Are there Level 1 EVSE's that are faster than the OEM one?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ozy, Jan 5, 2019.

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  1. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    The 12 hours that it takes to achieve a 100% charge is often too long for my needs. I find myself needing to unplug it before it has fully charged. A more efficient level one evse may fit my needs without my having to go the level 2 route. My home situation is such that it would be very costly to install a 240V outlet in my garage.
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  3. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    No. You need a 240v to speed up charging.
  4. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    I have 12 gauge wiring so I upgraded my 120v15a outlet to 120v20a. That gives a full charge in about 8.5 hours. Of course the EOM charging plug would need to be upgraded. I needed a much longer cord so I bought one that could make use of the extra current.

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  5. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Using what charger?

    To be clear a 20 amp 120V outlet is required to be on a dedicated circuit breaker (that single outlet must be all alone on the circuit). So regardless of a house being wired with 12 gauge, simply replacing one 15 amp outlet in the wall with a 20 amp is always a NEC violation, unless every other outlet on that same circuit is removed from the home at the same time.

    For Ozy’s purposes, this almost always means running another circuit to be garage....
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  6. AnthonyW

    AnthonyW Well-Known Member

    You are correct. I failed to mention that I upgraded the circuit breaker also.

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  8. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    Level 1 (120V) charging as defined by SAE J1772 consists of two modes:
    1. 1.44 kW - 12 amps provided by the included charger (requires a dedicated 15A circuit).
    2. 1.92 kW - 16 amps (requires a dedicated 20A circuit).
    The charger that comes with the car can only support the 1.44 kW mode.
    (Note - "dedicated" means that the EVSE must be the ONLY device that is plugged into the branch circuit fed by the appropriate circuit breaker.)

    The charging times are reported by Honda to be 12 hours (Level 1), and 2.5 hours (Level 2).
    In reality, a "full" charge does not take this long because the vehicle maintains a battery reserve.
    Experience has shown that a "Full" Level 2 charge (from zero EV range to full) takes 2 hours, 5 minutes.
    With the factory Level 1 charger, this would be equivalent to 10 hours, 25 minutes.

    The best you can hope for with a Level 1 charger (you would need to buy one that has the 16 amp mode) would be around 8 hours, 20 minutes. This is not a great improvement over the 7 hours, 50 minutes from the factory Level 1 charger. I am not certain that the Clarity supports this mode, but @AnthonyW seems to indicate that it does. @AnthonyW - Can you identify what EVSE you are using that provides the 16 amp mode on a 20A circuit?

    Beyond that meager improvement, Level 2 makes a much bigger difference. I understand that providing a Level 2 setup is not always possible (practical), so you must gauge whether it is worth the expense of "upgrading" from a 15A circuit (breaker and wiring) to a 20A circuit (breaker and wiring), plus the expense of a new Level 1 charger to go from ~10.5 hours to ~8 hours...
    craze1cars likes this.
  9. ryd994

    ryd994 Active Member

    You can find those 16A L1/L2 combined charger. They are technically L2 chargers with 5-15 to 6-20 adapters.

    They will work fine if you have 20A circuit. If you only have 15A circuit, use at your own risk.
  10. Alantn

    Alantn Member

  11. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    Mr Fixit,
    Not quite sure where you are getting the numbers that you cited. You seem to imply that a full charge on the OEM level 1 is 10.5 hrs. My limited experience suggests it is more than this. I arrive from work at 7pm and the car is not fully charged by 6.30am the next day. Perhaps I will monitor this a bit more closely to verify but every source that I have seen cites at least 12 hrs. Furthermore, if I could get to 8 hours with a simple fix rather than spending $2000 on a dedicated 240V I would be very happy. The 8 hours means I could have a 100% charge every day before my commute. It seems way simpler to replace a 15amp receptacle with a 20amp one assuming that I have the correct wire (I will need to check this). Also, since it's a garage I don't really need other appliances on the same circuit at the same time. This could be a very good fix.
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  13. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    I went right to Level 2 charging, so that is my experience base. For Level 2, the 'sources' all state 2.5 hours. I have never seen more than 2 hours, 7 minutes for a full charge, and the explanation is that a full charge is approximately 14.5 kWh instead of the rated battery capacity of 17 kWh... Level 2 is 30A @ 240V = 7.2 kW (as measured by my charger). This works out to 14.5/7.2 = 2.01 hours for a full charge, and 17/7.2 = 2.36 hours if you had a stone dead battery (should never occur). This is consistent with the 2.5 hours from 'sources', and the ~2 hours that I always experience (there are some small losses that make up for the slight difference).

    Now, for the factory case, I simply took 14.5 kWh / 1.44 kW = 10.07 hours, and for the 'upgraded' L1 setup - 14.5 kWh / 1.92 kW = 7.55 hours. Perhaps the losses are greater with L1... I would love to hear from others who track their L1 charging times in order to refine these numbers. If you really do require 12 hours for a charge with 12 amps, then you could expect it to go down to 12 hrs * 12A/16A = 9 hours with a level 1 'upgrade'.

    I am not advocating that you move to Level 2 (I totally appreciate your scenario). I'm just trying to help you understand your options. If your existing garage receptacle is on a 15 amp circuit breaker (find the breaker in your circuit breaker box, and read it's value on the handle), then I can almost guarantee that the wiring is AWG14. This would NOT be adequate to operate with the 16A Level 1 option, and would require changing the wire to AWG12 (which I know you don't want to do). I also want to be clear that the factory charger will NOT improve your charging (even if you upgrade your 120V capability) - you will need a new charger too (you will spend a minimum of a couple hundred on that) -- Yes, a lot better than $2000 !
  14. JackH

    JackH Member

    The "Charger" controls the amount of charging. The charger requires the proper electrical circuit.

    L1 - 12 amp charger requires a dedicated 15 amp 120 volt electrical circuit.
    L1 - 16 amp charger requires a dedicated 20 amp 120 volt electrical circuit.

    L2 - 20 amp charger requires a dedicated 25 amp 240 volt electrical circuit.
    L2 - 24 amp charger requires a dedicated 30 amp 240 volt electrical circuit.
    L2 - 32 amp charger requires a dedicated 40 amp 240 volt electrical circuit.
    L2 - 40 amp charger requires a dedicated 50 amp 240 volt electrical circuit.
    L2 - 48 amp charger requires a dedicated 60 amp 240 volt electrical circuit.
  15. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member


    Exactly right, but to elaborate, it is actually the vehicle (in response to a command from the charger) that controls the charge current. And, in the case of the Clarity, the charging system is only capable of 7.6 kW (your L2 - 32A case above). It doesn't matter if you have a bigger charger, this vehicle will never draw more than 32A. Well, actually, in my experience, I have never seen more than 30A amps. You are wasting your money if you buy a charger greater than 32 amps (some would do it anyway in the name of 'future-proofing' anticipating a different vehicle in the future).

    Perhaps it is semantics, but all that the charger ever does is connect the 120V (or 240V) to the vehicle. As such, the vehicle is controlling the amount of current (not the charger), but the charger informs the vehicle what it's maximum capacity is, and the vehicle must adhere to that limit.
    ken wells likes this.
  16. DucRider

    DucRider Well-Known Member

    Cold (or hot) weather can slow the charging rate, so you may indeed find it takes longer in the winter than in moderate temperatures.

    It is unlikely that your circuit was installed with 12ga wire. 14ga is all that is required by code, is cheaper and easier to work with. Unless a heavier wire was specified in the contract, an electrician would be very unlikely to use it.
  17. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    Thanks Mr. Fixit,
    My receptacle in the garage is the 15 amp type; however, the breaker on the panel says 20amp on the handle. Therefore, I am assuming I can take advantage of the 16amp charger. I don't know what gauge the wire is but the house is 8 years old and upscale (so I assume that things were done to code). I personally don't know how to check the wire type but I can certainly have an electrician do this for me before going ahead.
  18. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    OK, I am not an electrician and don’t even play one on TV, so this is all from a layman’s perspective and as always you should use a licensed electrician and follow all national and local codes. Now that the lawyers are happy, here’s my 2 cents.
    You cannot turn a 15 Amp circuit into a 20 Amp one by merely changing the receptacle. The entire circuit, receptacle, wiring and breaker must be 20 Amp rated. This requires a minimum of 12 g wiring depending on the length of the run. If and only if the existing wiring is 12g and the run is short enough could you replace the receptacle and breaker with 20 Amp ones. I personally would not feel comfortable doing this without an electrician signing off on it.
    Your best bet if you have access to or can create a dedicated 20 Amp source would be a 16 Amp Level 1 EVSE like the $200 Duosida. If a 32 Amp rated EVSE charges in a little over 2 hours, a 16 Amp rated one should certainly do it in less than your 8 hour time frame.

    Just saw your post that you have a 20 Amp breaker.
    Do your outlets have 2 parallel slots and a round ground or one straight slot and one that is “T” shaped?
    If one is “T” shaped then it is definitely a 20 Amp outlet and you are good to go for a 16 Amp EVSE (80% of 20 A is 16).
  19. ozy

    ozy Active Member

    My readings indicate that in the U.S we often see receptacles that are rated for 15amps even if the breaker and the wiring is 20amps. For example, in my panel box there are both 20amp and 15 amp breakers designated for the garage area. The 15 amp breaker is the "garage opener". So clearly there is only one receptacle in the entire garage that would do that job (and it is in the ceiling). The 20 amp breaker is for "garage outlets" ie: the 4 other receptacles scattered around the garage. My assumption would be that this is probably 12 gauge wiring so that several devices can be plugged in at the same time. However, if you actually look at the garage opener receptacle as well as all the others, they are all the 15 amp type. I will plan on using one of the receptacles on the 20amp breaker for the upgraded L1 charger and make sure that nothing else is on that circuit. I will have someone to do this for me and also ask them to check the gauge wire. Clearly I do not want to burn down my house in this DIY project!
  20. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I am also not an electrician, but I would hope that if there's a 20-amp breaker that the wiring behind it will handle 20 amps. And yes, I would check. But putting multiple 15-amp-style plugs on that circuit protected by a 20-amp breaker makes sense because you could have four 4-amp devices and that wouldn't exceed the rating of anything. If I saw a 20-amp-style 110 volt plug, I would assume it was the only one on the circuit. And we all know what "assume" means.
  21. MrFixit

    MrFixit Well-Known Member

    That's great news !
    As you say, be cautious... It is now highly likely that you can be OK, and you likely have the appropriate wiring associated with the 20A breaker feeding the garage.
    It is also quite likely that the 20A breaker / wiring feeds more than one receptacle. Technically that violates the electric code because it is not a dedicated outlet, and it is therefore possible for other things to be plugged in, and hence an overload could occur. Being extremely careful and not plugging anything else into that circuit is not foolproof, and that's why the electric code is so specific. Perhaps with very minimal help from an electrician, they could disconnect all the other receptacles on that circuit and therefore turn the one for your charger into a dedicated one. Of course, you would lose the use of all the other receptacles on that circuit. If this is possible, it would be a whole lot easier than pulling new wires, etc. If you do end up consulting with an electrician, you might ask him what the cost would be to install a dedicated 40A / 240V outlet in your garage. You may want to consider Level 2 in the future. You might be surprised... I think it would cost substantially less than the $2000 that you originally stated.
  22. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    EDIT EDIT EDIT due to me saying INCORRECT things. Found a way to delete it to help prevent some confusion.

    OOPS. This was my error, and my apologies are extended to all...
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2019
  23. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I had to ask my electrician about this since my common sense says if you can have more than one outlet in a 15 Amp circuit, then why can’t you have more than one outlet (15 or 20 Amp) on a 20 Amp circuit. Note that I am NOT saying to ever violate NEC or local electrical codes. Safety first.

    According to my licensed electrician, you can have multiple outlets (15 or 20 Amp) on a 20 Amp circuit. He said you just have to keep your total Amp draw to no more than 16 Amps (80% of 20 Amps) according to the NEC. Just like in a 15 Amp circuit you have to stay under 12 Amps for continuous use.

    Both my garage and kitchen have multiple 20 Amp outlets and a 20 Amp GFI on their circuits and this passed local inspection when the house was built. And my electrician says it’s still up to code.

    Do you have a local code that doesn’t allow this, because he says there is no NEC rule against it??

    This is of course a separate issue from the fact that Honda says to use a dedicated outlet for charging.
    Cash Traylor likes this.

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