Latest advice/experiences re: 3rd party chargers

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avramd

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Hey Everyone,

I'm struggling to find a reliable charger at a reasonable price, that I can share between my MYP and a non-Tesla. This is primarily a gift for my parents, who have a plugin hybrid w/ a J1772 plug. I'll use it to charge my MYP when I visit them.

My main concern is that nearly every charger I see on Amazon for < $600 has numerous reviews that say "stopped working after X months" and either "no support," or "mfr doesn't respond, can't get a replacement."

Does anyone here know of a $300-$400 charger that is actually well supported by a real company that you can communicate with? I don't need top charging speeds when I visit them, but it would be nice to do better than 16 amps. From reading the other posts here, I'm starting to think the best thing I can do is get a used Gen 2 Tesla mobile charger w/ a NEMA 14-50 plug, and a reverse Tesla/J-plug adapter for them. Would you trust that? Can I trust a Tesla charger to communicate properly with a non-Tesla car?
 

Jim H

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I just had installed a 50amp NEMA 14-50 that charges at 32amp. with Tesla car charger. We are also installing the latest Siemens Versi chargers AC series, which can charge at the same fast rate as the latest Tesla chargers when you get the 48amp system. That one has the J1772 plug, and has a communication option.
The NEMA 14-50 is relative inexpensive, while the Siemens unit will cost about $550.
Did this at a resort where we have three different choices, Tesla and the two above choices.
I'd go with a good 14-50 plug and 50amp breaker. Would work with both Tesla and J1772 car.
 
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garsh

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I agree with @Jim H . Consider installing a NEMA 14-50 outlet instead of a hard-wired charging station. When you visit, you can use your mobile connector to charge your vehicle (the NEMA 14-50 adapter costs $45 if you don't already have one).

You can find portable J1772 EVSEs for under $200. At that point, if it actually goes bad, it's not too much of a burden to buy a replacement.

The Duosida units are good low-end ones - I've been using one of the 16 amp units for years, first for my Nissan Leaf, and now for my Chevy Volt.
The units are the same regardless of the plug it comes with - I bought one for ~$150, chopped off the plug, and replaced it with a NEMA 14-50 plug.

Duosida themselves sell the 16 amp unit for $180
They've been selling the 16 amp units for several years - they're pretty rock-solid little units.

You can find them for even less on ebay or amazon.
Most are rebadged to a different brand name, but it's easy to tell the Duosida units by their distinctive case design.
The first one in this list comes with a NEMA 14-50 plug.
Amazon product Amazon product Amazon product
If it dies in the first 30 days, you can easily return it to Amazon.

Lowes sells Duosida EVSEs re-badged as Lectron for $200.
The nice thing about Lowes is their 90-day return policy, so you can simply return it and get your money back if it dies within the first three months.


Related thread:
 
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Ed Woodrick

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Yep, the NEMA 14-50 is the most flexible, interoperable solution. You may need to get the NEMA 14-50 adapter for your cable. If your parents have a cable, it may already have the NEMA 14-550 adapter. But J-1772 to NEMA 14-50 cables are the readily available and cheap, compared to all the other options.

The NEMA 14-50 socket is what many people use (Tesla and non-Tesla) because it is the cheapest and most interoperable and charges the cars just as good as anything else.

Oh and by the way, you aren't buying a charger. The chargers are in the cars. All you are doing is buying a really expensive extension cord.
 

mrau

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The Grizzl-E is a highly rated unit. The amps are adjustable and has different plug options (14-50, 6-50). Can also get a 18' or 24" cord. The Grizzle-E is made in Canada and is UL approved (most China units are not). It is a non-WiFi so it is simple to use. Just plug it into the wall, then plug into the car. A friend has one and really likes it.

Amazon product
Screen Shot 2021-05-04 at 9.30.02 AM.jpg
 

Jim H

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I just had installed a 50amp NEMA 14-50 that charges at 32amp. with Tesla car charger. We are also installing the latest Siemens Versi chargers AC series, which can charge at the same fast rate as the latest Tesla chargers when you get the 48amp system. That one has the J1772 plug, and has a communication option.
The NEMA 14-50 is relative inexpensive, while the Siemens unit will cost about $550.
Did this at a resort where we have three different choices, Tesla and the two above choices.
I'd go with a good 14-50 plug and 50amp breaker. Would work with both Tesla and J1772 car.
One other thing I would add to this, if you go the NEMA 14-50 route, get a good outlet. My first choice was a standard Leviton outlet. After about 2 years that started to overheat. Switched it out for a Hubbell NEMA 14-50 unit which is a industrial grade unit and best choice for EV application. They run about $80 on Amazon, but is the way to go.
 
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Long Ranger

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One other thing I would add to this, if you go the NEMA 14-50 route, get a good outlet. My first choice was a standard Leviton outlet. After about 2 years that started to overheat. Switched it out for a Hubbell NEMA 14-50 unit which is a industrial grade unit and best choice for EV application. They run about $80 on Amazon, but is the way to go.
Definitely agree with this. The Hubbell is a great choice. Another one is the Bryant 9450FR which is made by Hubbell, gets great reviews, and is about half the price.

One caution on going with a NEMA 14-50 though that I haven’t seen much discussion on. The NEC now requires a GFCI breaker on these outlets, but Tesla and other EVSE manufacturers don’t recommend use on a GFCI protected circuit. For this reason, Tesla doesn’t recommend installing a new 14-50.
 
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Ed Woodrick

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One other thing I would add to this, if you go the NEMA 14-50 route, get a good outlet. My first choice was a standard Leviton outlet. After about 2 years that started to overheat. Switched it out for a Hubbell NEMA 14-50 unit which is a industrial grade unit and best choice for EV application. They run about $80 on Amazon, but is the way to go.
While getting a good plug is important, using a second mobile connector and leaving it plugged in is much better. The NEMA 14-50 isn't rated for lots of plugging and unplugging.
 
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android04

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Here are my suggestions, based on having both of them personally and using them for the last 2.5 years:
1. Buy a Tesla UMC that has been converted to a J1772 and just use the adapter that came with your Tesla;
2. Have your UMC converted to J1772.

The reason for this is that you can get many different adapters for the Tesla UMCs, 1st or 2nd gen, for many outlets. And the outlet adapters are safe because they have temperature sensors and limit the current draw to a safe limit.

For #1, I purchased a Gen 1 Tesla UMC with a J1772 instead of the Tesla wand. I wanted to be able to charge my Model 3 LR RWD faster when I visited my Dad. The Gen 1 outputs 40A vs the Gen 2 that came with the Model 3 at 32A. That's 25% faster. It cost me $500 from Quick Charge Power. Looks like I got a good deal because their converted Gen 1 Tesla UMC is sold out and shows a price of $899 (https://qccharge.com/collections/full-catalog/products/jesla™-the-40-amp-j1772-charging-solution). They also have a Gen 2 Tesla UMC that costs $600 (https://qccharge.com/collections/full-catalog/products/jesla-jr).

For #2, I sent the Gen 2 Tesla UMC that came with my Model 3 LR RWD to a company to convert the charge wand from Tesla to J1772. That one had been used by my brother for his 2018 Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Since Pacifica Hybrid can charge up to 27.5A at 240V, the Gen 2 UMC's maximum rate of 32A is perfect. This cute my brother's charge time from 11 hours on the crappy included 120V charge connector to 2.5 hours with the Gen 2 Tesla UMC. It cost me $200 to convert my UMC with the company called UMC-J1772. Their website call be hard to navigate and hard to find products or services unless you know how to search for them (http://www.umc-j1772.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=105&search=Conversion).

If you look around, you can find unneeded or unwanted Gen 2 Tesla UMCs for sale for $200 or less in the marketplace or other forums.
 

garsh

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Here are my suggestions, based on having both of them personally and using them for the last 2.5 years:
1. Buy a Tesla UMC that has been converted to a J1772 and just use the adapter that came with your Tesla;
2. Have your UMC converted to J1772.
You can also buy this Tesla-to-J1772 adapter for $179.
You can then charge your non-Tesla from any Tesla destination charger.

 

Naftaturbo

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Definitely agree with this. The Hubbell is a great choice. Another one is the Bryant 9450FR which is made by Hubbell, gets great reviews, and is about half the price.

One caution on going with a NEMA 14-50 though that I haven’t seen much discussion on. The NEC now requires a GFCI breaker on these outlets, but Tesla and other EVSE manufacturers don’t recommend use on a GFCI protected circuit. For this reason, Tesla doesn’t recommend installing a new 14-50.
This string is over a month old so the OP may already have completed his project. My only comment has to do with GFCI. If it is a dedicated circuit, with only one outlet, I don't think GFCI is required.
 

Long Ranger

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This string is over a month old so the OP may already have completed his project. My only comment has to do with GFCI. If it is a dedicated circuit, with only one outlet, I don't think GFCI is required.
If the outlet is intended for EV charging, GFCI protection is required per NEC 625.54. You can probably get around that pretty easily by claiming other intended use, but personally, I don’t like doing stuff like that and it could expose you to more potential liability.
Related thread
 

Nancat999

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Hey Everyone,

I'm struggling to find a reliable charger at a reasonable price, that I can share between my MYP and a non-Tesla. This is primarily a gift for my parents, who have a plugin hybrid w/ a J1772 plug. I'll use it to charge my MYP when I visit them.

My main concern is that nearly every charger I see on Amazon for < $600 has numerous reviews that say "stopped working after X months" and either "no support," or "mfr doesn't respond, can't get a replacement."

Does anyone here know of a $300-$400 charger that is actually well supported by a real company that you can communicate with? I don't need top charging speeds when I visit them, but it would be nice to do better than 16 amps. From reading the other posts here, I'm starting to think the best thing I can do is get a used Gen 2 Tesla mobile charger w/ a NEMA 14-50 plug, and a reverse Tesla/J-plug adapter for them. Would you trust that? Can I trust a Tesla charger to communicate properly with a non-Tesla car?
We have a Clipper Creek charger I bought on Amazon , J1772 plug, paid around $379. I have had it for 1 1/2 yrs. we bought ours to charge a BMW i3. It’s 16 amps, 4 kw. Now I have a Model 3. So far it’s charging fine. Although I’ve only have had the car a few days, I don’t let it it get really low, we top it off every night. So we may be down to 50%. But we have the car set to only charge to 90% anyway.
 
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JasonF

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Adding to this that if you have a constrained mains supply - if you can't dedicate a 50 amp circuit to charging - you can use a 30 amp circuit with a NEMA 14-30 instead. There isn't really that much difference between 24 amps and 32 in charging time at 220 volts.

Also, a future consideration: Most modern homes these days come with 200 amp mains supplies. EV's are going to start to drop in price very soon, and used ones are going to start to become available. And then homes with two parents and driving-age kids can have up to 4 EV's! If you're using NEMA 14-50's for those, you're going to have to add an entire second mains supply for car charging, which would be expensive.

Which means in the near future, we'll all either have to start treating a single charging point like a fuel station and only plug in each car when needed, or reduce charging to something like 15 amps per car. This kind of realization might be partly why Tesla decided to stop including the 14-50 head for the Mobile Charger - figuring that most people will just plug into a 110 volt 15 amp outlet and be happy with it, and then multiple EV's won't really be a problem for the power supply, either.

Circling back to the original topic, when you're visiting someone you probably don't need more than a standard 15 amp 110 volt outlet, even if you drove a long way to get there. It will take a few days to catch up on charging, but you'll get there. The only exception would be if you're visiting someone, and taking them for long drives, because then you'll never catch up. In a pinch, though, you can bring with you a 14-30 extension cord and mobile charger head, and plug into their dryer outlet for a few hours.
 
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Long Ranger

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In a pinch, though, you can bring with you a 14-50 extension cord and mobile charger head, and plug into their dryer outlet for a few hours.
I’d expect a dryer outlet to be either a 14-30 or 10-30, not a 14-50.
 

Ed Woodrick

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Adding to this that if you have a constrained mains supply - if you can't dedicate a 50 amp circuit to charging - you can use a 30 amp circuit with a NEMA 14-30 instead. There isn't really that much difference between 24 amps and 32 in charging time at 220 volts.

Also, a future consideration: Most modern homes these days come with 200 amp mains supplies. EV's are going to start to drop in price very soon, and used ones are going to start to become available. And then homes with two parents and driving-age kids can have up to 4 EV's! If you're using NEMA 14-50's for those, you're going to have to add an entire second mains supply for car charging, which would be expensive.

Which means in the near future, we'll all either have to start treating a single charging point like a fuel station and only plug in each car when needed, or reduce charging to something like 15 amps per car. This kind of realization might be partly why Tesla decided to stop including the 14-50 head for the Mobile Charger - figuring that most people will just plug into a 110 volt 15 amp outlet and be happy with it, and then multiple EV's won't really be a problem for the power supply, either.

Circling back to the original topic, when you're visiting someone you probably don't need more than a standard 15 amp 110 volt outlet, even if you drove a long way to get there. It will take a few days to catch up on charging, but you'll get there. The only exception would be if you're visiting someone, and taking them for long drives, because then you'll never catch up. In a pinch, though, you can bring with you a 14-30 extension cord and mobile charger head, and plug into their dryer outlet for a few hours.
Moving from a house with a 200A panel to one with a 400A panel :cool:
But the panel is on the other end of the house and to ditch a line around the house means going under the sidewalk. :(
I'm just hoping that I've got at least 2 different 120V circuits in the garage for both cars.

Hmmm, two water heaters in the garage......
 

JasonF

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Moving from a house with a 200A panel to one with a 400A panel :cool:
But the panel is on the other end of the house and to ditch a line around the house means going under the sidewalk. :(
I'm just hoping that I've got at least 2 different 120V circuits in the garage for both cars.

Hmmm, two water heaters in the garage......

Is it a detached garage? That would be unusual for a newer place (I'm assuming it is because an older house generally wouldn't have a 400A supply). If it's within the house structure, you wouldn't have to ditch around the outside - you can go through the attic.

You can't really do much with water heater circuits because they use every amp they've been allocated. Unless you can combine the two by getting one large tank and capping off the 2nd one, then you'd have a 220 volt 30 amp circuit to put a 14-30 outlet on.
 

Ed Woodrick

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Is it a detached garage? That would be unusual for a newer place (I'm assuming it is because an older house generally wouldn't have a 400A supply). If it's within the house structure, you wouldn't have to ditch around the outside - you can go through the attic.

You can't really do much with water heater circuits because they use every amp they've been allocated. Unless you can combine the two by getting one large tank and capping off the 2nd one, then you'd have a 220 volt 30 amp circuit to put a 14-30 outlet on.
It's not detached.
Service panels are in the basement, two floor above it, no wiring chase to the attic, garage doesn't intersect with the house that way anyway. And the basement is finished, so I'd have to rip the ceiling (not drop ceiling) out to go across the house. I haven't exhausted all possibilities yet, waiting to take ownership of the house first.
Two water heaters seems to be part of at least a local code now. They are in most newer houses around here. I'm on a single tank now and have no issues with quantity, we're only a 2 person household.