I tried charging an EV at home and it was a shock I wasn't expecting

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May 26, 2024
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John needs another job. His work as a columnist is total BS.

The whole article from the headline forward was ridiculous and seemed to be intended to scare people away from electric vehicles.

I have been driving electric since 2018 so I think I am qualified to comment reasonably intelligently on the subject. I talk to people all the time about the virtues of electric vehicles and every instance I tell them that they need a level two charger. It's just part of what you need in order to make this whole thing work properly.

I don't tell people about using an inadequate charging system and then write articles about how I was "shocked" at the results. Anybody with any common sense knows that the standard 120 V charging system is not adequate for an electric vehicle. Simple math will demonstrate that.

Had John been more concerned with writing a fair article than with trying to frighten people he would've come out and simply said from the very beginning that a level two charger is required. He wouldn't have implied how shocked he was.

If he is as knowledgeable as he pretends to be about electric vehicles he should not have been shocked at all. He should've expected it. And the fact that he pretended to be shocked shows that he is not a journalist with integrity. I'll bet he's being paid by the oil companies.
 
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aznchum

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This was my experience with Level 1 charging with my Volvo S60 Recharge. However my charging cable came with a 240V 20A connector as well. I converted one of the sockets in my garage to 240V pretty easily myself and now I charge my 18.8 kWh battery from empty to full in 5h 15m.
 
May 26, 2024
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I mostly charged on a 110 outlet for my first 8 years of owning an EV. It worked fine for short distances, which was all our old 2011 Nissan Leaf did.

For a couple of years, I charged my 2019 Chevy Bolt using a $40 adapter from my dryer outlet to the Bolt's EVSE that came with the car in my previous house. The dryer outlet was close enough to the carport that it all worked. That extra $40 investment charged the car up to about 12 mph which usually meant we were fully charged by morning.

Recently, we became a two-EV family and moved to a new house, which meant we needed to invest in a new breaker box with two 50 ft 40-amp extension cords, running from 40-amp outlets to charge the cars in our driveway. We don't have a garage or a carport. The whole project ran about $2k but now we always have two fully charged (well, 80%) cars in the morning no matter how depleted the cars are in the evening. We both drive for about 3 cents/mile when charging from home compared to about 23 cents per mile for a 20 mpg gas car. We should recoup the 2k investment in about 6 months versus gas costs.
 
May 22, 2024
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The Hyundai L1 charger operates between 6 to 12 amps of current. It defaults to 6 amps. If you raise it to 12 amps (1,3kw), it will, of course, charge twice as fast. But it's still much slower than L2 (up to 48 amps or 11.5kw) or DC fast charging (up to 300 amps or 240 kw).
Bingo . . . it even says 6 amp on the charger readout. That is slooooow. L1 is slow but at 12amp it is still useful and for some folks it's all they need as you can charge 35-40% of the batt over 24 hours.
 
May 26, 2024
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This author would be better off walking or taking a bike/scooter/skateboard.

He only has a 3 mile commute!

One could rent a car in a situation like this and it would make more economical and health positive.

Serious, I've lurked Tom's for almost 2 decades I think, and I read through all the posts, and no one mentioned this guys laughable "commute". So I had shake my fist at the clouds and actually register and bring up the hilarity at this guy's self inflicted crises, lol!!
 
May 26, 2024
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One of the paradigm shifts new EV owners need to make is, don't wait until it's empty to refuel.

If you have a clothes dryer outlet in or near the garage, you can plug a portable L2 charger into that. You might need an adapter, and you might want to use a splitter to avoid repeated plugging/unplugging at the wall outlet itself (from what I've read, older style dryer outlets aren't that rugged and are more susceptible to damage, increasing the risk of a fire).

Make sure the L2 charge setting in the EV and of the charger is below the current limit for that circuit. I've seen recommendations from electricians not to exceed 80% of a circuit's limit for devices used for several hours at a time, to reduce heating of the wiring. For a 30 Amp circuit that would be 24 Amps.

Since my MINI Cooper's L2 current settings are either 32 A (too high) or 16 A, I use the lower setting and bought a 16 Amp L2 charger, adapter, and splitter, all for about $200. I can add about 11 miles of range per hour of charging, which is enough for most of my needs. Keeping my battery between about 50-80% only requires a few hours a day of charging, and not even every day generally. During off-peak hours my cost per mile is about 3 cents, which is like getting around 150 mpg on $4.50 gas.

L1 charging gets old fast. There are inexpensive options for L2 home charging.
You can get a switch such as this to switch between the drier and your car. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B095T4LT1T/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&th=1
 
May 26, 2024
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For safety reasons, you can't (or shouldn't) charge at a rate higher than 80% of the circuit capacity. So for a 15 amp circuit, that's 12 amps, or about 1500w on a 120v socket. Still enough to easily add 50 miles of range overnight for the long range Ioniq 6.

Thank you!

Is THAT why nearly all kettles are at 1500W. I did find an 1800W kettle once, it must be legal to sell such devices. And I'd argue that a thing almost always done at night, with the rest of the house quiet, is the safest time to take a circuit to the max.

Splitting the diff at 1650 watts, that's almost EXACTLY four times as fast as it was charging, and, again, would provide a good 100 miles per night to the car in question.
 

jrharbort

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Thank you!

Is THAT why nearly all kettles are at 1500W. I did find an 1800W kettle once, it must be legal to sell such devices. And I'd argue that a thing almost always done at night, with the rest of the house quiet, is the safest time to take a circuit to the max.

Splitting the diff at 1650 watts, that's almost EXACTLY four times as fast as it was charging, and, again, would provide a good 100 miles per night to the car in question.
Yep, that's also why heaters are limited to 1500W.

The Ioniq 6 portable EVSE default is 6A (720W) btw. At 12A it's about 1440W.
 
Jan 11, 2024
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I believe this FUD article was originally written in 2012, dusted off, updated with a current model car and republished. At least I hope this is what happened.

I've enjoyed Tom's Guide since it was Tom's Hardware. I'll visit less frequently if this is the kind of guidance Tom gives me now for areas I'm less informed about. Trust. We're talking about trust here, Tom.
 

MeeLee

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Aug 27, 2014
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Why the ill informed article?
If you're going to charge an ev on an L1 charger, you have to charge as soon as you arrive home, and unplug when you leave. Every day. That's common sense.
And when you don't use it in the weekend, you can charge it Sat and Sun for 48 hours, to get back to 100%, before the week starts again.

A level 2 charger isn't that expensive. You don't need a 50amp L2 charging infrastructure.
Most people have a 2phase, 220V 20A socket for their dryer. You can plug your vehicle into that, essentially charging 3x to 4x faster. That way, you could drive your ev down 150 miles, and charge to full in one night.

Granted, EVs should come with L2 plugs that fit dryer sockets. Not L1.
 
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May 27, 2024
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And this is why I wouldn't buy an EV until these issues can be sorted out it's not worth the hassle. I have solar on my home so don't attack me as if in a hater but you shouldn't have to wait hours to charge your car and you shouldn't have to pay out the #@$ to charge quickly. Hopefully it will get there but for people who don't go to an office every day this will not work. Im driving 200 miles today and I see someone right now at a charger sitting in their car trying to make this work.
 

dosmastrify

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And this is why I wouldn't buy an EV until these issues can be sorted out it's not worth the hassle. I have solar on my home so don't attack me as if in a hater but you shouldn't have to wait hours to charge your car and you shouldn't have to pay out the #@$ to charge quickly. Hopefully it will get there but for people who don't go to an office every day this will not work. Im driving 200 miles today and I see someone right now at a charger sitting in their car trying to make this work.
Anybody who's getting an EV pays to have a charger level 2 or better installed in their house. His experience isn't representative.
 
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dosmastrify

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Maybe you should stick to phone reporting. Or do some basic math.

L1 charging isn't useful for a decent range BEV. It's just too slow.

Not all cars come with chargers.

A plug based L2 charger requires no permits, if you have the plug in your garage already.

What's a bit of a surprise to me us that you're supposedly a tech writer, yet you're more than a decade behind the curve on EVs. Step up your game! Do your homework! This article NEVER should have seen the light of day.
Not to mention most states have a rebate for installing a level 2 charger. My state and my local power company work together to make it basically free
 
May 27, 2024
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I finally got to charge my first EV at home, but I was shocked by how it turned out. Here's what every new and first time EV driver needs to know about charging at home.

I tried charging an EV at home and it was a shock I wasn't expecting : Read more
I think a followup article is in order once Tom's has the time to do a little more research and give a fairer review on Hyundai's excellent level 1 charger.

The starting point for a follow-up article could be to research home EV charging rates on different circuits commonly found in a home. Continuous loads can be 80% of a circuit's rating so for a common 15 Amp household 120v outlet the max continuous load is 12 Amps. The Hyundai charger defaults to only 6 Amps which is only 50% of what it is capable of, 12 Amps. 6 Amps is less than the current draw of the average toaster. You can maybe see it would be unreasonable to charge much of anything at 6 Amps. You can cycle between 6, 9 and 12 Amps if memory serves correctly with a simple button on the front of the charger. I actually think Hyundai supplied customers with a pretty robust level 1 charger with the car when compared to other level 1 chargers. The cable is relatively thick and the unit seems well made.
I have an affordable level 2 charger capable of 40 amps at 240V, but I've limited it to 24 amps on a 30 Amp 240V circuit. At 24 amps I can easily charge from 30% to 80% overnight. For a reference point 30 Amps is a circuit you would commonly find for an electric hot water heater.
I was actually doing just fine on the factory Hyundai charger at 12 amps but I wanted extra capacity to charge in a rush when I needed to. I think the factory charger could keep up easily with the average commute at the 12 amp setting. With very affordable level 2 charges well below their maximum you can easily charge very quickly. I find myself thinking who really would want or need the full 40 amps my level 2 charge can provide at its maximum setting. I suppose someone with an unusually long daily commute (like they were literally burning a full tank of gas every single day if they had a gas car).
 
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COLGeek

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All, rather than attacking the author, consider educating readers (as most have done so far) where the article got it wrong and focus on helping others. Attacking individuals is simply poor form. Thank you.
 
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May 27, 2024
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What did you expect? Treat the domestic plug in as an emergency only. 120V is barely adequate to charge an iPhone.
A dedicated home charger will fill your battery overnight and should be factored in when you buy the car unless you are lucky enough to have one at home already.
I have a toyota RAV4 that fully charges level 1 over night. Charging rate
Is 4 miles per hour. So charging is not a problem with this car and I have a full range to start the day.
 
Mar 19, 2024
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I finally got to charge my first EV at home, but I was shocked by how it turned out. Here's what every new and first time EV driver needs to know about charging at home.

I tried charging an EV at home and it was a shock I wasn't expecting : Read more
In other words, you didn’t do any research into what buying an EV entailed before purchasing one.

I love my EV, but I knew exactly what I was getting into before I bought it. Anyone making a significant investment in something you don’t know much about would be advised to do your due diligence before committing to the purchase. I would do the same thing if I was buying any other type of vehicle as well.
 
Feb 1, 2024
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My 220 was run to the front of my house and my juice box was about $500. I can charge an Ioniq 5 or 6 in about 6 to 7 hours and it will be at 100%.

If your house has a modern electrical box and at least a 200 AMP capacity, it is under $1300 to be setup to use the EV. My house was upgraded when I went Solar and now I drive for free too.
It's only free if you've fully covered the cost of the transition to solar. My neighbor spent $27,000 for new windows and is thrilled with "saving" $100/month on utility bill.