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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I'm using the Level 1 charger for now, may upgrade to Level 2 at some point. Forgiveness please if these topics have already been discussed, but I have a few questions regarding charging.

Do y'all mount the control box in some way, either by affixing it to the wall or creating some kind of stand for it? I have a sort of partial concrete wall that juts out a few inches that is just below the outlet in the garage, and I've been using an old small storage bin to rest the control box on top of, otherwise it would dangle from the outlet and put stress on the plug. This is by no means a perfect fix so I'd like to know what you guys have come up with. I've also been unplugging the charger from the wall when not in use, figuring that the control box will suck juice even though I'm not charging my vehicle. Is this necessary, or is the power usage negligible?

Should the wire be raveled up on some kind of hook, or is that bad for it? I'd like to not have to keep placing it on a camping chair in my garage when not in use!

Also, would you recommend charging whenever parked in the garage, or should I wait until the EV range is low? Obviously I want to do what's best for long-term battery life, and I'm not sure if always having it plugged in when not in use is what's best.

Thanks so much in advance!
 

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I'm using the Level 1 charger for now, may upgrade to Level 2 at some point.
Level 2 is rarely cost effective for a PHEV. Most likely you can accomplish all of your needed charging with level 1. There might be occasional times that you don't have enough time to charge and wind up using some gas, or more gas than you would have if you had been able to fully charge. But for most people using level 1 that doesn't happen very often, certainly not often enough to warrant spending $500 or whatever to upgrade to level 2. Some people can upgrade to level 2 for much cheaper, but for most people even with rebates that might be available it's going to be in the few hundreds of dollars to upgrade.

Do y'all mount the control box in some way, either by affixing it to the wall or creating some kind of stand for it?
Pretty much anything is fine, all of it is fairly sturdy, after all the EVSE is designed as a mobile unit that you can carrying in your trunk and lay out on the ground as needed. However for semi-permanent installation at home it makes sense to get the box and cable off of the ground and out of the way. Having the control box on a stand is fine, also there are two holes in the control box which you can use to screw it into the wall, or for easier removal if you think you might be occasionally taking the EVSE with you somewhere, you could just use some kind of hooks or wire through those holes to hang it up.

Regarding taking the EVSE with you, some people take it with them on trips so they can plug in at the hotels that they stay at. Personally I think that's too much trouble for what it's worth just to get a free fill up of electricity, which is worth the equivalent of about a gallon of gas. And if you still had say half of your EV range, you would only be saving the equivalent of half a gallon of gas. But I can understand why some people do it, but you don't have to. On trips if you run low on EV miles you can use HV Charge to build EV miles back up, that's what it's there for.

I've also been unplugging the charger from the wall when not in use, figuring that the control box will suck juice even though I'm not charging my vehicle. Is this necessary, or is the power usage negligible?
My EVSE uses three watts of power when it's not charging. Hardly worth unplugging just for that amount.

Should the wire be raveled up on some kind of hook, or is that bad for it?
Again it's fairly sturdy, whatever you do should be fine. Anything is better than having it laying on the ground being stepped on, although even then I would think the cables would survive being stepped on, but of course it's better to have it located out of the way.
 

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Do y'all mount the control box in some way, either by affixing it to the wall or creating some kind of stand for it?
Yes, most have a mounting design of some sort on the back panel; typically mounting holes but some may come with additional plates. Most OEM charge cables have similar but yes you can use another method to hang one; just avoid stressing the connection.

Also, would you recommend charging whenever parked in the garage, or should I wait until the EV range is low?
When plugged in, the car can use wall power to power the battery protection mechanisms. Also see the benefits of cabin pre-conditioning via wall power. Use the vehicle timer to utilize TOU metering if applicable. Always plugging in means you (almost) never miss a charging session. BTDT.
 

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Also, would you recommend charging whenever parked in the garage, or should I wait until the EV range is low? Obviously I want to do what's best for long-term battery life, and I'm not sure if always having it plugged in when not in use is what's best.
There are a lot of opinions on whether it affects battery life to fully charge all of the time. The first important fact to know is that the system never lets you actually charge the battery to full, what it shows as 100% SOC is probably more like about 90%. This is to avoid the wear that would occur if the system allowed you to charge to the full battery capacity.

The question then is if you always plug in after you get home and charge to full (i.e. whatever 100% displayed actually is) does this potentially shorten battery life somewhat. Or worded another way, can you lessen or at least postpone the eventual loss of EV range by avoiding charging to full. Unfortunately there is no reliable data on that specifically for the Clarity. There is general knowledge about these type of batteries and that is what people are basing their opinions on, but so far there is no way to prove exactly how the Clarity batteries long term performance would be affected by various charging strategies.

That being said, I think avoiding charging to full has at least a chance of at least partially reducing battery degradation. How much it would make a difference is the question, maybe it would be a tiny amount that isn’t worth the trouble, or maybe it would be more substantial, we don't really know. However a case could be made that if there is at least a chance of some benefit, and if it’s easy enough to avoid fully charging, then why not do that. I am not talking about forfeiting EV use, if you know you need 100% then I say charge to 100%. But on days when you know you don’t need a full charge, the strategy would be to charge closer to what you expect you will use.

The problem is that the Clarity provides no easy way to avoid charging to full. You would have to use scheduled charging for that, which is not that hard to do, but certainly not as quick and easy as simply plugging in when you get home and letting it immediately start charging. One simple solution would be if you arrive home and are pretty sure that you have enough EV miles for tomorrow’s driving, then simply don’t plug in. Of course the days that you do plug in it will always charge to full whether you need it or not, but at least you would be reducing the number of times that you are charging to full, without having to deal with timer charging.

Since you are interested in battery longevity you may want to get a low-cost Bluetooth device that let’s you check your battery capacity, then you can monitor over the life of the car to see how much reduction has occurred. There is a separate thread for that at the link below.

 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I appreciate your thorough responses!

I'll probably stick with Level 1 charging for the foreseeable future, at least until Level 2 chargers become more commonplace and less expensive. My daily commute is short, and with the ICE and HV charge mode, I never have to worry about the car being dead when needed.

I'll come up with some kind of mount or hanging setup for the control box, and maybe a hanging bracket for the wire. I don't foresee taking the charger anywhere unless I'll be gone for days (in which case I'd probably fly), but I won't make whatever setup I go with too permanent just in case.

As for charging frequency, I'll continue to do what I've been doing: just plug it in when the EV range is lower than how much I expect to drive it the next day.
 

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Most OEM charge cables have similar but yes you can use another method to hang one; just avoid stressing the connection.
That's a good point that I forgot to mention, avoiding stressing the connections. Although again I think these things are fairly sturdy, but obviously you don't want to for example hang the control box from the wall outlet.

When plugged in, the car can use wall power to power the battery protection mechanisms. Also see the benefits of cabin pre-conditioning via wall power. Use the vehicle timer to utilize TOU metering if applicable. Always plugging in means you (almost) never miss a charging session. BTDT.
There is no evidence that I know of that the battery management system functions other than while charging or while driving. When the car is plugged in but not charging there is no power flowing through the EVSE. The exception being during preconditioning. The only other exception being Canadian models, they have a battery warmer that runs during very cold weather when plugged in even when the car is not charging.

Preconditioning normally doesn't use up very many EV miles, especially if the car is in an enclosed garage, so if for example you have 40 EV miles and you only plan to drive 20 miles that day, preconditioning might bring it down to 35 miles prior to starting off, but that's still plenty of EV miles left for that day's driving. Probably the idea bothers some people's sensibilities to precondition without plugging in when the charge cable is sitting right there, but in the example above it doesn't make a difference, the electricity used for preconditioning still ultimately came from the wall outlet. There would be a little bit of storage loss by pulling the electricity from the battery instead of pulling it "live" from the grid, but probably not enough to make much of a difference.

I am not advocating anything I am just pointing out the technicalities of how the car works, if someone has the goal of reducing how often they charge to full by not plugging in when they don't need to, that doesn't stop them from preconditioning whenever they want to.
 

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There is no evidence that I know of that the battery management system functions other than while charging or while driving
Sorry, yes correct. I was answering a FAQ in general not clarity specific and should have clarified.
 

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I've used a garden hose hanging rack, screwed to the wall above the outlets, in the past. Works well, and you can probably find one that has a shelf that the EVSE body can sit on.
 

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Level 2 is rarely cost effective for a PHEV. Most likely you can accomplish all of your needed charging with level 1. There might be occasional times that you don't have enough time to charge and wind up using some gas, or more gas than you would have if you had been able to fully charge. But for most people using level 1 that doesn't happen very often, certainly not often enough to warrant spending $500 or whatever to upgrade to level 2. Some people can upgrade to level 2 for much cheaper, but for most people even with rebates that might be available it's going to be in the few hundreds of dollars to upgrade.


Pretty much anything is fine, all of it is fairly sturdy, after all the EVSE is designed as a mobile unit that you can carrying in your trunk and lay out on the ground as needed. However for semi-permanent installation at home it makes sense to get the box and cable off of the ground and out of the way. Having the control box on a stand is fine, also there are two holes in the control box which you can use to screw it into the wall, or for easier removal if you think you might be occasionally taking the EVSE with you somewhere, you could just use some kind of hooks or wire through those holes to hang it up.

Regarding taking the EVSE with you, some people take it with them on trips so they can plug in at the hotels that they stay at. Personally I think that's too much trouble for what it's worth just to get a free fill up of electricity, which is worth the equivalent of about a gallon of gas. And if you still had say half of your EV range, you would only be saving the equivalent of half a gallon of gas. But I can understand why some people do it, but you don't have to. On trips if you run low on EV miles you can use HV Charge to build EV miles back up, that's what it's there for.


My EVSE uses three watts of power when it's not charging. Hardly worth unplugging just for that amount.


Again it's fairly sturdy, whatever you do should be fine. Anything is better than having it laying on the ground being stepped on, although even then I would think the cables would survive being stepped on, but of course it's better to have it located out of the way.
If you are handy with this sort of stuff it will save you a bunch of money. I bought two 30A Siemens Level 2 units on eBay for an average of less than $175 each. Did the wiring myself. Level 2 charging can be beneficial if your electric utility offers time-of-day rates that can be cheaper if you take advantage of the rates during a certain (short) period of time. Also, if you often put more miles on the vehicle during the day than what your range allows, it may work that you return home after doing the first half of your errands, charge up again (in two hours) and then do the rest of your errands.
So while a Level 1 may suffice for many, there may be some advantages for you to get a Level 2.
 

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I appreciate your thorough responses!

I'll probably stick with Level 1 charging for the foreseeable future, at least until Level 2 chargers become more commonplace and less expensive. My daily commute is short, and with the ICE and HV charge mode, I never have to worry about the car being dead when needed.

I'll come up with some kind of mount or hanging setup for the control box, and maybe a hanging bracket for the wire. I don't foresee taking the charger anywhere unless I'll be gone for days (in which case I'd probably fly), but I won't make whatever setup I go with too permanent just in case.

As for charging frequency, I'll continue to do what I've been doing: just plug it in when the EV range is lower than how much I expect to drive it the next day.
You can also convert your Level 1 charger to a Level 2 charger. Read some of the posts on this site about it but you can probably charge the car in about 6 hours that way.
 

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If you are handy with this sort of stuff it will save you a bunch of money. I bought two 30A Siemens Level 2 units on eBay for an average of less than $175 each. Did the wiring myself. Level 2 charging can be beneficial if your electric utility offers time-of-day rates that can be cheaper if you take advantage of the rates during a certain (short) period of time. Also, if you often put more miles on the vehicle during the day than what your range allows, it may work that you return home after doing the first half of your errands, charge up again (in two hours) and then do the rest of your errands.
So while a Level 1 may suffice for many, there may be some advantages for you to get a Level 2.
Yes as I said "Some people can upgrade to level 2 for much cheaper". You are confirming my point. But I submit that most people are not able or willing to wire their own 240V outlet. Nor are most people going to buy used EVSE's. It's a good suggestion and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just saying that I think your experience is more the exception than the rule. Also not everyone is comfortable with the idea of using the OEM cable with an adapter to use it on a 240V outlet. I think it's no problem, I'm just saying not all owners will be comfortable doing that and will instead purchase a level 2 EVSE, which will also have higher capacity than the 12 amp OEM cable.

I also said "There might be occasional times that you don't have enough time to charge and wind up using some gas, or more gas than you would have if you had been able to fully charge. But for most people using level 1 that doesn't happen very often". You gave some good examples of when it can happen, but again I think for many people those are exceptions.

I have a time of use plan, but I have found that very few people do. I get basically half price between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am every night. Some TOU plans are shorter hours, but I don't think by much. I am able to do nearly all of my charging during those eight hours. Sometimes I have to charge during regular hours, but in the big picture cost wise it's not a big deal.

Most people don't calculate their electric rates correctly because they don't include tax. My utility advertises that their TOU plan overnight rate is 0.015 compared to 0.06 normal rate, basically one-fourth the price. However when you calculate in all of the taxes the actual overnight rate including taxes is 0.05 compared to 0.11 normal rate. So about half price. Still good, but not as much of a savings as they make it sound. Also with my TOU plan I get hammered with a rate including tax of 0.33 weekdays from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm during the summer, basically triple the regular rate. So I have to try and avoid using AC in the house during that time or else it wipes out any savings from charging overnight. To manage that I prechill the house prior to 2:00 pm, but that's not something everyone is willing to do.

I can only do about 2/3 of a full charge during the eight hour overnight rate period, but very rarely do I need to charge from 0 to 100 in one night. But I can if I need to, it just means that only eight hours of that charge session is at 0.05, the other four hours are at 0.11. Four hours at 0.05 is twenty cents, four hours at 0.11 is forty-four cents. So when I have to charge from 0 to 100 in one night I pay about twenty-four cents extra for that charge session compared to if I had level 2 and could do the full charge within the overnight rate period.

Your example of arriving home in the afternoon with 0 EV miles, then going out that evening and not having enough time to charge, yes that can happen. But I think for most people not very often, and when it does the evening drive is probably only a few miles, to the store, to the movie theater, restaurant, etc. Let's say the evening drive is 20 miles round trip and you are only home for an hour prior to that. One hour of level 1 charging will add about 5 miles of EV range, so that means you will be using gas for 15 miles that evening. With gas prices and electric rates in my area, those 15 miles will cost about fifty cents driving electric, and one dollar driving gas, so a fifty cents difference that evening if I have to use gas. Of course different parts of the country will have different price scenarios.

Twenty cents here, fifty cents there a few times a month, it can add up, but I think for most people it would take a long time to recoup the $500 typical investment in level 2 charging. But everyone's situation is different. Someone who has a long commute, a time of use plan, and goes out most evenings, and who can DIY their 240V outlet and buy a used EVSE or use the OEM charger with an adapter, sure they will benefit from level 2 charging. But keep dropping those items off one by one and the savings start to disappear, and at some point level 2 will actually cost more. I still maintain my opinion that most PHEV owners will not recoup their investment in level 2 charging. But then again some will.

However even if you don't save money, level 2 is nicer to have than level 1, and that's a good enough reason if someone will enjoy their car more by having it. The reason for my post was just to dispel something of a misconception that many new owners have that level 2 is a necessity. You often hear of people starting to install 240V outlets even before they get the car. My recommendation for new owners is to go the first couple of months with level 1, then decide if you think you need level 2. A large number of people find that they do fine with just level 1.
 

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Also consider that there's a relatively high likelihood that any given PHEV driver will find themselves with a BEV in the not-too-distant future. A level 2 is practically a requirement when one is trying to push much over 50kWh in the "tank" overnight (let alone over 200kWh). "Future-proofing" with a level 2 can be make a compelling case.
 

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Yes as I said "Some people can upgrade to level 2 for much cheaper". You are confirming my point. But I submit that most people are not able or willing to wire their own 240V outlet. Nor are most people going to buy used EVSE's. It's a good suggestion and I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, I'm just saying that I think your experience is more the exception than the rule. Also not everyone is comfortable with the idea of using the OEM cable with an adapter to use it on a 240V outlet. I think it's no problem, I'm just saying not all owners will be comfortable doing that and will instead purchase a level 2 EVSE, which will also have higher capacity than the 12 amp OEM cable.

I also said "There might be occasional times that you don't have enough time to charge and wind up using some gas, or more gas than you would have if you had been able to fully charge. But for most people using level 1 that doesn't happen very often". You gave some good examples of when it can happen, but again I think for many people those are exceptions.

I have a time of use plan, but I have found that very few people do. I get basically half price between 11:00 pm and 7:00 am every night. Some TOU plans are shorter hours, but I don't think by much. I am able to do nearly all of my charging during those eight hours. Sometimes I have to charge during regular hours, but in the big picture cost wise it's not a big deal.

Most people don't calculate their electric rates correctly because they don't include tax. My utility advertises that their TOU plan overnight rate is 0.015 compared to 0.06 normal rate, basically one-fourth the price. However when you calculate in all of the taxes the actual overnight rate including taxes is 0.05 compared to 0.11 normal rate. So about half price. Still good, but not as much of a savings as they make it sound. Also with my TOU plan I get hammered with a rate including tax of 0.33 weekdays from 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm during the summer, basically triple the regular rate. So I have to try and avoid using AC in the house during that time or else it wipes out any savings from charging overnight. To manage that I prechill the house prior to 2:00 pm, but that's not something everyone is willing to do.

I can only do about 2/3 of a full charge during the eight hour overnight rate period, but very rarely do I need to charge from 0 to 100 in one night. But I can if I need to, it just means that only eight hours of that charge session is at 0.05, the other four hours are at 0.11. Four hours at 0.05 is twenty cents, four hours at 0.11 is forty-four cents. So when I have to charge from 0 to 100 in one night I pay about twenty-four cents extra for that charge session compared to if I had level 2 and could do the full charge within the overnight rate period.

Your example of arriving home in the afternoon with 0 EV miles, then going out that evening and not having enough time to charge, yes that can happen. But I think for most people not very often, and when it does the evening drive is probably only a few miles, to the store, to the movie theater, restaurant, etc. Let's say the evening drive is 20 miles round trip and you are only home for an hour prior to that. One hour of level 1 charging will add about 5 miles of EV range, so that means you will be using gas for 15 miles that evening. With gas prices and electric rates in my area, those 15 miles will cost about fifty cents driving electric, and one dollar driving gas, so a fifty cents difference that evening if I have to use gas. Of course different parts of the country will have different price scenarios.

Twenty cents here, fifty cents there a few times a month, it can add up, but I think for most people it would take a long time to recoup the $500 typical investment in level 2 charging. But everyone's situation is different. Someone who has a long commute, a time of use plan, and goes out most evenings, and who can DIY their 240V outlet and buy a used EVSE or use the OEM charger with an adapter, sure they will benefit from level 2 charging. But keep dropping those items off one by one and the savings start to disappear, and at some point level 2 will actually cost more. I still maintain my opinion that most PHEV owners will not recoup their investment in level 2 charging. But then again some will.

However even if you don't save money, level 2 is nicer to have than level 1, and that's a good enough reason if someone will enjoy their car more by having it. The reason for my post was just to dispel something of a misconception that many new owners have that level 2 is a necessity. You often hear of people starting to install 240V outlets even before they get the car. My recommendation for new owners is to go the first couple of months with level 1, then decide if you think you need level 2. A large number of people find that they do fine with just level 1.
I agree with everything you said. Level 2 is usually not a necessity for most folks, just a luxury. That being said, if I did it all over again I might have even stuck with the OEM EVSE converted to a Level 2. I didn’t even play around with that idea until after I got my 30A Level 2 EVSE.
 

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We have two L2 EVSEs in our garage, but we bypassed the PHEV stage and went straight to BEVs.
Our Fit EV came with a 32A EVSE as part of the deal.

We could get by with one, but our utility has a V1G pilot/rebate program that combined with the 30% Fed Tax Credit made the second one <$0.

It's nice to have a bit of redundancy is case the magic smoke escapes one of them :rolleyes:
 

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Also consider that there's a relatively high likelihood that any given PHEV driver will find themselves with a BEV in the not-too-distant future. A level 2 is practically a requirement when one is trying to push much over 50kWh in the "tank" overnight (let alone over 200kWh). "Future-proofing" with a level 2 can be make a compelling case.
Agree with the future proofing concept, that is another variable in the equation. The question is does someone expect to purchase an EV while they are living in their current house. Obviously not an easy thing to predict, many of us would like an EV, but then again many of us would also like a new house :D. If I thought there was a good chance that I would be purchasing in EV in the near future that would be a consideration. But I have to consider the real possibility that I won't get an EV while I am living where I currently am.

I think the starting point for the decision is to calculate the cost of upgrading to level 2, starting with getting at least a couple of estimates on getting an outlet installed. As a sidebar some people recommend, not sure how true this is, that you should not tell the electrician what the 240V outlet will be used for as many of them charge a lot more if they find out that it's for an electric car. Not sure if that is an urban legend or not, or maybe there are only isolated incidents of that. Either way the main determiner will be distance from the panel to the new outlet, is there accessibility or will there be a lot of cutting into walls, does the service panel need upgrading, etc. And can you DIY at least some of the work. Add to the estimates that you get the cost of current EVSE's that you might buy. Factor in any current rebates in your area. Then it probably will become more clear how enthusiastic you still are about the idea.

I think it's nearly impossible to calculate realistic estimates on how long it would take to recoup the cost, so I think it falls back to would you enjoy your car more by having level 2 based on your driving habits, and is it worth the cost. Possible future proofing would be a consideration, especially if upgrading can be done relatively cheaply which would mitigate somewhat the risk of moving out before you buy an EV. I have thought about the possibility that being "EV ready" can be a selling point when it comes time to sell, but I'm not sure how many prospective buyers would consider that as something they see the value of.
 

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I bought my Lectron 32A level 2 charger on Amazon for $300. I had to run 8ga wire and buy a 40A breaker. I don't like leaving the charger plugged in, either. My solution was to put a 600A 240v 2 pole machine switch ahead of the outlet. Since you want to mount to a concrete wall you can buy a simple box with the disconnect . The entire system cost me about $450. The 8ga wire is not cheap at the moment and I needed 75ft of it. I used 2 garage tool hooks to rest the unit on so it doesn't hang free.
 

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Hi all,

I'm using the Level 1 charger for now, may upgrade to Level 2 at some point. Forgiveness please if these topics have already been discussed, but I have a few questions regarding charging.

Do y'all mount the control box in some way, either by affixing it to the wall or creating some kind of stand for it? I have a sort of partial concrete wall that juts out a few inches that is just below the outlet in the garage, and I've been using an old small storage bin to rest the control box on top of, otherwise it would dangle from the outlet and put stress on the plug. This is by no means a perfect fix so I'd like to know what you guys have come up with. I've also been unplugging the charger from the wall when not in use, figuring that the control box will suck juice even though I'm not charging my vehicle. Is this necessary, or is the power usage negligible?

Should the wire be raveled up on some kind of hook, or is that bad for it? I'd like to not have to keep placing it on a camping chair in my garage when not in use!

Also, would you recommend charging whenever parked in the garage, or should I wait until the EV range is low? Obviously I want to do what's best for long-term battery life, and I'm not sure if always having it plugged in when not in use is what's best.

Thanks so much in advance!
Hi all,

I'm using the Level 1 charger for now, may upgrade to Level 2 at some point. Forgiveness please if these topics have already been discussed, but I have a few questions regarding charging.

Do y'all mount the control box in some way, either by affixing it to the wall or creating some kind of stand for it? I have a sort of partial concrete wall that juts out a few inches that is just below the outlet in the garage, and I've been using an old small storage bin to rest the control box on top of, otherwise it would dangle from the outlet and put stress on the plug. This is by no means a perfect fix so I'd like to know what you guys have come up with. I've also been unplugging the charger from the wall when not in use, figuring that the control box will suck juice even though I'm not charging my vehicle. Is this necessary, or is the power usage negligible?

Should the wire be raveled up on some kind of hook, or is that bad for it? I'd like to not have to keep placing it on a camping chair in my garage when not in use!

Also, would you recommend charging whenever parked in the garage, or should I wait until the EV range is low? Obviously I want to do what's best for long-term battery life, and I'm not sure if always having it plugged in when not in use is what's best.

Thanks so much in advance!
You don't buy a level 2 charger for just your first car. If you really like driving electric, then make the commitment to put in a level 2 charger for your current and future cars. I put in a level 2 charger 5 years ago for my Volt. Now I am able to use the same charger for the Clarity. When I go full electric in the future I can still use the same charger. I can also save money by scheduling my charging late at night when rates are cheap. With only a 2.5 hour charging time, I know it will be fully charged in the morning ready for the day. If I really need more charging in the day, It charges fast and keeps me from using gas. I think its a good investment for the present and future. I think the last time I bought gas was 4,000 miles ago and I only needed about 4 gallons.
 

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You don't buy a level 2 charger for just your first car. If you really like driving electric, then make the commitment to put in a level 2 charger for your current and future cars. I put in a level 2 charger 5 years ago for my Volt. Now I am able to use the same charger for the Clarity. When I go full electric in the future I can still use the same charger. I can also save money by scheduling my charging late at night when rates are cheap. With only a 2.5 hour charging time, I know it will be fully charged in the morning ready for the day. If I really need more charging in the day, It charges fast and keeps me from using gas. I think its a good investment for the present and future. I think the last time I bought gas was 4,000 miles ago and I only needed about 4 gallons.
For sure, someone who is committed that their next car will be an EV and expects that there is high probability that they will be purchasing one while still living in their current house, it makes sense to upgrade to level 2 now. Although I suspect that most of those people have already done so, as for them it's a pretty easy decision. For many people though it may be a while before they go full EV, maybe a long while.

Also there seems to be two types of PHEV owners, those who are happy that a high percentage of their miles are driven EV, and those who fight to eliminate every possible drop of unnecessary gas usage. The former is generally happy with level 1, the latter should definitely get level 2 regardless of the cost. Neither viewpoint is wrong, it's all about what a person's preferences and priorities are. It's kind of like the Prius world that I used to be a part of, there were hypermilers, and people who just drove it and enjoyed the great gas mileage. I was one of the latter, but I certainly admired the hypermilers and enjoyed hearing how they were able to eke out extra mpg.
 

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Hi all,

I'm using the Level 1 charger for now, may upgrade to Level 2 at some point. Forgiveness please if these topics have already been discussed, but I have a few questions regarding charging.

Do y'all mount the control box in some way, either by affixing it to the wall or creating some kind of stand for it? I have a sort of partial concrete wall that juts out a few inches that is just below the outlet in the garage, and I've been using an old small storage bin to rest the control box on top of, otherwise it would dangle from the outlet and put stress on the plug. This is by no means a perfect fix so I'd like to know what you guys have come up with. I've also been unplugging the charger from the wall when not in use, figuring that the control box will suck juice even though I'm not charging my vehicle. Is this necessary, or is the power usage negligible?

Should the wire be raveled up on some kind of hook, or is that bad for it? I'd like to not have to keep placing it on a camping chair in my garage when not in use!

Also, would you recommend charging whenever parked in the garage, or should I wait until the EV range is low? Obviously I want to do what's best for long-term battery life, and I'm not sure if always having it plugged in when not in use is what's best.

Thanks so much in advance!
I have happen to have two chargers, a level 1 and level 2. Both portable with long cord. I can use the level 2 with my dryer outlet anytime if needed. Level 1 anytime in the evening in my garage. My work allows me to plug in at work using the level 1 and that’s all I usually use.

Dave
 

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We are on our 9th hybrid (yes,9). Only the prius prime and the Clarity are PHEVs. For my purpose now that I am retired it is an electric car as I don't drive 50+ miles much now. Fast change is a necessity because may have several trips a day. As of 2021 17 states have updated their building code (residential) that a 240 40A outlet must be in the garage fie electric vehicles (also 240V outlets for the dryer and stove if also plumbed for gas).
 
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