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Hi - Just bought a Smart For Two Electric in California

Regular charging takes too long. Was looking to find the most cost-effective options to increase the charging speed and had a few questions.

If we go for the double charge speed, I understand we need to use the washer/dryer plug (220V). But would this mean every time we need to use the faster charging cable, we would need to unplug the washer/dryer or is there a special two-way plug I can buy where both can be plugged in? Also is there a cheaper place other than Smart to buy this cable from? If so where could I get it and what is it called?

Also, I know there is a super fast option. Does anyone know what the process would be to get this installed, the ballpark cost, and who to contact to get this done?

PS - I'm a bit annoyed at the cup holder design. You need extra long arms to grab a cup. Anyone have a clean looking work-around for this?

Also every time I leave my car and come back I have to reactivate the bluetooth audio to continue listening to music. Is there any way to automatically have this done?

Thanks!
 

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You want a "level 2 EVSE" search on that. Starts around $500 e.g. for a ClipperCreek.

There is no superfast option in the UC/Canada. It's a Europe-only option that has to be ordered with the car and needs 400V 3-phase, which we don't have in the new world.
 

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Regular charging takes too long. Was looking to find the most cost-effective options to increase the charging speed and had a few questions.
<snip> where could I get it and what is it called?
What Is EVSE And Why Does Your Electric Car Charger Need It?


Example "Level 2 EVSE" from Clipper Creek is found on the following link. Two such EVSE's are the LCS-20 which will almost max out the Smart ED charging system, and another is the HCS-40 which is overkill, but is sure to make full use and max out the Smart ED charging system.

Featured Products Category | ClipperCreek Vehicle Charging Station


Personally, I use the one that came with the car, as I rarely travel more than 130km in my Smart ED in one day, and thus can plug in overnight and be fully charged in the morning.
 

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I understand we need to use the washer/dryer plug (220V). But would this mean every time we need to use the faster charging cable, we would need to unplug the washer/dryer or is there a special two-way plug I can buy where both can be plugged in?
The "dryer plug" is just short form for the 220V plug specification. You wouldn't actually use the same physical plug as that of your dryer, rather, you would generally make use of existing 220V electrical wiring in your garage, or if that is not available, run new a new cable from the fuse panel and wire up the EVSE directly into that new circuit. This is where an electrician comes in.

So:

Get 220V circuit wired to the location where you intend to park your Smart ED. Generally this is the garage.

Buy an EVSE from a reputable vendor like Clipper Creek. Beware of EVSE's priced under $300, you get what you pay for.

Have EVSE connected to new circuit.

Profit!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks a ton for the insight.

I was hoping there was a lower cost option for the level 2 - is there any other reputable competitors that sell the plug needed?

Also you mentioned the "LCS-20" to "almost max out" vs. the "HCS-40" which is overkill. For these two units on my 2014 ForTwo Electric, is there any difference in charge time to reach 100% charge?

I also see a PCS-120 for sale. Is this compatible (it looks like it uses some sort of two prong round plug).

Lastly - I see a few Nissan Leaf 20amp 240 volt ClipperCreek chargers - are these the same as the ones for our ForTwos?

Thanks!
 

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The Smart ED takes a maximum of something between 12A and 20A at 240V (I can't remember the exact current draw). So any EVSE that can provide more than 20A will not speed up the charging time for the Smart ED - the car limits the amount of current it can take (if the EVSE can provide it).

One thing to consider is if you find yourself in the future owning a Tesla, you may want to consider some future-proofing for an EVSE with > 20A. But that being said, I think EVSEs will come down in price in the years to come, so there may be no sense in over-buying for the Smart.

For any level 2 EVSE, they all come with the standard J1772 plug - that's the "gas nozzle" you plug into the smart. How you connect the EVSE to your house wiring is up to you, be it hardwired, NEMA 14-30 plug, NEMA 14-50 plug, etc. Just remember you can't directly plug the Smart ED into some fancy wall outlet - you DO need the EVSE unit.

For our Smart ED we use the Clipper Creek LCS-25 which works 100% fine. When we bought the LCS-25 it needed to be hardwired (it just had a wiring harness that needed to be connected in an electrical box). Now the LCS-25 come with either the NEMA 30A plug or the NEMA 50A plug (same as a typical dryer plug). So, all you need is an electrician to wire an NEMA 30A receptacle to your main breaker box (using a double 30A breaker set), and you can simply plug the LCS-25 into that and then plug the LCS-25's J1772 plug into the Smart - and you're good to go.
 

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If I may make a small edit to the following statement:
Now the LCS-25 come with either the NEMA 30A plug (same as a typical dryer plug). or the NEMA 50A plug (same as a typical electric range plug).

I am expecting the LCS-25 comes with a four terminal plug matching present day electrical code.

Older homes have three terminals versus newer homes with four. The newer version has a grounding terminal separate from the neutral for grounding the chassis with a non current carrying safety ground. With the older three wire system, the chassis would be grounded to the current carrying neutral. If there was any resistance or disruption to the neutral line connection at the electrical panel, then the voltage would show up on the chassis and you could be shocked by touching the stove or dryer and a faucet at the same time. The fourth wire ground prevents that from happening.
 

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It seems the Clipper Creek LCS-25 is available with 4 different 240V plugs...

LCS-25P, 20A, 240V charging, 25? cord, NEMA 14-30 plug | ClipperCreek Vehicle Charging Station
LCS-25P, 20A, 240V charging, 25? cord, NEMA L6-30 plug | ClipperCreek Vehicle Charging Station
LCS-25P, 20A, 240V charging, 25? cord, NEMA 6-50 plug | ClipperCreek Vehicle Charging Station
LCS-25P, 20A, 240V charging, 25? cord, NEMA 14-50 plug | ClipperCreek Vehicle Charging Station

The 6-50 and 6-30 have three conductors (hot, hot, GND) and the 14-50 and 14-30 have four conductions (hot, hot, neutral, GND). The LCS-25 unit itself does not require the neutral line so it's probably internally N/C inside the unit for the 14-50 and 14-30 plugs.

Lots of choices!
 

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I googled pcs 120 and will try to post the label on it below. Not for U.S. electrical systems. If it was for both 50 and 60 Hz. It would have listed both.
 

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The above image is of the label on a PCS 120 which has a Euro two round pin plug for a 220 volt 50 Hertz receptacle. U.S. frequency is 60 hertz, and is not compatible. I would not buy this for use in the U.S.
 
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