Level 1 charging or level 2? - 2017+ Chrysler Pacifica Minivan Forums
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 04:10 PM Thread Starter
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Level 1 charging or level 2?

I'm in Illinois. Our garage is unheated, it freezes in the Winter and is marginally warmer than being outside. My PacHY is on order and should be here by early April so the worst of Winter will be over.
I don't think I'll need a level 2 charger. I'm retired so I spend long hours at home. 14 hours a day plugged in should not be a problem. I have a look of Doctors visits that exceed 60 miles round trip so I'll be running a lot of the time on gasoline. On days without doctors, the mileage is usually around town at less than 20 miles.
Is it practical to have Level 1 or is level 2 justified?
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 04:51 PM
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I think that a level 1 will be just fine. I would caution you that the level one does use almost all of a 15 amp circuit breaker so if you have anything else running on the circuit, even a grarage door opener or a refrigerator, it will cause it to shut down the charger or blow the breaker. Might want to look into getting a dedicated circuit.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-26-2019, 06:25 PM
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I'm in Illinois. Our garage is unheated, it freezes in the Winter and is marginally warmer than being outside. My PacHY is on order and should be here by early April so the worst of Winter will be over.
I don't think I'll need a level 2 charger. I'm retired so I spend long hours at home. 14 hours a day plugged in should not be a problem. I have a look of Doctors visits that exceed 60 miles round trip so I'll be running a lot of the time on gasoline. On days without doctors, the mileage is usually around town at less than 20 miles.
Is it practical to have Level 1 or is level 2 justified?
If you have no problem waiting 14 hours for a charge then you should be ok. Here are a couple of advantages of a level 2 charger: 1) If I run some errands in the morning and use up most of my charge then I can plug it in when I get home and the van will be ready to run again in the afternoon/evening. 2) I have demand billing with my electric company. I can get a chart the day before which tells me how much I will pay for electricity for each of the 24 hours of the next day. Most of the time the lowest rates are right around 12AM-2AM. If I charged with Level 1 my charging would be spread out over many hours with different rates. With Level 2 I can confine my charging to the cheapest hours usually.
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Last edited by PacDave; 02-27-2019 at 04:01 PM.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 11:31 AM
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Just remember that level1 also takes longer and the lost cost of electricity should be taken into consideration. Factor in your needs , amps, time, usage and cost and you will find what works for your particular needs.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 11:57 AM
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I don't have a hybrid, so this advice is based on guessing.

Assuming your power to the garage is good, just used the supplied charger for awhile. You'll be able to judge after a few weeks if the convenience of the faster charge is needed.

Before your car arrives, have an electrician check that wiring (he'll need to know the amperage draw of the charger). Often the wiring run to an unattached garage is minimal, only able to handle the lights and automatic opener. If it is not adequate and needs to be replaced, it might be smart to have the 240v line put in now.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by CANADAHYBRIDGUY View Post
Just remember that level1 also takes longer and the lost cost of electricity should be taken into consideration. Factor in your needs , amps, time, usage and cost and you will find what works for your particular needs.
Just curious. What do you mean by ‘lost cost of electricity’?

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 04:54 PM Thread Starter
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Just curious. What do you mean by ‘lost cost of electricity’?
I think he means that some electric companies charge varying rates depending on the time of day.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Cornfield View Post
I'm in Illinois. Our garage is unheated, it freezes in the Winter and is marginally warmer than being outside. My PacHY is on order and should be here by early April so the worst of Winter will be over.
I don't think I'll need a level 2 charger. I'm retired so I spend long hours at home. 14 hours a day plugged in should not be a problem. I have a look of Doctors visits that exceed 60 miles round trip so I'll be running a lot of the time on gasoline. On days without doctors, the mileage is usually around town at less than 20 miles.
Is it practical to have Level 1 or is level 2 justified?
I'm not sure what part of Illinois you're in but Com Ed offers time of day pricing so charging for a couple of hours with a Level 2 during the night would be less costly than stretching it out over a long period of time.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 08:50 PM
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Unless you're using a full battery and using level 2 to recharge quick for more use in the same day relatively regularly, or can't get it to sit long enough for an adequate charge, or are trying to fit your full charge into a time of use window (that one's a stretch if that's the only reason) the cost / benefit ratio is hard to justify for the level 2 charger + install.

That is... unless you just want it.

Based on what you're saying I'd recommend sticking with the level 1 and try it out for a while. You can always up it to a level 2 if you feel you'd benefit from it.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 02:05 PM
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For winter driving, I am finding that you really have to go out of your way to completely consume the battery in the winter. In the extreme cold days, its difficult to even get the battery to drop down into the 70% range. The gas engine fires up quite often charging the battery frequently during the drive that most days in the winter we don't reach 0%. Now when the weather is warmer in single digit negatives, consuming the battery is much faster. We find that if we do two outings a day on a warm winter day or warmer, then we wish we had the Level 2 charger. Otherwise for short trips the 12 hour over night charge after work is plenty to keep it topped up to 100% for the next day. In the winter I almost prefer to be slightly undercharged as the gas engine uses that "uncharged" head room to load up the gas engine to warm up the coolant. When it's at 100%, it shuts off the fuel and runs the gas engine in compressor mode drinking the battery.

The other part to consider, you do want to eventually burn off the gas in the tank over time, so its not the end of the world to use a bit of fuel. I have been caught once with stale gas in the winter and it fouled up a spark plug and it was chaos resolved under warranty.

I love the convenience and speed of Level 2, but I'm finding that I don't need it yet. You also need to burn several hundred dollars of fuel to equalize the payback of the Level 2 charger, but you will have that warm and fuzzy feeling of driving on clean energy assuming your energy isn't coming from a combustion turbine or coal plant.
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