How I bought a new Level-2 EVSE for $165

garsh

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#1
When I first bought my Leaf, Nissan was charging >$1000 for installing a L2 charger. That just seemed like way too much money for what's basically a fancy safety switch. So I made do with the Leaf's included L1 trickle charger for my home charging needs.

As posted here, I recently installed two NEMA 14-50 outlets in my garage - one for my Leaf, and another for my future Model 3. So it was time for me to order an L2 charger for the Leaf. Prices have come down considerably. You can easily find one for under $300 nowadays.

If you go searching for an inexpensive EVSE on ebay, you'll see that Duosida keeps popping up as *the* inexpensive EVSE. I checked various forums (Nissan, Volt, etc.) where people tried these out, and they seemed to genuinely be pleased with them - no problems reported. The main limitation here is that these inexpensive chargers max out at 16 amps. Compared to the UMC included with a Tesla (40 amps), you would be charging at less than half the rate. For overnight charging at home, this might be perfectly acceptable to you (I would guess about 14 miles gained for every hour of charging for a Model 3). Since my Leaf maxes out at 16 amps, it was perfect for my use. These chargers have a pretty distinctive box shape, so you'll know it's a Duosida even if the brand isn't advertised:


The trick here is that all of these Duosida chargers are exactly the same. The only difference is what type of wall plug is mated to the end. The back of the box includes a list of specifications that should look something like:
That is, even the version sold with a 110v plug most likely still says that it's rated for 220v or 250v. All I did was buy one of these less expensive Duosida chargers, cut off the plug, and replaced it with a NEMA 14-50 plug which you can find at Lowes or Home Depot for $15:
Utilitech 50-Amp 125/250-Volt Black 4-Wire Grounding Plug
Leviton 30/50 Amp 3-Pole Angle Plug, Black

I was able to confirm the specs listed on the back of the charger before purchasing mine. I've used mine a couple times now, and it's been working perfectly.
 
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BigBri

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#3
Smart idea. I ended up spending about $1200 on an EVSE (Juicebox Pro) as my Leaf doesn't have nav so I can't schedule charging. Government will pay $500 of it and the install so hoping to be under a grand all in.
 

Tom Bodera

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#5
Smart idea. I ended up spending about $1200 on an EVSE (Juicebox Pro) as my Leaf doesn't have nav so I can't schedule charging. Government will pay $500 of it and the install so hoping to be under a grand all in.
I thought the government chipped in up to $500 for the charger purchase (after proof of purchase) of a EV and another up to $500 for ther installation.
 

BigBri

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#6
I thought the government chipped in up to $500 for the charger purchase (after proof of purchase) of a EV and another up to $500 for ther installation.
Yeah its 50% upto 500. I'm hoping that with getting a NEMA 14-50 plug installed and the charger that my out of pocket will be about 1000. I've been quoted 3-500 on the plug, just having a hard time getting the dude to show up lol.
 

Badback

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#7
well, relative to many 3rd party EVSEs, Tesla's at $500 is a good deal. :flushed:
I realize that most of the other EV wall connectors are more expensive than Tesla's. But, from a strictly engineering point of view, the price of these things is not inline with their content (the stuff in the box).
 

mig

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#8
What exactly is the benefit of the Tesla EVSE? (Honestly asking, I have not researched this yet)

When I got a LEAF back in 2012, US DOE had a program with "Blink" charging network, and I was able to get one of their EVSEs installed basically for free (except that I needed a new ground rod to pass inspection). It has been working acceptably, so I would not consider replacing it unless there was a good reason.
 

sandange

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#9
Just curious, as I'm shopping for this type of unit 110-220 v, 16 amp portable indoor/outdoor.
You read that the unit does both 220 or 110 v but Is the wire gauge.and or pistol right for 220 v 16 amp
 

mig

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#10
Just curious, as I'm shopping for this type of unit 110-220 v, 16 amp portable indoor/outdoor.
You read that the unit does both 220 or 110 v but Is the wire gauge.and or pistol right for 220 v 16 amp
The J1772 connector is going to be the same for 220v or 110v, and I don't think you need a different gauge wire for 16A whether it is at 220 or 110v (amps are amps).

BTW, this is a really great deal. The SAE J1772 connector alone goes for $160 (Leviton version, which I agree is the upper end, but still)
 

Uricasha

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#11
The J1772 connector is going to be the same for 220v or 110v, and I don't think you need a different gauge wire for 16A whether it is at 220 or 110v (amps are amps).

BTW, this is a really great deal. The SAE J1772 connector alone goes for $160 (Leviton version, which I agree is the upper end, but still)
The problem I see is:

NEMA 5-15 has three wires (hot, neutral, ground)

NEMA 14-50 has 4 wires (hot, hot, neutral, ground)

Having a separate neutral and ground isn't actually necessary but I wonder if all units come with two hot wires (and only 1 is used for the 120 volt application.
 

garsh

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#12
Having a separate neutral and ground isn't actually necessary but I wonder if all units come with two hot wires (and only 1 is used for the 120 volt application.
I actually bought a Duosida that had a Schuko (European 220v) plug. I left the neutral pin unconnected on the NEMA 14-50 plug.
 

EValuatED

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#14
What exactly is the benefit of the Tesla EVSE? (Honestly asking, I have not researched this yet)

When I got a LEAF back in 2012, US DOE had a program with "Blink" charging network, and I was able to get one of their EVSEs installed basically for free (except that I needed a new ground rod to pass inspection). It has been working acceptably, so I would not consider replacing it unless there was a good reason.
As far as I've seen online the M3 will -- like other Teslas -- respond to the button on a Tesla Wall or Mobile Connector handle and pop its charge port cover open. (The Tesla app can be used to open/close the flap, too.) And of course the Tesla Connector doesn't require the J1772 adapter.
 

garsh

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#15
What exactly is the benefit of the Tesla EVSE? (Honestly asking, I have not researched this yet)
There are two different Tesla EVSE's. The downside to either one is that they only work with Teslas. As @EValuatED said, the car's charge port door will open automatically when you press the button on one of these.

The Mobile Connector (aka UMC).
You get one of these with the car. It comes with adapters to let you plug it into NEMA 5-15 and NEMA 14-50 outlets. It's limited to 40 amps (maybe less with the newer version provided with the 3 - that's unclear right now).

The Wall Connector
This gets hard-wired. It is capable of supporting up to 90 amps, depending on the wiring & breakers you use for installation. It looks like the Model 3 might max out at 48 amps charging, so the benefits of this over the UMC are somewhat limited for a Model 3. It does look pretty though.
 
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