JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3223
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Garage EVSE Location

Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:53 pm

Primarily a hint/suggestion/guideline/food-for-thought for new/prospective iMiEV owners. The EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) contains the J1772 plug and cable and is the interface box between the car and the house electrical system.

With our iMiEV's J1772 receptacle located on the starboard aft, uh, right rear fender, it pays to think long and hard where and how we park our car in order to optimize the convenience of charging. For some it might be easier to back the car in and have it parked close to the left wall of the garage, but probably for most of us it would be best to have it parked close to the right wall of the garage. In either case, the EVSE can be located within three feet (1m) of the car's inlet, making it very quick and effortless to uncoil a short amount of cable and plug the car in. That right-hand location is also close to the garage door, making it easy to plug in a visiting EV. This short run is certainly handier and less obtrusive than hooking up any EV having the inlet on its left side (leaving space to open the driver's car door forces a large separation), or even plugging in a Leaf if the EVSE is on a side wall. Something to think about, as this is an everyday activity, often used multiple times during a day.

In my case, I have both of my EVSEs (the L1 Mitsu and L2 SPX) mounted on the side wall very close to the right of the garage door. Both EVSEs are plugged-in (NEMA 5-15 and L6-30, respectively) and are easily and simply removable should I be taking an extended trip and want to take them with me. Only 3'-4' (~1m) of cord is ever needed, and the wire never ever touches the ground.

What prompted this post was watching my good friend drag his dirty heavy J1772 cable about 15' (5m) across his garage floor to plug in his Leaf. DUH! :cry:

Edit 12/6/12. For completeness, forgot to mention that I have a switch on the 120vac line to totally turn off the L1 EVSE when it's not being used (as it draws 5W/14VA at zero load), and I've added a mechanical timer and kWhr meter on the 240vac line - see photo
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Don
Site Moderator
Posts: 2464
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 3:55 pm
Location: Biloxi MS

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:55 pm

We have a two bay garage and the left hand one is closest to the house - There's actually a walk in door just to the left of the drivers side rear door when the car is parked. So, our EVSE's are mounted on the narrow 2 foot wall between the two garage doors

Our garage is pretty deep and the iMiEV easily fits in the left hand bay, parked behind the Miata and we still have 3 feet to walk between the cars. The station wagon is parked in the other bay, just behind 3 motorcycles. There's plenty of room to walk around everything, which is good as the laundry room is located on the opposite side of the garage from the house, so you have to walk through the garage to use that

For the stock Panasonic EVSE, I installed two really long screws with large heads on them into a piece of plywood so that the screws exactly fit into the top two 'tunnels' on the back of the EVSE. This keeps it neatly hanging on the wall with no weight on the input cord, yet it's easily removable when needed. Most of the cable to the car is stowed inside the wall, down almost to the floor and back up so that about 4 feet or so is left free to hook to the car

Just above the Panasonic I have my Open EVSE permanently mounted to the same piece of plywood. I used a shorter cable to the J1772 connector for that EVSE. None of the cables ever touch the floor. I have a plastic box screwed to the plywood beneath the Panasonic and it holds both charge handles

I mounted two electrical outlets to the bottom of a beam near the ceiling, just above the EVSE's. One is a standard household outlet on it's own breaker, 120 volts @ 20 amps and the other is a 240 volt @ 20 amp twistlock. Power comes from a subpanel in the garage which also powers the washer and dryer, a 240 volt @ 40 amp ceramic kiln, a large 240 volt air compressor and several other tools in a workshop adjacent to the right hand garage bay. Either EVSE can be plugged into either outlet, since both are L1/L2 capable and both have identical twistlock plugs on them. To use the standard 120 volt outlet for L1 use, I use a 2 foot pigtail which converts the twistlocks to a standard plug

I usually charge using the stock Panasonic EVSE on L1 @ 12 amps. When I need a quicker charge, I use the Open EVSE on 240 volts @ 12 amps. I can adjust the Open EVSE for any current I like from 8 to 16 amps on either L1 or L2, but I always leave it set at just 12 amps and it's always plugged into the 240 twistlock

I can plug in any visiting EV parked in either garage bay, as well as one parked in either driveway with this arrangement

I really like the starboard aft location of the J1772 connector on the car - It's much better thought out than the center front location used by the Leaf, IMO. As Joe mentioned, we need only 3 or 4 feet of cable to connect to the car and this makes it very easy to keep the cables off the floor. Electrical cables laying around on a garage floor is never a good thing for several reasons - They can get walked on or driven over plus they are a tripping hazard and laying around on the cement just isn't good for the cable

Don
2012 iMiEV SE Premium, White
2012 iMiEV SE, White
2014 Ford Transit Connect XLT SWB wagon, 14,000 miles
1994 Miata 60K miles - Soon to be sold
1979 Honda CBX six into six

nt2w
Posts: 86
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2012 5:33 am
Location: Potsdam, NY

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:59 pm

My MiEV gets parked in the right bay of a two car garage... the electric service entrance to the house and consequently, the distribution panel are on the right side wall.

The AeroVironment EVSE is mounted (hard wired) adjacent to the panel about even with the front passenger door of the MiEV. This results in having to extend the 8ft<?> cord a bit (I opted for the shorter of the two AV cords), but the space just inside the garage door is taken up with my solar array's inverter and disconnect... it was there first!

I realized in experimenting that although I could back the MiEV into the garage and still (barely) plug in with the way I have things installed, I wouldn't want to have that be the standard procedure. Conversely, if I were to trade the MiEV for a Volt or Focus EV, I would have to back in. A LEAF, on the other hand, wouldn't be able to back in and still reach. Or, I could get the 15ft cord...

Rich
2012 i-MiEV ES, Black (owned 6/2012-4/2014)
Aerovironment Level 2 EVSE
Powered in part by 1680W of Photovoltaics

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:32 am

Both JoeS and Don mention about not having the cord touch the ground. Can you comment further why this is such a bad idea?

When using my L1 at my parking garage and using my L2 at home, the cord often comes in contact with the ground. I have no way around it and I'd rather have it on the ground instead of telegraphed across the space between the EVSE and the Charge Port. Because I'm sure at some point, someone is not going to see it and rip the EVSE off the wall or mangle the J1772 connector on the car.

My EVSE is mounted on the left side, near the door on my single stall garage. Our garage is not only used for the car but also as storage for camping gear, backpacking gear, kids toys, lawn equipment, my tools and workbench, oversized holiday decorations, paints, chemicals and whatever else. To say the garage is packed is an understatement and I'm constantly getting rid of stuff - I hate clutter to no end. This position works well whether I pull in or back in, whether I leave it in the driveway or pull it into the garage. The Scneider Electric has an 18ft cable, plenty of room to get the plug to where I need it.

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3223
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:00 am

MLucas, in my case not having the cord touching the ground simply means keeping my hands clean, and having 3'-4' (~1m) of cord simply means I save a few seconds in unwrapping/wrapping the cord each time I charge. Removing the cord and plugging-in the car for me is literally a three-second operation. I suspect it will take many years of dragging a long cord over the ground before wear-and-tear on both the cord and the cord-handle connection becomes an issue.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

danpatgal
Posts: 202
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2012 10:21 am
Location: Ephrata, PA

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Thu Dec 06, 2012 5:48 pm

We had a dilemma for our i, since we wanted/needed to park it forward on the left hand two-bay garage. We thought about putting in a pedestal in the middle to hold a small coil ... with wire in a conduit on the ground to the actual EVSE. But that felt intrusive and would take up valuable floor space. In the end, though I'm not super happy with it, it does work out pretty well: I mounted it to the ceiling just above where the front right mirror is. I have a little cord holder to keep it up about 5ft off the ground (sometimes I bonk into the cord when the i is not home) and when it's charging it just drapes a little over that mirror to the inlet.

With this pretty central setup I could charge almost any car with little headache that we might have in the future. As, I'm sure more EVs will be in our future :).

MLucas
Posts: 833
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 8:52 am
Location: Niagara on the Lake, Ontario, Canada

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:39 am

JoeS - thanks for the information. In the following pictures you can see my cable is laying on the ground. I could lay it across the car, but I'm afraid I'll damage the finish over time. Since I use the cable outside of the garage during warmer months, I can't really rig up a sling for it and I can't forget about the garage door, either. Not much I can do about it.

danpatgal - very creative!

Here's pictures of my setup and how I stuff my i MiEV into the garage.

Image

Image

Image

Image

I've gotten it down to a science on how to get the car in and out without scraping up the sides and leaving plenty of room to get out of the car and walk down the sides. Small spaces have the advantage of not being able to collect too much clutter, there definitely a limiting factor here. :)

Like Dylan...I went electric.

  • Purchased: June 29th, 2012
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2013 - 25,431 km / 15,802 miles
  • Mileage on June 29th, 2014 - 51,286 km / 32,616 miles

List of Oil Spills: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_oil_spills

sandange
Posts: 843
Joined: Thu Jul 05, 2012 2:21 am
Location: Quebec, Canada
Contact: Website

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:08 am

MLucas wrote:Here's pictures of my setup and how I stuff my i MiEV into the garage.


plus 1 on that

We are set up the same.
I back the car into the driveway when I leave it outside, and can close the garage door with the cable going outside.

I was thinking of setting up a wall mount support for the cable on the outside wall, since we park it outside most of the time.
Would need to get the connector end dust cap if I did that, also probably not good for the cable.
Puey Bluey 2014 Miev
76,400 miles, 123,000 km
Previous EVs
Blackie - 2012 ES Miev 2 years - 67,000 km / (41,630 miles)
Total Electric miles driven
118,000, (190,000 km)

tonymil
Posts: 271
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:50 am
Location: Latham, NY

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Fri Dec 07, 2012 1:05 pm

MLucas wrote:In the following pictures you can see my cable is laying on the ground. I could lay it across the car, but I'm afraid I'll damage the finish over time. Since I use the cable outside of the garage during warmer months, I can't really rig up a sling for it and I can't forget about the garage door, either. Not much I can do about it.


MLucas, just install something like this under the charger and only unwind as much as you need to connect to the car, the rest stays on the hook and keeps the cable suspended.

http://remodelista.com/posts/outdoors-hose-hook-from-manufactum

JoeS
Site Moderator
Posts: 3223
Joined: Thu Dec 15, 2011 5:47 am
Location: Los Altos Hills, California

Re: Garage EVSE Location

Wed Sep 16, 2015 2:08 pm

Taken from the backing-in parking thread,
wmcbrine wrote:
JoeS wrote:Every Leaf owner I know has to drag at least a portion of their cable on the ground in order to plug in their car, and they also have a trip hazard as they need to get by the front of their car and step over the cord after they've closed the garage door.

Well, that just seems like bad planning. If they're installing the EVSE themselves, they ought to be able to find a logical place for it, and I assume they already knew where the car's charge port is.

Now, in my case, I actually have my new EVSE towards the front of the garage, on the wrong side of the i-MiEV. In that position, it would work a lot better for a Leaf, or if I backed in (which I've done a few times, but it's a pain). But I was taking advantage of some existing wiring, and rather than redo that, I just got a longer cable for the J1772. :)
wmcbrine, I agree with you that the EVSE is often located where wiring is conveniently accessible, and thus not optimum for minimal effort (minimal cord length) or passage unobstructed by a cord. This very short cordlength works for the Leaf only if the EVSE is mounted on the wall in front of the car (going in forward) and the car parks close to that wall and there is no need to walk from one side of the car to the other in front of it.

I'm still struggling with my second i-MiEV EVSE location, as the port ends up being in the middle of the garage, irrespective of which way I park, and the problem exists whether I have an i-MiEV, Leaf, Volt, Tesla, Sparrow, i3, or whatever. Dangling a self-retracting charging cord (using bungies and pulleys, avoiding a coil) from overhead seems to me to offer the 'cleanest' solution ... I'm working on it, but first need to move all the junk hanging up there (kayaks, bicycles, sails, etc.) :roll: and run some conduit.
EVs: 2 Wht/Blu SE Prem., '13 Tesla MS85, 3 156v CorbinSparrows (2 Li-ion), 24v EcoScoot(LiFePO4)
EV Conv: 156v '86 Ram PU, 144v '65 Saab 96
Hybrids: 48v1kW bike
ICE: '88 Isuzu Trooper. Mothballed: '67 Saab (orig.owner), '76 MBZ L206D RHD RV

Return to “EVSE (Charging Stations)”