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Discussion Starter #1
We have several of these plugs in our garage and I think they are each wired to separate 20amp 240v circuits. The previous owner had a workshop and I guess some heavy duty tools.

Is there an EVSE that would work with this plug, or should we get something new wired?

 

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You can make any Level 2 charger work with that outlet as long as the garage outlet is wired with 2 hots and a ground. You would just get a matching male plug, and wire it to the corresponding 3 wires on the charger, and plug it in.

You could also just remove the outlet, leaving the (presumed) two hot and a ground wire in the box, put a cover on it, and wire the Level 2 charger directly into that box with approved connectors/clamps/cover.

If you are not sure what you are looking for or how to do it, it is a job you should just pay a qualified electrician to do for you. Should be relatively cheap to do.

Plus he may have to upgrade the breaker for that circuit to 25A if it is only a 20A circuit. Best to have a pro do it and not worry about burning down your garage.
 

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Plus he may have to upgrade the breaker for that circuit to 25A if it is only a 20A circuit. Best to have a pro do it and not worry about burning down your garage.
While I second the latter statement, you can easily get away with a 15A 240 charger for your smart ED. That should run fine on a 20A circuit, and there should be no worry about the wiring being under-gauge since it's already got a 20A in.

Reality is that at max use, the smart ED charger can only use [email protected] (3.3kW). During C&D it can spike up to 20A, or just draw less for the charger while warming, like it does on the 120 charger.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the comments.

I'm going to try and live with the Level 1 for a while and get our garage wired to support at least the 6.6kw charging in the Leaf.
 

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Thanks for the comments.

I'm going to try and live with the Level 1 for a while and get our garage wired to support at least the 6.6kw charging in the Leaf.
Most EVSE actually have a setting switch somewhere in/on them that indicates how much it should allow/advertise as max draw. Both the Keba and the Power XPress have this feature. I'd bet most mode 2 chargers do. Most places that sell them offer a PDF of the setup manual online. You can always check that before you buy to be sure.

If you wanted, you could get a nice plug-in 32A mode 2 charger now, set it to 15A, get a converter plug for a buck at a local RV store, and start using it now. Then when you need to upgrade, all you need to do is get the garage rewired, unplug the EVSE, set it to the higher rating, and plug it back in.

That would give the convenience of using your existing wiring and have the higher speed now, while letting you offset when the garage wiring gets done. And when you upgrade, all it costs is the re-wire, as the EVSE can flip a switch and upgrade to the new line capacity.
 

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No need to switch the EVSE to lower current, as long as you only plug the smart into it, it won't draw more than 15A anyway.

BTW, e.g. Clipper Creek EVSEs don't allow changing their current rating.
 

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No need to switch the EVSE to lower current, as long as you only plug the smart into it, it won't draw more than 15A anyway.
This is a bad idea. If your EVSE is advertising a higher rate, a car can expect and try to pull that higher rate (even a smart, see below). With an EVSE advertising a rate higher than it can provide you will at best wind up with a blown circuit breaker. Worse case includes damaged wiring up to an electrical fire.

BTW, e.g. Clipper Creek EVSEs don't allow changing their current rating.
Just hit their page and apparently you are correct, for the current models I looked at anyway. Most EVSE (from other manufacturers) that have ratings over 20A have some way to limit the advertised current. It's really just a small change to the wave they put out on the control pin. Usually the switche changes which resistor is used in an RC circuit.

Interesting! I have never seen this, can you tell us more about the the conditions when this happens?
It's right in the smart manual, page 87:
If the high‑voltage battery is not sufficiently charged and the "Air
conditioning before start" function is activated, the high‑voltage battery is charged first. When a charge level of at least 20 % has been reached, the "Air conditioning before start" function is activated. This function then has
priority over the charging of the high‑voltage battery.
When C&D time is reached, it will divert wall power to run the AC or heater and fan. In the case of the mode 1 EVSE, most or all of the current is used by the heater, so the battery may stop charging. If you have a higher powered EVSE, the car may attempt to draw power for both at once.

This is one of many reasons a smart may actually draw 15A to 20A on a mode 2 charger, even though 13.5A is the internal chargers theoretical max. (Others include circulating pumps, and other things associated with pack heating or cooling.) It's also another reason putting a non-settable EVSE on a line below it's charge rating is a bad idea.
 

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EVSEs, Juice Box as alternative

No need to switch the EVSE to lower current, as long as you only plug the smart into it, it won't draw more than 15A anyway.

BTW, e.g. Clipper Creek EVSEs don't allow changing their current rating.
We looked at many EVSEs and have ordered a Juice Box premium. It will take a few weeks, but I am looking forward to remote control of the EVSE itself as the other chargeable vehicles we have don't have a nice control app/web site like the Fortwo ED has with the vh.smart.com portal.

One question though, am I going to have to make sure that the Fortwo ED is set and prepared for a charge along with setting the EVSE to charge at night for night rate? The vh.smart.com portal is interesting; it allows me to "Set Departure Time" when I expect to be able to drive away, but not a specific "start charging at this time" setting.

If I set the "Activate Instant Charging" but the EVSE doesn't actually provide current to the car until hours later, is the logic on the Fortwo ED going to time out?
 

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If you leave your Smart set to "Charge Now", it will always be ready for the juice to flow. It never times out from that setting.
 

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The vh.smart.com portal is interesting; it allows me to "Set Departure Time" when I expect to be able to drive away, but not a specific "start charging at this time" setting.

If I set the "Activate Instant Charging" but the EVSE doesn't actually provide current to the car until hours later, is the logic on the Fortwo ED going to time out?
The smart lacks the ability to set a start/end time for charging. Having that ability in the EVSE is a nice compliment to the smart, especially if you have time of use electric.

As for the activation, I can tell you that in V8 software you can set the C&D feature, lock it, and walk away without power being on, and C&D will still work fine. It also generally works from the smart website (though it can be an hour off at random times, with no pattern that I can see).

The only time I've had issues is if I don't specifically set the C&D on the console after powering off the car, or if the car does not lock for some reason (like it detects a door is ajar or such).
 
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