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Old 07-17-2012, 12:41 PM   #1
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


Although electric vehicles are still uncommon and standards are still being developed, I would like to pre-wire my attached garage for a dedicated EV charger while I have the opportunity during present-day renovations. (An electric car may or may not be in my near future, but perhaps it may be for the next homeowner.)

There's a variety of residential high voltage (240V) Level 2 EV chargers on the market today. However none of them seems to state whether they are compatible or made for a certain car brand. Thus the specs span quite the range making me wonder whether the choice of charger could limit what type of car can be charged.


What are best practices for pre-wiring for a residential EV charger?

What would be the ideal or properly sized circuit, and are there any special calculations or de-ratings used to determine the size of the OCP breaker, and thus the wire gauge? A charger would be considered an appliance that runs at continuous load?

What is the proper height on the wall where the junction box should be mounted, and what size junction box?

Should I also run any LV (i.e. Cat6 or multi-conductor control wires) to the location?


My garage will be finished so I'm trying to get this right as best as possible now. Thanks in advance, and please share any experiences.

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:13 PM   #2
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


There is no real standard that can be counted on to work with every car for the foreseeable future. I'd suggest running a 2" conduit from you panel to a J-box somewhere convenient in the garage, and leave it unwired for now. That way you can supply whatever the charger needs if you get one in the future.

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Old 07-17-2012, 01:33 PM   #3
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


Running conduit would certainly keep the options open.
I will have to think how to route such a thick conduit with minimum bends between the studs/joists.
Since this is an attached garage with contiguous living space, sheetrock will have to be put up and sealed all around.
The j-box mounted 4-feet from the floor is adequate? Or should a disconnect box be used instead?
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Old 07-17-2012, 01:49 PM   #4
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


From that I have read, a 30A 240v circuit is becoming common. I am not sure about a neutral.

You could run 10/3 to the location and most likely be safe.

If it were me I wouldn't bother. ALL electric cars have proven to be pretty close to useless for anything more than a quick run around, and you DO NOT want to be stuck away from home when it runs out. Also, they (at least lately) are considerable more expensive than normal cars.
Also, the whole "zero emissions" thing is a bunch of B-S! Unless or course you are powering solely by solar, wind or hydro.

Take all the money you would spend on the car and infrastructure, and get yourself a small diesel. You can drive the car for free for years on the money you saved.
And NO, today's diesels do not smoke or smell, and are no noisier than a gas car, and they perform nearly the same or even better in some cases.
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Old 07-17-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


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Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
Also, the whole "zero emissions" thing is a bunch of B-S! Unless or course you are powering solely by solar, wind or hydro.
And if you neglect the environmental impact of manufacturing and disposal! These things have huge ecological costs. Much worse than a regular vehicle without a giant battery back that needs regular replacement.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:09 PM   #6
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


Your opinions and sentiments are noted.
I suppose we should be happy we're not building in San Francisco, where wiring for EV charging is being made code requirement.
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Old 07-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #7
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


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I suppose we should be happy we're not building in San Francisco, where wiring for EV charging is being made code requirement.
You're joking!

And sorry for the rant. I get kind of passionate about this subject.
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Old 07-17-2012, 08:20 PM   #8
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


I think the hole state of California is requiring electric vehicle charging outlets in new construction these days .... not just San Fran
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:01 PM   #9
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


The funniest thing I saw, was a Smart Car on the highway between Rhinelander, WI & Eagle's River, WI. What happens if you run out of power in the Northwoods? Push it to someones home two to three miles down the road and ask for a charge?
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:22 PM   #10
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


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The funniest thing I saw, was a Smart Car on the highway between Rhinelander, WI & Eagle's River, WI. What happens if you run out of power in the Northwoods? Push it to someones home two to three miles down the road and ask for a charge?

Smart Cars aren't electric......
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:26 PM   #11
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
The funniest thing I saw, was a Smart Car on the highway between Rhinelander, WI & Eagle's River, WI. What happens if you run out of power in the Northwoods? Push it to someones home two to three miles down the road and ask for a charge?
Not all Smarts are electric. Most are 3-cyl turbocharged diesel or petrol.
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Old 07-17-2012, 09:36 PM   #12
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


I just skimmed the CA's current electrical & energy codes. The only references to electrical vehicle chargers was the standard NEC article 625. So they're not mandatory, yet. I wouldn't be surprised if some folk are trying to make it mandatory, but we'll see how long it takes them to get it across.

I did however come across an old ('98) CA document regarding design of charging stations, and it looks like 240V 60A may be/have been a standard. See the bottom of page 3 of http://www.energy.ca.gov/papers/98-09-23_KATELEY.PDF
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Old 07-18-2012, 10:48 AM   #13
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedy Petey View Post
From that I have read, a 30A 240v circuit is becoming common. I am not sure about a neutral.

You could run 10/3 to the location and most likely be safe.

If it were me I wouldn't bother. ALL electric cars have proven to be pretty close to useless for anything more than a quick run around, and you DO NOT want to be stuck away from home when it runs out. Also, they (at least lately) are considerable more expensive than normal cars.
Also, the whole "zero emissions" thing is a bunch of B-S! Unless or course you are powering solely by solar, wind or hydro.

Take all the money you would spend on the car and infrastructure, and get yourself a small diesel. You can drive the car for free for years on the money you saved.
And NO, today's diesels do not smoke or smell, and are no noisier than a gas car, and they perform nearly the same or even better in some cases.
It is this thinking that got us where we are today. The do nothing crowd afraid of change.
Had we started these things back in the 70's, we might not have $3 -$4 dollar a gallon gas. We could very well be leading the world in energy production.
Don't let the scare tactics get to you. Regular gasoline powered cars and trucks can run out of gas just as easy as someone with an electric car can run out of power. The newer electrics go farther than ever without a charge. Many people report never needing to charge until they return home from work.
Hybrids use gas and electric so you are not going to be stuck any how.
I am all for charging stations everywhere. The more stations, the more people will buy electric cars and hybrids. I am all for moving ahead with what should have been started 30 years ago.
We have to start somewhere.
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Old 07-18-2012, 01:16 PM   #14
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


John, you obviously don't get how I feel. I certainly do not fear change, and the "do nothing crowd"? Seriously?

While I hate hybrids (for other reasons) I acknowledge their existence and tenacity. It's the all electric car that is doomed and will have no place in the real world.


Quote:
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Don't let the scare tactics get to you. Regular gasoline powered cars and trucks can run out of gas just as easy as someone with an electric car can run out of power.
Sorry, but this is blatantly absurd!
Just as easy?? You CANNOT be serious. If your fuel gauge shows low you simply pull into the nearest gas station and fill up. Until you get your charging station on every corner this is NOT going to happen with an all electric. And even then, do you have ANY clue what charging times are on these things??? How about 10-11 hours. Even a quick charge is several hours just to get you back home.


I fully agree we should have started long ago, but with hydrogen and other fuel sources, AND to get to the clean diesel engines we have today. Europe had embraced diesel LONG ago. We here in "we know better than the rest of the world" America thumbed our noses at this. Mainly because our gas was SO cheap compared to the rest of the world. Now today we are paying the price for this arrogance and scrambling to keep up with technology.

Top gear did a test on a VW Lupo diesel against a petrol version. Doing the same 100+ mile loop of highway road the petrol got around 45 mpg (and this is NOT a hybrid). The diesel got 75 MPG. Let's see your Prius get that on a regular basis.
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Old 07-18-2012, 02:07 PM   #15
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Pre-wiring Electric Vehicle charger


Electric cars are not for me. I have a simple reasons compared to most that have been given.

First, regenerative braking does not do me much good because I don't use brakes very much.

Second, you may call me a barbarian, but when I turn the key and start my ICE I smile because I know that I am making stuff explode

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