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FiskerJoe
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As with every new EVer owner, the charing time at 120V is killing me and I am ready to tackle the installation of a faster charger. I knew that I wanted to get a new 240V outlet run (I plan to use a portable cord that will allow either 120V or 240V) but, are there Fisker limitations on either the outlet or the cord that I choose? I see outlets capable of up to 50Amps (NEMA 14-50 outlet) and 240V cords that support anywhere from 12Amps to 48Amps.

If I'm going to spend the money, obviously, I want to minimize my charge time as much as possible but, are there limits to what Karma can use? I neither want to damage the car nor waste the money to install components that either can't be used(or used to their full capacity).

Any words of wisdom on this point?

Thanks,

-Joe
 

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The Karma will only draw 3.3 kW from the charger. At 240 volts, that's 13.75 amps. Though technically it can draw up to 18 amps for some periods (the 3.3kW is the average charge rate into the car, vs what comes out of the wall socket, there are some losses and minor peaks and valleys) and some Leaf cars will charge at 3.84 kW (16 amps).

You would think a 20 amp circuit would suffice. It turns out that a "20 amp" circuit is only rated at 16 amps continuous (80% of the label), which is enough. But I've been told that it's better to get a standard electric dryer 30 amp circuit put in. Any electrician will understand this ("a standard 30 amp electric dryer circuit" = "sure!", "a 30 amp car charger circuit for my expensive exotic car" = "uh... I've never done one of those, maybe you should get someone else" from some electricians), and it should be cheap, as such things go.

On the other hand, if you intend to charge a newer 6.6kW Leaf, you might want to go with a 40 amp circuit. That's a pretty standard electric range circuit, to an electrician.

(If you're getting a Tesla Model S it can take whatever you can afford to throw at it: 50, 70, even 100 amps. 50 amps is the largest standard electric range circuit—as far as I know anyway—and if you go beyond that you might start to need an electrician who really knows what he's doing.)

See the "charging and chargers" forum and especially this post musing on attempts to upgrade to 6.6kW charging.
 

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FiskerJoe
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Karma will only draw 3.3 kW from the charger. At 240 volts, that's 13.75 amps. Though technically it can draw up to 18 amps for some periods (the 3.3kW is the average charge rate into the car, vs what comes out of the wall socket, there are some losses and minor peaks and valleys) and some Leaf cars will charge at 3.84 kW (16 amps).

You would think a 20 amp circuit would suffice. It turns out that a "20 amp" circuit is only rated at 16 amps continuous (80% of the label), which is enough. But I've been told that it's better to get a standard electric dryer 30 amp circuit put in. Any electrician will understand this ("a standard 30 amp electric dryer circuit" = "sure!", "a 30 amp car charger circuit for my expensive exotic car" = "uh... I've never done one of those, maybe you should get someone else" from some electricians), and it should be cheap, as such things go.

On the other hand, if you intend to charge a newer 6.6kW Leaf, you might want to go with a 40 amp circuit. That's a pretty standard electric range circuit, to an electrician.

(If you're getting a Tesla Model S it can take whatever you can afford to throw at it: 50, 70, even 100 amps. 50 amps is the largest standard electric range circuit—as far as I know anyway—and if you go beyond that you might start to need an electrician who really knows what he's doing.)

See the "charging and chargers" forum and especially this post musing on attempts to upgrade to 6.6kW charging.
Thanks for responding, ct-fiskerbuzz.

My question really was just specific to the Karma. I did find the posts RE: upgrading to a 6.6 W charger interesting but, don't want to tackle anything like that just yet. If I had a technician here that was capable of (and willing), i might consider it (later) but, would not be comfortable, ever, attempting it myself.

It is honestly taking around 14 hours for me to go from 0 to 100% charge on the 120V.

Without upgrading and with installing a 240V 30amp "dryer" circuit, how long is it taking most people to fully charge?

I'd be reasonably happy if I could just get it to fully charge in something like 8 hours.

-Joe
 

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My two cents: I put in a 20A circuit because that's all the 16A wall charger (EVSE) needed and all that the Fisker could handle. Now that my wife is buying an EV also (a BMW i3) I'm regretting my decision to install something sized to only what the Fisker could handle. The i3, and most other EVs now charge at 6.6kW or better. While the EVSE I have will work for her it will be twice as slow as it could be. On the other hand, had I put in a higher capacity charger the Fisker would have charged just as quickly (or maybe even a tad faster) but her car and guests would be able to charge at full speed.

Ultimately we decided to add a second charger and put in a direct-wired Clipper Creek HCS-40 on a 40A circuit. If I were you knowing what I know now this is what I would do. Here's a link to the product we bought. They also offer one that plugs into a NEMA 14-50 outlet.

http://www.clippercreek.com/store/product/hcs-40-30a-240v-charging-25-cord-3/


Brent
 

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BTW, Level 2 charging is more than twice as fast as Level 1. Even with my 16A charger I'm fully charged from zero in around six hours.
 

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I typically charge from empty to full in about 5.5 hours, both at home and at work. This is with a 240V ChargePoint charger in both cases. In both cases the ChargePoint charger says it is charging at a 3.6KW rate. Of course this rate is set by the Karma.
 

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When my Karma was new I was using the 120V charger and it took about 11 hours to go from 8 miles to 50 miles, if I remember right. So that's 13 hours for a full charge. This was on a circuit with nothing else on it, I believe, so that there was a full 120V at the outlet. If there's any voltage drop you'll see even longer charge times.

On a standard 3.whatever-kW 240V charger, the car gets fully charged in under 6 hours. But you need to have a 240V circuit wired up to your garage, which for most of us means calling in an electrician. That's what I did.

I have a (Fisker branded) Blink charger that's limited to 3.3 kW, but on a 30 amp circuit, myself. You'll be paying mostly for labor unless there's a very long run from breaker/fuse box to garage, so the price difference is likely small for 30A vs 20A; it looks like 10 gauge wire and 12 gauge are about the same price per foot, and the breakers are about the same unless you go high end, then the 30A one is $10 more.
 

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FiskerJoe
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks, Lone Palm, ct fisker buzz and marswill!

I am going to go ahead with the NEMA 48 AMP...not going to sweat that little of a price difference.

I was mostly worried that I might install something that Fisker would not recognize, or worse, that might hurt "Scarlett".

-Joe
 

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Nope. The cars obcm (on board charging module) will limit and regulate the charge rate based on feedback from the hv battery. So go as overboard as you want, its not gonna hurt it. You just may not be using the full potential of the charger. Id say If you intend to be a long term Fisker owner go bigger as battery technology will improve at a pretty good pace and newer models will be more accepting to higher charge rates.
 

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Actually, this argument could be flipped with the same outcome - a 30 Amp charger could be resold much easier than a 15 or 20 Amp charger, the technology moves towards the higher capacity chargers, the 'trickle' charger we have in the Karma will be a dinosaur shortly.


Nope. The cars obcm (on board charging module) will limit and regulate the charge rate based on feedback from the hv battery. So go as overboard as you want, its not gonna hurt it. You just may not be using the full potential of the charger. Id say If you intend to be a long term Fisker owner go bigger as battery technology will improve at a pretty good pace and newer models will be more accepting to higher charge rates.
 

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on what details will I absolutely have to pay attention when I want to install a charger in Switzerland.

I have no clue at all about all these V, A and mega whatever.
I need it much more simple:
What is the Maximum on all numbers and power and so what I can use without doing bad to the Karma. Then I can check what might be available for purchase here in the mountains...
 

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on what details will I absolutely have to pay attention when I want to install a charger in Switzerland.

I have no clue at all about all these V, A and mega whatever.
I need it much more simple:
What is the Maximum on all numbers and power and so what I can use without doing bad to the Karma. Then I can check what might be available for purchase here in the mountains...
The Karma, like many other EVs, uses a standard connection. As long as the charger you buy is compliant with SAE J1772 -- Level II, you should be fine. There are a lot of different options, portable or fixed installation, models, etc. The Karma automatically adjusts the amount of power it draws. As long as the charger is compliant with the standard, you will have no problems with the mega. :)
 
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