Level 1 or Level2 for the PHEV? - Page 6 - Kia Niro Forum
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post #51 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 02:48 PM
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On equipment that draws substantial current or a dedicated circuit you are always encouraged to limit the amperage to the rated device. For example a dryer is on a 30 amp circuit to limit its current draw to 30 amps. Sure you could wire it for 60 amps with a 60 amp circuit breaker and 60 amp wiring. If the Dryer heating element touches the case or if the motor binds and draws excessive amperage the circuit wired for 60 amps will supply 60 amps to the dryer until that threshold is exceeded. The appliance wiring is not rated for 60 amps and by code it must be put on a 30 amp breaker to limit the amount of current it sees.

A Level 2 car charging device is for example rated for 20 amps (or more in some cases). If a circuit is capable of supplying 50 amps and there was a catastrophic failure of the device you could have 50 amps going to a device that is rated for 20 amps. Even if the device has some safety protection and regulating circuitry this is still considered a very unsafe situation. A Level 2 car charger should have its own dedicated circuit that is installed for that device with its circuit protection designed around that device. That is the difference between a normal house branch circuit that can have many items plugged into it and a dedicated circuit.

A Level 1 charger on the other hand can be plugged into any grounded circuit. That is why KIA and others supply the Level 1 chargers. The are convenient, don't require a dedicated circuit and can be immediately used by the consumer to charge their new vehicle. Imagine a consumers dismay if they found they were supplied with a Level 2 charger that required a special dedicated circuit and then the average consumer would be tasked with paying an electrician to install a new circuit for a substantial cost before the consumer could charge their car.

Here is a short video on Charging Station Safety - they have other videos on how to size circuit protection and many other topics
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_c...&v=_TFgeRBLyls
I understand and appreciate your points but I see many more examples of over designing circuits for the intended load (e.g. dedicated 15/20a circuits for refrigerator, garbage disposal, ...).

I'm more comfortable running my 240v 16a L2 cord on a 240v 30a dryer wire/CB than down sizing the CB.

FWIW, It's not hard to trip a 30a CB vs a 20a CB. In fact, it's easy to trip the whole house 200a CB. I know, I've done it.

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post #52 of 56 (permalink) Old 05-15-2019, 04:48 PM
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I'm not the least bit worried running a 16A charger on a 50 amp circuit. As others have mentioned, the breaker rating is to protect the wiring, not the end device. How many devices in any home are plugged into a 120V/15A circuit that draw less than an amp?

In the future when/if I or a future owner want to charge at a higher rate for something that can use it, then all they have to do is replace the outlet with a NEMA 14-50R receptacle for less than $10 and it's ready to go. Since the box already has the 50A breaker, and I have plenty of AWG 8 wire pulled from the hot tub install, why not?

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post #53 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 12:36 PM
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I've been reading this thread with great interest because I was very close to buying the PHEV, but the salesman said it should not be charged on a 120V circuit and the service dept confirmed it.
I didn't believe them so came to this forum for information, but it doesn't look like there is a concrete answer from KIA.
I tried calling KIA but got nowhere, so still not sure about why the manual says to use the 120V charger as a backup charger only.
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post #54 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 01:03 PM
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Originally Posted by K-Ville View Post
I've been reading this thread with great interest because I was very close to buying the PHEV, but the salesman said it should not be charged on a 120V circuit and the service dept confirmed it.
I didn't believe them so came to this forum for information, but it doesn't look like there is a concrete answer from KIA.
I tried calling KIA but got nowhere, so still not sure about why the manual says to use the 120V charger as a backup charger only.
Arrgh I hate ignorant dealers and service people.

The owner's manual and features guide for the PHEV both clearly state that the 120V charger is perfectly fine for home use.

Although, there is a random "Use only as a backup charger" thrown in there just to confuse things. I think this is more of a "We're not responsible if the jacked up wiring in your garage burns your house down because you used the 120V charger" thing than a you'll hurt your car using it thing based on the rest of the paragraph. The same page says that the Trickle Charger is for charging at home. I'm starting to wonder if Kia has any actual editors for the Owner's Manual. That's some massively contradictory information on one page. Lovely.

In any event, I've had my PHEV for a year and a half and have used the 120V charger hundreds of times without issue. I decided installing a Level 2 charger wasn't worth it to me as I'm perfectly fine charging overnight.

I wonder how many people have been scared away from buying a plug-in Niro because of crap like this?
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post #55 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Ville View Post
I've been reading this thread with great interest because I was very close to buying the PHEV, but the salesman said it should not be charged on a 120V circuit and the service dept confirmed it.
I didn't believe them so came to this forum for information, but it doesn't look like there is a concrete answer from KIA.
I tried calling KIA but got nowhere, so still not sure about why the manual says to use the 120V charger as a backup charger only.
Another dealership that doesn't understand what they're selling. Sigh...

There's absolutely nothing wrong with charging on 110-120VAC. If the battery is completely discharged (actually the car switches to hybrid mode at about 20% SoC), it takes about 5 1/2 hours to charge. using 220VAC, it's more like 2 hours and 15 minutes. Since the PHEV only has a 16 amp charger on board, that's as fast as it can go, regardless of the power capability of the EVSE (charger) you connect to. If you rarely exceed the EV range, and charge overnight, there's no real need to install a 220v EVSE. But if you'd like to top it off between trips, and drive over 30 miles a day, having the faster charging allows much more EV only driving. I typically seem to go between 40-50 miles a day often, but because I always plug it in at every opportunity, I rarely need the gas engine.

I Think Kia uses the phrase backup or trickle charger because they feel the owner will be happier the more they drive under EV power, and by implying a 220v circuit should be considered "normal", they won't have to contend with owners that aren't happy about how often the ICE is running.

Also, think about it. If charging via 110v was not recommended, why on earth would they include a 110v "charger" with the car? I really wish dealers would educate themselves better.

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post #56 of 56 (permalink) Old 08-07-2019, 02:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Ville View Post
I've been reading this thread with great interest because I was very close to buying the PHEV, but the salesman said it should not be charged on a 120V circuit and the service dept confirmed it.
I didn't believe them so came to this forum for information, but it doesn't look like there is a concrete answer from KIA.
I tried calling KIA but got nowhere, so still not sure about why the manual says to use the 120V charger as a backup charger only.
i've used the L1 charger exclusively for the past year. Charging every day. No problems.

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