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Electrify America Level 2 Home Charger

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Charging your Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle (PHEV) at home in North America hasn't changed much since my 2018 Home Charging essay.  If you have your own garage or parking space and a way to add a circuit, I still recommend a 240V 50A circuit with a NEMA 14-50 receptacle (aka 50A RV plug) and a home EVSE charging unit that plugs into that receptacle.  Together with you vehicle's on-board charger of 6-10 KW, this a great combination to add 25-40 miles of range per hour of charging.

The market for EVSEs, particularly non-networked "dumb" EVSEs is fairly mature.  Rather than increasing power output, established manufacturers like ClipperCreek and EnelX (formerly eMotorwerks) are focusing on more features like two plugs for multi-EV households and smart charging that allows you to take advantage of time-of-day power rates and remote start and stop.

With that background, I was surprised that Electrify America was displaying its new Level 2 home …

EV Charging on a TT-30 30-Amp RV Plug

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Note: This is Tesla-heavy content related to the Universal Mobile Charger (UMC).  However, the discussion of adapters is relevant to other EVs.  

In my recent winter road trip, I visited a friend who informed he had "some kind of RV plug" behind his house from a previous RV owner.

If you prefer a video overview with less detail, jump to this short YouTube video on the topic:  https://youtu.be/m0gfpz_h100

RV Plugs Explained When we hear about RV power plugs, it's usually just in reference to a "30-amp" and a "50-amp" plug.  Unfortunately, amps don't tell the whole story because what we are really after is power (Watts) rather than flow of electricity (amps).  If the technical details are too much for you, skip down to the Bottom Line adapters section.

Roughly speaking:

Watts (power) = Volts (potential) x Amps (flow)

Watts or Kilowatts (KW) are what give an indication of how quickly we can charge for more range.

What's missing in the RV plug descri…

Insane + Tesla Battery Preheat

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Note: This is another Tesla-specific essay related to battery preheating in the pre-Ludicrous performance models.

In my recent winter road trip essay, I recommend preheating the cabin while still being plugged in, which is one of the more useful features you often see recommended to maximize winter range.  The one feature I didn't remember to try out on that trip, but did on a subsequent trip was a battery preheat "hack" specific to the pre-Ludicrous Tesla P models that have the "Insane" acceleration feature.  All others can tune out at this point other than to stress that battery temperature has an effect on range.

If you prefer a video overview, jump to this short YouTube video on the topic:  https://youtu.be/mF6LcMYUwcs

Even with cabin preheating, the Tesla Model S and X does not preheat the battery by default during cabin preheating unless the battery temperature is extremely low.  The result is that regeneration is limited (see picture) and in some cases, …

Tesla Winter Road Trip in 2019

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Note: I'm focusing mostly on Tesla issues in this post, but the general information holds for other battery electrics (BEVs) as well.

Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel holidays of the year, and this year my family contributed to the mayhem on the highways in order to see our daughter and good friends in Kansas City.

We headed out from West Michigan as soon as school was out on Wednesday afternoon before Thanksgiving and joined the throngs of other car travelers.

As the original owner of a 2015 Tesla with a nominal range of 250 miles and free lifetime Supercharging thanks to the promotion for early adopters of that vintage, our Model S is our logical choice for a road trip vehicle.  Well that, and we no longer own a gas car.

Congestion at the Supercharger Our first stop out of Muskegon is the St. Joseph, MI Supercharger where we typically enjoy the nearby Panera for its yummy pastries, soups, salads and decent coffee.  Normally, we pull right in to a Supercharger stall and …

Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 8 - EVs in Winter

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Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming Listen Here: Plug-In West Michigan Podcast ... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.

Episode 8 - EVs in Winter

Show Notes
Introduction
Host: Karl BlossBlog: www.muskegonevguy.comInstagram @muskegonevguyWest Michigan EV community:  www.facebook.com/groups/WestMichiganEV/Guest: Ted Ooyevaar, EV owner, enthusiast and road warriorTheme song composed by Tyler Burke

Main Topic:  Electric Vehicle Considerations in Winter Weather
What happens to cars when it gets cold?All cars lose efficiency and range in the winter.  Gas cars just burn more gas and need to warm up longer.Traction: I highly recommend winter tires no matter what car you have.  The traction is so much better than so-called “all-season” tires, which I call “no season” tires.First let’s talk about the positives:If you’re just traveling around home, you just plug in at home in the comfort of your garage if you have one.  No need to stand at a gas pump …

Plug In West Michigan Podcast - Episode 7 - Electric Motorcycles

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Part of WKTV Journal Grand Rapids, MI Community Programming Listen Here: Plug-In West Michigan Podcast ... or find it on your favorite podcast feed like iTunes or Spotify.

Episode 7 Show Notes
Introduction
Host: Karl BlossBlog: www.muskegonevguy.comInstagram @muskegonevguyWest Michigan EV community:  www.facebook.com/groups/WestMichiganEV/Guest: Brad Kallio - bkallio@zynoc.com, www.zynoc.comTheme song composed by Tyler Burke

Main Topic:  Electric Motorcycles
The usual EV questions:How far can it go on a charge? Zero DS 13.0 kWh - 70-140 milesHow long does it take to charge? Depends on the charger installed9 hours on 110V standard outlet<2 hours with a J1772 Charge TankSome motorcycles will have DC quick charging capability to allow charging in 20-30 minutesHow much does it cost to charge?At $0.10 per kWh, a 13 kWh battery costs $1.30 to chargeEfficiency90-120 miles for 11 kWh = 8-11 miles/kWh, 2-3 times as efficient as an EV car At $0.10 per kWh, that's  Brands available:ZeroZero has…

Decision Time on my 2016 LEAF Lease

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The 3-year lease on my 2016 Nissan LEAF comes to an end in August.  That means I need to make a decision whether to turn it back in or buy it out.  Linked with this decision is what vehicle would replace the LEAF as our daily driver if I decide to return it to Nissan.
For the TLDR folks, here's the summary:
I already have a Tesla Model S.The 2019 LEAFs are too expensive for me.My wife and I didn't like the Bolt EV.The other 60 kWh+ EV aren't available in Michigan yet.I have 16-year-old driver in the house.I'm buying out the lease on the 2016 LEAF. The point of this essay is not to convince anyone to come to the same conclusion, but rather to walk you through the thought process of how to approach the decision-making process and hopefully help you consider what EV may work for you.  For details on the above, read on.
Rewind to 2016 When we first decided to lease the 2016 LEAF, our garage contained a 2012 LEAF with about 80% of its original 24 kWh battery capacity due to…