tl;dr – What Level 2 EVSE (charger) should I consider buying and why.

Longer version:

We have been using a Level 1 charger with our PHEV vehicle. But are planning on replacing the PHEV with either a VW ID.4, Hyundai Ioniq 5, Kia EV6 or Nissan Ariya. We don’t know which we will buy and, for availability and tax reasons, won’t be purchasing until after January 1, 2022.

Current US federal tax incentives run out for EVSE installation on December 31, 2021. So we’d like to have a Level 2 EVSE installed by the end of the year.

Our current electrical panel can support only one additional 240v 30 amp load so we are looking at installing a NEMA 14-30 receptacle with a plug in EVSE or going with a hardwired 30 amp EVSE.

I have done some modeling and I think that 30 amp Level 2 charging will be sufficient. Actually, given our historical driving patterns we could probably get by with Level 1 charging.

Would like to charge only during “super off peak” hours as it is quite a bit cheaper that way with [SDG&E’s EV-TOU-5 billing plan](https://www.sdge.com/residential/pricing-plans/about-our-pricing-plans/electric-vehicle-plans).

SDG&E’s EV-TOU-5 billing plan is more complicated than our current PHEV or some of the EVSEs I have looked at can deal with.

For example, our current PHEV’s built in charging schedule can be set to charge at a particular time of day (no day of week variations). Or it can be set to finish charging at a particular time of day (no day of week variations). It can’t be set to both start and stop charging at a specific times. And it can’t vary times based on day of week. Nor can it handle two different charging periods per day much less if those two periods only exist during specific months of the year.

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Another example, it looks like Clipper Creek’s EVSEs can have a start and stop time with one setting for weekdays and another for weekends. This is much closer but it doesn’t look like it can deal with the additional 10AM to 2 PM hours during March and April.

At this time I am using a Z-Wave controlled 120v receptacle and Home Assistant to charge my PHEV during super off peak hours. It is nice for two reasons: I can leave the car to charge on plug-in so if I am away from home I don’t have to override the car’s programming to charge. Second, regardless of when I get home and plug the car in it will charge at the earliest cheap opportunity. I would like to keep this ability for any future EV we purchase.

Specific questions: Can newer EVs be programmed with complicated billing rate situations? I have found very little on the VW ID.4 and nothing on that level of detail seems to have been released for the Ioniq 5, EV 6 or Ariya. If so, then maybe I can go with a dumb EVSE and live with having to override charging start times if away from home.

Are there any residential EVSEs with calendar specific charging times and/or multiple periods of the day with super off peak hours?

When I look at reviews and various car specific EV forums I see some brands of EVSEs have a bad reputation. But usually the newest complaints are from two or three years ago. What are current real user experiences with the various brands of EVSEs?

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8 thoughts on “EVSE Recommendation”
  1. Chargepoint Home Flex can schedule around times like SDG&E’s ridiculous plans (I feel your pain.) There should be others that can do the same, doesn’t seem uncommon.

    [ChargePoint Home Flex | ChargePoint](https://www.chargepoint.com/drivers/home/)

    Also, some companies are offering deals for EVSE’s when you buy. I’d poke around and see if Nissan, Kia or Hyundai have any deals/specials.

  2. I believe [OpenEVSE](https://www.openevse.com/) will do simple time of day but if you want more complex like changing rate based on Solar PV generation or if your provider has a live price you [could configure the OpenEVSE to use that](https://guide.openenergymonitor.org/integrations/evse-setup/). You could also configure it to [charge your car to a specific % by a specific time and figure out the cheapest way](https://guide.openenergymonitor.org/integrations/demandshaper-openevse/)

    Main drawback is OpenEVSE isn’t UL certified so if your insurance cares it has to be on a plug. I recently upgraded my 2016 40A to 48A and put it on a NEMA 14-60.

  3. I bought the 20 Amp clipper creek for my volt in 2017 and have had zero issues. It doesn’t have any ability to be programmed however but the volt has all of that built in for both specific time charging and programming time of use rates. I’d assume the bolt has that ability as well being a Chevy but I don’t know of that for sure.

  4. I had the same power limitations as you. Currently have a PHEV and planning to upgrade to full ev in the next few years.

    Got a FLO G5. It is solid aluminium, beautiful and has the best feeling charge handle ever. Rated for any weather conditions (Nema 4X rating). Also comes in the X5 version that has smart features (uses power line communication instead of wifi so no issues with connectivity). Made in Canada.

  5. Juicebox app is a little clunky but they say they’re working on an upgrade (real soon now).

    It does weekday/weekday start/stop programming. You cannot set a complicated schedule to go on and off multiple times a day. I did mine a long time ago but PG&E just change to make all days the same, so I had to redo the weekend. Also, PG&E has one time rates go up (4pm) and one time when they are go back (9pm), so on at 9pm off at 4pm works for me fine.

    I could also set it in the car but I’ve never bothered because I control it on the box.

  6. It is an interesting situation you are trying to solve!

    The first thing I thought of for you was to skip the “smart” EVSE altogether and instead go with a “dumb” EVSE and control the circuit power via a smart relay.

    It appears that ELK has already thought of this type of solution in a nice box for only $100: [https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0767/7411/files/ELK9200_Instructions.pdf?10807606808512306767](https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0767/7411/files/ELK9200_Instructions.pdf?10807606808512306767)

    Wire the ELK-9200 between the EVSE and the circuit breaker. The ELK-9200 contactor relay can switch up to 60A, so you should be fine.


    * Program the ELK-9200 controller to match your wacky utility rate schedule.
    * Plug the EVSE into the EV.
    * ELK-9200 schedule energizes the relay, power flows to EVSE, EV starts charging.
    * At the designated end time, the controller de-energizes the relay, EV stops charging.

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