivery Date: 08 Jun 2017
Leaf Number: 313943
Location: Palo Alto

Re: 90% charge needed.

Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:35 pm

I came up with a simple HW hack that works fine on my 30 KWH 2016 Leaf. Just mount a mechanical timer switch in series with the handshaking wire that goes from the J1772 plug to the EVSE. I used a 6 hour timer like this: ... mer+switch

With a 6 KW charger, I gain about 20% of charge per hour. So I just relabeled the switch face as follows:

0:30 80%
1:00 70%
1:30 60%
2:00 50%
2:30 40%
3:00 30%
3:30 20%
4:00 10%
4:30 0%
5:30 100%
6:00 100%

The instructions I gave my non-technical spouse were: "Turn the dial to the remaining charge when you get home and plug it in. It'll stop at around 90%. If you want a full charge, turn it to 100%."

I tired it. It works. When the switch opens the EVSE cuts the power and the car stops charging. Importantly the car does NOT beep or complain and it still realizes the charger is plugged in, so you can't drive away and hurt something. If you add some time, the charge starts right up again. I figure the Leaf just assumes there was a power outage.

Note: You can install the switch at either end. I taped mine to the cable just behind the J1772 plug and ran tiny wires into the handle. The signal is low voltage and low current, so you can use any sort of small wire, like speaker or hookup wire. (Do not mess with the fat wires. Those are the ones that can kill you)

You might *think* "Hey, why mess with the handshaking signal? Just wire the switch to the latch sensor wire instead!" I tired that. It does work, but there is a problem. If you don't finish unplugging the car within 5 or 10 seconds of opening that switch the car starts beeping and flashing the blue LEDs on the dash. (It think the plug is not inserted all the way) I would NOT be popular with my neighbors if the car did that all night long, every night.

Finally, the charge rate I calculated is actually closer to 21% per hour. I rounded it off. Your charge rate will vary depending on the EVSE you have, which charger and battery option you have and even the age of the battery. My car charges at a very steady rate from 0 to 95% but then slows down a bit at the end.

I figure if I ever need a 100% charge and didn't set it up the night before, I just need to start topping it up about 45 minutes before I leave. According to the battery gurus it is still easier on the battery to top it up right before using it than to charge it all the way to 100% the night before.

Before anyone asks, I do NOT recommend using any sort of electronic timer switch for this task. If you want to use some fancy electronics to do the control, stick an old fashioned relay in place of the timer switch. You want the handshaking signal to just see a simple mechanical contact closure.

Posts: 6794
Joined: Wed May 22, 2013 3:17 am
Delivery Date: 31 May 2013
Location: Upstate New York, US

Re: 90% charge needed.

Wed Sep 06, 2017 10:18 pm

That's a great idea. It's a shame that most people won't want to mess with the sealed wring to implement it. You could probably buy a J-1772 extension cable, wire the timer to that, and then sell the extension/timer...
2013 "Brilliant Silver" SV with Premium Package and no QC, and 2009 Vectrix VX-1 with 18 Leaf cells.

The most offensive, tasteless phrase in use here is "Pulled the trigger." I no longer respond to posts that use it.

Posts: 681
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2015 10:24 am
Delivery Date: 06 Dec 2014
Location: Long Island, NY

Re: 90% charge needed.

Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:03 am

whether you live on a hill or not, the difference between 90 and 100 is negligible. So you spend an extra $0.20 cents in electricity and don't get some free regen charging. Does not sound like the effort to get 90% is worth it..

Gold Member
Posts: 6969
Joined: Fri Jun 03, 2011 4:31 pm
Delivery Date: 28 Jul 2013
Location: SF Bay Area, CA

Re: 90% charge needed.

Thu Sep 14, 2017 10:57 pm

powersurge wrote:whether you live on a hill or not, the difference between 90 and 100 is negligible. So you spend an extra $0.20 cents in electricity and don't get some free regen charging. Does not sound like the effort to get 90% is worth it..

The amount can add up over time and if you're at the top of a hill and need to slow down, your friction brakes will require changing MUCH more frequently. That's more than 20 cents.

We already have at least 1 documented case of this here on MNL.

'13 blue Leaf SV w/premium package (owned)
'13 blue Leaf SV w/QC + LED & premium packages (lease over, car returned)
'06 Prius

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