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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,
Newbie here, just bought a 2017 Smart ED with low mileage. I will be parking my Smart in the driveway - my wife uses the garage - and will be installing an outdoor (120V) outlet for charging. Two questions:
  • Has anyone used a "smart" (WIFI-enabled) outlet for charging their ED so that they can program charging times?
  • Has anyone been charging at home with an outdoor outlet? Any problems? I think I read that you should not use a GFCI outlet, but I believe that in the US all outdoor outlets must have GFCI.
thank you!
Kevin
 

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2017 453 Passion ED/EQ
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I charge with a 20amp, 120v GFCI outlet with no problems. Do not use a 15amp, the charger will max that out. The EVSE cable supplied with the car has 2 different amp. settings, even with the low setting I get it all charged up by the next morning when I plug in the early evening. So it takes all night. Remember, the slower the charge rate the better for the batteries. The low setting doesn't give me a completion time estimate in the car dash, but the high setting does. And it usually readjusts the time to earlier and earlier estimates as the charging goes on. So I guess based on the high amp setting.

Remember, you will probably plug in every night, and usually I'm at 40% charged before I plug in. Don't go out and buy another cable until you get used to the one you have. I saved up and went with a 240 outlet and then got a cable for it. Every now and then you may be in a bind and need a quick charge from the 240. At 40% charged, I can get to 80% in under an hour! The charge rate is fast, but then slows down. It is sucking up 30 amps. SO I went with a 40amp breaker at the box, and 6 ga. cable to a wall outlet that I plug the charge cable to when I rarely need it. I think alot of people don't even bother installing a 240 once they realized the 120 is fine. But I rarely charge anywhere but home.

Thought about getting a wifi enabled cable, but then realized I still have to plug it in, so why bother? If I want it to charge at a certain time, I use the onboard conditioning settings to tell the charger when to finish. Especially useful when it's really hot or cold out, and the cabin a/c or heater gets the cabin just right when you unplug and get in! :love:

So give a month or so before you make any changes or additions, you will know much more about your needs by then.
 

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I do a 240V charge, since day #1 with my 2018 Passion.
I can't handle seeing 12/16 hs of charging a lower voltage.
I had my outdoor's J1772 installed from previous electric vehicle and I could monitor with the house WiFi but I do not care, the Smart is intelligent enough to handle charging times and procedures without worries.
I had tried their supplied charging EVSE but it is to slow for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Jeb - thanks for the info!! The back of my manual says 13h charging time at 120V/12A, so I would have thought that 15A would be sufficient? Just set the max charge current at 12A?
 

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I have not used a WiFi outlet, but I've used a WeMo Insight switch on the outlet for years without any issues. I encased it all in a large plastic electrical junction box and mounted it to a post outside. I made a write up about it here.
 

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My whole new house, from the AC heating thermostat, garage door opener, outdoor cameras, doorbell, televisions, built in Whirlpool oven, smart switches, are all WIFI compatible. Are all controlled, from my iPhone, iPad, and my Apple Watch.

Love the technology in today’s homes.
 

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Jeb - thanks for the info!! The back of my manual says 13h charging time at 120V/12A, so I would have thought that 15A would be sufficient? Just set the max charge current at 12A?
Yeah, 15a should in theory work if there is not going to be any other use of the outlet. And as breaker switches degrade over time sometimes, that 3a buffer is cutting it too close for me. My supplied charger cable is 8a and 12a too. I like the extra 20a in case I plug in something else, like a vacuum cleaner, power washer, power tools etc. Plus my 240 power cable also came with a 120 adapter, but it supplies 15a to the charger, so a 15a breaker would be popping if I was using one. If you have a 20 amp breaker available that would be a better choice. But ask an electrician, they would know for sure. :unsure:
 

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Always keep in mind continuous usage ratings which should be 80% of the max of the outlet/cabling/breaker which is why 120V EVSEs max out at 12A. Lowest common denominator and all (80% of 15A = 12A). Ideally, it should be a dedicated circuit since you'll be maxing out the continuous load spec. A 20A 120V outlet/cabling/breaker gives you more headroom.

If it is outside, then it should be GFCI. I charged on a 120V GFCI breaker for a couple years early on with my LEAF and it was fine. Popped the GFCI a couple times, but it was rare (20A outlet with GFCI).

Unless the WiFi 'smart' outlet is rated for the type of continuous load needed, I probably wouldn't go there. They are usually targeted at low amperage stuff like lights and small appliances, so check ratings carefully and make sure it's UL certified, etc.

Finally, 240V is really nice to have and you'll be ready for other EVs. Smart EVSEs are also really nice for charge timing, reminders, and tracking energy usage. Just my two cents...
 
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