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General Questions

Mon Sep 11, 2017 8:51 am

Hello Everyone

I did some quick searching but didn't find this exact question.

My wife and I are building a new 2 car detached garage. We currently don't own an electric car but can see us purchasing one in the near future. The Leaf is one of the cars we want to look at more closely.

So I have some general questions on charging to get some input from the user groups.

We are having a 200 amp electrical panel installed as part of the garage project that is dedicated solely for the garage. ( long story why but I don't want to bore folks)

So I have a few questions I would like to get feedback. Since this is new construction and we have a large panel, the sky is the limit.

Where is the best place to locate the 220 outlet (e,g, the front of the garage near the front of the car, the rear of the car or along the side) ?

Should we consider having two 220 outlets installed since that appears to be where vehicles are headed or is simple to share the same 220 outlet. I am not sure how many folks actually have 2 electric vehicles and maybe this is over thinking the question.

What size breaker should I tell the electrician to use? I have seen anything from 30 amp to 50 amps. Again, we have sufficient capacity and the cost differential between a 30 amp and 50 amp is nominal

Is there anything else we should consider and lessons learned from the group as far as electrical charging outlets or locations are concerned ?

Thanks in advance


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Re: General Questions

Mon Sep 11, 2017 10:02 am

Locate two outlets in the middle of each side wall with 50 amp breakers- the additional cost for another outlet is minimal, the mid location gives you max flexibility and you need 50s.
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Re: General Questions

Mon Sep 11, 2017 11:00 am

The voltage is 240 volts, not 220.
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Re: General Questions

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:49 pm

Since you have the capacity, no reason to share a single EVSE. I'd say go with a pair of 50A circuits. That will allow up to 40A EVSE on each, which is a good rate that should serve you quite well.

I assume you will be using an electrician. Make sure to have him do load calculations with the EVSE loads in mind and whatever other loads prompted you to install a 200A service to the garage.

Placement is an interesting question as not all vehicles have the charge port in the same location. You want something that will accommodate various locations while minimizing tripping hazards. I initially looked into a ceiling mount with some sort of retractable spool, but while this is possible, it's VERY expensive kit. Great care must be taken in any sort of coiling arrangement, as it's easy to catastrophically overheat the wiring if too closely coiled. Probably the best I can offer is to get wall-mounted EVSE with nice long cables that can reach any point on the vehicles, maybe even extend past the door to charge a visitor's vehicle in the driveway.

One thing I've found very useful to mitigate trip-hazard is to wrap the (typically black) cable with a spiral of bright electrical tape. This is highly visible. I think it may have something to do with the way our brains are wired to be wary of snakes. I was concerned at first that electrical tape would get messy but it's held up quite well in our garage. There are also plastic "cable wraps" that would serve the same purpose but be more durable in high-wear environments and protect the cables from abrasion.
Last edited by Nubo on Mon Sep 11, 2017 2:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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Re: General Questions

Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:58 pm

good answers.

I'd do 50Amps.

I'd put them, the same as another said, halfway between the walls on both sides and I'd put another one in the middle at the back too.

That way you have most of your bases covered so whatever car you get.. either front or side charging.. full options and less messing about.
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Re: General Questions

Wed Sep 13, 2017 3:59 am

I really recommend the placement at the rear of the garage by the door... I park my car outside, and run the cable under the locked door to charge.

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Re: General Questions

Wed Sep 13, 2017 6:28 am

powersurge wrote:I really recommend the placement at the rear of the garage by the door... I park my car outside, and run the cable under the locked door to charge.

I second this. I would recommend at least one EVSE installed so it can be accessed from the driveway. I often charge from the driveway for various reasons (e.g. a friend is visiting with his Volt and could use a top-off).

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Re: General Questions

Mon Sep 25, 2017 12:34 pm

Yes, two separate 14-50 receptacles will keep you future-proofed. If you decide on a Tesla, then it might make sense to have a 100amp breaker available for it, but not necessary. Even an empty, 300+ mi, 100 KWh Tesla will basically refill in 10-12 hr at 10 KW (40amp @ 240A = 9.6 KW). You don't need the maximum, just enough to refill overnight your longest drive.

Unfortunately, position is subjective and confounded by the manufacturer's whereby ALL positions are possible (Leaf/Soul Front Center, Volt/Bolt Driver Door, Tesla Rear Driver, MiEV Passenger Rear, even some on Passenger Front). Further confounding this is some people like to back in park (especially Tesla). If you can back in, then I would recommend placing the receptacles at the front of the garage, one centered at each stall. Another consideration is proximity to the electric panel which might save you a small amount of money (e.g., panel on right wall, then install one on right wall and one on right front).
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