Charging System?

Discussion in 'Honda' started by PabloK, Apr 26, 2019.

  1. PabloK

    PabloK New Member

    I'll be the proud owner of a new clarity later today - and need some advice on a home charging system.
    Is there much difference among the different brands?
    seems like the following are the favorites
    • Siemens
    • Juicebox
    • Chargepoint
    I like the idea of wifi connectivity - but my concern is how long the company will be around to maintain the wifi app. Also do you really need wifi - or does the honda app pretty much give you what you need.
  2. ralfalfa

    ralfalfa New Member

    Hi, I have the Chargepoint, chosen mostly because I could get it easily (I wanted the direct wire version, not the plug in kind), the price was right at Home Depot and the reviews were decent. Because I had a breaker box in my garage with all the amps needed, wiring it in cost me about 40$ in parts (a new breaker, some conduit and a few feet of heavy 4-conductor cable) and less than a half-hour of labor.

    I can't say anything, pro or con, about the other two. But I will say the Chargepoint seems well-built (no issues in constant use since july 2018), the wiring is simple, and I like the way it indicates status with its lights (green when it can see the internet, blue and pulsing when it charges, steady blue when connected and not charging, white when it doesn't see the internet). Note it does not need the internet to charge your car; but it needs the internet to set up scheduled charging and send you those colored light signals.

    Ironically, I have found I don't use the app or the wifi interactivity; I needed to set the app up to get the wifi connectivity, but was immediately PO'ed that it asked for a credit card number. It does that so you can use the app to find and to pay for Chargepoint or Tesla commercial charging stations, something I don't do and didn't need (and don't tell Chargepoint that card was cancelled please). Scheduled charging might be important for you, but it turned out my electrical service doesn't include lower rates at any time of day (I have an all-electric house and already pay lowest rates all day), so I had no need for that either. That leaves me with the sense I could have gotten by with a "dumb" charger, but at the time I purchased the chargepoint was the cheapest anyway and I wasn't willing to wait.

    One thing I will suggest is paying attention to where you'll put the charger, and the charger cord length. I measured things out in my garage to make sure I could use mine whether my Clarity was parked nose-in or rear-in, and that the cord could reach the car in either of the two bays. If you're always going to park in a specific spot and orientation, then the shorter cords are nice; they're heavy and a bunch of coils laying around isn't very tidy. the Chargepoint is designed like a water hose holder to hold the extra cord, but it's still one more thing to manage.

    You won't regret the 240 v charger. I found it paid for itself in convenience very quickly. I can get 60-70% of a full charge in an hour, and a full charge from near "empty" in about 2 hours and change. I come home from work, plug in and after dinner can go out with a full charge again, using batteries exclusively.
  3. V8Power

    V8Power Active Member

    I have two Juicebox Pros with wifi. I wouldn't get one without wifi. Smartphone & web browser control, visibility, monitoring, usage history data, even live savings estimation based on what Wh are pumped in.
  4. David in TN

    David in TN Active Member

    My situation is a bit different from what has been posted so far.

    I purchased a ZenCar 28' EVSE from Amazon for about $200. I ran two dedicated 20-amp circuits in my garage: one 120-volt that I have the stock Honda cord connected to; the other is a 240-volt outlet to match the ZenCar.

    Note that the ZenCar came with an adapter/extension cable to plug into 120-volt service.

    Based upon my calculations I get the following charge times from a fully depleted battery:
    Stock, approximately 10-amp: 12.5 hours
    ZenCar, approximately 15-amp: 8.5 hours
    ZenCar, approximately 16-amp 240-volt: 4 hours

    I keep the ZenCar in the trunk and use when I am traveling (like I am, literally, right now!) for connecting to 120-volt service at a variety of locations. I also use when I need a quicker charge at home.

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Inside EVs mobile app
  5. Alec

    Alec New Member

    I have a Juicebox Pro 40 with wifi. Purchased from their Ebay store. wi-fi is nice for statistics.
    Siemens will not work if you want to precondition your car.
  6. Dan Albrich

    Dan Albrich Active Member

    It gets kind of 'personal' as in your situation pretty fast. My own situation is/was an unheated garage with the breaker panel about 10' away from my car's charging port. Since my use is all indoor (and this was key to my plan), with some ideas from these forums I had a NEMA 14-50 plug installed like 1' away from my panel (cost was $228) then I purchased a relatively low cost "portable EVSE" - i.e. from Amazon. (I happened to buy a "Jekayla Level 2 40 Amp Portable").

    So I paid about $600 total for the plug and the EVSE. I got the newer 40amp one with longer cord but in my case didn't need the extra cord length-- but yes, measure to get yours to make sure OK.

    The relatively cheap EVSE I purchased has been fine. It is *not* water proof (not outdoor rated) and has no WiFi or fancy monitoring features. It was a snug fit when new, but it wasn't a problem and loosened over time with use. It's my daily connection now, and not a problem.

    Also, I did not need 40amp. They have cheaper options. In fact the car will max out at like 32amps-- so perhaps a small bit of future proofing in there. Not sure after the fact if it was worth it. i.e. I could of gone cheaper.

    Edit: Oh, and although my local power provider had big rebates on this in the past, had effectively ended them. They do/did $300 one-time back based on EV/PHEV car purchase OR EVSE purchase but I had already used the $300 on the car. i.e. it's one of the other, not both. Long story short, I was paying out of pocket for the EVSE. Had there been a large rebate, I'd likely go hard-wired clipper creek or more expensive option (but that EVSE is $600 just for the part and not installed).

    Also- KetuckyKen and others here warned me that if you tell an electrician EVSE they see $$ (dollar signs). If you ask for NEMA 14-50 plug, that is simple to install and can be used for an RV etc. and may be cheaper.
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
  7. S L .

    S L . Member

    Got the siemens, it was the cheapest, simplest and trusted name in electrical.

    I just use the delay timer on the charger, dont want to mess with the app, wifi... sometimes simpler is better. If it does not charge, I don’t have to troubleshoot what failed.

    I can track my usage from my electric bill since i have a dedicated meter for the car.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs

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