SamHobbs
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Charging from a 220V outlet

Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:15 pm

Generally speaking, how difficult or easy is it to charge from an existing 220V outlet? I realize there are many details relevant to this question. I tried to get answers by searching the internet and I found articles with many details not relevant to me. I apologize if the answer is easily obtained by searching this forum but I have tried searching the internet (using Google).

I understand about amps. A 220V outlet is rated for a specified amount of amps. I also understand that a plug might need to be adapted but that would be economical.

Months ago I read articles indicating a relatively expensive conversion, such as $1,000-$2,000, must be installed. But now I find adapters in Amazon that cost more like $200. And I know that EV usually have multiple charging cords provided with them, so perhaps when I purchase a used Nissan Leaf, a relevant cord might be included.

Assuming the 220V outlet is a common one, is it likely that a charging cord that is commonly supplied with a Nissan Leaf can be used to charge the vehicle (using the amps the outlet is capable of)? Or is it likely that the least that needs to be purchased would cost about $200? Or would an expensive upgrade of the electrical system be necessary?

LeftieBiker
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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Wed Jun 10, 2020 11:43 pm

First, 240 volts is now the US standard supply voltage, with 208 volts used in some commercial and residential applications. 220 volts is from the middle of the 20th century. That being said, your research is largely correct: it is indeed possible to use an existing 240 volt circuit for a level 2 charging station or even portable cable, with the correct plug installed. Now for the possible bad news: the dual voltage 120/240 volt charging cable (aka "EVSE") that Nissan provides with some Leafs is rated for 27.5 amps at 240 volts, which is the maximum the Leaf can use when charging at L-2. Unfortunately, because of the code requirement that devices that are used for more than 3 hours on a circuit draw no more than 80% of the rated maximum for that circuit, you can't use the Nissan unit with a common 30 amp dryer circuit - the circuit must be rated for at least 40 amps. You can use a charging station or cable that is rated for no more than 24 amps with a 30 amp circuit.
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SamHobbs
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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:19 am

Thank you, that helps.

Yes, we are in the habit of saying 220V. An electrician would likely correct us. Obviously I am not and electrician but as far as I know there is not much relevant difference between 220 and 240.

Based on your information, it will be worthwhile for us to determine if the outlet (whether 220 or 240) is capable of at least 40 amps. The circuit box I think says 50 for 4 of the breakers so it is worthwhile getting an electrician to ensure the outlet is capable of that. This circuitry was used for machinery such as a metal lathe so there is a chance it is 50 amps.

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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:23 am

To get reliable information on an existing circuit, you need to look at the outlet type, but mainly at the breaker rating and the gauge of the wiring between the breaker and the box. If the circuit is old, then 'de-rate' it by something like 20% for deterioration. Make sure that all of the connections are still good, and if the outlet was used regularly, replace it with a new one. Optionally, you can hardwire a new charging station to an existing outlet box instead of using the old outlet. Make sure that you know what you want to do, and what amperage the circuit can handle, before you order that charging station.
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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 3:07 am

SamHobbs wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:19 am
Based on your information, it will be worthwhile for us to determine if the outlet (whether 220 or 240) is capable of at least 40 amps.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NEMA_conn ... d_pins.svg has common outlet types in the US.

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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 7:10 am

Frame of reference for the OP.
I have used a 220/240v dryer outlet in my garage to charge my Leaf since the day I bought it.
I had the (old/original) Nissan EVSE modified for dual-voltage (now they come that way), and built a NEMA 10-30 to L6-20 adapter cable. In tech terms, I'm using a 16A device on a 30A outlet/circuit (completely safe).
The only thing different for you may be the outlet type (mine is a bit old) and power rating, but you can now buy EVSEs that allow you to set/limit the max current drawn (like the ClipperCreek EVSEs).
I spent a total of about $350 on all of this at the time (including the EVSE conversion).
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SamHobbs
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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 am

Thank you, Stanton, that helps.

In my case, I am not the homeowner so I can only use the options that are commonly called portable. The homeowner needs to get the wiring evaluated by an electrician. The responses here can help by defining what the requirements are.

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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:47 am

SamHobbs wrote:
Thu Jun 11, 2020 9:22 am
Thank you, Stanton, that helps.

In my case, I am not the homeowner so I can only use the options that are commonly called portable. The homeowner needs to get the wiring evaluated by an electrician. The responses here can help by defining what the requirements are.
Keep in mind Sam that one can spend a little more on an EVSE (charge cord) and buy something like a Juicebox. About 600 ish bucks. Runs on everything from 120 to 240 volts and can be set by its app from as low as 8 amps to as high as 40 amps. I have used ours on a variety of different power sources on all our EV’s. Leaf can charge at max 27 amps. Our tesla can use the the max 40 amps. It has a 14-50 plug on it but can be adapted to anything.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 10:38 am

SamHobbs wrote:
Wed Jun 10, 2020 10:15 pm
...I know that EV usually have multiple charging cords provided with them, so perhaps when I purchase a used Nissan Leaf, a relevant cord might be included.
LEAF comes with a single "charging cord" (EVSE). In North America, the EVSE equipped with older models operated on 120V only, and drew 12A, which allowed it to operate on the lowest-common-denominator 120V 15A home circuit. This would add approximately 4 miles of range per hour. Most owners purchased a separate 240V unit for home charging.

More recent LEAFs have a dual-voltage EVSE that can use either 120V or 240V. As previously stated the 240V rate is 27.5A, or 6.6kW. So roughly 25 miles of range per hour (not accounting for "tapering" near the end of charge).

Regardless of charging speed, there is a fixed overhead of a few hundred watts consumed by such things as the coolant pumps, so the faster rates are more efficient.

If buying used from someone who has sworn off EVs altogether and had a separate EVSE installed, you might get that extra EVSE included.
I noticed you're still working with polymers.

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Re: Charging from a 220V outlet

Thu Jun 11, 2020 1:23 pm

If buying used from someone who has sworn off EVs altogether and had a separate EVSE installed, you might get that extra EVSE included.
It's now fairly common (but not usual) to see an EVSE Upgrade 120/240 16A unit included with a used Leaf. That would work well for the OP on a 30A dryer circuit.
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