One charger with both Level 1 and Level 2 capability?

Discussion in 'General' started by Thomas Mitchell, Dec 26, 2018.

To remove this ad click here.

  1. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    I'm wondering if there are any wall chargers out there for which the user can select either level 1 or level 2 charging. We are mostly fine charging our Clarity PHEV overnight on L1 and it supposedly is better for battery life, but I would like L2 capability for quick daytime charging. It would be nice to have one charger on the wall that could provide both, as I'd rather not have 2 cables and associated hardware for this. It seems like it would be possible to offer a L2 charger that can step down to L1 if desired, but perhaps this is not really technically feasible?
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. TheMagster

    TheMagster Member

    Do you have a 240V outlet in your garage, or are you willing to add one? If so, there are a few options for portable Lvl2 chargers that come with an adapter for Lvl1 from a standard 120V outlet.

    Here is an example (I'm not endorsing this one, it is just the first example I found):

    BougeRV Level 2 EV Charger Cable (240V, 16A, 25FT) Portable EVSE Electric Vehicle Charging Station Compatible with Level 1 for Chevy Volt, BMW, Nissan Leaf, Fiat, Ford Fusion

    That one only does 16A on Lvl2, which is relatively slow. You'll want to find one that can put out the highest amperage that your car can handle at Lvl2 (which is probably around 30A).

    Also, what I've read elsewhere is that Lvl2 is still a slow enough charge that it doesn't hurt the battery, but it is actually more efficient (meaning that your power bill will be lower in the long run). So it is ok to charge at Lvl2 all the time as long as you are using a charging timer to keep the battery below 80%. You just want to avoid frequent Lvl3 quick charges or keeping the car's battery at 100% for long periods of time.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
    Domenick likes this.
  4. Thomas Mitchell

    Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Thank you! Yes, planning on getting 240 in the garage. I read all sorts of things here about charging and battery life etc, but it seems safest to charge L1 when L2 isn’t required. And why would I only charge my car to 80%? The manual says it should be fully charged before every drive to maintain battery life, so that’s what I am rolling with.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. bwilson4web

    bwilson4web Well-Known Member Subscriber


    "6.6 kW" charging rate​

    So this looks like:
    • 6,600 W / 240 VAC = 27.5 A
    • 6,600 W / 208 VAC = 31.7 A
    • 31.7 / 80% = 39.75 A
    First survey high power outlets in or near the garage. If you have an electric dryer, go to your circuit breaker box and identify the current rating of the dryer circuit. You have the option of swapping the dryer and EV charger. Best solution, an electrician installed, switch box between two high-current outlets. Note, you should only use 80% of the circuit breaker rating.

    Second option, have an electrician survey your electrical service and quote adding:
    • 40 A, 240 VAC circuit into a NEMA 14-50
    • 50 A, 240 VAC circuit into a NEMA 14-50
    Bob Wilson
  6. TheMagster

    TheMagster Member

    To extend the life of a lithium ion battery (in terms of years of usefulness, as opposed to hours per discharge or vehicle range) it is best to avoid a very high state of charge (SoC) such as 100%, or very low SoC such as 5%, for long periods of time. If you drive your car every day and time your charging so that it gets to 100% just before you drive it, then that's fine. But if you charge it to 100% and let it sit for a few days, generally speaking this is bad for the battery health...likewise if you leave it empty for long periods of time. The happy range is 50%-80% in ideal cases, or 20%-80% in more realistic use patterns. Some cars do this automatically, such as Teslas, and that's why their batteries still perform well after 100k miles. My car, 2015 Nissan Leaf, doesn't do this, and so I choose to charge it only to around 80% whenever possible, and charge to 100% only if I know I'll need the extra range. I'm not sure which category your Clarity falls into. BTW, this applies to your phone and laptop batteries as well, but typically people replace small electronics far more frequently than we replace cars, so it doesn't matter as much.

    Sent from my Pixel XL using Tapatalk
  7. To remove this ad click here.

Share This Page