EcoDad
Posts: 28
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 1:43 pm

Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Fri Apr 27, 2012 1:35 am

Okay from everything I have read the focus electric takes around 4 hours to fully charge the battery. I was recently reading this "Road & Track" test drive article ( http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/drive ... s-electric ) and it sparked a question I just had to ask the ford focus electric forum members. The article mentions that a home charging station costs $1499.

Do you have to buy a home charging station?

What are your options if you do not have one? Do you have to then leave your focus ev somewhere in public for 4 hours?

Any help the ford focus electric forum can give me would be a great help!

KeiJidosha
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Fri Apr 27, 2012 11:56 am

EcoDad wrote:Okay from everything I have read the focus electric takes around 4 hours to fully charge the battery. I was recently reading this "Road & Track" test drive article ( http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/drive ... s-electric ) and it sparked a question I just had to ask the ford focus electric forum members. The article mentions that a home charging station costs $1499.

Do you have to buy a home charging station?

What are your options if you do not have one? Do you have to then leave your focus ev somewhere in public for 4 hours?

Any help the ford focus electric forum can give me would be a great help!
You can charge at home with the “cable” that comes with the car. It pulls ~12 amps so needs to be on it's own circuit. This adds ~4 miles range per hour, so it will take ~20 hours to recharge from empty. The "Charging Station", also called and "EVSE" (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) needs a 240 volt circuit to charge the car. If it's on a 40 amp circuit, the Focus Electric will charge in ~4 hours. Some people use the dryer AC circuit in there garage. Many are 30amp so the Focus will charge slower taking 6-8 hours to recharge from empty, depending on the EVSE you buy. Here is the Plugin America site that talks about Charging Equipment. EVSE will need to be set to tell the car how fast it can charge.

mrpalerider
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Mon May 28, 2012 12:18 pm

I just saw this article online that explains it pretty well:

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/107 ... y-cautious

I was VERY surprised about a sneaky sales pitch that Ford has been employing; they have been advertising that the FFE charges in half the time of a Nissan Leaf. However, that is only possible with a 'Level 2' charger either installed by Best Buy for $1500 or getting an electrician to do it for less than 1/2 that. Otherwise it's a long 20hr+ wait to charge for your 30mile journey.

fearless_fool
Posts: 17
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 10:58 am

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Mon May 28, 2012 2:02 pm

@mrpalerider:
I was VERY surprised about a sneaky sales pitch that Ford has been employing; they have been advertising that the FFE charges in half the time of a Nissan Leaf.
I'm not sure what part you see as "sneaky". The Ford Focus Electric with an EVSE will charge significantly faster than a Leaf with an EVSE. EVSEs for both cars cost about the same (especially after you include installation costs). Without an EVSE, the FFE and the Leaf both have long charging times.

Note that you don't have to buy the Ford/BestBuy EVSE -- any one that supplies 32A (6.6KW) will do the job.

KeiJidosha
Posts: 40
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:31 pm
Location: Simi Valley, CA

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Mon May 28, 2012 5:57 pm

mrpalerider wrote:I just saw this article online that explains it pretty well:

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/107 ... y-cautious

I was VERY surprised about a sneaky sales pitch that Ford has been employing; they have been advertising that the FFE charges in half the time of a Nissan Leaf. However, that is only possible with a 'Level 2' charger either installed by Best Buy for $1500 or getting an electrician to do it for less than 1/2 that. Otherwise it's a long 20hr+ wait to charge for your 30mile journey.
You are asking the right questions. There is a learning curve to EVs, and it’s different for every individuals personal situation. Manufacturers struggle with providing enough information without overloading customers to the point of discouragement. Ford will emphasize the faster 6.6kW charger in the Focus because it is a significant differentiation from the LEAF. But taking advantage of it at home requires the buyer to make some additional preparation and purchase. The benefit of the MyFocusElectric blog is to expose buyers to the choices they will face, helping them make informed decisions.

With the L1 120V cord that comes with the Focus, you will add ~4 miles of range for each hour charging. You can replace your 30 mile commute with ~7.5 hours of charge. An L2 charger will take ~1.5 hours.

mrpalerider
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue May 22, 2012 9:54 pm

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Tue May 29, 2012 9:54 am

I guess I say 'sneaky' because it isn't out there to the general public, you have to dig deeper. I just became aware of the FFE in the last 2 weeks as it's been nothing but Chevy Volt in the media, so I'm very new to this forum and if it wasn't for the forum I would think (like most consumers) that the advertised charging times were 'out-of-the-box' so to speak. I would be miffed if I put my name on the list to buy one and find out that there were hidden costs to obtaining the advertised specs. That's all.

msmunger52
Posts: 14
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2012 10:51 pm

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:37 pm

EcoDad wrote:Okay from everything I have read the focus electric takes around 4 hours to fully charge the battery. I was recently reading this "Road & Track" test drive article ( http://www.roadandtrack.com/tests/drive ... s-electric ) and it sparked a question I just had to ask the ford focus electric forum members. The article mentions that a home charging station costs $1499.

Do you have to buy a home charging station?

What are your options if you do not have one? Do you have to then leave your focus ev somewhere in public for 4 hours?

Any help the ford focus electric forum can give me would be a great help!

I have had my FFE for about two weeks and have been pleasantly surprised at how well I can get along without the home 220v station. I use the FFE strictly for my commute to work and errands on the weekends. My commute is normally 55 miles per day, occasionally I've run an errand after work and extended the distance by 5 or so miles. To date the 120v EVSE that comes with the car has been able to keep up with my driving schedule. I plug the FFE in using the 120 EVSE as soon as I get home, usually about 6PM, and by 7AM the next morning it is fully charged and ready to go. I don't know when it actually completes the full charge. There was one exception to this. One Friday night I went out after work and did not return home until after 10PM. On that occasion the car was not fully charged at 7AM, it took a few more hours.

I'm going to have the 220 EVSE installed later this month, but so far my experience with the 120v EVSE has been very positive . . . almost makes me think I don't really need the 220 EVSE. When I was looking to purchase the FFE I told the salesman that the car was "only half useful and could only be used every other day until I got the 220 EVSE". It helped me, as part of my negotiation the dealership cut me a check for purchase of a 220 EVSE. But I was wrong about the car being half useful.

JimB_FFE
Posts: 84
Joined: Sat Sep 29, 2012 11:21 pm
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Contact: Website

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:30 pm

I'll divide this post into two sections:
1. Home charging stations (Beyond the travel cord)
2. Public / workplace charging stations

HOME CHARGING STATIONS:
There are two types of level 2 (240 volt) charging stations (also called EVSE) for the home:
1. Those that supply up to 16A (amps) and require a 20A circuit breaker. These will cut the charge time roughly in half vs the 120 volt cord that comes with the car. If you have an older home with limited additional electrical panel capacity, this may be your only option.
2. Those that supply up to 30A and require a 40A circuit breaker. These will cut the charge time to 1/4 of what it takes the 120 volt cord that comes with the car. This is preferred if your home electrical system can handle it. If not, go for option 1.

Example:
Let's say you have a 20 mile one way commute. With the 240 volt, 30 amp home charger, you can replenish the energy used for your daily commute in about an hour and a half. That's handy if you want to head to the city 30 miles away for a night on the town. This assumes no charging at the workplace or in public. I'll go into that later in this post.

You can get a home charging station for about $800. Installation costs will vary widely and electricians will often paint a pessimistic picture about the scope of work and costs involved. Often it's not as bad as they say it is. My ChargePoint CT500 was successfully installed in a home with a 60 year old 100A panel...all legal with permits and city inspections.

Image

Basically, if you have a panel that has switch type breakers and not screw-in fuses, the odds are good. If the panel is "full" with no space for extra breakers, ask your electrician about replacing some of the breakers with "twins" that fit two breakers in the space of one. Some panel manufacturers will allow some, but not all of the spaces to be occupied by twins. This will free up space for the large 40 amp breaker you will need for the EVSE.

The other big factor is the distance from the panel to the EVSE. If your panel is in or near the garage, life is good. If you have to go from the other end of the house, that will add another couple of hundred to the cost.

PUBLIC / WORKPLACE STATIONS
Good news for the EV driver: There are over 9000 public and workplace charging stations and more are being installed daily. Most require a smart card to operate them, but you can also call the 800 number on them ans the person on the other end will unlock it for you remotely.

Most public stations are free, but some are charging by the hour (like a parking meter) or the kiloWatt-Hour. The idea is that if the station owners can get paid back for their investment in refueling infrastructure and the juice itself, more businesses and municiplaities will be willing to install stations.

You can use a smartphone app to find stations and the Focus Electric navigation system will also help locate them. The advantage of using the smartphone app is that it gives you real time status, showing if a particular station is in use or available. Some stations allow you to reserve them in advance so you'll be assured of availability when you get there. When charging at some public stations, you'll get a text when the car is fully charged or if someone unplugs the car.

Many employers have installed charging stations in their employee parking lots to encourage employees to buy EVs. If your employer has not done so yet, be sure to ask. There are often tax benefits for them to do that. Some do it for the green cred. Either way, it's a win for us EV drivers.
Last edited by JimB_FFE on Mon Apr 07, 2014 10:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
2015 Magnetic
Delivered 7/15/2015
Dealer: Frontier Ford - San Jose, CA
Home EVSE: ChargePoint Home
www.chargepoint.com/home

blentre
Posts: 4
Joined: Thu Aug 30, 2012 6:25 pm

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Mon Oct 08, 2012 6:39 pm

I did some testing using the 120v charger and after 28 miles using 6.1 kWh it took 9.1 kWh to charge it up. Hopefully the level 2 Ford charger I'm having installed tomorrow will be more effecient like they profess. I tested using the trip summary screen after reset for my daily commute on a full charge the night before and charged the next night running through my wattsup meter. I have a whole house brand electronics 240v meter and I'll do the same test to see if it is in fact more effecient on the level 2 charger. I tried to go directly to Mr. Electric but they cannot sell the charger without going through BestBuy Geeksquad. Mr. Electric is on the Austin, TX approved contractor list so I'll get a rebate for half the cost after complete. BestBuy charges $99 to come out, take some pictures and give the go-ahead to Mr. Electric. The charger runs $800 and up to 25' of line-of-sight wiring (more for longer distance) to you breaker box is $600. There is the breakdown of the $1499. I really wanted a Leviton charger based on reviews and couldn't touch the price by myself. Best price I found was on Amazon for $1200 for the generic Leviton and no idea how long it would take to get it. Add to that the best price of $450 with another electrician to wire it up and it would have cost more to subcontract/provide it myself. I'll be happy with a $750 bill after our local rebate and the Ford Leviton charger.

whitgallman
Posts: 69
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 9:27 am
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Charging Station Options For The Focus Electric

Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:58 pm

I put 2 240V level 2 charging stations in myself. One at my house and one at my dad's 78 miles away. Cost me about $1100 each. They charge my car 78 miles in about 2 hours. Got my Focus EV May 28, 2012.

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