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planet4ever
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:51 am

pgrovetom wrote:I have been told by Nissan that ONLY the Aerovironment EVSE may be used and received an email saying "I must provide proof of compatibility of any other EVSE".
Obviously if they will accept a proof of compatibility they they can't really mean that only AeroVironment can be used. In that context, this doesn't bother me at all. Clearly, AeroVironment has already given Nissan a proof of compatibility. Naturally Nissan would expect the same from anybody else.
Aerovironment told me I could only receive the federal tax credit if I used them.
Now this is an outrageous lie! The government does not care who manufactures the EVSE, so long as it is UL certified, or who installs it, so long as they are a certified electrician, or what vehicle it is used for so long as it is on their list of EVs.

If you have documented evidence of such a statement it should be given to other EVSE manufacturers so they can initiate a lawsuit against AeroVironment. It should also be given to the IRS, since they administer the tax credit.
End of April 2013: Traded my 2011 SL for a 2013 S with charge pkg.

AndyH
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:32 am

You nailed it, Planet.

If anyone gets info like this from any auto dealer or supplier, stay calm and ask for their position in writing. That will likely stop the problem immediately. If not, it provides evidence for an attorney...

The purpose of a standardized EVSE is that it works for everyone that uses that standard. The IRS likely doesn't know an EVSE from a toilet plunger. The county (and home insurance company) is likely looking for a UL EVSE installed by a licensed electrician in accordance with current code. The EVSE is not required at all for the purchase of a Leaf so Nissan shouldn't care if a customer has an EVSE or who makes it. The Magnuson-Moss warranty act prohibits tie-in sales. This means that Nissan cannot say that they'll only warranty the Leaf if the owner uses the AV EVSE UNLESS Nissan provides the EVSE for free.

I'm not an attorney, but am a commercial synthetic lubricants jobber, have been trained in vehicle warranty concerns, have been involved in warranty claims after equipment failures. It's common practice for equipment dealers to 'suggest' that it's best to use 'official' parts - and the suggestions tend to cause the consumer to believe that the warranty depends on using the specified parts. Laws can't address what a consumer believes, but can address what a dealer puts into writing...

Andy

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evnow
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 7:34 am

Aerovironment told me I could only receive the federal tax credit if I used them.
That sounds like the work of an over eager employee ?
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EVDRIVER
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:05 am

evnow wrote:
Aerovironment told me I could only receive the federal tax credit if I used them.
That sounds like the work of an over eager employee ?

The IRS form is very general and does not even specify an EVSE just alt vehicle charging. If you have a receipt for the charger and labor you should be set. There is no stipulation on who installs it from what I can see. You could buy the conduit, supplies and a new service panel, EVSE and write it off but the credit has a cap of course.

pgrovetom
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:28 pm

I have 25 years in Telecom system design and did circuit and software design early in my career. We designed Telecom systems that the old Bellcore, now Telcordia, Bell System specs which were second to military specs. I did detailed and rough cost estimates on many a system and PCB. I got a block diagram off an SAE based presentation and did a rough conservative cost estimate of the Level 2 EVSE.

Here is the Aerovironment Spec: http://evsolutions.avinc.com/uploads/pr ... 061110.pdf

This thing is NEMA 4 enclosure which is outdoor capable even though the majority will be mounted inside garages. To run conduit outdoors and use the pedestal will add a lot of cost but a typical garage is a 25 foot run of EMT conduit plus 3 #8 conductors and a #10 ground plus a new 40A breaker in your garage panel. I have a 100A panel in my garage and bought the EMT conduit and wire plus breaker for less than $100. It took me a few hours to run the conduit and wire and install the new breaker. I'm planning on having everything wired right to a box where my EVSE will be mounted. That way the install is trivial.

Here is my rough estimate based on the blocks in the diagram and my knowledge of roughly what they must do functionally.

The Round Enclosure $25
The SAE J1772 Coupler $50
5 conductor cable 25' (maximum offered) $25
A PCB $10
GFCI Circuit 30A $20
Pilot Monitor and Controller $15
LEDs and buttons $15
CPU, memory and upstream Comm Controller $25
Power Line Modem $25
Misc Hardware $10

These add up to the $200-$250 and is conservative

This range which is doubled for retail so if the market was competitive this thing should be less than $500

So it's interesting they want $2200 on average

$200-$300 in Electrician labor tops
$100 conduit and wire and breaker
$500 retail value (could be $250 if sold by Costco)

So that's $800-$900 tops...

Is it fair to charge the federal tax credit twice the real value... That's the tax payers and the guys who gave Nissan a $1.6B loan and another $100M to the EV Project launching them.

Doesn't sound right to me!
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evnow
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:36 pm

pgrovetom wrote:So that's $800-$900 tops...

Is it fair to charge the federal tax credit twice the real value... That's the tax payers and the guys who gave Nissan a $1.6B loan and another $100M to the EV Project launching them.

Doesn't sound right to me!
Interesting. Initial costs are always high - you need to account for a lot more administrative & sunk-in costs. I've always felt the MSRP of Leaf or Volt would be lower but for the tax credit. But not $7.5K lower.

BTW, we have spent $1 Trillion fighting oil wars this decade. How does that sound ? :twisted:
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pgrovetom
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:07 pm

I was told by the Aerovironment customer service person after being transferred from the Nissan Leaf customer service person that I could only receive the tax credit IF Aerovironment installed the EVSE. It shocked me so I pointed out that since they had a monopoly on both availability ( Its not possible to prove compatibility as required by Nissan unless Nissan approves that vendor which they told me NO ) and price and that might be fraud against the federal government. They said they were sorry but that's the way it is. Now this was just a customer service person who may have not fully understood the issue but I took it to mean that in order to get the tax credit, Nissan and Aerovironment must acknowledge it's functional and they wouldn't. The Aerovironment person did say that she would email her management and point out my concern.

I was a bit shocked because the first Nissan person who transferred me to AV, did so such that I could arrange to buy one and have my own Electrician install. I called Nissan back and asked for a supervisor. When I spoke with one and explained what Aerovironment said, she acknowledged that the only EVSE I could use and be supported by Nissan was the AV unit. I took that to mean that my warranty would be void. I expressed my shock and tried to explain that the J1772 spec was only the connector, pilot signal and and the upstream communication spec J2847 was incomplete and AV has an empty card slot TBD. I asked how the two 120V legs and neutral and pilot function could go wrong. She told me it was complex technology and I explained I had 25 years of telecom system design and NO it was rather simple. She just adamantly said its to protect our customers and I said but I'm a customer and disagree.

This was one of the weirdest customer services set of calls I've ever had. The email below both says I can but I can't without proving compatibility. As a consumer without the Nissan Leaf implementation details nor specifics on what they mean by compatibility, the email is double talk but the supervisor was VERY clear and just said NO, it must be AV and installed by AV "period".

Here is the original odd email I was sent about compatibility that set me making the calls.

Thank you for taking the time to personally contact us about your interest in the Nissan LEAF.
We appreciate your time, and encourage you to share our contact details with friends and family. For your convenience, we can be reached:
By return email, through our website at http://www.nissanusa.com, or by phone at 877-664-2738.
We’re here to serve you from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Saturday
Sincerely,
Nissan Electric Vehicle Customer Support
***This email message is provided in response to your recent inquiry to Leaf Customer support so should not be considered unsolicited commercial email.
The charging dock used for charging electric vehicles is also referred to as an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). This can be purchased through several different manufacturers. AeroVironment is our preferred vendor for this unit. The home charging dock provided by AeroVironment, Inc. is compatible with the Nissan LEAF. Other manufacturer products may or may not be compatible. Prior to purchasing and/or using another manufacturer’s charging equipment, you need to confirm its compatibility with the Nissan LEAF. Installing the charging dock requires that a line be run from dedicated circuits in the circuit breaker box into the garage/parking area so that the unit can be hard wired to the wall. You will also need to pull a permit from your city to perform the work as well as fill out any right to modify forms that your community may/may not require. If you would like to speak more with our preferred vendor AeroVironment about purchasing a charging dock outside of the Nissan LEAF reservation process please call us at 877-664-2738 and we will be happy to connect you with a representative from that company to discuss the finer details.


I'm somewhat wondering if the tax credit claim was even legal. My dealer was rather upset and is trying to sort it out. All I can say is this J1772 box is no more difficult than a 220V stovetop with a 30A requirement. The 120V legs and neutral are well defined pins with staging and the pilot is well defined. Unless Nissan decided to implement some pre-standard pilot signalling to help AV with the LEDs, getting the 220V and neutral wrong is impossible. The GCFI is a no brainer. The J1772 connector does have a disconnect relay controlled by the pilot to only allow the two pins to be hot when the connector is seated. I guess if the Leaf's pilot was wrong or somebody misunderstood it, the 120V legs would never engage and it would not charge or the other supplier's LEDs might not work but that's pretty remote.

Weird stuff!
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evnow
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:13 pm

pgrovetom wrote:Weird stuff!
Yep, keep us posted.
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AndyH
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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:57 pm

Thanks for posting this info. There are a couple of very familiar areas here.

Let's tear this apart [my comments in brackets]:

The charging dock used for charging electric vehicles is also referred to as an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). This can be purchased through several different manufacturers.

[We can buy the EVSE from any supplier.]

AeroVironment is our preferred vendor for this unit.

[Nissan's preferred vendor - but not the only vendor.]

The home charging dock provided by AeroVironment, Inc. is compatible with the Nissan LEAF.

[This one is - but doesn't mean others are not. The EV Project is not using AV EVSE, for example.]

Other manufacturer products may or may not be compatible. Prior to purchasing and/or using another manufacturer’s charging equipment, you need to confirm its compatibility with the Nissan LEAF.

[True statements, probably some 'CYA', but plants doubt. Use of the J1772 standard automagically means compatibility - but doubt leads folks to the easy solution if they aren't sure of their options. Welcome to marketing... :( The response will be 'compatibility statements' from EVSE manufacturers like this one from Coulomb.]

-----
Nissan is a participant in the SAE's J1772 task force - and is working on the communications messages for the SAE's level 3 charge standard. The odds are very, very small that they've chosen to participate in the standards process while also choosing to violate the standard...

Probably a misguided rep at AV that will feel better after some remedial training...

Andy
Last edited by AndyH on Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Level 2 Charger Confusion

Thu Jun 24, 2010 10:08 pm

AndyH wrote:.... remedial training...
:lol:
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