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You could be asking two different questions:
1. Using an EVSE that the Tesla uses and an adapter to the J1772 plug, will I be safe?

Yes, this is fine. The J1772 charging standard has a handshake protocol where the EVSE (the thing attached to the house or the yellow corded thing that came with your car) advertises what it is capable of supplying and the actual charger (which is a permanent part of the car) adapts to that. This is no different than plugging a Smart ED into a Chargepoint or other commercial charger.

2. Using the NEMA 14-50, can I use an adaptor to plug in the Smart yellow-corded EVSE?

This is also fine, just make sure you get the adaptor correct from the NEMA 14-50 to the NEMA 5-15 [normal household plug].

Side note: NEMA, not NENA. (National Electrical Manufacturer Association)
 

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Never having seen the charger that comes with an ED, I guess it does not accept 240 V, so don’t just plug it in. I’ve seen someone crack open either a Leaf or Volt charger and figure it could support the voltage, then converted the plug. Of course Jim could be referring to a step down transformer which would then drop the voltage down to 120 V, which would then also work.

If you have a Tesla specific charger, (acquired from Tesla), it is proprietary and I do not know a plug/adapter that will convert to J1772. (This won’t work with your ED as far as I know).

Tesla makes an adapter for the J1772 to fit into the Tesla vehicle socket/plug. This would mean you have a Level 2 EVSE, and this will work with your ED. The ED may not use all 40A, but that depends on the vehicle to “decide” how much 240 V amperage to pull.

I heard Tesla has an adapter to connect the car directly to a 14-50 outlet, but I do not have the pleasure of owning a Tesla and so this is just rumor mill in my mind. Do you plug your Tesla directly into the outlet? Maybe you can post a pic of how you connect it? That would help us a lot in helping answer your question. (Or you can post links to what you use as well).
 

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Also, 240 volts 40 amps is just the maximum output capacity of the supply. The amount of amperage a device draws which plugged into that supply (in this case, the Smart on-board charger - 14-15 amps at 240 volts) has nothing to to do with that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the great feedback. I guess I confused some with the Tesla reference. To clarify, I plug my Tesla into a regular NEMA 14-50 receptacle (the car came with that adaptor) I set up in my garage which I diverted from an electric stove/range 240v/50amp service that's no longer in use, I do not use a Tesla proprietary home charging station. My question is, can I plug my Smart EV daily commuter into this receptacle with an adapter that will not step down ot transform the 240v-50amp to 120v? I'm trying to get the fastest way to charge my Smart car, without damaging it by using this existing set up in my garage.
 

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My question is, can I plug my Smart EV daily commuter into this receptacle with an adapter that will not step down ot transform the 240v-50amp to 120v? I'm trying to get the fastest way to charge my Smart car, without damaging it by using this existing set up in my garage.
Buy a Level 2 EVSE that will plug into the 14-50R (pick your favorite model/brand). The Smart 451 electric charger (the part in the car) is 3.3KW. The bundled with car 120V EVSE (with the springy yellow cord) can supply a little under half of that.

I have not heard of people doing the 240V conversion on the factory EVSE (as is common on the LEAF charger). Without taking one apart (or verifying that the internals are the same as the European one), I wouldn't recommend that path.

Instead, I'd Google or Amazon search for "14-50 level 2 EVSE" and buy something that you like from that list. Will run $225-800 or so and is totally plug-and-play (since you have the 14-50R already installed in the garage). You can (and IMO should) leave it plugged in all the time and use the Tesla's J1772->Tesla adapter to charge the Tesla as well.
 

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The Smart's on board charger (not the 120V adapter thingy) will work on voltages from 100 to 250 volts - provided that voltage goes through the proper charging station/adapter (EVSE) following the SAE J1772 standard. The slow-charging adapter that comes with the car is only for 120 volts (USA version) and is called a "Level 1" EVSE. A 240 volt EVSE is called a "level 2" EVSE.

That MEMA 14-50 plug provides BOTH 120 and 240 volts. It is 240 volts between the paired large prongs and 120 volts between either large prong and the large neutral prong (also to the smaller safety ground prong - but don't use it for that!)

So, to use the Smart's charging adapter with a NEMA 14-50R, buy the adapter plug set shown in Jim Sokoloff's previous post, or if you have a bit of electrical DIY experience, build your own adapter with a MEMA 14-50R male plug from the hardware store and a short 15-20 amp extension cord with the male plug cut off. Make sure you get the polarity right - the shorter "slot" on the NEMA 5-15 female plug, typically fed by a black (or red) wire in the cord, is the "hot" side of the circuit. The longer slot and white wire is neutral. Green wire is safety ground.

As others have suggested, if you have already invested in a Tesla, then for just a little more money you can buy a J1772 Level 2 charging station with a NEMA 14-50 plug and cord (i.e a range cord) attached to it. The Smart charges 3 times faster with it. I assume your Tesla comes with a adapter for a J1772 charging station, so you can use it to charge the Tesla too.
 

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As a Tesla and Leaf owner, I second the suggestion to just buy a good L2 EVSE and you can use it to charge both vehicles (that's what I do). I have a JuiceBox Pro 40 EVSE connected to a NEMA 14-50 that can supply more power than the Leaf can use and gets close to the max that the Model 3 LR can accept and it's a smart charger so you can control it from your phone, get stats on how much electricity you've used to charge the EVs, etc.
 

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I recently bought a 2016 smart car electric vehicle and like the OP I have a 250V/50A outlet in my garage that used to be used for other equipment. Is it possible to buy a 240V/40A charger and plug it into the 250V/50A outlet without damaging the charger or the car?
 

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I recently bought a 2016 smart car electric vehicle and like the OP I have a 250V/50A outlet in my garage that used to be used for other equipment. Is it possible to buy a 240V/40A charger and plug it into the 250V/50A outlet without damaging the charger or the car?
Yes, just like you can plug a 1/2 Amp 60W lamp into a 120 Volt, 15 or 20A circuit. The load will draw what it needs. In the case of an electric car EVSE (what everyone calls a "charger"), it is treated as a continuous load, meaning limited to 80% of the circuit capacity, meaning a 50A circuit is perfect for a 40A charger anyway.

Likewise, the EVSE "offers/advertises" a certain amount of current capacity and the car charger takes what it needs up to that amount.

You'll be fine. Your case is the "normal" case.
 

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I'm trying to understand what charging adapter options I have and how safe they are.

Vehicle:
2018 smart eq fortwo coupe
Electrical setup:
NEMA 14-50 recepticle, run with 50A wiring, connected to a 30A dedicated breaker.

I do plan on purchasing a level 2 charger in the future ... however until then, I'd like to understand what the benefits and safety concerns are with using an adapter (ie: NEMA 14-15 to something that works with the 110V charging cable that comes with the car)
 

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Santiso33,

If I understand you correctly, you will need to change the 30 amp breaker to a 40 amp breaker, then you can buy and plug in a level 2 charger cord with a nema 14-50 plug on one end and a j1772 plug on the other end. (Your smart car charges at 30 amps, which will pop the 30 amp circuit breaker over time.) But I am NOT an electrician, so you need to verify this information.

You cannot use your supplied, level 1, 110 volt charging cable with the nema 14-50, 220 volt receptacle outlet, but you can plug it into a normal 110 volt wall outlet if you have one nearby. That supplied cord has two different amperage settings, and you might be able to use the lower amp setting if you have other devices (lights, washing machines, fridges, etc.) on it.

The benefits of using a level 2 charger cable is that it cuts down the time to charge the smart car to an hour or so, or at most 2.5 hours if you drained the car's batteries to zero and needed to charge to 100%. But you don't need a level 2 charging cable if you plan ahead and let the car charge overnight with the level 1 supplied cable on a 110 volt outlet. I've always been able to recharge the car in 8 hours or less this way.
 

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I'm trying to understand what charging adapter options I have and how safe they are.

Vehicle:
2018 smart eq fortwo coupe
Electrical setup:
NEMA 14-50 recepticle, run with 50A wiring, connected to a 30A dedicated breaker.

I do plan on purchasing a level 2 charger in the future ... however until then, I'd like to understand what the benefits and safety concerns are with using an adapter (ie: NEMA 14-15 to something that works with the 110V charging cable that comes with the car)
Read any information on the back of the charging box. If it does not specify that it can be used with 240 volts, I would not try it. Also, if you do try it, it still will not charge as fast on 240 volts becuase it is set to "tell" the car's charger not to draw more than 12 amps (the maximum safe draw from of a typical N. American 120V 15A circuit), but the car's charger full capacity is higher amperage. But no, whatever you do, you cannot damage the car's charger.

To any 452 EQ owners out there, what is the maximum current the car will draw on level 2 charging? On the 451, it is only about 15 amps (3500 watts).
 

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Highest I have seen on my 453 is 7 or 7.2 kw. Not sure I have ever used a charger capable of more. If you are already setup to charge a tesla at home, a tesla to J1772 adapter is the easiest option. Otherwise, get a Level 2 EVSE with the correct (sounds like NEMA 5-50) plug. Many choices on the Amazon for under $300. If you don't upgrade the breaker, stick to a 24 Amp or so option.
 

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Highest I have seen on my 453 is 7 or 7.2 kw. Not sure I have ever used a charger capable of more. If you are already setup to charge a tesla at home, a tesla to J1772 adapter is the easiest option. Otherwise, get a Level 2 EVSE with the correct (sounds like NEMA 5-50) plug. Many choices on the Amazon for under $300. If you don't upgrade the breaker, stick to a 24 Amp or so option.
7.2 kw would be 30 amps from a level 2 EVSE. Ever connected it to using a 40-50A EVSE? That is still more than twice what the older ED would do.
 

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A 7.2 kw 240v charger can deliver 30A max using a 40A breaker. The 40A breaker is the correct choice.
Thus the EV has the option to set the actual charging current, at any given moment, to whatever value
the EV wants to accept. This is good. However we should not assume that it is always charging at the
30A max! To actually see the charging going on we need to clamp an AC ammeter to one of the 240v
legs coming off the breaker. Fun project for someone to try ideally with an assistant to plug in the car. :)
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