TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC

NEMA outlet vs EVSE

Discussion in 'Roadster' started by backmost, Jul 30, 2018.

  1. backmost

    backmost Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Middletown, NY
    I had an electrician over on Friday and got the wiring done for adding 240V charging in my garage. He put in a sub panel which can handle up to 60A. Initially I had just wanted a 30A outlet for the Roadster but then thought about future proofing a bit in case we get another EV down the line.

    The guy mentioned getting a level 2 EVSE instead of the typical NEMA outlet since they're safer, reliable, etc. But these chargers run about $400-500. He recommended used Bosch ones on eBay though I'm a bit skeptical of buying used, especially given how much current and voltage these things handle. I do worry about my future kids accidently messing around with a 240V outlet, but feel that it would allow more options in case we don't go with a Tesla, or need the outlet for tools.

    Any thoughts? I usually do most of my charging at work where we have several Chargepoint stations that give free charging at 220V, 30A so honestly I try to charge at night to spend as little as possible! For us peak rates in the summer go up to 30 cents/kWh!!! And already spent $1500 on this job, though he also wired a generator hookup to the house.

    I live in New York and don't know if there are any rebates or tax credits for EV charging.
     
  2. KarenRei

    KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei KarenRei

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2017
    Messages:
    2,137
    Location:
    Iceland
    NEMA sockets are not designed for nearly as many connect-disconnect cycles as a level 2 EVSE, and yes, he's correct - EVSEs are safer. They're just plain better sockets.
     
  3. ggr

    ggr Roadster R80 537, SigS P85 29

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    4,451
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    Agreed, but we basically never plug/unplug at the wall, and in that scenario a pair of NEMA 14-50s is just fine.
     
    • Like x 2
  4. pwwojcik

    pwwojcik Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2018
    Messages:
    11
    Location:
    Maryland
  5. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    CM98
    FWIW, I decided to do both. I went with a 14-50 outlet (get the kind designed for heavy use) and an OpenEVSE kit with a 14-50 pigtail on it. It comes with a J1772 cord, but that's kind of universal, as is the 14-50 outlet. For the Roadster I use a J1772 adapter, either the original one from Tesla, or the CAN-JR from hcsharp. I picked up one of the Tesla originals, used, and just leave it attached to the charging cord. Henry's CAN adapter stays in the car's cup holder (er, CAN holder?), ready for use on the road.

    For future-proofing, and a little less voltage sag, I decided to use #4 wire between the outlet and the breaker, though #6 would have been enough. Still a 50 amp breaker, of course, as that's the outlet rating. But if I need more in the future, I can swap out the breaker for something bigger, replace the EVSE with a wired unit, and not have to re-string the wires under the house. Probably overkill.

    The EVSE just stays plugged in, so even a cheap box-store outlet will work if you can't find the other kind. But if needed, the EVSE can be unplugged to use the 14-50 for other things. Seems like the most flexible arrangement. 40 amps charging is plenty. In fact, I generally reduce it in the car to 24 amps, just to be a little more efficient. The lower current is also less stressful on everything.

    Regarding reliability, an EVSE should be a lot more reliable than the Roadster's mobile connector, which is notorious for failure, though I used mine successfully for a couple of years on the dryer's outlet before doing the upgrade. The Roadster MC is now relegated to road trip use, though I can also take the OpenEVSE in a pinch, since it can simply be unplugged. Always good to have plans, and backup plans, and backups for the backups. When I added the 14-50, I also put in a pair of dedicated 5-20s next to it, as the backup backup with the yellow cable. Additional cost was insignificant.

    CAM00873.jpg
     
    • Informative x 1
  6. backmost

    backmost Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    113
    Location:
    Middletown, NY
    Thanks for your input everyone. I do like the idea of having a NEMA 14-50 so I can have that flexibility. Eventually I will probably get an EVSE that just stays plugged in so it reduces the wear/tear on the plug itself. I have a Model S/X mobile connector that I plug into the Roadster using the CAN adapter. Right now things are a bit tight after just purchasing the car and couple of other life commitments so if I can survive on the UMC for a bit I can save up.
     
  7. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    CM98
    If you've got the S/X connector and CAN adapter, you should be good in the long-term too. I haven't heard of them being unreliable like the Roadster one has been. They're also still available, if replacement is needed. Leaving it plugged in is fine, and recommended.
     
  8. djf

    djf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Just thought I'd share what has worked flawlessly for me (knock on wood) for over 3 years:
    • NEMA 14-50 outlet (future proof since it will take the Model S or Model 3 charge cord plug if I get one of those vehicles)
    • Clipper Creek 'portable' plug-in HCS 40-P Level 2 charger (32A Level 2 EVSE HCS-40P with NEMA 14-50 | Clippercreek) - this is actually firmly fixed to the wall and is designed for same, solid as a rock, and stays 'permanently' plugged in to the NEMA 14-50. I chose Clipper Creek based on reading many reviews - they are solid, simple and durable, with the only 'bells and whistles' you need: a light that shows the unit is functional, ready to charge a plugged-in vehicle, or actually charging a plugged-in vehicle. Plus the 'portability' feature - Though I do not consider or use the unit as 'portable', it confers the advantage of being able to be connected or disconnected at will - see below
    • The J1772 on the Clipper Creek HCS-40P charges my Chevy Volt as is, and my Roadster with Henry's marvelous CanJR - both flawlessly to date.
    • If needed in the event of a problem (which has never occurred), I could simply unplug the Clipper Creek and plug in the Roadster MC-240 Level 2 charger which came with my Roadster - it works fine (I test it periodically, just for fun).
    • There is no wear-and-tear plugging or unplugging on this system because it is 'permanent' (though easily modifiable if ever needed)
    • In sum, I have found the advantages of this system to be: utter versatility, future-proof for foreseeable future, built-in fail-safe 'redundancy' in that you have a lot of alternative options thanks to the NEMA 14-50 outlet, and portability of the Clipper Creek unit (the big-ticket item) should I ever need it (e.g. if I were to move).
    Hope that's helpful - always good to share positive (or even negative) experience on the forum!
     
    • Informative x 1
  9. gregd

    gregd Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    1,921
    Location:
    CM98
    Yep, pretty much exactly what I have, except I'm using the OpenEVSE "charger", and I was able to snag one of the original Tesla J1772-to-Roadster adapter cables, which just stays "permanently" attached to the charging cable. Henry's CAN-JR stays in the car's cup holder (er, CAN holder?), for use when on the road.

    One question... I've had trouble with the Clipper Creek HCS-40 unit that is installed at one of the county buildings across town. The Roadster finishes charging, then starts cycling quick charges (a minute or so charging, stops normally, charges, stops, etc) forever. Not good for the car, battery, or the charger. Clipper Creek is here in town, and we reproduced the issue with their instrumentation attached, but I have not heard that they released a fix.

    Are you seeing this sort of behavior?
     
  10. djf

    djf Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2015
    Messages:
    41
    Location:
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Have not seen that with my Clipper Creek HCS-40-P. Interesting.
     

Share This Page

  • About Us

    Formed in 2006, Tesla Motors Club (TMC) was the first independent online Tesla community. Today it remains the largest and most dynamic community of Tesla enthusiasts. Learn more.
  • Do you value your experience at TMC? Consider becoming a Supporting Member of Tesla Motors Club. As a thank you for your contribution, you'll get nearly no ads in the Community and Groups sections. Additional perks are available depending on the level of contribution. Please visit the Account Upgrades page for more details.


    SUPPORT TMC