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PHEV Home Charging

Old 02-28-21, 08:42 PM
  #1  
downtube42
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PHEV Home Charging

We just bought a 2020 Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV. Between dealer discount with new model years out, plus federal and state incentives, it was quite affordable.

Now for home charging. So many options.

- Just trickle charge at 8 amps using my current wiring, 13 hours to charge, nothing to do here.
- Add a dedicated line and charge at 12 amps, reducing charge time to 8 hours. Simple electrical install of a normal circuit right next to the panel.
- Add a 240 line, buy a Level 2 charger, reducing charging time to ~2 hours.
-- The power company will rebate $500 for a smart level 2 charger, if they can set to charge off-peak.
-- That reduces the cost of Level 2 to $200 plus installation.
I live in a townhome and need approval for electrical work, and they require an electrician do the work.

Whichever way I go, there's a Federal tax credit for 30% of installation cost.

Then there's the power company options.
- Basic billing at fixed rate per kWh, which I have now
- Time of use billing. Much cheaper off-peak, much higher during peak. I have to figure out what's best.
- Or install a separate meter for the charger.

Jeepers. I need to set up some spreadsheets.
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Old 02-28-21, 09:13 PM
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For me hiring a licensed electrician to do 240 requires no thought and I would have to have the fastest recharge option.
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Old 02-28-21, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by ahsposo View Post
For me hiring a licensed electrician to do 240 requires no thought and I would have to have the fastest recharge option.
Yeah I'm probably overthinking it. Analysis paralysis.
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Old 02-28-21, 10:23 PM
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I have a Nissan Leaf. I was worried about charging for about a minute. Then I ran a 20amp 120v circuit out to the garage. It charges at ~5 miles per hour. 12 ga wire in corrigated conduit, a breaker, an outlet & box to put the outlet in cost around $50. It's been fine for all the driving I do. I never go more than 50 miles in a day & there is plenty of time evening to morning to get a full charge.

If I need a higher charging rate than that, there's a 240v charger 2 houses down & across the street at the local elementary school. It's only the bottom 80% that charges at the higher rate, anyway. So after a max of 4 or 5 hours I bring it home to top it up. I've only done this a few times in the last 2 years.

Swapping the 120v for a 240v breaker to cover both legs (120+ & 120-) would get me a 10mph charging rate with one of the smaller 240v chargers but so far there hasn't been reason to. Though, honestly if I were to buy a 240v charger it wouldn't be for a measely 10mph. To enjoy a higher than 10mph, I'd have to run larger wires & the amperage would require a larger panel at signifigant cost. (The rub is: My on-demand hot water requires 160 amps out of my 200 amp service panel.)

So far, charging has been a total non-issue as is on 120v.

What your electrician is giving you is charging rate. If your current rate meets your needs, there really isn't any reason go to the expense of more than you need. See first & see how it goes.

Last edited by base2; 02-28-21 at 11:16 PM.
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Old 03-01-21, 03:29 PM
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According to what I looked up, Mitsubishi has a 12 kWh battery with a 22 mile range. It'd seem to me you'd be fine to charge it overnight on 110 with that size of battery. You'll be running on gas for any extended trips so you won't be SOL if you run out of juice anyway.

My parents have a Prius Prime with a 8.8 kWh battery and 110 charging from the outlet works fine for them. My dad has figured out driving methods to average about 110 mpg using a combination of battery and gas power based on terrain and speed.

I have a Nissan Leaf with a 40 kWh battery and can easily charge to 100% overnight with a standard outlet. If you end up getting a vehicle with a battery larger than 40 kWh, I'd think you'd want to install the 220v outlet.
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Old 03-01-21, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
According to what I looked up, Mitsubishi has a 12 kWh battery with a 22 mile range. It'd seem to me you'd be fine to charge it overnight on 110 with that size of battery. You'll be running on gas for any extended trips so you won't be SOL if you run out of juice anyway.

My parents have a Prius Prime with a 8.8 kWh battery and 110 charging from the outlet works fine for them. My dad has figured out driving methods to average about 110 mpg using a combination of battery and gas power based on terrain and speed.

I have a Nissan Leaf with a 40 kWh battery and can easily charge to 100% overnight with a standard outlet. If you end up getting a vehicle with a battery larger than 40 kWh, I'd think you'd want to install the 220v outlet.
90% of our trips will be within the 22 mile range. It would be convenient to manage two per day on occasion. No range anxiety, just avoids buying gas.

More than likely we'll move before getting a full EV. By then charger tech will probably change.
Right now I'm charging at 8 amps on a shared circuit. I have to unplug things otherwise the charger throws a fault. So even for level 1 I need to have a dedicated circuit installed, then I'll need a longer charging cable. If I do that much, going to 220 plus a level 2 charger probably won't be much more, considering the $500 power company rebate.

What I'm going to do is nothing for a while, see how we actually use it.
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Old 03-01-21, 09:10 PM
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Understood 👍. I threw my circuit breaker a couple times before Christmas this year. It took me awhile to figure out I was pulling too many amps due to an over zealous Christmas lighting display. I was good as long as long as I didn't charge until after my Christmas lights shut off at 11. If you're going to have to pay an electrician to add another circuit anyway, I'd go for 220 as you've already reasoned. Even if you don't need it, having it will be a good feature to have if you ever decide to sell.
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Old 03-02-21, 05:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mtnbud View Post
Understood 👍. I threw my circuit breaker a couple times before Christmas this year. It took me awhile to figure out I was pulling too many amps due to an over zealous Christmas lighting display. I was good as long as long as I didn't charge until after my Christmas lights shut off at 11. If you're going to have to pay an electrician to add another circuit anyway, I'd go for 220 as you've already reasoned. Even if you don't need it, having it will be a good feature to have if you ever decide to sell.
My husband had to put a note in the garage to remind me NOT to plug in my C-Max Energi while the Christmas lights were on
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Old 03-02-21, 09:40 AM
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Hmm. I've been pining for a more elaborate (plumbed-in 220V) espresso setup. Might be the push I need to get the electrical prep work in place before getting my new Jetsonmobile. I hope it makes that sound.

In related news, Volvo will be all electric by 2030. Wow. Looks like my retirement years are less and less likely to have vroom vroom.
Here's Volvo's Plan to Go All Electric
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Old 03-02-21, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
Hmm. I've been pining for a more elaborate (plumbed-in 220V) espresso setup. Might be the push I need to get the electrical prep work in place before getting my new Jetsonmobile. I hope it makes that sound.

In related news, Volvo will be all electric by 2030. Wow. Looks like my retirement years are less and less likely to have vroom vroom.
Here's Volvo's Plan to Go All Electric
Supposedly we have some kind of noise generator to warn pedestrians whilst in EV mode. That's gotta be customizable, or at least hackable.
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Old 03-02-21, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
Supposedly we have some kind of noise generator to warn pedestrians whilst in EV mode. That's gotta be customizable, or at least hackable.
On my Leaf that's the first thing I did. A Bluetooth OBDII port coat ~$15 & an app (Leafspy Pro) from the app store cost about the same.

In England, apparently it's illegal to have a noise generator that is not a horn. The logic being that horns are for emergency communication not general broadcast. So Nissan decided that the noise generator on England-bound models would have the noise generator off by default rather than design a new vehicle sound computer. Accessing the cars sound computer settings via a smartphone app was beyond easy. Easier than disconnecting the speaker & installing an 8ohm resistor in the speakers place or clipping a diode in a box on the firewall.

The second thing I did was kill the darn reverse beacon. There was no need to advertise to the walls of my garage & to my neighbors that I am reversing at 4am.
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My lights are obscenly bright because drivers are dim.

I shouldn't have to "make myself more visible;" Drivers should just stop running people over.
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Old 04-22-21, 08:00 PM
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OP here. I eventually got a 220v line installed, and bought a Level 2 charger. I think when the dust settled it was $500. That was after a power company rebate on the charger.

By choosing their preferred smart charger, by default it charges during off-peak hours. If I want to charge immediately, I either plug it in twice in a row, or launch an app and say Charge Now. Works great for us.
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Old 04-23-21, 04:31 AM
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Originally Posted by downtube42 View Post
OP here. I eventually got a 220v line installed, and bought a Level 2 charger. I think when the dust settled it was $500. That was after a power company rebate on the charger.

By choosing their preferred smart charger, by default it charges during off-peak hours. If I want to charge immediately, I either plug it in twice in a row, or launch an app and say Charge Now. Works great for us.
While I admit that I will hold off on getting an electric or hybrid vehicle as long as I can, I applaud you decision to get the 220v charger. When I made custom knives for a living, I had a really nice heat treating furnace, but it was a 120v model and it took FOREVER to get up to heat. Once there, it was fine, but time is money, right? Its probably less so if you are dealing with a personal vehicle, but it would be peace of mind to know your vehicle will be charged in the morning when you need to run in to work.
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Old 04-23-21, 12:55 PM
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Go solar.

Bigger investment, saw it on a couple houses in my old neighborhood. SDGE has the highest rates in the country so it made sense... In Portland it may not as they have hydro power there.
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Old 04-23-21, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
While I admit that I will hold off on getting an electric or hybrid vehicle as long as I can, I applaud you decision to get the 220v charger. When I made custom knives for a living, I had a really nice heat treating furnace, but it was a 120v model and it took FOREVER to get up to heat. Once there, it was fine, but time is money, right? Its probably less so if you are dealing with a personal vehicle, but it would be peace of mind to know your vehicle will be charged in the morning when you need to run in to work.
Our current situation is I work from home, but even in more normal times I bike to work year round, so commuting is not on the table. The car is used for local errands, like shopping, and for the occasional trip up to Seattle. In-between those are hikes and other activities that may or may not be within the EV range. A PHEV fits that perfectly; virtually all local driving is pure EV. If local trips exceed the range it switches to ICE seamlessly, and high trips are no problem. 90% of our charging will be overnight, with the occasional 2x per day events.

I could see our next vehicle being pure EV, when ranges are a bit longer and charging a bit more settled.

Cheers
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