Level 2 Chargers - Page 2 - Kia Niro Forum
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post #11 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-22-2019, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Is it really necessary to buy a charge point?
If you mean an L2 charger, it depends. If you aren't looking for a quick topoff mid-day, the included L1 charger fills the battery overnight. That's all I used for the first couple of weeks. But I plug it in at every opportunity when I'm home, to maximize my EV range. For that purpose the L2 charger is worth it. Especially if you don't overbuy for the EVSE. There's no sense in getting a $500+ EVSE that is capable of 40 amps when the car only accepts 16A max. I bought one from Amazon for under $200 that does just fine. Also, if you have to have the wiring done it will cost less because you don't need as heavy gauge wire as the larger EVSE units.

If you are referring to the brand ChargePoint, then no, you can get any 16A capable EVSE.

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post #12 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 12:39 AM
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Still not understanding what the L2 charger brings to the table. It doesn't change the maximum available from an ordinary 240 outlet for the Niro.

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post #13 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 08:26 AM
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I bought a CrippleCreek LCS-20. As others mentioned the Niro will take a 16 amp charge max. Cost $390. Cheapest UL listed unit I saw when buying mine. I installed mine myself as I am an electrician. Many variables will affect the installation cost. I put mine in the garage 100' from my electric service box and installed it to code with an electrical inspection from the local permitting office. I would estimate I would have charged a customer between $1000 to $750 for my labor and about $200 for parts (includes 10% mark up)

For us this added to the cars flexibility immensely. We make two 30 mile round trips each day. The trips are 5 hours apart. The Level 2 charger allow us to do both trips on electric only. In our area with low electric rates this is a real money saver for us. Having a Level 2 charger allowed this purchase of a Niro PHEV to make economic sense for our family.

Real life charging times for us from empty charge to full charge
Level 1 - around 8-9 hours
Level 2- just under 2.5 hours

Average distance on full charge 30 to 34 miles
Cost for full charge about $.70

Last edited by Johnxyz; 06-23-2019 at 08:35 AM.
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post #14 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Still not understanding what the L2 charger brings to the table. It doesn't change the maximum available from an ordinary 240 outlet for the Niro.
L1 supplies 120v @12a max, 1440W max, takes 6.5 hrs to charge.

L2 supplies 240V @16a max, 3840W max, takes 2.5 hrs to charge.

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post #15 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 11:13 AM
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Doesn't the car accept 240v to the onboard charger to the same effect?

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post #16 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 01:04 PM
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It may be helpful for you to think in terms of wattage.
Level 1 charger
120 volts x 12 amps = 1440 watts or 1.44 kw per hour (1.44 Kwh capability)

Level 2 charger
240 volts x16 amps = 3840 watts or 3.840 kw per hour (3.84 Kwh capability)

The charging station is a throughput for power to the car - the car onboard charging capability determines how fast it will let the car charge not the charger capability.

2019 Kia Niro specs from ClipperCreek site
2019 Niro PHEV
Type of Electric Vehicle: PHEV
Acceptance Rate (kW): 3.3
Battery Size (kWh): 8.9
Electric Range (mi): 26
Quick Charge Port? NO
Timer Function Built In? YES

The Niro has an acceptance rate of 3.3 kw for each hour- the car will not allow this rate to be exceeded no matter how powerful the charger.

Important points are the capability of the different chargers to supply KWH
Level 1 max capability is 1.44 kw per hour (this is for the supplied charger that come with the KIA)
Level 2 max capability is 3.840 kw per hour

Therefore the Level 2 has the capability of maxing out the cars acceptance rate and will charge you up almost 3 times faster.

Think of the chargers as hoses - The Level 2 hose is almost 3 times larger in diameter than the Level 1 hose and can supply almost 3 times as much water in the same time period. Think of the car as a small pool with a door that limits how much water can enter the pool. No mater how large the hose the door will only let a certain amount of water in each hour. The Level 2 charger hose maximizes this by supplying the max amount of water that can pass through the door each hour. The Level 1 charger only supplies 1/3 of the water that the door would let through each hour. It will still fill the pool but not nearly as fast.

Last edited by Johnxyz; 06-23-2019 at 01:13 PM.
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post #17 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 03:54 PM
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Whoa guys, serious misunderstanding here (could be me). I understand 240v is faster, I just don't understand why you need an outboard charger. You are still going through the same plug on the car, going through the same inboard charger. Why not simply connect 240v directly to an outlet? Why the need for an expensive outboard management unit? You will still be limited to the onboard charger maximum speed, right?

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post #18 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:25 PM
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The standard charger that comes with the car will only charge at the lower speed and only plugs into a standard 120 wall plug. The Level 2 charger plugs into 240 wall plug (like a dryer uses) and charges at the faster speed. So if you want to charge faster you have to buy the L2 charger and if you don't have a 240 plug within reach already, you need to install one.
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post #19 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yticolev View Post
Whoa guys, serious misunderstanding here (could be me). I understand 240v is faster, I just don't understand why you need an outboard charger. You are still going through the same plug on the car, going through the same inboard charger. Why not simply connect 240v directly to an outlet? Why the need for an expensive outboard management unit? You will still be limited to the onboard charger maximum speed, right?
The "charger" that comes with the car isn't really the charger. It is what's called Electric Vehicle Service Equipment (EVSE). And yes, it's necessary to communicate with the car to ensure proper charging. The charger itself is contained in the car, and is a fixed size. In the US, the car comes with a Level 1 110vac 12 amp EVSE. Johnxyz outlines very well what it is capable of providing. With a Level 2 EVSE, you have the ability to charge the car with 220vac at 16 amps. So it's significantly faster at charging the battery.

One thing to note is that a larger EVSE, such as a 32 or 40 amp unit, will not charge our cars any faster than a 16 amp unit. Our car's on-board charger accepts 16 amps maximum, so a faster EVSE does nothing. But it might offer features such as WiFi connectivity that you might like. It won't hurt our cars to use a larger EVSE, but there's no benefit to charging it either.

Remember that many other countries have 220vac as their "standard" home power, while we in North America have 110vac. So in those countries their "standard" charging is faster than ours. Although I will admit I don't know what amperage a typical home outlet has in the places with 220vac. Most US homes have a 15 amp circuit on most outlets, and that is typically shared with multiple outlets. When we have a 220vac outlet available, it's typically dedicated to a single outlet, although its current capability can vary from 20 to 50 amps or more, depending on the size wiring.
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Last edited by atc98092; 06-23-2019 at 04:45 PM.
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post #20 of 42 (permalink) Old 06-23-2019, 04:57 PM
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The car chargers also have integrated electronics that protect the operators and the vehicles. They provide ground fault protection as well as short circuit protection for the car. They are also responsible for some very basic communication from the vehicle to the charger for charger stop and start.

All electronic chargers will have this basic electronic management between house power and car. Responsible product vendors will only sell chargers that have been UL listed for safety reasons.

Could an inventive person hook the car up directly to 240 via a charging plug. Probably. It would be very unsafe and could damage the home,operator or the electric supply or the car if a fault occurred. The repairs could end up being much more expensive than a charger ever was. And even if the plug was hooked up directly to 240 v the individual would have to figure out the software protocol (handshake communication) between the car and the power source and mimic it to allow charging to begin.

It would be surprising to most individuals if they opened up the car charger electric housing and saw all the circuitry that was inside.
The plug and cable and housing for the car chargers are minimal cost. The electronics inside the units and technology are where the real cost lies and the reason most any UL listed car charger is knocking on the door of a $400 expenditure.
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Last edited by Johnxyz; 06-23-2019 at 05:02 PM.
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