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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am trying to figure out if I need a level 2 charger in my garage. I will have my new Clarity tomorrow. My daily commute varies but it is between 44 and 90 miles a day most of which is stop and go driving. Some nights I am only home for about 7 hours.

Please let me know if you need think I need a level 2 charger.
 

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dwheat17...

I usually suggest a new owner try the Level 1 charger that comes with the car for a few weeks or so to gauge the absolute necessity to purchase and install a level 2 charger.

It really depends on your daily usage patterns, trips per day (ie) to/from the house etc.

I was convinced by reading several forums I was supposed to get a level 2 charger to ensure I could charge quickly as needed. What I found out...my vehicle usage patterns and the fact I can allow my car to charge at least 10 hours nightly dissuaded me from installing a level 2 charger. The way I figure it, I can use HV mode if the car doesn't have time to fully charge which would be a rare occurrence for me.

With that said...there are absolutely folks who benefit greatly from the short charge time offered by the level 2 charger. Given your example,I would think you would benefit from a level 2 charger IF you always want ensure the car has a full charge when you are ready to drive.

There's no right or wrong....your call based on your needs.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks it not in my nature to wait and see, but I think you are correct. I bet at the end I get one though. Of course per my other post I'm not sure what that entails.
 

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Dwheat17

Really depends on what you have readily available (ie)

15 amp breaker and outlet to use with the 12 amp charger supplied with the car.

20 amp breaker and outlet to use a 16 amp charger?

30 amp breaker commonly used for dryers etc...I believe you mentioned this is what you have.

Most 16 amp and up chargers have several plug configurations to fit various NEMA outlets. You need to figure out which configuration you have available. Availability is only one thing to look at...you also need to know what else, if anything, is using an outlet that is running off the same breaker
You want to use for the charger.

As an example...my 12 amp charger runs off a 15 amp breaker which is only used for two garage door openers...nothing else. So in my case, I can safely run the charger off this breaker.

More commonly, folks may have a 15 amp breaker but it is already being used by a freezer, door openers, maybe a table saw... whatever. Point is...if you hook the charger up to this same breaker, the draw of electricity can easily exceed the recommended capacity if several of these items run at the same time. That's why electrical codes exist.

My advice...either do your research and fully understand what you have and what you can safely do with it...or get some advice from someone who understands the situation.

Look on Amazon and you will see several chargers rated at 16 amp and higher.

Google NEMA plug configurations to see the wide choice there as well.

Just make dang sure a+b=c before plugging anything in long term. Electrical codes exist for a reason.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.
 

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Well said. I was and still could be getting along with the charging cord that came my car. Being lucky with the location of the garage plug, it would even reach either side of my garage. But because I could, I purchased a 'recommended' (by electric car manufacturers) Level II charger. Luck still prevailed as my electrical panel was also in the garage and less than three feet from where I wanted the 240v female plug, the labor charge was minimal and my city inspected the installation and gave me a permit. In the future, when I decide to sell my home, I can offer a Level II station (permitted) as one of the perks in buying my home. And if a future buyer does not need it, I can simply unbolt it from the wall (as I chose a model with a pigtail and male plug) and take it with me.
dwheat17...

I usually suggest a new owner try the Level 1 charger that comes with the car for a few weeks or so to gauge the absolute necessity to purchase and install a level 2 charger.

It really depends on your daily usage patterns, trips per day (ie) to/from the house etc.

I was convinced by reading several forums I was supposed to get a level 2 charger to ensure I could charge quickly as needed. What I found out...my vehicle usage patterns and the fact I can allow my car to charge at least 10 hours nightly dissuaded me from installing a level 2 charger. The way I figure it, I can use HV mode if the car doesn't have time to fully charge which would be a rare occurrence for me.

With that said...there are absolutely folks who benefit greatly from the short charge time offered by the level 2 charger. Given your example,I would think you would benefit from a level 2 charger IF you always want ensure the car has a full charge when you are ready to drive.

There's no right or wrong....your call based on your needs.

Good luck!
 

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I just bought a 16 amp Level 2 charger (3.87 KW?) after dealing with my 56 mile commute daily. The reason I got it was to charge my car when electricity is cheapest (10-8am). It’s 10 cents a KW during these hours. The second reason I got a Level 2 was to allow my battery to cool prior to having to charge it. In order to get a full charge I would literally have to plug it in as soon as I get home from work. Heat being the worst enemy of a battery, I choose to allow the battery to cool for 5 hours then charge for cheap in 4.5 hours. Finally, the battery will cool from charging for a couple of hours before going to work. I know battery charging theory is all over the place, but what I have read this seems like a logical solution for my batteries long term health and my needs to drive long distances daily. I plan to slow charge, Level 1, on the weekends. My Level 2 arrives In a couple of days at a cost of $208. I’m using a dryer plug Nema-30.
 

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My car took 12 hours or more to charge if it was on 0 miles. So many mornings I got up and it was not fully charged. I love my level 2 charger. I run to the store, come home and plug in and I am fully charged by the time I run out for my next errand. It's also cheaper because you are only charging for 2 hours instead of 12 even though it's drawing more electricity. I wouldn't wait. You will need it.
 

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Hi, I have had a level 2 charger in my garage since I got my Clarity. I drive roughly 60 miles to work but sometimes less when I train to NYC. I’m glad to have my Level 2 charger since i’m frequently at zero when I return home. Even on weekends I have found being able to “top off” quickly in the middle of the day of the day to be very helpful. I think it’s worth the investment, personally.
 

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If you plan on going solar for the house you can often have the wiring and charger done at the same time and take advantage of the 30% rebate.

If you get a level 2 chargers make sure get one from a reputable brand that is properly grounded and has safety certifications. There are many cheap chargers out there and it is not worth saving $100 with the increased risk. Many of the ones with adapter plugs that can plug into older dryer plugs are not safety certified.

I do not really need level 2 but I would like it. So as a compromise my research has been steering me towards the $219 Amazing E. It is a level 2 but only 16 Amps. So it will charge the Clarity from 0 to full in 5 hours instead of 2.5 hours of a full 32 Amp level 2. I think for people that are right on the bubble as to whether or not they can get by with a level 1 a 16 amp level 2 is a good option.

I have no investment in the company and I am sure there are others that are comparable. They seem to be a safe and good inexpensive level 2.

https://amazing-e.com
 

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Level 2 no question. I only bought the level two cord and had a 220 installed. Little less than 5 hours for complete charge when at 0, as opposed to 12+ hours with level 1. I pay sp little for my electric. 4 cents/kilowatt in summer any time no matter the amount of energy used. 4 cents in winter up to 1000 kilowatts, then 6 cents above that in winter. Ridiculously cheap and saving a lot at the pump. 1700 miles and only 5.5 gallons added.
 

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Level 2 here. Another advantage of using Level 2 charging is you can precondition the interior of the car without impacting battery range.

I use about 50% of my battery range daily, and am able to recharge it fully in about 2 hours using my Level II 16amp EVSE connected to a NEMA 14-50 outlet in my garage.
 

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Always glad to hear how much is already achieved with Level 2 charging during a time that more advanced systems are also in the works. Too bad that its not linear around the world and will vary quite a bit.
Folks in Europe are lucky, they seem to be at the forefront for development.
 

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Europe has the advantage that their standard outlets are 240 Volts. So even the cord that comes with the car will charge at level 2. Granted a standard outlet won’t be high amperage but their charge times with the cord that comes with the car on any outlet they come across will be almost half of our time on level 1.
 

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Check to see if your electrical utility offers any incentives for installing a Level 2 EVSE: I just learned the mine offers $250! I know that some states and municipalities in the US offer grants, rebates and incentives, as well.
 

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Hi Everyone has great answers here level two is nice. Charging at night with low rates is the best. If you have a 90 mile commute one way daily the car gets best mileage running in HV mode with a full charge. Can get up to 110 mpg. If you use up all the battery in EV mode the car goes in to HV mode and the ICE will run a lot more. On the freeway with a low battery (two bars)in HV mode the car will get around 42 mpg. On your return trip home monitor how much battery you have left if you have half the bars and you are close to home say 20 miles you can change to EV mode and do the rest of the trip on battery. This method will take some experimenting.
 

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Hello,

I am trying to figure out if I need a level 2 charger in my garage. I will have my new Clarity tomorrow. My daily commute varies but it is between 44 and 90 miles a day most of which is stop and go driving. Some nights I am only home for about 7 hours.
The answer is you won't fully recharge the Clarity in 7 hours on a L1 charger. Here's your charge times (based on circuit amperage):

Rob43's charger - 15 amps - 5.5 hours using the OEM EVSE
20 amp charger - 4.5 hours - Duosida is an example
32 amp charger - 3 hours - Clipper Creek LCS32
40 amp charger - 2.5 hours - Clipper Creek LCS40

Anything over 40 amps wont charge the car any faster, but it will "future proof" your circuit for a full BEV. The maximum safe amperage you can draw is 80% of the circuit rating assuming nothing else is on the circuit.
 

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The answer is you won't fully recharge the Clarity in 7 hours on a L1 charger. Here's your charge times (based on circuit amperage):

Rob43's charger - 15 amps - 5.5 hours using the OEM EVSE
20 amp charger - 4.5 hours - Duosida is an example
32 amp charger - 3 hours - Clipper Creek LCS32
40 amp charger - 2.5 hours - Clipper Creek LCS40

Anything over 40 amps wont charge the car any faster, but it will "future proof" your circuit for a full BEV. The maximum safe amperage you can draw is 80% of the circuit rating assuming nothing else is on the circuit.
I thought I read somewhere that the Clarity onboard charger maxes out at 30 amps. Not that you need more for Clarity.
 

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I thought I read somewhere that the Clarity onboard charger maxes out at 30 amps. Not that you need more for Clarity.
It does, but to get 30 amps to the car you need a 38 amp circuit to meet NEC code. This translates into a 40 amp circuit and charger. Anything above this won't reduce charging time below the 2.5 hours for the Clipper Creek LCS-40 chargers.
 

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It does, but to get 30 amps to the car you need a 38 amp circuit to meet NEC code. This translates into a 40 amp circuit and charger. Anything above this won't reduce charging time below the 2.5 hours for the Clipper Creek LCS-40 chargers.
Partly true.

You do need a 40A circuit to support a 30A EVSE.

However, a 40A EVSE will not charge the Clarity any faster than a 30A EVSE (and a 40A EVSE would require a 50A circuit)

Also need to note that Clipper Creek references the circuit size in their model numbers, where all(?) other manufacturers use that to designate the unit amperage (a Clipper Creek LCS30 - there is no LCS32 - is a 24A unit)
 

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Partly true.

You do need a 40A circuit to support a 30A EVSE.

However, a 40A EVSE will not charge the Clarity any faster than a 30A EVSE (and a 40A EVSE would require a 50A circuit)

Also need to note that Clipper Creek references the circuit size in their model numbers, where all(?) other manufacturers use that to designate the unit amperage (a Clipper Creek LCS30 - there is no LCS32 - is a 24A unit)
To charge the Clarity PHEV in the advertised 2.5 hour time frame you need 220V @30 amps or 240V @27.5 amps to the battery. The problem is you also need to account for resistive heat losses during charging. This means that at a conservative estimate of 10% loss you sill need a minimum of 30.25 amps @240V. At a more realistic estimate of 15% loss you need 31.25 amps @240V and 34.5 amps at 220V. A 30amp EVSE won't supply sufficient power to the car to charge it in 2.5 hours.

You're correct on the advertised amperage for other EVSEs. Good catch on my typo on the LCS30. If I could edit the post I would go back and correct it.

The reason I gave OP the chart was to help him determine if just an adapter would do the job for him or if he wanted to go full bore with a dedicated L2 charger.
 
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