Car Reviews

2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line Long-Term Update | Charging on the cheap

One of many key advantages to electrical automotive possession is the power to cost it at house, however that is an arduous course of if you do not have your personal Degree 2 charging setup. As we famous (to some social media controversy) when it arrived, our 2022 Kia EV6 GT-Line AWD did not even include a typical 110/120-volt charging cable. As some rushed to level out, that omission is basically irrelevant to those that are already accustomed to the present EV ecosystem, but it surely’s simple to narrate to those that discover it puzzling {that a} car that requires plugging in would not ship with the requisite plug. What is that this, a premium smartphone? 

However here is the factor: Charging a pure EV on a typical three-prong outlet is painfully ineffective at greatest. In the event you’re long-term EV possession, you need an at-home Degree 2 setup — one that may ship a strong 30-40 amps on 220/240V AC. Sounds costly, proper? It isn’t, truly. All you want is an electrician, just a few inches of naked wall in a handy parking location and a charging wire of your alternative. 

Yep, only a wire. Whereas there are way more sturdy choices in the marketplace, there isn’t any must dive that deep into the complexities of charging gear. Hardwired setups have their benefits, however they’re pricey and no extra future-proof than a far-less-expensive NEMA 14-50 to J1772 (the usual Degree 2 plug) cable. In the event you’ve finished a lot RVing or trailering, NEMA 14-50 might be acquainted to you. That is the massive, honkin’ 50-amp (therefore the 50 in “14-50”) service outlet you’d use to plug in your Winnebago. RV, meet EV. 

I discovered all of this myself just lately after buying a brand new (to me) house within the Metro Detroit ‘burbs. My semi-detached storage got here with solely the very fundamentals for an older workshop. In the event you’re fortunate, you have already obtained a subpanel (or a most important panel shut by) and ample headroom in your most important feed to permit for enlargement, as a result of you are going to want a hefty new dual-pole breaker to produce your NEMA 14-50 outlet. What you see above is the simplest, most direct method to do that: an outlet connected virtually on to the panel. Supplied you have got a close-by service panel, a setup like this may be thrown collectively for only a couple hundred bucks.

In the event you’re working with a indifferent storage or workshop (or need an out of doors charging stand), issues get costlier, however not likely any extra sophisticated. Out of doors plugs ought to be weather-rated and constructed into “in-use” housings (those who seal over the plug whereas it is in) and, relying in your code, will probably require GFCI both on the breaker or the outlet. Your electrician can assist you determine what’s most cost-effective, as these gear upgrades can simply double or triple your money outlay if you happen to simply assume costly all the time means higher.

However on the time of publication, the true X-factor is the price of copper wire, which has been off the charts recently. In my case, I spent as a lot so as to add a second 14-50 outlet on the far finish of my storage as I did so as to add the sub-panel and first plug. To be clear, this setup is not meant to cost a number of automobiles concurrently, however merely to permit some parking flexibility, which will be additional augmented with an extended charging wire. In my case, I went with a comparatively primary, 18-foot cable I discovered on Amazon with first rate opinions — at half the worth of a mainstream “charger” (the favored JuiceBox 40 prices $699, as an example).

And that is all you want. No fancy wall field, no in-garage Wi-Fi extender to verify my “sensible” setup can discuss to the remainder of the world; that is all pointless. The gear concerned prices no quite a lot of hundred {dollars}, and for someone like me, it is a common setup that can serve me nicely it doesn’t matter what I am evaluating. Properly, except it is a Tesla. I am positive Elon’s PR folks might be devastated. 

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