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# 210398 25-Mar-2017 22:25
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I'm a bit confused about how a Leaf should be charged. It seems that they come with some kind of "travel pack" charger that is supposed to be plugged into a normal socket, but apparently this is not the best thing to do on a permanent basis, and a special home charging point needs to be installed?

 

I'm also a bit confused on whether these NZ "travel pack" chargers are legit... Dealers say that their cars come with a NZ charger, but are these safe with respect to NZ standards? I've had one dealer saying that most must be dodgy and he's the only person he knows supplying legit safety-checked chargers. Another (dodgy?) dealer showed me an adapter that fits into both sockets of a double wall-socket (and this charger had a larger earth pin, or something?). I saw a nice Leaf today that I would probably like to buy, except it doesn't have a NZ charger, and it seems there might be a few weeks wait to obtain one.

 

So... Leaf owners of NZ... How are you charging your vehicles? Is it safe?

 

I'm in Christchurch.


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  # 1747750 25-Mar-2017 23:08
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My first LEAF was a 2015 Model S Gen 2 from Japan. I got it from Autolink in Auckland. They supplied a modified Nissan EVSE with a blue commando plug on it so I could charge a 15amp. I had an electrician install a separate circuit to my carportt, with an isolating switch and a blue commando power point.

This works just fine. I'd the EVSE "legal"? Autolink say it is as an electrician has certified the changes. I never had any trouble with it. The thing barely got warm after hours of use.

My second LEAF is from the UK. It came with an EVSE that is 240v but only 10amp. A bit slow for me.

I also bought a "Spark" EVSE (settable to 16amp, 10amp or 6amp) with a blue commando plug on it. I mainly use that. I very much like to have both a regular 10amp EVSE that can plug into any normal power outlet (just in case) AND a 16amp blue commando for use at caravan parks when away and there are no fast chargers.

I also use fast chargers if I don't have time to recharge at home.

I recently bought a property and added a 32amp EV charger there as my UK LEAF is able to charge at 6.6kw (32amp) whereas the Japanese Leafs almost never have the 6.6kw option. They have the 3.3kw AC internal charger, so anything more than 16amp is a waste for them. But any LEAF can charge at 50kw DC at a fast charger.




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  # 1747870 26-Mar-2017 08:16
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An adapter that plugs into 2 power outlets will almost certainly allow the pins on one plug to be live when only one plug is connected - extremely dangerous. It also doesn't prevent (and probably increases) the chances of the actual circuit being overloaded, assuming you plug both into the same circuit. If each plug was connected to a different circuit, then you could back feed a circuit whose overload protection had disconnected it, causing the circuit to be live again. Imagine if the circuits were on different phases.

 

That device seems dangerous. I'm sure @gregmcc can offer more, but I wouldn't go near it, and the dealer shouldn't be offering such a thing for sale.

 

Remember with an EV, the charger is built into the car, not external. The LEAFs have a single phase charger with a maximum current draw of either 16A (3.3kW) or 32A (6.6kW). Other EV's may have 3 phase chargers (BMW i3 & Renault Zoe, but not 100% certain?), but will also charge (slower) from a single phase connection.

 

The EVSE (charging cable) is essentially a cable to plug the car into the mains AC supply that has some smarts. The smarts tell the charger in the car what supply capacity is available (number of phases, and current per phase) as well as some safety interlock circuitry to prevent things being live until the car is properly connected.

 

In the OP's case, it is the EVSE that you are looking at.

 

It is important that the EVSE you have is compatible with the car (kinda obvious!), and will generally have either a type 1 (single phase, used on the LEAF) or type 2 (single or three phase) plug for the car end. EVSEs advertising up to 10A can be used in theory from a standard power point, however given they draw so much power for a long period of time that power point should be in good mechanical condition, and fed from a suitable circuit to prevent overheating. The ones that draw 6-8 amps would provide more of  a safety margin, at the expense of increased charging time. A plug in EVSE up to 16amps are often fitted with a blue caravan (commando) plug, and a matching caravan outlet fitted to the charging area.

 

The next step up is a permanent installation of a wall mounted "charger". These may or may not have a detachable cable. In this case, the box mounted to the wall is the EVSE, and the cable connecting it to the car is a simple cable only.

 

What EVSE you use is going to depend on what power you have available at home, and what is available in other places you may want to charge. As @Linuxluver mentions, the blue commando plug with a 16A EVSE is pretty common, but if your LEAF has a 6.6kW charger on board, you are selling yourself short only supplying it 16A, not 32A. An 8A EVSE with a normal 3 pin plug is pretty universal, and will get you going anywhere, albeit slowly - a good idea to have one, but will be frustratingly slow for full time use.

 

@RUKI may also offer some insight here.

 

 


 
 
 
 


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  # 1747876 26-Mar-2017 08:44
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RunningMan:

 

An adapter that plugs into 2 power outlets will almost certainly allow the pins on one plug to be live when only one plug is connected - extremely dangerous. It also doesn't prevent (and probably increases) the chances of the actual circuit being overloaded, assuming you plug both into the same circuit. If each plug was connected to a different circuit, then you could back feed a circuit whose overload protection had disconnected it, causing the circuit to be live again. Imagine if the circuits were on different phases.

 

That device seems dangerous. I'm sure @gregmcc can offer more, but I wouldn't go near it, and the dealer shouldn't be offering such a thing for sale.

 

 

 

 

2 plugs in to 1 device.....not electrically safe, that's a $10,000 fine right there.

 

 

 

If car dealers are selling leaf's with electrically modified chargers these charges need to have available a suppliers document of conformity (SDOC) to prove they have been checked for safety and comply with the electrical standards. by law you can request one from the car dealer and they must provide or usually they give you a PDF with details. Remember that the OEM's SDOC will be invalid because there have been modifications since manufacture. The car dealer needs to submit samples to a testing lab that can certify.

 

 


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  # 1747881 26-Mar-2017 09:06
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Wow.. About the only thing that could be worse would be supplying original Japanese cables and these travel adapters to allow them to be used in NZ.

 

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hvOTiQKkQMo




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  # 1747903 26-Mar-2017 10:13
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Thanks for the info, everyone.

Who sells this stuff in NZ? I can only find http://www.juicepoint.co.nz, https://bluecars.nz/, and http://www.oemaudio.co.nz.

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  # 1747913 26-Mar-2017 10:58
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Also http://www.nzev.co.nz/charging-points/ They seem to resell the Viridian EVSEs.

 

First thing though is to know the power requirements of your specific car if buying for home use... Here's one that will do 32A single phase for a 6.6kW LEAF http://www.nzev.co.nz/charging-point-type-2-socket-32a-7-4kw/ It will require a type 2 - type 1 cable to connect the LEAF, or see if they do the tethered version (cable permanently attached)

 

The Juicepoint ones look fine. Portable 8amp or tethered single phase upto 40A.

 

EDIT: Another NZ importer https://yhipower.co.nz/catalog/ac-e.v-charger-103410.htmx




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  # 1747963 26-Mar-2017 11:32
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I'm now wondering if a permanent house caravan plug + 10amp socket adapter would be enough. Bluecars supply this, and it has a switch to choose amperage. That way I wouldn't need to buy a separate travel adapter. I have Econnecx home automation which (I'm assuming) would allow me to schedule charging times.

But if I did this, what would I potentially be missing out on? Are permanent (hard-wired) chargers much better?

 
 
 
 


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  # 1747973 26-Mar-2017 11:47
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That would work fine, as long as the EVSE cable you use also has switchable current (not all do). The Bluecars supplied adapter (similar here) allows you to plug a 16amp caravan plug into a standard 10amp outlet by providing an inline RCD and circuit breaker. It makes it safe, however, unless the EVSE can be set to draw under 10amps, then the circuit breaker on the adapter will immediately trip, and you aren't charging any more!

 

The advantages of a permanently wired home EVSE are that there's less to trip over and unplug, and they are generally capable of supplying more current, meaning quicker charge times.

 

An older LEAF with a 3.3kW onboard charger is going to draw 16amps, so a caravan style outlet will be fine for this. If you get a newer LEAF with a 6.6kW charger, it will still charge from the 16amp outlet, but it will be at half the speed than if it had the full 32amps. The only way to get this is with a permanent unit.

 

I realise you're only looking at a LEAF, but other EVs may benefit from 3 phase EVSEs to get the best out of them, and you will only get that with a permanent unit.


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  # 1747976 26-Mar-2017 11:52
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These guys also offer caravan adapters both with and without RCD to plug into a conventional 10amp outlet, but as above, it's no good unless the EVSE can be set to use a lower current.

 

http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?member=6071933




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  # 1747980 26-Mar-2017 12:01
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Does anyone know how to 100% confirm whether a Leaf has a 3.3kW or 6.6 kW charger? I'm currently looking at a 2014 Leaf X from Japan; as I understand it it is unlikely that the Japanese imports have a 6.6kW charger.

 

I would be considering other EV options but it seems the market is fairly limited in Christchurch, plus pricing is only favouring the Leaf at the moment. Perhaps in another 5 years...


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  # 1747981 26-Mar-2017 12:02
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RunningMan:

 

That would work fine, as long as the EVSE cable you use also has switchable current (not all do). The Bluecars supplied adapter (similar here) allows you to plug a 16amp caravan plug into a standard 10amp outlet by providing an inline RCD and circuit breaker. It makes it safe, however, unless the EVSE can be set to draw under 10amps, then the circuit breaker on the adapter will immediately trip, and you aren't charging any more!

 

 

Potentially this adaptor is illegal.

 

I do recall somewhere about supplying a 16A outlet from a 10A socket not been allowed

 

 

 

 


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  # 1748037 26-Mar-2017 13:04
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Bluecars have a little more info in this TM listing -

 

The Mini-BLU has been designed and manufactured in Australia to AU/NZS standards.

 

Is it allowed to be used though?

 

As for determining what charger is fitted to a given car, need to check the specific car - dealer should be able to tell you. AFAIK the 6.6kW was an optional extra for some early models, but is now standard on all but the base models. This can vary according to the market they were sold in though.


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  # 1748050 26-Mar-2017 13:26
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I have an 2014 UK leaf (from http://www.nzev.co.nz )which comes with the optional 6.6 kW changer unit inside.

 

When I bought my car the dealer included two cables, (one an original uk type2 Mennekes - never used it) and a EVSE cable with an option to use 10 or 16A current ending in a caravan type plug.

 

For the first month I used an adapter which allowed me to plug this into a normal plug in the garage. (it included a 10A limiter so I couldnt select the 16A option)

 

I then got an electrician to run a separate cable from the main switchboard to a caravan plug which I have placed on the outside of my house (see picture).

 

When I want to charge by car I just plug it in and can select either 10 or 16A on the EVSE cable.

 

I also got a blank socket from a guy in canada who makes then which means I leave the plug end of the cable attached to the wall which keeps the cable off the floor and makes it very easy to grab and plug into the car. ie analogous to how petrol pumps arrange their hoses. (VERY comfortable)

 

 

 

The electrical cable I got installed could carry 32A but I wouldnt be able to easily use the caravan plug arrangement and at the moment I dont have issues with wanting to charge faster than that.

 

In the future I might get a box which can supply 32A which would need the household fuses changed from the 16A limit.

 

If I do this I am going to get a box with a type 2 socket as I would be able to use the other cable the car came with and it would mean in the future if I bought a different EV I wouldn't have to replace the box.

 

http://www.nzev.co.nz/charging-point-type-2-socket-32a-7-4kw/

 

 

 


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  # 1748068 26-Mar-2017 14:23
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pogo:

Does anyone know how to 100% confirm whether a Leaf has a 3.3kW or 6.6 kW charger? I'm currently looking at a 2014 Leaf X from Japan; as I understand it it is unlikely that the Japanese imports have a 6.6kW charger.


I would be considering other EV options but it seems the market is fairly limited in Christchurch, plus pricing is only favouring the Leaf at the moment. Perhaps in another 5 years...



On my UK leaf one of the dashboard display options is time to charge.

By default I've set my leaf to charge to 80%

When I'm in the correct view the dash has two charging times displayed something like 6.6kw xx:xx then under it 3.3kw xx:xx.

But how it goes with things written in Japanese Im not sure. That and the 110v issues is why I bought UK leaf.

I bought from evnz which is Rangiora which is Chch really.

Contact the Christchurch ev group on facebook. They have lots of members and local knowledge and different types of ev's. They are very proactive and have social gatherings. You might get to do test drives or link up with a seller.

A.



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  # 1748091 26-Mar-2017 15:24
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 @afe66 I'm assuming that the charge time only shows when you're actually charging the vehicle?

 

I'm still struggling to find out whether the model I'm looking at is 3.3 or 6.6kW (http://www.trademe.co.nz/motors/used-cars/nissan/auction-1275740565.htm). Even the Japanese spec appears to have nothing about it (http://ev.nissan.co.jp/LEAF/PDF/leaf_specifications.pdf). I'll probably have to go back to the dealer and physically look at the charger under the hood, maybe there's a label or something (the dealer doesn't appear to know already).

 

If I'm going to have to get a charge point installed I really need to know if 32A will come in useful or not...


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