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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just thought I would start a thread on this specifically for Canadians since I am sure many of us will likely want to get a level 2 charger if you don't have one already and the availability of chargers, and electrical code will vary between countries ( and regions within Canada in fact).

Charger Options:

I found a few articles with some comparisons of smart and non-smart chargers which may be useful to some:

The Best Home EV Charger Buying Guide For 2020

6 Of The Best Level 2 EV Chargers To Have Installed In 2022 - Sun Electrical Ltd. (I note these are all hardwired)

And who wudda thunk that Home Depot Canada sells a slew of Leviton and Siemens branded chargers?

I am in early phases of research and so, no where near deciding what to get. But I think I am leaning towards the following:

1. I will likely go with a smart charger so I can control when the charger is active (ie. during non-peak hydro hours).
2. Prefer not having hardwired as it provides flexibility for using the 240v plug for another appliance if required...eg heater if doing work in the garage during colder temps.
3. Will want something with a fairly long cable for flexibility of vehicle port placement, or if I want to charge while vehicle is outside.



Power supply:

I have already calculated the load on my 125a panel and I figure I have just enough room for a 45 amp level 2 charger if I wanted. I just finished my basement (did my own wiring and was inspected by ESA) and know I can combine two circuits safely on one breaker, which leaves me with 2 vacant spots for a 240v dual pole breaker. I will run wire from my panel to a new 240v plug inside my garage. Also versatile for any future owner to use for their charger or for any other 240v appliance. I figure between the breaker, supplies and wire, likely to cost me $275 - $300 all in doing it myself. Bulk of this is the wire....copper wire prices have gone through the roof.

Please feel free to share any intel, thoughts or experiences on anything to do with home chargers and their installation.
 

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My "installation" is much simpler given I live in a multi-family building. My parking spot came with a 48A 6-50P. I'm currently using a portable ClipperCreek LCS-20 that I bought for my plug-in hybrid. I'm deciding whether to upgrade to a higher powered one (especially since the EV6 can take up to 11kW and my power outlet maxes out at 9.6kW) or just suck it up and deal with 3.3kW/16A that I have and just plug in every day to slowly top up lol.

Oh I bought it from the US and shipped it to the border (pre-COVID times) which was cheaper than ordering it from SunCountry. It was half the price (US$400 vs. CDN$900)
 

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Appreciate you starting this thread @luck11

I've been doing research on chargers for as long as I've been finding more about the EV6. One thing I think is important to note, is situational context of your residence and how much power you have reliably access to.

For anyone curious - I would highly suggest checking out this youtube channel, as all Tom talks about is EV Chargers, and chances are, he has a review/comparison already on what you might be scoping.

Now onto my choice: ChargePoint Home Flex
After doing lots of research, I settled on going with the ChargePoint Home Flex. I can go on for hours on why, but this is a good comprehensive video. Here are my top reasons:
  1. ChargePoint is a well know brand, and one of North America's largest charging networks
  2. The HomeFlex can be either hard wired or plugged in, and power input can be throttled from 16 all the way 50 amps [this is important if you are unsure if you panel at home can withstand the load, or if you'd like the flexibility to move up in power in the future]
  3. This is a smart charger, so you can control, manipulate and see charging stats via the app and through the units wifi connection.
  4. Important for Canadian Winters - the cable composite allows it to be flexible, meaning you can bend the cable in cold climates. (This is critical if the charger will be mounted outside, or in a cold garage, imagine having to wrestle a 25 ft cable to your car)
  5. 3-year warranty backed by 24/7 customer support from a company dedicated to EV charging for 10+ years.
 

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Curious everyone's thoughts here.

I'm WFH, occasionally put 80-100km on my car in a day but expect that to be 1-2x / week at most post-pandemic, and have a detached garage with only 120V plugs. I spoke with an electrician last summer, he said to trench and run cable to my garage from my panel is likely around $3k. He did say b/c I have two plugs in my garage I could probably combine the two into a 240V outlet, but it would be 30A (i.e. 24A max draw). That would be in the hundreds, not thousands. I'm in the Lower Mainland, and the coldest I've seen my garage get is -2C. I don't mind hitting a fast-charger occasionally when truly needed.

I'm thinking that 120V is probably sufficient for me, right, and the 240V is just a nice bonus? And a dedicated charger in the garage is unnecessary?
 

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I've had a Leaf for 8+ years. ~80 mi range. We used 120v for 5 years and then had a 240v charger (JuiceBox) installed. Although we previously "got by" by charging most every night, the difference is night and day having about 5x faster charging. Removes the worry about whether we have enough miles left to go to xyz. So I'd definitely recommend putting in the 240v outlet (for "hundreds") -- you won't regret it.

Curious everyone's thoughts here.

I'm WFH, occasionally put 80-100km on my car in a day but expect that to be 1-2x / week at most post-pandemic, and have a detached garage with only 120V plugs. I spoke with an electrician last summer, he said to trench and run cable to my garage from my panel is likely around $3k. He did say b/c I have two plugs in my garage I could probably combine the two into a 240V outlet, but it would be 30A (i.e. 24A max draw). That would be in the hundreds, not thousands. I'm in the Lower Mainland, and the coldest I've seen my garage get is -2C. I don't mind hitting a fast-charger occasionally when truly needed.

I'm thinking that 120V is probably sufficient for me, right, and the 240V is just a nice bonus? And a dedicated charger in the garage is unnecessary?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Curious everyone's thoughts here.

I'm WFH, occasionally put 80-100km on my car in a day but expect that to be 1-2x / week at most post-pandemic, and have a detached garage with only 120V plugs. I spoke with an electrician last summer, he said to trench and run cable to my garage from my panel is likely around $3k. He did say b/c I have two plugs in my garage I could probably combine the two into a 240V outlet, but it would be 30A (i.e. 24A max draw). That would be in the hundreds, not thousands. I'm in the Lower Mainland, and the coldest I've seen my garage get is -2C. I don't mind hitting a fast-charger occasionally when truly needed.

I'm thinking that 120V is probably sufficient for me, right, and the 240V is just a nice bonus? And a dedicated charger in the garage is unnecessary?
I am in a similar situation, WFH at the moment, but likely go to 2-3 days per week post pandemic, which is about 35 kms round trip, I would also have other small trips for errands, family etc. I like you, could probably get away with level 1, but want the flexibility, convenience and mitigate the anxiety of having plan my charging if I need in a pinch., especially since our son is moving to another city post grad for his job. Therefore, I will probably invest in Level 2, I can do install myself so my cost is much much less than what you're facing. $3K to have level 2 is quite the hit, especially if level 1 will suit your driving needs. The option of using existing circuit seems reasonable but depends how much of an amperage increase you would achieve. Ie is current circuit 15 or 20 amp? If only 15, then converting to 240 to get 24a could be more than sufficient decrease in charging times to address all your possible unexpected needs. I would be inclined to go that route if I was faced with same options.
 

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Curious everyone's thoughts here.

I'm WFH, occasionally put 80-100km on my car in a day but expect that to be 1-2x / week at most post-pandemic, and have a detached garage with only 120V plugs. I spoke with an electrician last summer, he said to trench and run cable to my garage from my panel is likely around $3k. He did say b/c I have two plugs in my garage I could probably combine the two into a 240V outlet, but it would be 30A (i.e. 24A max draw). That would be in the hundreds, not thousands. I'm in the Lower Mainland, and the coldest I've seen my garage get is -2C. I don't mind hitting a fast-charger occasionally when truly needed.

I'm thinking that 120V is probably sufficient for me, right, and the 240V is just a nice bonus? And a dedicated charger in the garage is unnecessary?
A 10-hour charge at 120V/12A will get you around 70-80km. So 240V/24A is sufficient for your use L, ie appears. Now that some places charge $1-$2/hr for L2 outside, you could always use those while shopping if you need a faster top up (but most are 6.6kW/32A shared).

It is a nice bonus being able to charge at home before road trips but not entirely necessary.

You can always try 120V first and see how you get along and upgrade later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Appreciate you starting this thread @luck11

I've been doing research on chargers for as long as I've been finding more about the EV6. One thing I think is important to note, is situational context of your residence and how much power you have reliably access to.

For anyone curious - I would highly suggest checking out this youtube channel, as all Tom talks about is EV Chargers, and chances are, he has a review/comparison already on what you might be scoping.

Now onto my choice: ChargePoint Home Flex
After doing lots of research, I settled on going with the ChargePoint Home Flex. I can go on for hours on why, but this is a good comprehensive video. Here are my top reasons:
  1. ChargePoint is a well know brand, and one of North America's largest charging networks
  2. The HomeFlex can be either hard wired or plugged in, and power input can be throttled from 16 all the way 50 amps [this is important if you are unsure if you panel at home can withstand the load, or if you'd like the flexibility to move up in power in the future]
  3. This is a smart charger, so you can control, manipulate and see charging stats via the app and through the units wifi connection.
  4. Important for Canadian Winters - the cable composite allows it to be flexible, meaning you can bend the cable in cold climates. (This is critical if the charger will be mounted outside, or in a cold garage, imagine having to wrestle a 25 ft cable to your car)
  5. 3-year warranty backed by 24/7 customer support from a company dedicated to EV charging for 10+ years.
Thanks for this. One thing I had not thought about is the flexibility of the cable itself... very apropos given the temps of -32 C last night!! So based on your research, did you find that other known manufacturers like Juicebox, Siemens, Bosch etc have cable composite's that would be inflexible in cold weather?
 

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From what I have read chargers really don't need smarts because the car or the app will provide the intelligence. I am therefore looking for something inexpensive that is as hard to steal as possible. The massive copper cables on these things is where the money is. I am of to minds on which way to go: a detachable one that can be brought indoors when not in use or a wired one that would need to be cut to steal.

Because I am hoping to change to bi-directional in the future I am looking for a cheap used one.
 

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Thanks for this. One thing I had not thought about is the flexibility of the cable itself... very apropos given the temps of -32 C last night!! So based on your research, did you find that other known manufacturers like Juicebox, Siemens, Bosch etc have cable composite's that would be inflexible in cold weather?
My pleasure.
From my research the other good brand is Grizzl-e which is also a Canadian brand, and their cable composite is the closest to ChargePoint.
Also @whitehawk - the Grizzl-e might also be good for your application, as you have the ability to lock it up, and I think you may be able to find a used on Amazon. Finding it elsewhere might be tricky as the folks who have a charger - are not giving them up!

The reviewer I linked did a full analysis on all of the chargers - here is a playlist where anyone interested can possibly find a review of the charger(s) you are looking for.

Go for Quality over Price
My two cents - for a charger you do not want to go cheap, because essentially at the end of the day it is replacing you going to the pump + it will likely be used everyday like an appliance. So to me, paying a couple of hundred extra to go with a brand that has a reputation to uphold will work in your favour. Plus for many of us (at least for me) this is our first EV, and my intention is to go with something that will last + be able to be shared once we get another EV.

Will 120V be Enough?
I think this depends on your case/application. But seeing the price of the ChargePoint home flex jump almost $200 since my purchase, plus the rising costs of labour and parts keep increasing due to inflation, I suggest making the investment now, vs later. Why?
  1. Looking at my circle (I'm originally from Ontario now living in BC) - EV mass adoption and consideration is now starting to pick up in North America. With this means there will be high demand and Covid hitting supply on all sectors - to me it means supply shortage on all fronts, including materials to make the batteries + components to charge those batteries. Demand > (greater than) supply = higher prices. And right now - if you check amazon or any charger retailer - they cannot seem to keep charger in stock (personally had my ChargePoint on back order for 3 weeks back in December)
  2. With mass adoption picking up - there will likely be much more demand for chargers installations in either single family dwellings or multi-residential units. This will mean electricians and those supplying the labour will get much busier - which to the consumer means having to wait longer for an install.
  3. With demand peaking and labour shortages - there will likely be companies/service providers who will want to capitalize on the market opportunity, which can potentially lead to the risk of getting chargers which die in less than 2 years or worse workmanship in your home which can be damaging.

I would suggest investing and locking in 2021/22 prices now, rather than looking back a year from now hoping you would have.
[But take all of the above with a grain of salt - this is just my personal opinion and not professional advice]
 

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My pleasure.
From my research the other good brand is Grizzl-e which is also a Canadian brand, and their cable composite is the closest to ChargePoint.
Also @whitehawk - the Grizzl-e might also be good for your application, as you have the ability to lock it up, and I think you may be able to find a used on Amazon. Finding it elsewhere might be tricky as the folks who have a charger - are not giving them up!
I agree the Grizzl-e is a very good choice. "16/24/32/40 amp, NEMA 14-50 Plug, 24 Feet" ticks all my boxes right now. I am not having any luck finding a 40 amp used one so I have decided to go new until KIA/Hyundai comes up with a VTH/VTG option. The Grizzl-e should be easy enough to resell when the time comes. Not sure what you mean by "have the ability to lock it up". Don't see how the Grizzl-e differs from others in this respect unless I am missing something. I am thinking of installing a lockeable metal box for the cable.
 

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For those considering the ChargePoint Home Flex a version is available at L.D. for $999
https://www.londondrugs.com/chargepoint-flex-home-charger---black/L0793799.html
Cheaper than Amazon.
Good find - only thing to call out is the type of plug in this one.

When I purchased my Home Flex - I made sure to get the NEMA 14-50 plug instead of the 6-50. The difference between the 14-50 and 6-50 is that the 6-50 has no neutral -- it only has the two "hots" and the ground. Most modern home outlets/switches include the neutral because it is more flexible. The neutral wire allow you to use the same plug for other functions. So for example if you want to use a power tool using the same outlet as your charger.

You can also split a 14-50 into two high current 120V outlets with a simple adapter. The 6-50 will only be 240V.
This greater flexibility is more for future proofing your home. However with a 6-50 you save you a little bit of money if you have to run a long cable from your panel.

[ps I am not an electrician, just curious when it came to researching chargers, I would suggest purchasing a good quality charger, and checking in with your electrcian as the age/power/conduit in your home is a major factor]

Rectangle Font Parallel Number Screenshot
 

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I wonder if London Drugs would price match an online price.

I plan to continue using my 3.3kW/20A charger that I bought for my PHEV since I doubt I’ll need a full charge in less than 7 hours. (And the last 20% is slow anyway so charging to 80% daily, a 9.6kW charger seems overkill for me). But if it’s your first charger, definitely go for a higher powered one to future proof. And the EV6 can be programmed to charge at a slower rate too if needed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I have been reading a great many troubling posts, articles and viewing vids about owners of EVs', including Ioniq 5 and EV6, finding their 12V batteries completely drained.

Anyway, a commenter in one youtube video was told by his dealer that every time you access the vehicle app, it wakes the car for 20-30 minutes, thus draining life from the 12V. Another was told to get a trickle charger and recharge the battery regularly during the winter. It seems the must have is one of those portable battery jumper packs in the frunk of any EV. Lots of confused owners as to why the main battery is not maintaining the 12V when it drops to a critical level, but that is a different discussion and don't want to sidetrack this thread for a discussion on the 12V battery issue.

Given this, I wonder if this is may be another advantage to using a smart charger rather than the vehicle to schedule or start charging on off-peak hours. Or regardless, will the fact that the charger has begun the charging sequence automatically "wake" the vehicle and still have the same effect?
 

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I have been reading a great many troubling posts, articles and viewing vids about owners of EVs', including Ioniq 5 and EV6, finding their 12V batteries completely drained.

Anyway, a commenter in one youtube video was told by his dealer that every time you access the vehicle app, it wakes the car for 20-30 minutes, thus draining life from the 12V. Another was told to get a trickle charger and recharge the battery regularly during the winter. It seems the must have is one of those portable battery jumper packs in the frunk of any EV. Lots of confused owners as to why the main battery is not maintaining the 12V when it drops to a critical level, but that is a different discussion and don't want to sidetrack this thread for a discussion on the 12V battery issue.

Given this, I wonder if this is may be another advantage to using a smart charger rather than the vehicle to schedule or start charging on off-peak hours. Or regardless, will the fact that the charger has begun the charging sequence automatically "wake" the vehicle and still have the same effect?
The accessories battery and the EV power train battery have no direct connection other than the conventional alternator which keep the 12 V battery charged during normal kenetic operation of the vehicle.

I can tell you from experience - that Kia’s UVO which is now called Kia Connect did not drain my Stinger and I used it everyday to start and warm up the car in Ontario winters.

I would be curious what the folks who are reporting their batteries draining, have plugged into their fuse boxes as accessories, because this is the number one cause of battery drains. Example - you can tap into a fuse that has constant power for your dash cam.

And in regards to your question - the EVSE unit doesn’t charge your 12 V battery, so smart charger or not, your question might be better served by doing some research on what causes 12 V battery drain issues.
 
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