Smart Car of America Forum banner

1 - 20 of 59 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I'm a first time EV owner. Just picked up a 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive this week. I'm looking at a level 2 home charging station. It sounds to me like I don't need anything terribly expensive since my understanding (and please correct me if I'm wrong) is that the Smart ED doesn't charge at as high a rate as some units may allow. Am I right? That being the case, I was looking at the $400 ClipperCreek LCS-20P - 16 amp EV Charging Station. I would greatly appreciate any input on this. I'm assuming going any bigger isn't really beneficial. I'm also assuming that I need to at least go with a small 220 volt unit like this. Am I right? Does anyone here use just the 120 volt unit all the time?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,782 Posts
Welcome to SCoA aka The Asylum.

Your thinking is spot on IF you choose not to "future proof" your EVSE Level 2 choice.

The ED 451 on board charger is one of the puniest among current EV's. That should change with the ED 453 roll out?

I do have a Clipper Creek LCS-25P but thus far have gotten by on 120v without spending the money to upgrade a 240v circuit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
665 Posts
Here in Ontario our government pays 50% of the cost of installing the 240 system. The difference between 120 and 240 is really time. It takes half the time to charge with the 240. You decide. 4 hours versus maybe 9 hours.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
832 Posts
Hi Chris,

I have the exact same Clipper Creek. 37k miles of worry-free charging.

It's well worth the investment v. using the 120V "brick" that comes with the car:

The car is always fully charged in the morning (as long as I get at least 6h of sleep). And it's a little less hassle: just plug in at night and unplug in the morning. No putting the charger away and dealing with that silly coiled cord.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
And now for a dissenting opinion. :)

I have had my EV for a year now, thought about getting a fast charger, but wanted to wait and see how the 120v one that came with the car worked. For our situation we need nothing but the charger that came with the car. I charge it when needed in the evening/night and come morning I am almost always at 100%. I suggest you give it a little bit of time and see how your charging needs mesh with the factory unit. At this point I see no need to cough up the extra bucks for the faster charger. I also have two other ICE cars if needed, but they hardly ever get any exercise anymore.

Len
2014 EV
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
And now for a dissenting opinion. :)

I have had my EV for a year now, thought about getting a fast charger, but wanted to wait and see how the 120v one that came with the car worked. For our situation we need nothing but the charger that came with the car. I charge it when needed in the evening/night and come morning I am almost always at 100%. I suggest you give it a little bit of time and see how your charging needs mesh with the factory unit. At this point I see no need to cough up the extra bucks for the faster charger. I also have two other ICE cars if needed, but they hardly ever get any exercise anymore.

Len
2014 EV


Had that same thought. Actually, I've been arguing that point back and forth in my head.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
And now for a dissenting opinion. :)

I have had my EV for a year now, thought about getting a fast charger, but wanted to wait and see how the 120v one that came with the car worked. For our situation we need nothing but the charger that came with the car. I charge it when needed in the evening/night and come morning I am almost always at 100%. I suggest you give it a little bit of time and see how your charging needs mesh with the factory unit. At this point I see no need to cough up the extra bucks for the faster charger. I also have two other ICE cars if needed, but they hardly ever get any exercise anymore.

Len
2014 EV


Thank you for answering another question. I was reading on the ChargePoint app where someone said they were "ICE'd" when they went to a place where a charging station was. I'm now assuming that's when someone in a regular Internal Combustion Engine is parked in front of the charger thanks to your reply.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
292 Posts
120v vs 240v

We used the supplied charger for a few months before getting the L2 EVSE.

This worked well because we used one of those WeMo power sensing receptacle controllers. It logged the usage for us and also allowed us to enable / disable the EVSE to take advantage of the time of use rates.

The L2 EVSE is much more convenient, and we now pack the L1 charger with the car. My wife uses it at work to get free power, at least until they finish installing the L2 chargers for the staff.

I'd recommend getting a 240v receptacle rather than a hard wired L2 EVSE. Easier to change over, which is happened with us because we had a beta charger that failed and was replaced under warrantee. Plus you can use it for other things when you aren't actively using the EVSE.

fwiw, ymmv
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Here in Ontario our government pays 50% of the cost of installing the 240 system.
Correction: they only do it if the car purchase itself qualifies for a green car rebate. So no EVSE credit for used EVs or lease transfers.

Totally right about the time though. It really makes things easier. Sometimes you recharge (or top up) several times per day if you have a lot of driving to do. Would be impossible with the 110V charger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
We used the supplied charger for a few months before getting the L2 EVSE.



This worked well because we used one of those WeMo power sensing receptacle controllers. It logged the usage for us and also allowed us to enable / disable the EVSE to take advantage of the time of use rates.



The L2 EVSE is much more convenient, and we now pack the L1 charger with the car. My wife uses it at work to get free power, at least until they finish installing the L2 chargers for the staff.



I'd recommend getting a 240v receptacle rather than a hard wired L2 EVSE. Easier to change over, which is happened with us because we had a beta charger that failed and was replaced under warrantee. Plus you can use it for other things when you aren't actively using the EVSE.



fwiw, ymmv


Thank you for that thought on hardwired vs plug. I was debating that. I finally concluded that I could use that outlet for other things. I recently completed my first metal sculpture using a 120 volts welder. While I'm no welder, I recalled my Dad's 220 volt welder doing a much better job. So I was already thinking of a second use for that outlet.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Thank you for that thought on hardwired vs plug. I was debating that. I finally concluded that I could use that outlet for other things.
A few more things to consider.


  • Research the charger options before buying it. Many EVSE manufacturers have dedicated models with NEMA 6-50 or 14-50 plugs. Buying a model designed for hardwired install and adding a NEMA cord will void the warranty, they often have a specific clause about it.
  • If you like to DIY, there's always OpenEVSE.
  • Check local regulations about installing a general purpose high voltage outlet vs a dedicated EV charger outlet. For example, here in Ontario, if you're installing an outlet to charge your EV, it has to have an emergency OFF switch within reach, even if it's just a regular dryer/range outlet (14-30/14-50).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
44 Posts
Ah, the satisfaction of a completed DIY project.

P.S. Is that switch rated for 240V 20A you're running through it? Or is it unrelated to the charger outlet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
No, it's connected and yes, it's rated for it. I read somewhere (maybe in this forum) about someone saying they were seeing a good amount of ghost current running through their charger. So I figured I'd set it up so I can turn it off.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
1,604 Posts
So the charger is basically the same as the factory unit, i.e. plug it into a 220 outlet vs. the 110 outlet the factory unit plugs into. Is that correct? I have a rarely used 220 outlet in my garage, so there would be no installation work for me correct? Just plug it in like I now do with the factory unit and I'm good to go.

Len
2014 EV
 

·
Super Moderator
MY08 cabrio MY09 cabrio Brabus MY15 ED
Joined
·
7,782 Posts
I have a rarely used 220 outlet in my garage, so there would be no installation work for me correct? Just plug it in like I now do with the factory unit and I'm good to go.
May want to check the Level 2 EVSE requirements as it relates to the available amperage rating of the garage plug and circuit BEFORE assuming that you are "good to go."
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
471 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
So the charger is basically the same as the factory unit, i.e. plug it into a 220 outlet vs. the 110 outlet the factory unit plugs into. Is that correct? I have a rarely used 220 outlet in my garage, so there would be no installation work for me correct? Just plug it in like I now do with the factory unit and I'm good to go.

Len
2014 EV


So yeah, it's not that much bigger than the level 1 charger. It has a much longer cable on it. Nice thing is, it cut my charging time in half.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,023 Posts
Scary...




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
You do know that 220 colts is TWO wires of 110, a neutral, AND a ground?
I have found most 110 volt wall switches max out at 600 watts, and with a static load (many hours on), it can be even less...

Get a decent box like this...
https://www.amazon.com/Square-Schne...469234701&sr=8-3&keywords=square+d+disconnect

Or if you just want to shut it off once in a while, use an Air Conditioning Disconnect, https://www.amazon.com/Square-Schne...469234855&sr=8-2&keywords=square+d+disconnect
 
1 - 20 of 59 Posts
Top