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2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:56 am
by ansibe
I'll be picking up my 2017 FFE around June 1st, and have a simple question. Is 'smart' charging built in? When I plug the car into the charge station, can I program it (the car) to only charge overnight when rates are cheap? Or, is this capability built into the station itself? I have a pool, and it's easily programmed to run any time I choose. I can't find much info about charging on Ford's website.

Does anybody just plug into a regular socket? I drive about 30km per day, so how long would it take to recharge 30km? I'm guessing around 5 hours?

This may have been asked a 100x before, but I didn't find anything. Maybe there ARE dumb questions! Thanks for the help.
Simon.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:36 pm
by Omen87
Yes, the car has an option called "Value Charge" that allows you to specify when the car should charge. This can be set by location. Your "Home" profile can be set to value charge, where as any other location can be set to "Charge Now".

Your five hour estimate for 120v charging is about right I believe for a trip of 30km. Ford quotes 30 hours to fully recharge on 120v. 30km/185km = 16.2% so 16.2% x 30 hours = 4.86 hours. A level 2 station would recharge that in less than an hour. I don't know that DC fast charging would recharge that small amount a whole lot faster since the wattage being fed into the battery will slow as the state of charge increases.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:43 pm
by jmueller065
Keep in mind if you are only going to charge with 120V that value charging may not work: The car will calculate how long it needs to charge to full and if that amount of time is wider than your "value charge window" it will start charging immediately upon plugin.

All of the car's features (value charging, and go times) work a lot better with a level 2 charger.

(I have a lot of this detailed in my blog--link in my signature. Make sure you browse the menu under the "three bar" button at top right.)

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 2:47 pm
by NightHawk
Yep 4-5 hours is about right for charging with 120V for 30Km which is about 18.6 miles.
I get about 4-5 miles charge added per hour that way away from home, but at home I use my 240V/30A charging system to get a charge of 50-60miles in under 3 hours.

Correct that value charging works only with a LII 240V charging system unless the car is close to fully charged already.
I use value charge to set it to charge after midnight for up to 3 hours with my 240V/30A system and that works well.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 4:50 pm
by ansibe
Omen87 wrote:Yes, the car has an option called "Value Charge" that allows you to specify when the car should charge. This can be set by location. Your "Home" profile can be set to value charge, where as any other location can be set to "Charge Now".

Your five hour estimate for 120v charging is about right I believe for a trip of 30km. Ford quotes 30 hours to fully recharge on 120v. 30km/185km = 16.2% so 16.2% x 30 hours = 4.86 hours. A level 2 station would recharge that in less than an hour. I don't know that DC fast charging would recharge that small amount a whole lot faster since the wattage being fed into the battery will slow as the state of charge increases.
This is great, thank you all very much. I'm having a level 2 charger installed at home, but I'm not sure I can get it installed before I get the car. I think I'll have the charger within a couple of weeks, so with some careful planning I should be fine with the wall socket.

One more sightly more technical question: what's in these "charging stations" anyway? It's a 240v, 30A source with a special plug, but the actual charger is in the car. I'm being charged $1000 for installation (seems ok), and $1000 for the equipment. I fear I'm paying a grand for a really cool looking extension cord!

Ford is recommending AeroVironment EVSE-RS, which seems like a good option. I'd love to hear your opinions.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 5:22 pm
by jmueller065
ansibe wrote:One more sightly more technical question: what's in these "charging stations" anyway? It's a 240v, 30A source with a special plug, but the actual charger is in the car. I'm being charged $1000 for installation (seems ok), and $1000 for the equipment. I fear I'm paying a grand for a really cool looking Extension Cord!

Ford is recommending AeroVironment EVSE-RS, which seems like a good option. I'd love to hear your opinions.
Personally I'm pretty happy with Clipper Creek's units--they have just about any current value you want.

The "charging stations" (or more commonly called EVSE) are glorified ground fault circuits. There is a small microprocessor in them that tells the car how much current they can provide (so the charger in the car knows how much current is available). They also are there to protect the car in the event of a ground fault or other problem.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 6:20 pm
by triangles
ansibe wrote:
Omen87 wrote:One more sightly more technical question: what's in these "charging stations" anyway? It's a 240v, 30A source with a special plug, but the actual charger is in the car. I'm being charged $1000 for installation (seems ok), and $1000 for the equipment. I fear I'm paying a grand for a really cool looking extension cord!
In a sense you are paying for a really expensive extension cord. It's a smart extension cord as it tells the car how much current it can draw from the circuit it is plugged into. It also adds some safety in the form of a GFCI. As jmueller065 pointed out there's some electronics that "talk" to the on board charger and a relay that turns the power on to the car or off if it detects a fault.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 7:02 am
by scottt
ansibe wrote:
Omen87 wrote:Yes, the car has an option called "Value Charge" that allows you to specify when the car should charge. This can be set by location. Your "Home" profile can be set to value charge, where as any other location can be set to "Charge Now".

Your five hour estimate for 120v charging is about right I believe for a trip of 30km. Ford quotes 30 hours to fully recharge on 120v. 30km/185km = 16.2% so 16.2% x 30 hours = 4.86 hours. A level 2 station would recharge that in less than an hour. I don't know that DC fast charging would recharge that small amount a whole lot faster since the wattage being fed into the battery will slow as the state of charge increases.
This is great, thank you all very much. I'm having a level 2 charger installed at home, but I'm not sure I can get it installed before I get the car. I think I'll have the charger within a couple of weeks, so with some careful planning I should be fine with the wall socket.

One more sightly more technical question: what's in these "charging stations" anyway? It's a 240v, 30A source with a special plug, but the actual charger is in the car. I'm being charged $1000 for installation (seems ok), and $1000 for the equipment. I fear I'm paying a grand for a really cool looking extension cord!

Ford is recommending AeroVironment EVSE-RS, which seems like a good option. I'd love to hear your opinions.
Both of those charges are outrageous. A GE wall charger is $399 at Home Depot.

If (big if) you have a spare 40 amp fuse it is very easy to install yourself. Install charges really depend on how much space and power is free on your fuse box. I would find another electrician.

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 10:35 am
by EVA
Ansibe - you can look at the installation two ways.

One way, you have found an electrician who I assume you are happy with and comes well recommended. If he has experience installing EVSE or car charging stations, buying that whole package from him is a good thing to do. It is certainly the most prudent. He knows how to install what he sells and stands behind the installation.

The other way, and many here would recommend this, there are a lot of other charging stations available for a lot less money - somewhere in that $600 to $300 range. Have the electrician install a NEMA 14-50 outlet and buy a charger with that plug on the other end. You have now actually installed a fairly universal charging station. If you have some mechanical ability and aren't afraid of connecting a 240 Volt 50 Amp wires to the charging station, you could buy one that is a permanent install in your home.

There are good solid reasons for going either way. Buying a charging station on your own might not necessarily save you a lot of money. If you want the hardwired route, and you don't want to risk doing the connection yourself, your electrician might charge you a couple hundred to figure it out and install it. So if you bought a $500 charger, and $200 for installation - that's $700. I'd say the $1,000 deal is not a bad way to go, and just have the guy do the job.

And one thing to not forget - if your community has rebates for installing electric car charging stations - the ONLY thing that qualifies is a full blown charging station hardwired. You can't get a rebate for a 14-50 outlet - they will deny that portion of the cost. At least that's how it worked in Illinois when they had a rebate (actually a really huge rebate, around 50% of the full installation cost).

I personally paid an electrician to do everything. And oddly, he charged $1,000 for the GE WattStation. That was 3 years ago, and the price might be cheaper today. And I could have potentially saved some money. In the big picture, it wasn't worth the hassle (I had an extremely involved install that was far more expensive than what you are paying).

Re: 2017 FFE Newb charging questions

Posted: Mon May 15, 2017 4:16 pm
by amped
Yes, as others have said it's basically a smart extension cord. It sends a 1kHz pilot signal to the on-board charger, with the duty cycle indicating max amperage draw to protect your house wiring. There is also GFCI protection and a proximity detection circuit. It basically ensures that the charging whip is not energized if there is a ground fault or the j1772 connector not securely plugged in.

The AeroVironment EVSE-RS ( http://www.evsolutions.com/Upload/Produ ... 854000.pdf ) is a plug-in unit, 30A max but with a NEMA 6-50 plug, so it seems like the OP is having a new 50 amp circuit with a wall outlet installed. Mounting one of these things on a wall and plugging it in is an easy DIY project. $1000 (Canadian, presumably?) is a little bit steep IMO, especially for such a basic unit but certainly not outrageous if it includes warranted installation.

While 30A should max out the AC charging rate, the OP has such a short commute that this seems like overkill to me. Possibly some money could be saved by going with a new 30A circuit and something like a ClipperCreek LCS-30 with a 30A plug. This would charge at ~80% of the FFE's maximum rate (IIRC, the FFE maxes out at slightly less than 30A). This is enough to replenish up to ~250 km of range during a typical overnight 8h charging period. This setup would also be more portable if you wanted to take the EVSE with you on the road.