Belskinator wrote:I have a 2016 Nissan Leaf S. My simple question is - Is there a level 2 charger that works on a regular 110 outlet. I've seen advertisements that offer 3x faster charging than the stock charger the Leaf comes with???
I am not an electrician. Any talk of blah blah kv6.0 -something-something, does not help. In simplest terms, I have a standard household plug in my garage I use now, with the charging cable that came with the Leaf. I just want the car to charge faster without having to install another plug/breaker.
. By definition, Level 2 is 208 or 240 volts, while the standard household receptacle (electric dryers or ranges aside) is 120 volts aka Level 1. Three times faster charging refers to Level 2 at a higher amperage - Level 2 alone at the same amperage will double your charge rate.
Some technical info is necessary to explain it. Except in the kitchen and maybe
the garage, the standard Level 1 (120 volts) dual receptacle is rated at 15 Amps, but charging an EV is considered continuous duty (3 hours or more at a given power), and you are only allowed to pull a maximum of 80% of 15 Amps, i.e. 12 Amps, for that. 120 Volts times 12 Amps = 1,440 Watts, or 1.44 kiloWatts (abbreviated kW); the Watt is the unit of power. If you have an EVSE that can operate at 240 Volts at the same 12 amps, then its maximum power is 240 Volts x 12 Amps = 2,880 watts (or 2.88kW). Note that I'm ignoring charging inefficiency and overhead that applies regardless of what charging power you have, which will slightly reduce the power your battery actually receives in all the above cases.
Kitchen and garage dual receptacles may instead be rated (and protected) for 20 Amps, but for charging (remember, continuous duty) only 20 Amps x .8 = 16 Amps is allowed. Most portable EVSEs, the correct name for the 'charging cable' that came with the car, are limited to Level 1 (remember, that's 120 volts) charging at 12 amps, which is the maximum that can be plugged into any dual receptacle without knowing what it's rated for, and prevents the typical homeowner from blowing a fuse/popping a breaker and/or starting a fire. More recent LEAFs apparently come with a dual 120V and 240V @ 12 Amp EVSE, but you still need a 240V circuit to supply it for the higher voltage. You can't get 240 volts out of a standard 120 Volt household receptacle, the one in every wall.
Summing up, the standard household receptacle (not plug, that's on the end of the cord) in your garage will not safely allow you to charge any faster than 120 volts at 12 Amps. There are some EVSEs that may allow you to charge at 120 Volts at 16 Amps on a 20 amp circuit, but unless you're certain that your garage receptacle is a 20 amp type on a 20 Amp circuit, I wouldn't risk it - the 20 Amp EVSE should have a different plug than standard in any case.
AFAIK, the portable EVSE that comes with the LEAF is limited to 12 Amps for Level 1 charging, so if you want to charge faster, you'll have to have a 240 Volt circuit installed to your garage and buy a 240 Volt EVSE*, or you can use the dryer circuit if that's in the garage and the dryer's electrically heated instead of using natural gas. the latter requires that you switch plugs every time you want to dry or charge, unless you install another receptacle on the same circuit, with a switch that only allows one receptacle to be used at a time.
Hope that helps.
*IIRR, more recent LEAFs come with a dual 120/240V portable EVSE.