Level 2 Charging for under $20

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Mowcowbell, May 7, 2019.

  1. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    I'm not really comfortable doing this but I want to just use a 240 outlet. Is there any 240 rated cable that I can use without having to buy an $800 charger (I'm in Canada)?
  2. MajorAward

    MajorAward Active Member

    120v works for me so far, but would be nice to have in a fast turnaround situation.
  3. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    Yes, this is pretty much a FAQ on any plug-in forum.

    As stated the OEM cable is (most likely) 240v rated for world use and it feels just as heavy (thicker gauge) as my 240v ClipperCreek cord than my 120v only Ford EVSE that came with my C-Max. Anyways, there are numerous 240v EVSE cords on the market under $500. My CC is about 5 years old and was under $500 back then. As a satisfied CC user, I can recommend them.

    Installation is extra. I was lucky that I have a sub-panel in the garage and it only cost me about $27 in parts to DIY install a 240v receptacle. YMMV.
  4. fotomoto

    fotomoto Active Member

    Yes, one way to lower costs is to make them shorter. Longer is better (that's what she......) and 26 feet can extend it out to the driveway from the garage if need be, reach around the car without touching it, etc. BTDT Definitely check cable length when comparison shopping.
  5. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    That's terrific. I'm sure you are monitoring the temperature. By feel is okay but IR thermometer guns are like $25 on Amazon if you don't have one already, makes it easy to regularly check the temperature of the box and all of the contact points, especially for the first few days. One thing you can do is to measure it cold, then during charging see if one section warms up a little faster than the others, most likely normal but at least you would know where some of the heat might be more concentrated.
  6. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Sounds like you may already have a 240 outlet that you can use? If so you could post of photo of it here and you will likely get some opinions on what your options are.
  7. Fingers crossed, so far, so good!


    KentuckyKen, Mowcowbell and fotomoto like this.
  8. BeMurda

    BeMurda Active Member

    Thanks. This seems to be a small company and I don't see anything about UL certification? I'm very careful with electrical stuff.

    I don't need long, probably no more than 8 feet as I plan to have the outlet installed, it is not yet there and I will place it right near where the car will be parked. Assuming I can get one, I am waiting to see if I can snag a 2019 here in Canada.
  9. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    If you don't have a 240V outlet then you have a lot of options and things to think about, best not to rush if you have somewhere to plug in Level 1 using the OEM cable. Level 1 charging is perfectly fine, many people have survived months or even longer :) The reason you want to spend time researching Level 2 is because if you are going to install a 240V outlet it is good to at least consider what is called future proofing for an electric car. That means installing a higher amperage circuit than is needed for Clarity, and also an outlet that is more compatible for BEV. You can do this and still use an affordable lower amperage EVSE for your Clarity. It just gets a little complicated with all of the different plug types, but with some online research it will all come together.

    If you want the safest, simplest and most reliable then you don't even install an outlet, you purchase what is known as a hardwired EVSE and have that installed by the electrician. In fact that used to be the common method, the plug type EVSE has only more recently started to become more popular. But plug type is only cheaper if you already have an outlet because then you don't need an electrician to come out. For some brands the hardwired model is even slightly cheaper than the plug model, and since the electrician is already out there it won't add to the installation cost as it will be just as easy for them to connect the EVSE as it is to install an outlet. Again you can install a high amperage circuit but a lower amperage hardwired EVSE, the higher amp circuit really shouldn't cost that much more. Later if upgrading to BEV the high powered circuit is already in place and then you (or the next owner) can install an upgraded hardwired EVSE, or install an outlet at that time which is much easier to do if the circuit and wires are already in place. I am not trying to scare you away from installing an outlet, it is perfectly safe but for your situation it may be simplest to install say a hardwired 16 amp EVSE and a 40 amp or 50 amp circuit. It may not be the absolute cheapest solution but it shouldn't be that much more. If you really aren't interested in future proofing that is okay also, in that I case a hardwired 16 amp EVSE and a 20 amp 240V circuit might be your simplest solution. For hardwired, Clipper Creek would be one to look at, although slightly more expensive they have been around for years. In fact many of the charging stations use Clipper Creek. You can go online and check out their prices. They have plug models also.

    If you don't currently have a place at all to plug in your Clarity, that still shouldn't cause you to rush your installation decisions, Clarity will function quite well without plugging in, it will just be a bit noisy at times and of course you will be using gas not electricity. If you do that just be sure not to go long periods with the EV range at 0. There is something called HV Charge that you can use to charge up the battery about halfway using the gas engine. Again that is somewhat noisy, but definitely survivable at least for a few weeks while you arrange installation. You also can go online and find charging stations in your area, prices will vary, some are even free believe it or not.
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
    Ohliuw likes this.
  10. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    I had a pretty simple upgrade path to Level II. My home has 200amp service, and had several empty slots in the circuit breaker box which was conveniently located in the garage. I paid $200 for an electrician to install a NEMA 14-50 outlet directly below the breaker box. The electrician installed a 50amp breaker in the breaker box.

    NEMA 14-50 is universally used (at least in North America) and even if I didn't get a NEMA 14-50 plug on my Level II EVSE, I could easily find an adapter to make it work. I ended up buying a $199 Zencar 16amp EVSE and bought a NEMA 14-50p to 6-20r adapter for less than $30.

    In my opinion, a NEMA 14-50 outlet is the best way to future-proof a home for a future BEV.

    I also have purchased the adapter to allow me to use my OEM Honda EVSE at 240 volts. It works quite well, but charges a bit slower than the Zencar connected to 240 volts. The adapter does get slightly warm during operation, so I don't use it during the warmer months as my garage easily gets to 90F inside.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
  11. Next trip to Home Depot I’m scoring the parts to make that 14-50 adapter as well.
  12. Rob_v1

    Rob_v1 Member

    Keep in mind that all 14-50 outlets are not created equal. Last I checked, Home Depot doesn't have the better ones.
  13. Bear in mind, I’ll just need a plug, not an outlet.
  14. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    I think installing a 40 amp or 50 amp circuit is what is good for future proofing, what connection is at the end is not quite as important because that can be changed later relatively easily. I am referring to a normal situation not yours, where someone has to run wire through walls to the garage. Installing a 20 amp circuit might be little cheaper but will be relatively useless for a future BEV and will require having a whole new circuit and wiring installed.

    Except that at that point you have stepped outside of approved installation, unless you can find documentation anywhere that it is safe to use an adapter. I'm not arguing against it, for you that may very well have been the best choice, everyone should use their own best judgement. I'm just pointing it out since not everyone coming on here for advice will want to go outside of established boundaries.

    The person that I was responding to stated "I don't see anything about UL certification? I'm very careful with electrical stuff" and so I was tailoring my response to them. They could install a 14-50 outlet and get say a 16 amp or 32 amp EVSE that has a 14-50 plug, or as I suggested as an alternative they could just have the electrician hardwire an EVSE since that won't cost any more than installing an outlet. As long as the circuit is 40 or 50 amp then the installation is essentially future proofed, or at least reasonably future proofed without going overboard like installing 80 amp or something.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2019
    Mowcowbell likes this.
  15. The Morec is TUV certified which is accepted in Canada. And it is a portable charger cable not directly connected to your home wiring. Having said that, there are other similar priced units with UL certification. Here is an even cheaper one (16A but 32A available) with a 30' cable (can go up to 50') and is UL certified.
  16. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

  17. Doesn’t look like that will work with the stock charging cable’s plug, if that’s still what we’re talking about.


    Attached Files:

  18. 2002

    2002 Well-Known Member

    Looks like it would be good in a fight though :)
  19. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

Share This Page