Best Option for a Level2 EVSE setup in a Condo?

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Oct 22, 2018
Fellow Forum Members,
I'm doing the pre-planning for setting up a Level2 EVSE charger in my condo which has no enclosed garage. I confirmed the following by flipping circuit breakers located in my breaker box:

  • #1. My clothe dryer uses a 30AMP breaker and connects to a 30AMP - 125/250V NEMA 10-30P Receptacle.
  • #2. My Stovetop Range uses a 60AMP breaker and connects to a 50AMP - 125/250V NEMA 10-50 Receptacle.

Is there an EVSE which is designed to work safely and reliably with both of the two configurations I have listed above as #1 & #2 ? And does it matter if an EVSE such as a Juicebox Pro 40 is connected to a 60AMP breaker? Is the extra 20AMPS going to burn up my Juicebox Pro 40? Or is the Juicebox Pro 40 able to just disregard the extra 20AMPs and only draw the 40 AMPS it needs?

Additionally, for purpose of deciding which of the two configurations I should connect my EVSE to I would appreciate it a lot if anyone out there can give me charging time estimates for fully charging a Bolt with an EVSE connected to a 30AMP breaker as opposed to a 60AMP breaker?

If the difference in time is not too great between the two configurations I will opt to use the 30AMP breaker option because this receptiacle is free since I don't own a clothe dryer (the sun is my clothe dryer). In short, it would just be a matter of connecting the EVSE directly to the NEMA 10-30P Clothe dryer Receptacle and the way I see it I should be good to go.

In contrast, the 60AMP breaker option is more complicated and expensive. I need to share my 10-50 Receptacle between my Stovetop Range and my EVSE. My Google research tells me the only way to make this happen is by using a Range Buddy shown in the link below:

It's a $362 device and since my Stovetop Range is not a NEMA 14-50 compliant range I will also need to buy a new Stovetop Range that is.

In short, I would really appreciate a lot if anyone out there can share any opinion relating to what is the best approach to setup a Level2 EVSE within my Condo. Thanks in advance for any opinions.
Concerning "is it safe to plug into a 60 Amp circuit?". Yes, it is safe. The electric device PULLS what it wants, the line doesn't SHOVE it into the device. The purpose of the circuit 'rating' (60 Amp) is to specify the maximum safe load on the circuit, based on the size of the wires. The circuit breaker trips (moves to 'off position') if MORE than the safe amount of electricity is drawn on the circuit, so that the wiring doesn't overheat and burn down the house.

Short version : use the dryer socket. (1) It is available NOW without anything else, and (2) messing with the electric for the stove could be very dangerous (you don't sound like an electrician), and (3) it won't slow down the charging by very much.

Longer explanation:

- The fastest that the Bolt will charge on 240V is 7.2kw, or 32A : even if the EVSE can supply 40 or 60 amps, the Bolt will use a max of 32A.

- the highest sustained load (i.e., "for a long time") that should be put on a circuit is 80% of the rated max (and an EVSE is definitely a sustained load ). So, 40 A breaker, max 32A load from EVSE; thus, a 40A circuit *or larger* is needed to get the maximum charge speed for the Bolt. With a 30A circuit, your EVSE should pull 24A max.

- There are few (possibly none) EVSEs that are rated exactly at 24A - but there are several 32A or 40A EVSEs that allow you to set a lower amperage load (say, 24A) so that you can charge at the 24A max for your circuit at home, and yet pull 32A when you travel (if it is safe).

- how long to "refill" your Bolt? Well, let's just show how much electricity you could get over 12 hours, overnight:
* 32A (7.2 kw) : ~85 kWh (full battery is 60 kWh)
* 24A (5.7 kW) : ~69 kWh (full battery is 60 kWh)
* 16A (3.8 kW) : ~46 kWh
* 12A (2.8 kW) : ~34 kWh

- It should already be obvious why I listed 32A and 24A (I've already talked about them). I listed 16A because there are a LOT of 16A inexpensive travel EVSEs available, and you should be able to get one with a NEMA 14-30 plug on the end. I listed 12A because the EVSE that came with the Bolt can be hooked up to 240V and will provide 12A @ 240V just fine. (You will need a custom 12-inch 'pigtail' to convert between the 240V socket for the dryer, to the NEMA 5-15 plug (120V) on the Bolt's EVSE.) So you just have to decide what you want.

- At 24A, an EVSE would need about 10 hours to *fully charge* an almost completely empty battery (57 kWh). You could get a JuiceBox Pro 40 with a 14-50 plug, set it to charge at 24A, and have a completely full charge overnight, every night AND even a slightly faster charge when you traveled and could use the full 32A setting. (You would need a 12-inch 'pigtail' to connect your JuiceBox with a 14-50 plug into the 14-30 socket, of course.) And there are other EVSEs rated for 40A or 32A that can be set to only supply 24A. Cost: $500?

- Or, a 16A EVSE would allow you to add a 75% charge (which generally would fill it up, unless you were under 25%). That would still be the highest charge rate no matter where you plugged in. It is perfectly safe to plug a 16A EVSE into a 30A circuit. You *might* need a pigtail if the EVSE you really wanted (?because of the features?) didn't provide an option to get a 14-30 plug. Cost: $200-$250?

- Or, investing just $25-$45 in a pigtail (NEMA 14-30 -to- NEMA 5-15) would allow you use the EVSE that came with the car, at 240V, and to add 'about a half tank' into the Bolt on any given night. (So, if you plugged in with 30%, you'd have about 80% after 12 hours.) Cost: $40?
Thank you for your reply. I found it very informative and helpful as I'm sure others will too who also live in a Condo and seeking to switch over to driving an electric vehicle.

You are correct, I am not an electrician and will have to hire one at some point in the near future.

I agree with you that using a Range Buddy to share the power outlet between my cooking range and my juicebox is not a good idea. So that idea has been tossed out the window.

For now I think the path of least resistance (no pun intended) is to apply your suggestion which involves buying a JuiceBox 40 Pro and a 12-inch converter 'pigtail' to connect my JuiceBox 40 Pro with a 14-50 plug into the 14-30 dryer socket. This will allow me to charge my Bolt at 24A which will fully charge my Bolt in around 10 hours.

From what I gather the problem for now seems to be my 30A breaker for the dryer. It seems to be preventing me from charging my Bolt at the full 32A it is designed to handle. Therefore, in the near future I plan to hire an electrician and have him replace the 30A breaker with a 40A breaker and change the wire as well to an 8-gauge wire which I believe is the correct one for a 40A breaker. Additionally, I will have him install a 14-50 socket which will allow me to eliminate the 12" pigtail. And as for the old dryer plug, I will have it disconnected from the breaker box so it has no more juice. Something I will have to ask the electrician is what are NEUTRAL wires about? I have recently seen them mentioned in some websites but I can't figure out if NEUTRAL wires is something I need to concern myself about.

Lastly SparkE, am I correct to think after having an electician make these changes the task of charging my Bolt from an empty state will decrease from 10 hours down to around 8 hours? Additionally, what in your opinion is the best Level 3 DC supercharging solution you think best supports Bolt EV drivers? Do you think ChargePoint is the best option if my plan is to make a long roadtrip on my Bolt EV?

Thanks a lot again for your post. At least I now have some idea how I'm going to maintain my Bolt nicely juiced up once I buy one. The only other potential problem I now have left to deal with is fighting my Condo Association if they decide to give me a hard time for having a charging cable trailing out of my window, over their lawn and parking lot pavement and into my Bolt charging port.

Ideally, I would like to own a house with a garage so life with my Bolt can run more smoothely. But unfortunately housing prices are way too expensive where I live to be buying a house right now.

Again thanks for your help and I hope this post helps others living in a Condo but yet seeking to change over to electric vehicles.
You do NOT want to run a cable trailing out of a window, over the lawn and into the parking lot . Seriously, you do NOT. When you said you didn't have a garage, I thought that you meant that you just had a car port (a driveway allows you to park next to the condo, but not enclosed).

Do NOT do what you said you were going to do. Big liability for you, someone *will* steal your $500 EVSE (eventually), and the Condo Association can (successfully) send you a 'cease and desist' letter to get you to stop.

Where do you live (what state/country/province)? Many places have laws that *require* a condo association to let you install an EVSE.

Until you get that sorted out, you can charge at public chargers (if any are around). Use 'PlugShare' (smartphone app and website) to find all the charging sites close to you. In the 'options', set 'plugs' to ONLY j-1772 (public 'level-2' charging) and CCS/SAE (the fast charge socket that the Bolt has) and unset all the other plugs. If you UNset 'payment required locations' then PlugShare will only show you the FREE charging locations (just to see where and how many there are). And if you later SET 'payment required locations' , and then set only ONE 'network' (charging company) you can see what companies have the most units near where you live.

Personally, I have accounts and cards for ChargePoint, EVgo, Greenlots, blink. Mainly because the accounts and the cards were free. I find ChargePoint and EVgo to have the most charging locations near where *I* live. You should see what is best in YOUR area { especially the free ones :) }, and which ones are best for the routes you might travel.