Home and Car based i-MiEV charging hardware

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CometBoy
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Home and Car based i-MiEV charging hardware

Post by CometBoy » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 04:32

After we purchased our new i-MiEV, we needed to give some consideration to the most convenient way of re-charging the little EV both a home and away. I would like to start this thread to show one way of accomplishing this AND also document in one place what others have done along the same journey. I have also had a number of enquiries from new i-MiEV owners about this so maybe we can help by giving our real life examples here?

I am concentrating on the later i-MiEV’s sold recently in Australia using the inline black box (commonly referred to as the ‘Brick’). Model Number 9499B658.

Dedicated 15A circuits should be used with any of these appliances.

So here is one solution....

Firstly, the final direction I took is based on the following points:

1 - We decided that two charge leads would be needed, one in car and the other mounted at a convenient point adjacent to were the vehicle was parked at night for re-charging. Otherwise it was just too inconvenient getting the charge lead out every night and storing it back in the car every morning.

2 - On the original Mitsi charge cable I did NOT want to simple cut-off or remove the factory fitted waterproof 15A plug for two reasons. Firstly, it is best connector for many applications and secondly from a warranty point of view the dealer wanted to see it unmodified. These are not cheap and are over a $1,000 in Australia so warranty could be an issue down the track.

3 - For our purposes, the sub 10A level 1 chargers did the job and any additional costs to charge quicker could not be justified. This will change in the future.

4 - We also will use ChargePoint services on a regular basis - Level 1 - 15A bollards.

5 – On rare occasions we will need to charge from a 10A GPO (emergency use if needed)

Please note others will have very different requirements and this only reflects our needs.

Image

Above is the original charger supplied with the i-MiEV we decided to continue using it as the car based unit. Mainly because it was smaller physically but no other reason.

Image

Above is the charger we decided to use at home. It is supplied from Holden dealers and is a spare/replacement unit for the Chevy (Holden) Volt. The Holden part Number is GM-22942881 and the correct GM description is ‘Cable AM-DRV MOT BAT CHA’. We decided to use it because it had a convenient handle that allows the cable to be stored neatly and could be mounted very flat. Oddly it uses a common 10A plug. The right angle plug was also useful for the install. As suggested elsewhere on this forum, it represents great value compared to the current alternatives. The price was under $350 and they are stocked in Australia.

Image

I made up a two metre adapter cable (C) - with a Clipsal 15A waterproof socket on one end (CLIP 56CSC315EO Socket Ind Ext 3P 15A IP66) and a standard 15A plug on the other. This is required in order to use the ChargePoint bollards in our city. The waterproof style 15A plug (A) used on the factory cable will not fit into the ChargePoint unit (to large). Hence the adapter is used.

Image

ChargePoint Stations - It is important to use a grey or black boot plug cover on the standard 15A plug as the ChargePoint stations will not operate using a clear booted plug cover. Many of us have learned this the hard way!

Image

We leave this permanently attached to the original lead with the brick. The waterproof connectors screw together and are very secure with great cable strain relief.

Another short adapter ((B) in third photo up) allows for this cable to be plugged into a 10A outlet (GPO) in emergency situations.

I hope this answers some questions for new i-MiEV users and starts a discussion for alternatives. I know offgridQLD (or acmotor?) has another nice way of handling his situation and home and at work.

Bruce
Last edited by CometBoy on Sat, 07 Dec 2013, 18:51, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by g4qber » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 05:34

Great pics and info Bruce.

Note that mitsu, Nissan and Holden bricks only draw sub 10amps. I sorta like the Holden idea but it is not ipXX rated. The mitsu and niss evses may be overkill to some, but safety first for others.

In the uk their plug is 90 degrees so that the brick doesn't possibly put as much strain on the plug?
And can fit easily in the circontrol 15 amp cylinders
Also would be compatible with chargepoint 15 amp bollards.
I've found that I would have to use an extension

Luckily I have the evseupgrade unit from America

Clipper creek make the Holden evse and unfortunately have gone away from the yazaki charge coupler so I wouldn't use this unit in public.

I wish that the circontrol non card 16 amp unit was volt compatible. But sadly at the moment it only negotiates a 10 amp max charge
Hence went with carded 16 amp version. This has a yazaki c coupler.

The 6,10,16 amp charge-amps unit from Sweden doesn't have a lock hole so I wouldn't use that in plublic until I get the next gen leaf which has led lights and car lock in the charge bay.

The tesla model s also locks its cable when charging.
Last edited by g4qber on Sat, 07 Dec 2013, 18:34, edited 1 time in total.

CometBoy
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Home and Car based i-MiEV charging hardware

Post by CometBoy » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 05:58

Humm.... I'm showing IP66 on both the Volt and i-MiEV products I have?

Have I have missed something?

Maybe the brick is IP67 and the connector is IP66 on Mitsi item??

Bruce

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Post by g4qber » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 06:34

Not sure what the volt is but I am guessing that it would be less than mitsu niss since it is not screwed in?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code
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Post by Gabz » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 12:29

the Mitsubishi plug is IP56 and considered IP66 when plugged and screwed in to another IP56 product. the plug on the Holden volt, IP54 or IP53 at best if pluged into a IP54 socket. my parents have a similar power point outside to what's pictured with the holden EVSE and it trips the RCD every time it rains so they don't even meet the spec of IP54 for me.

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Home and Car based i-MiEV charging hardware

Post by CometBoy » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 13:05

I can confirm the Volt charger IP rating is IP66 (as per the back of the black box of our unit) – the plug obviously not. We have never had an RCD trip. I used a LANSON LANRCB0616S C16 30ma RCD/Breaker in the installation. It is in a carport and under cover.

Image

You bring up a good point I missed in my first post on this thread. IP (or International Protection) codes (or ratings) should be understood and checked along with the needed Australian electrical compliance both for the charger/cable unit (appliance) and associated wiring. A simpler IP ratings guide for lay people is defined here.

http://www.codecorp.com/iprating.php

Insurance payout issues may result otherwise. Care should be taken with running charger leads across footpaths and public area as well. Many special floor/ground cover plates are made for this purpose and protect the cable.

Gabz, agree the supplied Volt charger plug should not be used in the weather and doesn't met the standard required - need that 6 or 7 on the end of that number... I have never seen an actual IP code marked on the Mitsi unit? It also is missing any approval marking? Maybe it is all in that barcode?? But thought that was just a product code for GM/Holden.

Bruce


Last edited by CometBoy on Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 02:23, edited 1 time in total.

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Home and Car based i-MiEV charging hardware

Post by CometBoy » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 14:17

On the topic of charging I should point out that part to my life now is lived in BC Canada and I thought it might be good to draw a comparison between Adelaide and Vancouver’s views on charging infrastructure. Here is Vancouver's current plan:

Electric vehicle charging requirements

Did you know that 33% of the greenhouse gas emissions in our communities come from cars?

But just one electric vehicle (EV) on the road can reduce the amount of carbon by about 4 tons per year
.
Preparing for an electric future

Widespread use of EVs is currently limited, but as fuel prices continue to climb, we expect that more and more people will begin to adopt this greener form of transport.

The City is making the transition as easily as possible, by updating building bylaws to include EV charging infrastructure requirements.

By acting now, Council is supporting early adopters, while ensuring there is capacity to support the growing demand.

Installing electric vehicle charging in new multi-family buildings

People who live in multi-family homes in urban communities tend to drive shorter distances, making EVs very practical.

To accommodate EVs in new apartment buildings, condos, townhouses, and other buildings with a minimum of three homes, Council has made the following revisions to the City's building bylaw:

-     Parking stalls - 20% of the parking stalls in every building must include a receptacle for charging cars.
-     Electrical room - The electrical room must include enough space to install any equipment necessary to provide charging for all residents in the future.

These new bylaws came into force on April 20, 2011.

Retrofitting existing multi-family buildings

While supporting EVs in new buildings is important, the City is also supporting early adopters who live and work in existing buildings that have no access to electric outlets.

The City continues to work closely with the provincial government, federal government, and BC Hydro, to establish best practice guidelines for installing EV charging infrastructure.

Existing BC Hydro guidelines offer information on costs and charging technology options, so that building managers, strata councils, and fleet managers can understand the implications of providing EV charging.

The City will also facilitate the development permitting process for retrofitting buildings to include charging infrastructure.

Installing electric vehicles in single family dwellings

Under the City's Green Homes Program, all new one- and two-family homes must be adaptable to future green energy technologies as they develop, as well as power the next generation of electric cars.”

Details of the bylaws and requirements are given on the cities website.

And for Adelaide... Well maybe one day?

Bruce

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Post by coulomb » Sun, 08 Dec 2013, 14:35

CometBoy wrote: IP (or International Protection) codes (or ratings) ...

They're usually called Ingress Protection codes, though the article mentions that they are sometimes called International Protection codes.
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Peter C in Canberra
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 18:23

CometBoy wrote: After we purchased our new i-MiEV, we needed to give some consideration to the most convenient way of re-charging the little EV both a home and away. ... It is supplied from Holden dealers and is a spare/replacement unit for the Chevy (Holden) Volt. The Holden part Number is GM-22942881 and the correct GM description is ‘Cable AM-DRV MOT BAT CHA’. ... The price was under $350 and they are stocked in Australia.

Ditto to all that. I have just ordered the Holden part. The local dealer said there were two of the charge cables in the country and mine should arrive today. He seemed very reluctant to sell me one to use with a non-Volt. I had to talk about how it is a device that complies with a standard that is general, not Holden specific. Then I had to talk to their Volt-trained mechanic to prove I knew what I was doing. Finally the Parts guy would sell me one if I signed a form that said I would not hold them responsible for anything bad that might happen from using a Holden part in a non-approved way. They also charged me $380 rather than the advertised $350 saying that the $350 price was only if you buy it as an accessory with a Holden car.
Oh Well, if it works and doesn't break it is still a reasonable deal compared with buying the parts and going to the bother of making one or the higher price of getting one from Mitsubishi.
Daihatsu charade conversion 2009-18, iMiEV 2013-2019, Holden Volt 2018-present, on the ACT's 100% renewable electricity. Kona on order.

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Post by CometBoy » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 19:16

I’ve purchased 3 now and they all were $350 with GST.... You are most likely right and the dealer is just slack. The last one was for friend with a new I - they priced them at other Holden dealers in Adelaide on Monday and the price did vary from $380 to just under $400. So I ordered one for them.

The spare parts guy is starting to wonder what I am doing with them but the conversation always returns to how I like the Volt and then THEY start talking about how terrible the back seat is and why it only seats 4 and not 5 baa baa. Small wonder they have two unsold Volts that have been there for months!!

Yes, he said there were 3 left when I ordered on Monday so you must have one of those coming. Must seem strange to the stock guys in Melbourne that they are selling 10 charger cables per 1 Volt sold. I think this deal will come to an end shortly.

Bruce

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Post by Johny » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 19:23

CometBoy wrote:...Must seem strange to the stock guys in Melbourne that they are selling 10 charger cables per 1 Volt sold. I think this deal will come to an end shortly.
Bruce
Nah. They're car dealers - it will never occur to them. They'll just think it's range anxiety - or forgetfullness. If it ever comes up again tell them that you like to leave a cable at all the relatives places - "just in case".

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Post by g4qber » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 19:40

how do you guys secure the Delta-type charge coupler in public or are you nonplussed about it?

the volt EVSE is made by Clipper Creek (CC)

interestingly CC use the same cable & Charge coupler for both 10A & 15A units so for the real observant, you will notice that the label on the Cable is 16A even though the Holden EVSE is 10A.

with mass production of the cable & c'coupler, they don't have the luxury to label it as 10A. I guess they don't have to since the cable is rated for 16A, but it might give the end user (ie. me) the wrong impression that their charger is 16A.
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Post by Peter C in Canberra » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 21:40

g4qber wrote: how do you guys secure the Delta-type charge coupler in public or are you nonplussed about it?

My experience of charging in public is with my converted car, not yet the i-MiEV. It has been infrequent and generally at some event when I would be hanging around anyway such as a winery with restaurant out of town on a special occasion or an AEVA show off the car event when I might be taking rides so a top up could be handy. With the conversion I used just a heavy duty extension cord which is probably of more interest to be stolen than the EVSE since hardly anyone would know what the EVSE is or have a use for it.
Daihatsu charade conversion 2009-18, iMiEV 2013-2019, Holden Volt 2018-present, on the ACT's 100% renewable electricity. Kona on order.

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Post by g4qber » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 22:17

http://www.recargo.com/sites/2673

at barlee st, i'm not concerned for EVSE being stolen since the mains plug is secured in the bollard when charging.

with the Swedish EVSE, the Charge coupler was pulled out from the car.

the bollard will notify you of the plug out, but there is the inconvenience of coming back to an uncharged car.
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Post by Gabz » Thu, 12 Dec 2013, 23:05

I'm changing my thinking on locks it's better to come back to an unplugged car than a broken car. I've now seen both a J1772 and chademo plug broken because it has be forced out of the locked holder !

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Post by CometBoy » Fri, 13 Dec 2013, 02:50

Agree with g4qber...

At the ChargePoint bollards the cord is locked in and you get an SMS or email if there is a fault or someone has disconnected the J1772 from your car. So no issue.

If you are using the adopter cable on an i-MiEV (later brick style of charger lead) to suit the ChargePoint bollards (see my other posts about that idea), it might be a good idea to use some large heat shrink (or some other method) to make the large orange waterproof 15A connectors difficult to separate. That would be the weak link in my case.

Bruce


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Post by offgridQLD » Fri, 13 Dec 2013, 04:21

I don't have much to add to Bruce's nice write up.

I did learn about not using a clear plug on the charge point outlets the hard way.It realy had me baffled why it wouldn't initiate charge. It wasn't until a drove of in disgust and read the fine print when I got home Image

The Imiev EVSE comes with a little length of cord to hang it from. Just loop it through the holes in the brick end tie a knot in the cord so it wont pull back through the holes. Scorching the cord with a flame or heat gun stops the knots coming undone.

I then use this rope to conveniently hang the brick from the flap catch on the 15A outlets I like to use.This takes the strain off the EVSE cord. I then loop the cord in one big arc from the brick to a hook on the ceiling and then back down to the wall. This puts only one gentle bend in the charge lead (rather than winding it up). The aim is to stop or postpone the twisting/corkscrewing of the cord over time.

Image[/IMG]


I also made myself a little pigs tail for emergency charging, Just a few inches of 3 core flex cable from a old 15A extension cable with a 10A male plug at one end and 15A at the other.

Something to consider for anyone having a new 15A outlet installed at home for their EV. When you have the electrician out to do the job. Think about getting them to install a inline hard wired KWH meter to the new 15A circuit.Get the kind that reads total KWH and also has a separate kwh count and a button so you can reset it each time you charge. They just fit in alongside the new circuit breaker they will be installing anyhow (That's if there is room in the distribution box). Or better still and way more convenient. Get them to mount it along side the new 15A outlet in a little single pole din rail enclosure $10 for a weather proof the enclosure or little as $2 for one that isn't. It makes keeping tabs on your total EV kwh consumption and last charge cycle consumption. Very neat and simple and keeps the reading separate from your homes general consumption readings. They start from around $50 + the enclosure (if needed) and it's a very simple (fast) thing to have installed. Especially when you have the electrician at your house already as 1/2 the cost of small jobs is just getting them to your house so make use of them while they are there.

If you want to really go all out get the electrician to install a two pole din rail enclosure and you can install a small timer alongside the KWH meter. This way you can set the timer to just charge your car for a few hrs if you want to avoid always fully charging your battery (its easy to forget). The timers are inexpensive and also easy(fast)to install.

Something like this one shows kw/watts being consumed, kwh consumed total and resettable tally.
Image

Programmable timer
Image

Kurt
Last edited by offgridQLD on Fri, 13 Dec 2013, 02:20, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by MrD » Tue, 24 Dec 2013, 12:58

Hi All
I have installed some 'hooks' alongside my two charge sockets to support the MiEV 'black box'. Photos below.....
ImageImage
MrD-85-TSLA

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