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We lost my wife's Prius Prime last May (totaled in an accident: it needed $20K+ to repair; I needed a band-aid). We found an '18 Touring with 15K miles for $28.5K (a bit much, I thought, but in this crazy car market, that constitutes a good deal). My question: will the Prime's Level 1 charger work on our Clarity?
 

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2018 PHEV Touring Atlanta, GA
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We lost my wife's Prius Prime last May (totaled in an accident: it needed $20K+ to repair; I needed a band-aid). We found an '18 Touring with 15K miles for $28.5K (a bit much, I thought, but in this crazy car market, that constitutes a good deal). My question: will the Prime's Level 1 charger work on our Clarity?
Yes it will work, both the Prius Prime and the Clarity use J1772 which is the standard level 1 EVSE for all plug-in vehicles except for Tesla.

Did they give you a level 1 charger with the car?
 

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A J1772 is compatible; the car itself controls the charging rates and voltage levels it wants. And, if you charged your Prime at any commercial place like a checkpoint, you'll be good to go. I agree $28K is a bit on the high side, but the mileage is low. Mine was a 2018 Touring, at $18K, but at 50K miles it was in such good shape that I thought it was worth it. I have not been disappointed with the purchase, although, sadly, it's now an orphaned car as Honda is doing something else with their future plug-in electrics.
 

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A J1772 is compatible; the car itself controls the charging rates and voltage levels it wants. And, if you charged your Prime at any commercial place like a checkpoint, you'll be good to go. I agree $28K is a bit on the high side, but the mileage is low. Mine was a 2018 Touring, at $18K, but at 50K miles it was in such good shape that I thought it was worth it. I have not been disappointed with the purchase, although, sadly, it's now an orphaned car as Honda is doing something else with their future plug-in electrics.
Point of clarification: The vehicle can't control the voltage level that the EVSE supplies. That's set by the electrical circuit the EVSE is plugged into. An EVSE is really just a smart relay, located between the wall circuit and the charger circuits located in the vehicle itself.

The EVSE advertises what current it's capable of via the Pilot signal. The vehicle's on-board charger can draw current up to that limit. Some vehicles can draw different levels of current (usually using Level 1), dependent on driver's settings within the vehicle. For example, the Chevy Bolt can draw either 8A or 12A from a Level 1 EVSE capable of at least 12A.
 

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Is that for situations like plugging in at a friend or relative's house and you aren't sure what else may be on the circuit?
Exactly. The 12A setting can allow one to use the EVSE on a 15A dedicated circuit, while still meeting the NEC 80% guideline. It defaults to 8A, and setting it to 12A only lasts for 90 days, IIRC. 15A circuits are far more common than 20A, at least in the US.

I also have a 16A Level 1 EVSE that I use on a 20A garage circuit, but only because I know it's the only thing on the circuit, also meeting the NEC 80% guideline. Like the Clarity and Bolt's OEM EVSE, it can be used on a 240V circuit as well. The way I wired my garage, I've got two duplex receptacles at each outlet location, each on a different 20A 240V phase, so I can combine them with an adapter to get 240V at 20A, should I desire.

After 20 years of owning EVs, I have a pretty eclectic collection of EVSEs and multiple adapters.
 

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The 12A setting can allow one to use the EVSE on a 15A dedicated circuit, while still meeting the NEC 80% guideline. It defaults to 8A, and setting it to 12A only lasts for 90 days, IIRC.
Probably safer to default to 8A since I would guess that the 15A outlets in most garages and carports are not on a dedicated circuit. Mine isn't, my garage outlet is on the same circuit as the outlets in the basement, and even the outdoor outlets! But I do almost all of my charging late at night because of my time of use plan, so I would never use the outdoor outlets or outlets in the basement while charging. The one exception is I have a dehumidifier in the basement which runs during the summer, but I have that on a timer so that the dehumidifier doesn't run during my scheduled charging times.

Honda took something of a chance by providing a fixed 12A EVSE, but I guess they feel they are covered since they state in the owners manual that you should only use it on a dedicated circuit. So if someone uses it on a non-dedicated circuit and things go wrong, it's on them. Chevy's approach seems best, default to the safer 8A, but an owner who knows what they are doing can increase it to 12A. Of course that doesn't stop owners who don't know what they are doing from setting it to 12A when they shouldn't, but there's only so much you can do to protect people from themselves.

I've got two duplex receptacles at each outlet location, each on a different 20A 240V phase, so I can combine them with an adapter to get 240V at 20A, should I desire.
Was there an advantage to doing it that way instead of installing separate 120V and 240V outlets?
 

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Probably safer to default to 8A since I would guess that the 15A outlets in most garages and carports are not on a dedicated circuit. Mine isn't, my garage outlet is on the same circuit as the outlets in the basement, and even the outdoor outlets! But I do almost all of my charging late at night because of my time of use plan, so I would never use the outdoor outlets or outlets in the basement while charging. The one exception is I have a dehumidifier in the basement which runs during the summer, but I have that on a timer so that the dehumidifier doesn't run during my scheduled charging times.

Honda took something of a chance by providing a fixed 12A EVSE, but I guess they feel they are covered since they state in the owners manual that you should only use it on a dedicated circuit. So if someone uses it on a non-dedicated circuit and things go wrong, it's on them. Chevy's approach seems best, default to the safer 8A, but an owner who knows what they are doing can increase it to 12A. Of course that doesn't stop owners who don't know what they are doing from setting it to 12A when they shouldn't, but there's only so much you can do to protect people from themselves.


Was there an advantage to doing it that way instead of installing separate 120V and 240V outlets?
I do have both on one side of the garage, at the big door. I've got a 240V 14-50R at that location, with a 30A Level 2 EVSE plugged in to it. I use that occasionally when I need a quicker charge than other options can provide. I like the ability to charge at the lowest rate necessary to fill up whatever's in the driveway by the time I need it. Also, I don't like regularly plugging and unplugging the 14-50, because they really don't have the duty cycle capability to support it.

The other side has a 14-50R mid-garage to serve any garaged EVs, as well as the dual duplex 5-20Rs described above, out near the large door. We've got several friends and relatives with EVs, and I wanted to be able to accommodate them for parties. We can charge four EVs/PHEVs at the same time: One in the garage, and three in the driveway, but they all won't get 30A Level 2.

It helped greatly that I did all the garage wiring as part of a to-the-studs house remodel. I did it myself, under the supervision of a licensed electrician, who was putting in a new 200A panel, and completely rewiring (in #12AWG!) and re-fixturing the rest of the house.

As an aside, the decision to do the rewiring of the house was due to what we found when we went to pigtail all of the fixtures, because of the original wiring being aluminum. (The house was built in 1968-9.) I wouldn't have been able to get a good night's sleep in the place, knowing what we found hadn't absolutely been corrected.
 

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I do have both on one side of the garage, at the big door. I've got a 240V 14-50R at that location, with a 30A Level 2 EVSE plugged in to it. I use that occasionally when I need a quicker charge than other options can provide. I like the ability to charge at the lowest rate necessary to fill up whatever's in the driveway by the time I need it. Also, I don't like regularly plugging and unplugging the 14-50, because they really don't have the duty cycle capability to support it.

The other side has a 14-50R mid-garage to serve any garaged EVs, as well as the dual duplex 5-20Rs described above, out near the large door. We've got several friends and relatives with EVs, and I wanted to be able to accommodate them for parties. We can charge four EVs/PHEVs at the same time: One in the garage, and three in the driveway, but they all won't get 30A Level 2.

It helped greatly that I did all the garage wiring as part of a to-the-studs house remodel. I did it myself, under the supervision of a licensed electrician, who was putting in a new 200A panel, and completely rewiring (in #12AWG!) and re-fixturing the rest of the house.

As an aside, the decision to do the rewiring of the house was due to what we found when we went to pigtail all of the fixtures, because of the original wiring being aluminum. (The house was built in 1968-9.) I wouldn't have been able to get a good night's sleep in the place, knowing what we found hadn't absolutely been corrected.
You did the right thing…all those houses wired with aluminum in the late 60’s/early ‘70’s make me shudder!
 

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You did the right thing…all those houses wired with aluminum in the late 60’s/early ‘70’s make me shudder!
Yup. I still have concerns that the houses on both sides of me still have aluminum wiring <shudder>. I've mentioned it to them, but neither seems willing to spend a couple thousand dollars to at least properly pig-tail all of their fixtures in their $1.5M homes. I probably should have physically shown them the burn and scorch marks in several of the old j-boxes I removed.

Mind-boggling.
 

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Exactly. The 12A setting can allow one to use the EVSE on a 15A dedicated circuit, while still meeting the NEC 80% guideline. It defaults to 8A, and setting it to 12A only lasts for 90 days, IIRC. 15A circuits are far more common than 20A, at least in the US.

I also have a 16A Level 1 EVSE that I use on a 20A garage circuit, but only because I know it's the only thing on the circuit, also meeting the NEC 80% guideline. Like the Clarity and Bolt's OEM EVSE, it can be used on a 240V circuit as well. The way I wired my garage, I've got two duplex receptacles at each outlet location, each on a different 20A 240V phase, so I can combine them with an adapter to get 240V at 20A, should I desire.

After 20 years of owning EVs, I have a pretty eclectic collection of EVSEs and multiple adapters.
What EV did you own in 2002? The modern EV didn't appear until 2009/2010.
 

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What EV did you own in 2002? The modern EV didn't appear until 2009/2010.
Maybe not to everybody!

The EV-1, from GM was a factory-built (Lead-Acid and NiMH battery) EV that was leased through Saturn dealers for model years 1997 through 1999.


My wife and I leased three of them over the course of five years. The '97s were recalled for a bad capacitor that started fires in a couple of cases. They were a kick in the pants to drive, and went like a bullet in a straight line, but didn't corner worth spit. (Probably due to their 4" wide LRR high-pressure tires!) There was an interesting couple of films about our experience: Who Killed the Electric Car, and Revenge of the Electric Car.


When we turned in the EV-1s, we bought a 2001 Toyota RAV-4 EV with NiMH batteries, and drove it for ten years. Great car. Sad to see it go.


I also bought a used 2001 Ford Ranger EV, that came off lease from a fleet. It also had PbA batteries, but some later models had NiMH batteries. I sold it after driving it for a couple of years.


These were all so-called "compliance" vehicles, but they were all factory-built (not conversions) and were available in select states for lease or purchase. Living in Southern California, they were all available to us.

You really had to be an EV Nerd to know that these vehicles even existed, let alone where to find one. I knew people...
 

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