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Do we absolutely need a wall charger at home?

ClaudeMach-E

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Well the short answer is not necessarily but the right answer is it’s probably a good idea. Like many of you the Mustang Mach-E will be my first EV, but my second ordered EV. I’ve been interested in EV’s since late 2018 and in August 2019 I did ordered a Kia Niro EV, not yet arrive at this time, and in January 2020 I did place a reservation for a MME Premium SR AWD, because I wanted the AWD option and the MME OTA updates.

In the meantime I have read a lot about EV charging at home (level 1 or 2) and on the road (level 3), watched a lot of YouTube videos also. So here are some reflections I made that I’d like to share with you so you might use it has a guideline. Of course my thoughts are for a Premium SR AWD.

Before choosing a home charger it’s important to know your daily commute needs. I have base mine on a 40mi/65km. Second it’s important to know the reminding net capacity of your electrical panel before even starting a DIY installation project, has this will be your guideline for installing a 40A, 50A or 60A circuit. It is important to know to not overload the panel and only a qualified electrician can evaluate that. Let’s say here we are not suppose to draw more than 80% of the circuit value or charge capacity, meaning that for a 32A/h charger you will need a 40A circuit, 40A/h charger a 50A circuit and a 48A/h charger a 60A circuit.

The MME comes with a 120 V/240V probably a 12A/h-32A/h portable charger (Level 1 and 2). Let’s calculate charging time a little bit. Of course car manufacturers always give you the empty to full figures, but this will probably never happen unless you come home behind a towing. For example with the 120V 12A/h supplied charger it will take roughly 53 hours which you calculate as follow 120V X 12A/h= 1.44 kW/h and 75.7 kW/h /1.44 kW/h = 53 hours. In the EU because it is 240V that time would be cut in half. Not good. But let’s see for my average 40mi/65km which is only 19% of the battery capacity of 210mi/335km or 14.4 kW/h of a 75.7 kW/h battery. With the same formula we then have a 14.4 kW/h / 1.44 kW/h= 10 hours so overnight charging would be sufficient for many people’s daily commute only with a 12A/h charger. Now for the 32A/h it will give us a 7.68 kW/h capable charger which for that 19% daily usage will require 14.4kW/h / 7.68kW/h= less than 2 hours. Better if you have a reduced electric tariff outside peak hours. And don’t forget EV batteries are happy charging at a slow pace.

Based on these numbers should you install a 40A circuit to use the 32A/h portable charger supplied with the MME? Well just let’s say that this charger might be expensive to replace if need be, has some Nissan Leaf owners have find out. Now if your charger is installed inside a
garage and don’t have to deal with the elements you will only have a Nema 14-50 plug on a 40A circuit to install. Personally I will get a 32A/h wall charger with the Nema 4X weatherproof rating. This is the highest exterior rating because not only is it waterproof but also humidity proof. I will then keep the MME portable charger in the car, has a spare tire kind of, and use it on family visit far from home or Nema 14-50 available chargers on the road if needed. It’s important to say also that installing a Nema 14-50 plug for a wall charger, your MME portable charger can be used as a spare if your wall charger needs repair.

So my final exterior installation will have a 50A circuit, (future proofing) the maximum for a Nema 14-50 plug, I will get the Global Industries EV One 32A/h variable current output charger (can be set between 8A to 32A on the 32A model, as we don’t know at this time if the MME will have the capacity to select variable input current like in the Tesla’s, with a Nema 14-50 plug and Nema 4X weatherproof rating and a 5 year warranty, operating temperature between -40F and 104F/-40C and 40C. An app is also available as an option, but we will have access to everything needed for charging from the FordPass app already. It is available in Canada at the https://roulezelectrique.com/ boutique (they have video on their french site but it’s worth watching) or for the US I believe directly from the manufacturer at https://www.global.industries/product/ev-one/. It is also important to note that for cold regions it is important that the charging cable remain flexible at very cold temperature like -22F/-30C.

Finally I would invite the MME community to have a look at the Mach Dad YouTube channel, and become a subscriber. I did found some more info on the MME mobile charger at https://electrek.co/2019/11/18/ford-mustang-mach-e-home-charging-on-par-with-tesla/ but I decided not to correct my post, please read this article. Also here’s a few link’s to the charger I am talking about and some video demonstration about winter flexibility of charging cable.


you don’t want that at only 15.8F/-9C

at -4F/-20C

ça va bien aller means things will go well is what we see these days everywhere including's people's windows.

4b6f3566-7946-11ea-b33c-02fe89184577.jpg


Ford-Mobile-Charger-electrek.jpg
 

JamieGeek

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To simplify your deliberations the answer is yes, its always yes.

The Mach-E will have large enough batteries that it simply won't be practical to expect a decent charge out of it overnight. In addition, you will eventually come across a situation where you wish you had the higher charging capacity.

I experienced this after only 1 week owning a low ranged Focus Electric (FFE). Even at only 70 miles of range you'd barely fill it up overnight, and forget about going anywhere after coming home from work (especially in winter).

After the Level-2 was installed I found I could get enough charge back in the car between coming home from work to after dinner that we could easily go places and do things that evening.

Granted: With the Bolt I don't have such issues--in the summer I can go almost a week without having to charge (and much much further these days ! LOL). Still having a Level-2 that can charge it to full overnight (or close to full overnight in the Mach-E's case) from a nearly empty battery is invaluable.

I was recently talking with a new Bolt owner. When he first picked it up he was saying "I'll see how I manage with the included Level-1". About 2 weeks later I spoke with him again "They install the Level-2 on Friday" LOL.
 
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ChasingCoral

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I agree with JamieGeek: yes.

I have a 33 kWh Leaf. We used the supplied 120V Level 1 charger briefly until our Level 2 charger was installed. We've also used it a couple of times as a "destination charger". It's slow. Even for a dinky 33 kWh battery, a full charge is about 20 hours. For a Mach E with 3 times the battery capacity, I don't think that would work for me. Of course, the Ford Mobile Charger comes with both 120V and 240V options, so that's another story. I still wouldn't want to use the Mobile Charger as my primary due to wear and tear and would want to know I have it as a spare/mobile option.

While I'd love to get one of the new Level 2 Ford Connected Charging Stations to take advantage of all the programming and a bit faster charging, we already have a Clipper Creek LCS-30 (24 amp, 5.8kW max) charger. Part of the reason we went with that unit was our electrical service could only support an additional 30 amp circuit. To install a 50 amp circuit would have required we either expand our current box or add a new one, either of which would have dramatically increased the cost of the installation.

Even with the slower charger, a full charge of the Leaf is only 5.5 hours and we usually recharge when we reach 50%, needing only a few hours. While I'll consider installing a new charger, I think we'll be ok with the 5.8 kW charger we have now. I'm not sure if we even know what the maximum charging rate is on the Ford Connected Charging Station. However, at 48 amps, it probably will be about 50% faster than the charger I have now, which is probably comparable to the 240V Ford Mobile Charger.

So, you'll want to look at the comparative costs and how much capacity you have in your existing electrical service.
 

Gilles

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One issue is the capacity available from your house circuits. I live in an older house and only had 30 amps fuse circuits available (the electrician quoted $25,000 to upgrade the house supply as all the old setup was below current local standards (we have few knob and tube circuits left)). So in the end, I found a 25 amps level 2 unit that fitted a pair of 30 amps fuses. This passed inspection.
It allows me to recharge from my daily volunteer drive at night, taking advantage of low rates.
 

Hoovertac

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To simplify your deliberations the answer is yes, its always yes.

The Mach-E will have large enough batteries that it simply won't be practical to expect a decent charge out of it overnight. In addition, you will eventually come across a situation where you wish you had the higher charging capacity.

I experienced this after only 1 week owning a low ranged Focus Electric (FFE). Even at only 70 miles of range you'd barely fill it up overnight, and forget about going anywhere after coming home from work (especially in winter).

After the Level-2 was installed I found I could get enough charge back in the car between coming home from work to after dinner that we could easily go places and do things that evening.

Granted: With the Bolt I don't have such issues--in the summer I can go almost a week without having to charge (and much much further these days ! LOL). Still having a Level-2 that can charge it to full overnight (or close to full overnight in the Mach-E's case) from a nearly empty battery is invaluable.

I was recently talking with a new Bolt owner. When he first picked it up he was saying "I'll see how I manage with the included Level-1". About 2 weeks later I spoke with him again "They install the Level-2 on Friday" LOL.
Agreed ... I had a Focus EV which advertised a 111 mile range, so bookended that really came to 80 on a hot day with moderate freeway traffic. I loved it but was always planning 2-3 steps ahead. A 110 wall charger took all night and you better not forget to plug it in or have a last minute errand/plan come up. Even though It was a total PITA it was worth never having to pay for gas. Even though Ford has obviously learned from the Compliance Focus and Fusion EV customer feedback I will never be dependent to a 110 charger again.
 

efisher

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Well.....

As the question is phrased, no, there is no absolute need for a wall charger. I would suggest that it is absolutely necessary to have an accessible plug: Either a normal 120 or 240 volts. Which one you choose really depends on how much time your car will be plugged in sitting at home. Many people will tell you that a 120 outlet is simply not enough because it will take you three days to fully charge your batteries from empty. This however leaves out the next question which is "How often do you have to charge from zero to full"
A 120 outlet will charge three miles per hour. If you are out and about for ten hours a day, then that leaves you 14 hours of charging time or forty-two miles of range gained overnight. If you are commuting thirty miles of day you will be able charge back to full or gradually build back twelve miles each day from those days where you exceed your normal travel.

The problem comes in when you have several days in a row of extraordinary usage. In the extreme case, if you drive three hundred miles on one day, you will only be able to build up forty-two miles of range by the next morning. Either you make a trip to a level-3 charger for a DC fast charge, or no long trips on day two.

Alternatively, if you have a 240 plug, then you can gain twenty-one miles per hour, or 294 miles of range in a 14-hour charging period. This means you can go from zero to full charge every day.

It is worth mentioning that both above options are supported by the charging cord that comes standard with the Mach E. No wall charger needed just a standard 120 or 240 outlet.

So why a wall charger. The simple answer is convenience. Having a wall charger means you can keep the charging cord in its case and in the car so that it is always available should you need it either in an emergency situation, or when paying a visit to far away friends or relatives who don't mind you plugging in overnight.

There are some other benefits that can come with more sophisticated wall chargers that can communicate with your phone or with your Ford App or give you status updates. How important these features is up to the individual, for some they are a nice to have feature, for others it's just another way for companies to collect data regarding your day-to-day activities.
 

DaveRuns

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Well.....

As the question is phrased, no, there is no absolute need for a wall charger. I would suggest that it is absolutely necessary to have an accessible plug: Either a normal 120 or 240 volts. Which one you choose really depends on how much time your car will be plugged in sitting at home. Many people will tell you that a 120 outlet is simply not enough because it will take you three days to fully charge your batteries from empty. This however leaves out the next question which is "How often do you have to charge from zero to full"
A 120 outlet will charge three miles per hour. If you are out and about for ten hours a day, then that leaves you 14 hours of charging time or forty-two miles of range gained overnight. If you are commuting thirty miles of day you will be able charge back to full or gradually build back twelve miles each day from those days where you exceed your normal travel.

The problem comes in when you have several days in a row of extraordinary usage. In the extreme case, if you drive three hundred miles on one day, you will only be able to build up forty-two miles of range by the next morning. Either you make a trip to a level-3 charger for a DC fast charge, or no long trips on day two.

Alternatively, if you have a 240 plug, then you can gain twenty-one miles per hour, or 294 miles of range in a 14-hour charging period. This means you can go from zero to full charge every day.

It is worth mentioning that both above options are supported by the charging cord that comes standard with the Mach E. No wall charger needed just a standard 120 or 240 outlet.

So why a wall charger. The simple answer is convenience. Having a wall charger means you can keep the charging cord in its case and in the car so that it is always available should you need it either in an emergency situation, or when paying a visit to far away friends or relatives who don't mind you plugging in overnight.

There are some other benefits that can come with more sophisticated wall chargers that can communicate with your phone or with your Ford App or give you status updates. How important these features is up to the individual, for some they are a nice to have feature, for others it's just another way for companies to collect data regarding your day-to-day activities.
Maybe off-topic...I saw a YouTube video of a popular 20-something old “YouTuber”, where she plugged in her Model 3 almost everyday via a 120v outlet in her garage. She showed a close-up of the extension cord plug she uses, and it was clearly burnt a little. She noticed, but still chose to use the extension cord. I wouldn’t be surprised if she burns her apartment down.
 

dbsb3233

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Maybe off-topic...I saw a YouTube video of a popular 20-something old “YouTuber”, where she plugged in her Model 3 almost everyday via a 120v outlet in her garage. She showed a close-up of the extension cord plug she uses, and it was clearly burnt a little. She noticed, but still chose to use the extension cord. I wouldn’t be surprised if she burns her apartment down.
That's a problem for other uses of 120V extension cords too. People have a tendency to think 240V is the one that they need to be careful with and that 120V is pretty much all the same, and that any 120V cord is fine. But they have different gauges and ratings too. Probably need a 12 gauge for that, if not a 10.
 

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Maybe off-topic...I saw a YouTube video of a popular 20-something old “YouTuber”, where she plugged in her Model 3 almost everyday via a 120v outlet in her garage. She showed a close-up of the extension cord plug she uses, and it was clearly burnt a little. She noticed, but still chose to use the extension cord. I wouldn’t be surprised if she burns her apartment down.
Do you happen to know if there is some sort of technical specification to look for in selecting an extension cord to avoid this happening?
 

ARK

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That's a problem for other uses of 120V extension cords too. People have a tendency to think 240V is the one that they need to be careful with and that 120V is pretty much all the same, and that any 120V cord is fine. But they have different gauges and ratings too. Probably need a 12 gauge for that, if not a 10.
Thank you, this answered a question I had about the extension cord before I even posted it!
 

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That's a problem for other uses of 120V extension cords too. People have a tendency to think 240V is the one that they need to be careful with and that 120V is pretty much all the same, and that any 120V cord is fine. But they have different gauges and ratings too. Probably need a 12 gauge for that, if not a 10.
Initially she said she used a regular “run of the mill” extension cord you’d buy anywhere, but then she went to Lowes and bought a thicker gauge extension cord. However, it was still burnt.
 

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Do you happen to know if there is some sort of technical specification to look for in selecting an extension cord to avoid this happening?
I have no idea, but I’m sure someone around here probably does.
 
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Do you happen to know if there is some sort of technical specification to look for in selecting an extension cord to avoid this happening?
There are several reasons to avoid extension cords altogether, especially for a long running appliance like an EVSE (car charger), where it is continuously pulling power while unattended.

Here's an explanation:

Extension cords are designed to carry a certain amount of current over a fixed distance (length of the cord). Daisy chaining cords (plugging cords together) increases this distance and thus increases the extension cord’s resistance.

Without getting into the mathematics and physics of it, essentially this results in greater heating of the cord and possible damage to the insulation – this may be associated with a risk of fire and electrical shock. (commonly known as I2R or Joule heating)

Secondly, you have the chances of the interconnection of plugs coming loose or pulling apart, resulting in a loss of power.

Thirdly, there is less current available to operate the load (although this is marginal and negligible). A fault furthest away from the source, in a daisy-chained arrangement, may result in the breaker failing to trip.

Finally, if the interconnection comes loose gradually, it could likely create a spark and that is once again a risk of fire (just through a different failure mechanism).
 

dbsb3233

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Other things to consider: Make sure the outlet is in good shape. If it's kinda worn with contacts that have loosened and doesn't hold the plug well, replace it with a new one.

Also, avoid having much else plugged in and in use on the same circuit.

One article I found says the Ford Mobile Charger used at 120V draws 8A. That's not a huge draw on a 15A or 20A circuit, but it is constant (probably 8+ hours). So anything not well-oversized will gradually break down from some heat build-up. Even though it may be rated safe for general use.

If I needed to use an extension cord for 120V, I'd go as short as possible and probably get 10 gauge (and of course UL listed).
 



 










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