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Using non-certified LEVEL 2 charger. Do I have to?
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Thread: Using non-certified LEVEL 2 charger. Do I have to?

  1. #1
    Senior Member PLP's Avatar
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    Question Using non-certified LEVEL 2 charger. Do I have to?

    Basically the question is.

    Do I must use FIAT (FCA) certified Level 2 charger?

    Lets see this.
    This is 32 A 240 V charger that is "plug in". It means I put a certain type of receptacle and pretty much done. Technically I do not even need a permit.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071K874MG...v_ov_lig_dp_it

    Now, if I wanted to go with the style that Mopar likes, that is something like that
    https://www.amazon.com/JuiceNet-Aero...%2C297&sr=8-24

    I must hard wire it.

    It means disconnect box and technically inspection/permit.

    Not to mention the most important part - the cost. 300 vs 600 plus other parts, like the disconnect box (about 30, plus fuses, and some extras) so all in all we would be looking at say 320 vs 800 installed (minus the 8/3+G wire I do not include here as it is same for both).


    So, what are the opinions and experience?



    Now, before anyone asks.
    Yes, I could use Level 1, and I do for now, but in winter time the battery drains rather quickly, especially if ambient is around +10 def F. Sure, the garage is at +40 deg F, but still - heater, parked outside during the day (work)... so about 7-10 hours everyday to recharge only if I go straight work-home, no errands.
    It seems OK, but if I change the plan, I will have limited time to charge the car at night at low electric rate.
    Besides, sometimes it is nice to come home for a couple of hours, charge it quickly, and go other places.

    Unfortunately, there are not too many public chargers around (Lansing, MI).
    And workplace is refusing to install one.
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    No. Any J1772 EVSE will work fine. It's not a charger. The actual charger for the car is located under the hood on the passengers side. EVSEs (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) are mistakenly referred to as "chargers" all the time.

    The difference is important. An EVSE is actually little more than a smart extension cord with a special plug on the end. So when your question is framed as "Do I need a special certified extension cord to run this appliance?" the answer of no makes a lot more sense.

    It's really a shame that EVSE manufacturers have found a way to take a $50 plug, a $8 contactor, and some electronics and turn it into a specialized multi hundred dollar extension cord. EVSEs are really nothing to write home about.

    BTW if you can live with double the speed of your current OEM EVSE, it can trivially be converted to 240 volts with a $40 adapter. I've tested it and it works fine.

    Hope this helps,

    ga2500ev

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    Short answer: No

    Also most of the factory 500e ESVEs can be used as a low amp 240 charger with an adapter like this:
    https://shop.quickchargepower.com/My240-MY240.htm

    Its the cheapest and easiest way to get 240. I've used mine like this and it works fine. It roughly halves your charge time compared to 120v


    As for your links, be weary of the first link actually getting 32a or 40a out of them. Those are some aliexpress specials.

    The second one is a quality unit made, but has hardly anything to do with Fiat. AeroVironment is just a big brand in the states that makes a lot of branded chargers for the compliance cars. A lot of the public chargers owned by EVgo use AeroVironment. But I would look at buying a used version of that one. You can get those for under $200.

    If you want to be able to precondition your car on cold days, you'll need 40a for the charger to keep up with the aircon.



    Since I have the power available at my house, I'm currently building a hidden 100a system(using 2 juicebox units) splitting into 2 40/50a type2(euro) outdoor outlets . along with some type1 to type2 cables

    So all that's on wall is 2 outdoor EV outlets that look kind of like this: https://www.plugincars.com/sites/def...-connector.jpg

    At the moment I'm just using a first gen Juicebox pro 40a and occasionally the Fiat charger on 240v, on the days I actually do need both cars fully charged in the morning.
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    Senior Member PLP's Avatar
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    Thanks guys for the responses.

    A clarification on the 240 V adapter.

    Could someone explain me how you get from NEMA L6-20P to NEMA 5-15R?

    The receptacle has one hot, one neutral, and ground. L6, on the other hand, gets two hot and one ground WITHOUT neutral.
    That means that neutral in 5-15 becomes hot now?

    If I could see wiring in the charger...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLP View Post
    Thanks guys for the responses.

    A clarification on the 240 V adapter.

    Could someone explain me how you get from NEMA L6-20P to NEMA 5-15R?

    The receptacle has one hot, one neutral, and ground. L6, on the other hand, gets two hot and one ground WITHOUT neutral.
    That means that neutral in 5-15 becomes hot now?

    If I could see wiring in the charger...
    Exactly that. Two hots and a ground on the 5-15R. Clearly non-standard. If possible lock that 5-15R so that it cannot be casually accessed.

    Many EVSEs have a temperature probe in the 5-15P plug. So you really don't want to cut it off. Just be smart with the adapter so that someone not clued in doesn't try to use it.

    ga2500ev

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    Senior Member PLP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ga2500ev View Post
    Exactly that. Two hots and a ground on the 5-15R. Clearly non-standard. If possible lock that 5-15R so that it cannot be casually accessed.

    Many EVSEs have a temperature probe in the 5-15P plug. So you really don't want to cut it off. Just be smart with the adapter so that someone not clued in doesn't try to use it.

    ga2500ev
    So basically one could use any type of 240 V plug... whether it is L6-15 or L6-20, or for the matter of fact have a regular 120 receptacle rigged for this particular application without any adapter. Of course assuming one knows what he is doing... and can protect from unwanted use.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PLP View Post
    So basically one could use any type of 240 V plug... whether it is L6-15 or L6-20, or for the matter of fact have a regular 120 receptacle rigged for this particular application without any adapter. Of course assuming one knows what he is doing... and can protect from unwanted use.
    Yes, though the receptacle only is a bad idea. NEMA plugs and receptacles are physically designed against misuse. Especially with a permanent installation such as on a wallbox, it is best to use as designed. While an adapter from 240V to 120V is certainly a misuse, it is both temporary and the wallbox end has a correct 240V receptacle and will not cause damage when the adapter is unavailable.

    One last item: Use the receptacle that matches the amperage of the circuit. So if it's a 20 amp 240v circuit, use the 6-20, not the 6-15. The only exception to that rule is if there isn't a matching receptacle for the circuit current. Specifically on a 40-amp circuit, a 6-50 or a 14-50 should be used.

    ga2500ev

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    But the plug is 5-15 type... and it pulls max 12 A.


    Yeah, I agree on the mismatch and confusion.
    My plan for now is to try out the 240 V charging through 120 V cord using 5-15 receptacle that actually worked fine for 120 V 15 A application.
    The receptacle will be cover with a lockout box, so there will be no accidental use.

    It is a temporary solution until I get 240 V - 32 A charger. I am on a hunt on eBay/Craigslist.


    It is confusing to me why they would use 6-20 and convert to 5-15. You always use the lowest one as the limiting factor. Hence, 6-20 is overkill for 5-15. But whatever.
    I pulled 12/2 wire to this receptacle and it was for EV only. Now, I will simply use double 20 A breaker (or maybe even 15 A to keep it at 80%) and it should be fine for now. Locked box without accidental access.

    I will update how it works.



    Ultimately I want to pull 8/3 and have 32 A or 40 A EVSE... and in the long run have seconds station as a split for two cars with a timer when each station could be used (to avoid simultaneous use). At least something like that in my head. Not sure how to make it happen yet.
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    It's really more a question of safety in my opinion. You do not have to use a Fiat approved EVSE, but I would highly recommend getting something UL listed so it's not likely to burn your residence down. That or if it does at least your insurance company won't get potentially weird about it if it does. There are a lot of off brand units available, especially on Amazon, that are not safety listed. This does not necessarily mean they are un-safe by design, it just means they have not been tested per industry standards. Most municipalities would not allow you to install something non-UL listed in a hard wired situation where an electrician was needed.

    This all coming from the guy who's been using a home built EVSE (from before they had the nice kit) since 2012. My J1772 plug is an older REMA brand handle, the ones used on the Blink stations, which was UL listed at 30A, but it turns out it's a flip of a coin whether they can actually survive 30A or not without melting so there is your case in point that it might not be safe because it's listed. I run it at 24A and have not had an issue.

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    I'm charging 220v utilizing the Fiat's original 110v charge cord. I have an extension cord that is made with a 220v male plug on one end and a 110v female receptacle on the other. It's not pure level 2, but it charges 16amps at 220V rather than 16amps at 110v. All LEDs and charge indicators work fine, and the car's inverter can discern whether or not I am feeding 110 or 220 thru the Fiat charge cord.
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