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cowspotter

join:2000-09-11
Ashburn, VA
kudos:2

Electric Vehicle Charging Station

I'm going to have an electric vehicle charging station installed in my garage soon. The installer advised me that it would be cheaper to have an electrician install the circuit than him so I've reached out for quotes. One thing that surprised me was the installer said I need a 40A 240v circuit, wired with 8/2. That would equate to a 3 prong connector on the outlet since there would be no neutral. I'm not really doubting the accuracy of the needs for this charger, but I'm wondering does it make sense to have the electrician just run 8/3 in case I get a different charger later that does require a separate neutral? The panel isn't in the garage so there will be some fishing of wire through the walls, not really something I want to do again.

garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Sure, I can't see a downside of running 8-3, better to have it and not need it then later on wish you'd installed it that way.


alkizmo

join:2007-06-25
Pierrefonds, QC
kudos:1
reply to cowspotter
meh, why not? The labor is the same, material might cost 10$ more depending on the length of the cable.


tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

reply to cowspotter
Given the amount of power it takes to charge an electric vehicle it is unlikely you are ever going to downgrade to 120v circuit. If anything I'd go with a larger gauge wire to be able to support faster recharge rates.

Since the electrician has to pull cable if you think you will need more circuits in the garage, perhaps two charging stations, workshop, etc now is the time to do so. If that is the case I'd install large gauge wire and install a sub panel in the garage. That way you have a lot of flexibility going forward.

/tom


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
·Charter
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1 recommendation

reply to cowspotter
Why waste the wire? Pretty much all VCS's are, and will be, in the 208-240V range.

If you are worried about the future, then conduit is the only way to proceed.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.

tedmarshall

join:2000-12-02
reply to cowspotter
Must current wall-mount EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment = charging station) are currently set up for 6.6KW chargers in the cars, even though most commercially produced electric cars use 3.3KW chargers. That's the reason for the 40A requirement.

You can get EVSEs that are limited to 240V/16A in which case, you can get away with a 20A circuit. For a car with a 3.3KW charger, this will charge just as fast as the 32A EVSEs.

Are you by chance getting a Nissan Leaf? If so, there is a company which converts the Nissan included 120V/12A charging cord to run 240V at either 12A or 16A, depending on what you request. PM me if you need details. You should also check out mynissanleaf.com which is a very large forum dedicated to the Leaf.


cowspotter

join:2000-09-11
Ashburn, VA
kudos:2
No, Chevy Volt. The reason I thought I would need 3 conductors is because whenever I've looked at recent 240v appliances (Dryer, oven) they've wanted to use a 4 prong outlet. I figured there was some safety reason that 4 prong should be used instead and even though this charger doesn't use it, if the next one does I wanted to be prepared for that situation. If not, I'll stick with the 8/2.


nunya
LXI 483
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:13
Reviews:
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1 recommendation

240V = no neutral.
The dryer usually has a 120V motor (thus the neutral).
The range has the light and possible the controls that run on 120V.
The charging stations have no 120V parts. Their job is to charge the battery as quickly as possible. They are always going to be 208-240V.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.


cowspotter

join:2000-09-11
Ashburn, VA
kudos:2
Ah, got it. Thanks!

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cowspotter
The Volt only pulls 14 amps and the charger ( its really just a smart extension cord for safety, as the actual charger is in the car ) lists a maximum 20 amp circuit breaker

A plane Jane 12AWG would be fine ... Going a larger wire might give you more options in the future but you'll have issues trying to put an 8AWG wire on either side, breaker or charger as the lugs don't support that large of a wire.

FYI, I own a Volt, and just use the 120V one that comes with the car, I've never had the need for having to recharge faster than overnight.


LazMan
Premium
join:2003-03-26
canada
reply to cowspotter
Personally? I'd be tempted to pull 8/3 or even 6/3 and put a small (6 ckt?) load centre in the garage...

That way you've got the 240/40a for your car charger, and the abililty to do something else down the road (120v or 240v - tools, heater, ???) at essentially no incremental cost...

Cable's the same, load centre shouldn't be more then $40-50, the extra breaker shouldn't be more then about $25... So for under $100 extra, you've future-proofed yourself.

Just what I'd do...

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
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reply to cowspotter
Before you spend money on the install check with your power company to see if they are offering any deals on vehicle charging stations. Some power companies are providing a separate feed and meter from the distribution transformer that bypasses your regular power drop so they can charge a lower rate for off peak usage. The only condition is that they control when the charging commences and when it shuts off. Even if they say no it doesn't hurt to ask.


cowspotter

join:2000-09-11
Ashburn, VA
kudos:2
There is a current deal with the power company to install a second meter and allow time of use billing for just the car. The rate is better but the increased labor to modify the wiring to allow for that would make it a really long payback period. I'm getting the charger for free already.

As far as the need for 240v charging, I'm getting a full charge overnight but there are times when I come home from work and then want to go somewhere an hour our 2 later. The 120v charger just can't provide any significant amount of charge in that time period.


TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
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·WesTex Connect
reply to Mr Matt
said by Mr Matt:

Before you spend money on the install check with your power company to see if they are offering any deals on vehicle charging stations. Some power companies are providing a separate feed and meter from the distribution transformer that bypasses your regular power drop so they can charge a lower rate for off peak usage. The only condition is that they control when the charging commences and when it shuts off. Even if they say no it doesn't hurt to ask.

Just get the TXU Free Nights plan and charge at night.

»www.txu.com/Home/residential/pro···hts.aspx
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

Just get the TXU Free Nights plan and charge at night.

»www.txu.com/Home/residential/pro···hts.aspx

Pretty hard to do when TXU serves only residents in a part of Texas and the poster is from Virgina and Matt is from Florida ...

Oedipus

join:2005-05-09
kudos:1

1 recommendation

said by guppy_fish:

Just get the TXU Free Nights plan and charge at night.

»www.txu.com/Home/residential/pro···hts.aspx

Pretty hard to do when TXU serves only residents in a part of Texas and the poster is from Virgina and Matt is from Florida ...

Long extension cord, duh...


TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Reviews:
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·WesTex Connect
reply to guppy_fish
said by guppy_fish:

Pretty hard to do when TXU serves only residents in a part of Texas and the poster is from Virgina and Matt is from Florida ...

So TXU is the only electric provider nationwide that has a free nights plan?

Well, come to think of it, Texas has it's own power grid, so offering a plan like this outside of Texas by any power company might not be possible.

I believe it was started here because the power co's were having to idle their generators all night to be ready for the day because shut downs and start ups take too long.
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CompTIA Network+ Certified


PSWired

join:2006-03-26
Annapolis, MD
Most utilities don't yet have the ability to do time-of-use billing for their residential customers, so this billing scheme won't be widespread until smartmeter deployments see more progress.

And yes, nighttime electricity is cheaper due to the types of plants used to produce it.




Baseload power is power produced by cheap, inflexible generation sources such as coal, nuclear, and hydro. Their fuel sources are inexpensive, but they can't easily adapt to demand. They produce at 100% round-the-clock.

Intermediate load sources can scale their energy output up and down throughout the day according to demand, but use more expensive fuel than baseload plants. Example would be gas-turbine power plants fed with natural gas or landfill gas.

Peaking plants can quickly provide demand response for the highest use scenario. They're the most expensive to operate, with fuel sources such as oil.

So, utilities and RTOs (regional transmission operators, the entities that control regional grid stability) in deregulated markets spend a lot of effort making sure that peak capacity is there for afternoon loads on hot summer days. Conversely, power at night is cheap, to the point that generators are sometimes paid to stop feeding power onto the grid.

Hence the availability of free nighttime energy in markets with the metering infrastructure to support it.


cowspotter

join:2000-09-11
Ashburn, VA
kudos:2
Circuit was run yesterday. Electrician did a nice job, though of course I have a few drywall patches to repair. I'm going to wait until the charging station is installed to repair the drywall just in case there's a problem with the wiring. $375 for the job.


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
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reply to cowspotter
My new house has a dedicated 240v outlet in one of the garage bays. It's four feet from the overhead door. It's fed by a double-throw breaker (not sure if 40 or 60 amp - will have to check).

It got me thinking about the feasibility of getting a Nissan Leaf to run around town, as it seems it would be very simple to put in a charging station. Glad I stumbled upon this thread...
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to cowspotter
A Volt is the same $$ as a leaf, will last allot longer ( look into the leaf battery issue as the leaf has no thermal management ) and your never have to worry how far you can drive.

I drive 100% electric most days, and when its further, that when the range extender kicks in.

before you buy check out

»www.mynissanleaf.com/
»gm-volt.com/

tedmarshall

join:2000-12-02
Disclaimer: I own a Leaf.

Right now, Nissan has some very attractive leases on 2012's.

There are definitely questions of the battery's longevity in warm climates. In Florida, I would think about a short lease; there are nice 2-year leases available. In my climate, there are not (yet) problems.

Personally, I don't like the interior of the Volt. I felt like I was sitting in a hole.

Also, Ford is coming out with a nice plug-in hybrid, not as far electric-only range as the volt, but still worth looking at.

Definitely do your homework.


Grumpy
Premium
join:2001-07-28
NW CT
reply to cowspotter
I wonder how many kWh it takes to charge a car and how that compares to buying gasoline? Reason I ask is our electric costs around $0.25 a kWh when you add in all the fees and taxes. I'm told in western NY the rate is around $0.49. Not sure though.


cowspotter

join:2000-09-11
Ashburn, VA
kudos:2
I should have a better idea of charging statistics when my 240v charger is installed, but a rough idea is:

120v charger
12a
1440w = 1.4kw
8 hours to fully charge
11.2 kwh

Our effective rate is $0.128/kwh so $1.43 per full charge. A full charge gets me around 40 miles. These numbers may be a little off since this isn't based on calculated usage but it should be close.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to cowspotter
For most Electric vehicles its about 13 kwh for 40 miles of range, which includes the charging losses

Here in Florida, including all taxes, its 13 cents kwh or about 1.70 equivalent to gallon gas ( assumes your car can get 40mpg )

New York avaerge is @ 20 cents, western would actually be lower as its main source is hydro from Niagara Falls, using this site

»www.saveonenergy.com/states/natu···/cities/

Shows its about a 5 cents less, and it varies greatly from city to city with taxes


John97
Over The Hills And Far Away
Premium
join:2000-11-14
Spring Hill, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Bright House
·ooma
reply to tedmarshall
As a big Honda fan, I think I am just going to wait until I can at least check out the plug-in hybrid Accord that is due in January 2013 as a 2014 model.
--
So put me on a highway, and show me a sign.
And take it to the limit one more time...

tedmarshall

join:2000-12-02

1 recommendation

reply to Grumpy
said by Grumpy:

I wonder how many kWh it takes to charge a car and how that compares to buying gasoline? Reason I ask is our electric costs around $0.25 a kWh when you add in all the fees and taxes. I'm told in western NY the rate is around $0.49. Not sure though.

The Leaf runs about 3.5 miles/KWh, depending on weather, speed, driving style, etc, and including charging loss at 240V. If you're really paying $0.49/KWh (which is quite high), you'll run around $0.14/mile or the equivalent of $4.90 gas in a 35 MPG car. Still not bad, especially when you add the lack of maintenance costs on an EV.


dosdoxies
Premium
join:2004-12-15
Wallingford, PA

1 edit
reply to cowspotter
What is the estimated life span of the batteries in the Leaf? And the replacement costs?

tedmarshall

join:2000-12-02
said by dosdoxies:

What is the estimated life span of the batteries in the Leaf? And the replacement costs?

Those are the big questions. Nissan has informally stated that the average driver will see 80% capacity left after 5 years of driving. However, there are some drivers in Phoenix already down under 80%!

Nissan explicitly doesn't warranty battery capacity, only "sudden failure".

This is why I said that drivers in hot climates should plan on 2 or 3-year leases. I live in a pretty temperate climate and after 1 year & 15K miles, I'm seeing very little capacity loss.

As for replacement cost, I've heard that Nissan will replace a battery pack in a car for $5K. The certainly won't sell it for that to a random person for some other purpose. However, no one seems to be able to get a price out of Nissan.

Part of this may be that Nissan is just starting battery production here in the US (TN) and this may drop the price significantly.


TheTechGuru

join:2004-03-25
TEXAS
kudos:2
Meh.

Batteries suck.

I want a Fuel Cell car.
--
CompTIA Network+ Certified