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Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Mon Sep 17, 2012 4:25 pm

I am anticipating getting an FFE this Fall/Winter
I want to charge it during the day since I average about 150 miles per day
I want to use ...if possible.... a portable generator when I stop appox 6 tines during the day for appox 1 hour at each stop
Do you know the name of a generator or manufacturer that makes a small generator that would easily fit in the car
I am going to remove all the seats except the drivers seat for my equipment and the generator
Thank you for help
I will do anything to free myself from the oil companies!

Posts: 87
Joined: Fri May 25, 2012 9:24 am
Location: Richmond, Virginia

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Sat Sep 22, 2012 6:51 am

Well I use slightly larger generators on skids for remote site power sometimes. Honda is known to make very practical and quiet, small generators (yes, that's quiet, not quite). As the output of those is typically 110V you wouldn't charge very much, maybe 3-4 miles per every one hour of 110V charging.

The other aspect is this, wouldn't you use more gasoline trying to run a portable charger to charge your EV than putting gasoline straight into a 36 mpg Ford Fiesta or Honda Fit? I'm sure you would get way more miles out of a gallon of gas straight into a Fiesta than one gallon into a Honda portable charger and outputting 110V charge into an EV.

EDIT: Plus the Ford Fiesta extremely well outfitted can be had for about one-half the price of a Focus Electric. I do love the Focus Electric I've had for a week but it fits my routine like a glove. If I knew I would be traveling 100 miles a day I wouldn't have purchased it. Traveling that much every day maybe one of the other Ford Hybrid options would be better suited, Ford is making some great cars. And they also cost less than the straight Ford Focus Electric.

Charged Up
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Location: Virginia

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:28 pm

If you need to go 150 miles/day and recharging from the grid during the day is not possible, then you sound like a candidate for a Volt or a Plug-In Prius or CMAX energi or Fusion Energi. Their engines are way more efficient than any generator you can buy.

There are calculators to help figure out which makes more sense based on the mileage. There are scenarios under which you would actually burn less fuel with PIP, even factoring in the ~ 40 miles of electric range in the Volt.
Last edited by Charged Up on Sun Oct 28, 2012 4:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:58 pm

Honda EU2000 would fit the bill nicely since the 120v charger draws about 1400-1500 watts. I have one and an FEV if you are interested in me testing it's ability. I use the 8 year old generator all the time to charge my electric Polaris Ranger and it draws about 1200 watts so I don't think it would have any trouble and it sips the gas. Still, you may want to look at other options like the other users said or try and have a couple plugs you can use along the way instead of a generator.

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Location: SE North Carolina

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:24 pm

My Kill_A-Watt 120v meter says the Ford 120V supply cord is drawing 11.5 amps when charging the FFE. This works out to about 1380watts which is right at the Honda 2000's continuous supply limit. I wouldn't try charging the FFE on a hot day with the Honda.

Charged Up
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Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2011 7:13 pm
Location: Virginia

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Sun Oct 21, 2012 4:20 am

Seriously, it makes no sense to charge with a generator on a regular basis. For starters you will burn more gas than if you just bought a Plug-In.

Also you run the risk of frying some electronics given that generators produce notoriously unclean electricity.

If your instance on the FFE was because of it being a Ford, perhaps you may want to consider the CMAX Energi or the Fusion Energi. 21 miles electric only and very good MPG after that.

If you are in California and you MPH is low for that 150 miles, the CODA EV might be able to do it, but there would not be much margin for error.

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Joined: Mon Apr 30, 2012 7:02 pm

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:33 pm

Portable generators are a waste of gas. Don't use one unless you REALLY have to. Most of the people here should be somewhat proficient with numbers, so let us crunch some about that Honda EU2000 generator.
It can be found here: http://powerequipment.honda.com/generat ... ls/eu2000i

I have done this calc on a number of other small gens like this and they are all within the same number about. Also, the bigger the generator, the more efficient it runs.

According to the specs, the gen can run for 4 hours at rated load, specified as 1600 Watts. Also note that this is advertised as 2000 Watts, but that is peak load, not meant for long term use at that level. 1600 W is continuous use.

After 4 hours you will get, 1600 W * 4 hrs = 6400 Wh or 6.4 kWh.
The gen has a 1.1 gal fuel tank. So then we have 6400 Wh / 1.1 gal = 5818.2 Wh/gal or 5.818 kWh/gal
The most you can get out of a gal of gas is 33.7 kWh, this is what the EPA uses.
Therefore, 5.818/33.7 = 17.26% efficiency. Considering that cars get about 25% or so efficiency, this seems like a huge waste and it would probably be better just getting a high mileage gas car or hybrid.

It also gives numbers for use at 1/4 the rated load, 9.6 hours at 400W. If you crunch those numbers it comes to just over 10% efficient. Not very good. Since the FFE pulls less than the rated load for this generator, it will probably be in the range of 15-16% efficient.

The Stig
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Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:24 pm
Location: West Bloomfield MI, 48322

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Sat Dec 28, 2013 7:58 pm

You'd be better off sticking with just plugging in for free at some place. Weather it be a ChargePoint, Dealership, Hotel. ect....
His: 2012 FFE (Blue Candy)
Hers: 2013 C-Max Energi (Ruby Red)

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Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Fri Jan 03, 2014 11:24 am

The Stig wrote:You'd be better off sticking with just plugging in for free at some place. Weather it be a ChargePoint, Dealership, Hotel. ect....
Most of those places aren't exactly free. ChargePoint cost $4.95 for the tap card alone. And when you go to charge your car you'll soon find out there are very few free charging stations. So you have to call up customer support, give them your credit info, and then charge. Or you sign up on their website or app and provide your cc info and then you get charged around $1 per hour at most stations.

Blitz, while they went bankrupt, has a ton of stations and they also require a tapcard membership and then cc info on file. So if you're a member, you get charged $1 per hour. If you're not, you get charged $2 per hour.

EvGo has a couple of stations and they have some superchargers, but at this point I'm paying them $7.95 for a 60 day trial. They would be a lot better since it's "charge as much as you like" in those 60 days. After that point they have subscription rates.

As far as hotels, it's not always that easy. Some hotels just won't let you charge if you're not a guest. Some restaurants won't let you charge if you're not going to eat there. Some office complexes and parking lots charge you to park. Other issues like the Charging port is only near the handicapped parking area.... And the police and tow truck companies come over if you do park in that space. I found that rather odd, but there are many places that place the charging stations in the handicapped parking areas for whatever reason. Other times you have non EVs parked in the spots. Other times the machines just don't work and haven't worked in like a month. Other times you wind up at a Blink L2 Station and it's going to take over 8 hours to charge. It seems the new company that bought them out has cut some of the power to these stations. Normally you should get a full charge in 4 hours.

Most people who have EVs charge at home and if they need a boost, they find some station. If you have to rely on these charging stations because you can't charge at home or you need to drive 150+ miles per day, you'll know far more about all the various charging station issues than somebody who might use it once every few weeks. It's far different if you have to depend on those charging stations because at this point it's not a reliable network to think you can drive over 150 miles per day .

It's one thing to be joy riding, it's another to be driving for work and needing to keep schedules. I've driven my ICE truck around to all the different charging stations one weekend. Made it like a field trip with my kids. I used the various apps(chargepoint, blink, plugshare) and so on to find most of the charging stations within a 50 mile radius of me. Some just don't work. Others were some company I never heard of and didn't have a desire to sign up for another account. I mean at this point I have Blink, EvGO and Chargepoint. Who knows what will happen to Blink as they've gone bankrupt.

And that's the other big issue. With no super charger, a guy driving 150 miles a day who does rely on nothing but charging stations will need a job where he doesn't need to be on time. It takes over 4 hours to get a full charge at most of these stations and even more if it's a reduced charging station. So if you stays for 30 minutes, say a lunch break, he's not going to get much from that. For me if I don't stay for about 90 minutes, it's rather useless to even pay the $1 or $2 per hour to gain 10-15 miles. And for somebody who is relying on that to get to/from clients and so on, it would be a nightmare.

I honestly don't see how the FFE would be a good choice for somebody who needs to use it to drive over even 100 miles a day at this point.

Posts: 62
Joined: Sat Apr 26, 2014 3:28 pm
Location: Ontario

Re: Question : Regarding Portable generators and the FFE

Fri May 23, 2014 2:51 pm

It looks like a 240V 33A generator is a good option to take out to an empty FFE in a pinch but certainly given the weight (approx 200lbs)and almost a gallon an hour fuel consumption (8000w Gen) its not very practical to be carrying it around in the car. Also, I think its only good for about 20miles an hour charge. Perhaps the math people can be a bit more precise?

2014 Nissan Leaf.
FFE = Canceled.
2000 7.3L diesel Excursion.
2007 LR3 Land Rover.

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