• Apr 9th 2010 at 9:27AM
  • 35
Nissan's partner to make home-charging for electric vehicles (EVs) a reality is AeroVironment (AV), a leading producer of EV charging units. The partnership is putting the finishing touches on a Nissan-branded home charging unit marketed at buyers of the Leaf all-electric car, but the charger is not model-specific. As AeroVironment's vice president of EV solutions Kristen Hensel remarked:
It's a very good charger, it will work for any car. So whoever owns the home and owns the Leaf, if they sell and move out and a new EV owner purchases that home, the charger will work reliably for years.
The compatibility between vehicles is due to the standard J1772 connector that was agreed upon by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). The chargers will be installed by AV-trained electricians at an average cost of $2,200 before a 50 percent tax credit. The charger shown in the image is still in prototype form, and the company notes that the final version may see more revisions before its release.

Live photo by Sebastian Blanco / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.
[Source: Ward's Auto]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 35 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      Before running out to buy AVAV stock, consider that their exclusive deal with Nissan may not last long. Nissan may be forced to waive the AeroVironment installation requirement if Leaf sales are hurt because AeroVironment is too expensive. Nissan can get legal protection if they relax their requirement to include locally licensed electricians. Since EV chargers will have standardized inputs, I can’t imagine that AeroVironment won’t soon have lots of competition. Eaton already has its own charging power interface available and a national network in place to support it. And as these comments show, EV owners include many tinkers and adept builders who will not march to Nissan’s mandate.
      • 5 Years Ago
      What if I live in an apartment?
      Various charging configurations for apartment garages and other multi-family housing situations will be available from AV.

      What if I rent my house/don't own my house?
      If your landlord agrees, we can install the charger in your garage, and uninstall it when you are ready to move.

      http://www.avinc.com/plugin/faq

      These two will make EV adoption easier.
      • 5 Years Ago
      If you dont want to recharge your car with 220VAC then 110VAC adapters are availble, those you can plug into any suitable socket. I believe these are included with the cars for free.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Maybe so, but a 120V 15A circuit can only supply 12A continuous before the breaker will trip (NEC codes/rules). So that's 1.4 kW. It will take 16 hours to charge an empty pack.

        Given that the likelyhood of coming home regularly with a completely empty pack and then needing a full charge for your driving next day is low, if you charge overnight (12 hours) that will be enough to get 2/3rds charge.

        Your typical dryer socket is 240V 30A, which is good for 24A continuous or 5.7 kW. That will charge your pack from empty to full in less than 4.5 hours which should be more than adequate for home charging.

        Ideally, you would say "I want the pack full in X hours" and the charger would ramp down the power delivery rate accordingly. This would ease the load on the grid and should be more efficient as well thanks to lower electrical losses at lower currents.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think people are missing that the majority of the cost being quoted here is the installation, including running the 220V line to your garage. The charger itself is a few hundred dollars.

      And if you did have a 220v outlet, you could technically run a cord. However, you would be in violation of electrical code. And your wiring may not be completely up to snuff. Not using a professionally installed and checked charger could potentially start a fire and there is a much greater risk of electrocution (something that Nissan does not want the liability for or bad press from).
        • 5 Years Ago
        My Information came from asking the rep at the NY auto show last weekend. But in the name of idiot-proof liability protection, I don't know if they will sell you one unless you are a trained, liscensed electrician...

        However, you could maybe streamline the installation by roughing in a 220 line.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd like to see some proof that the charger itself is 'a few hundred dollars'. If they sold it for that price, I'd buy one and install it now. It is just a standard J1772 right? So I could use it with any new EV.
      • 5 Years Ago
      its not really a charger at all but a fancy extension cord, thats why its not Leaf specific. The iMiev, Volt and Roadster all have the charger built-in that uses US standard 120-220VAC to recharge the batteries.

      National Electric codes prevent the use of a 220VAC extension cords, thus the need for this device. Its way overpriced but it does include installation and perhaps dropping a new line to the garage plus all the needed permits. I expect a couple of weeks after the Leaf comes on the market you will see similar things on eBay for a couple hundred bucks, permits and installation will be your problem.
        • 5 Years Ago
        No 220V dryer outlet in the garage?
      • 5 Years Ago
      The key piece of info missing here (and in the referenced article) is what maximum current is available from these charging stations.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Do you have to get the charger in order to charge the Leaf?
        • 5 Years Ago
        This is a real money making scheme.

        All modern EV's just need a power cord, the charging electronics are in the car!
        because of the people unawareness with electronics they think that paying $2200
        for a box with a high current relay and some timer electronics with connector is reasonable.

        just make a connector cable from the dryer outlet @ 220v 30 Amps.
      • 5 Years Ago
      "Who will install it?

      Only a professional electrician is certified to install your charger to ensure that it works properly and meets code requirements."

      That is Bullsh!t. If you pull the permits and get it inspected, there is no reason a homeowner MUST get a professional electrician.

      Solar installers push the same bullsh!t. They like to tell people that only a professional can do an install. That is a bald faced lie.

      I don't think nor recommend that most people should do their own install. However, if you have the skills or don't mind learning then you CAN do it yourself. Who do you think Home Depot sells all those electrical supplies to?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Good Advice:

        Homeowners, consult with your insurance company regarding *any* new additions to be made to your home, as your home policy will definitely need to be amended. Also, be sure to consult with your local permitting/inspecting authority regarding any local codes and permits.

      • 5 Years Ago
      BTW, they damn well better sell it w/o installation. I would install this myself, I put up a solar PV array all by myself. How much does it cost w/o installation included?
        • 5 Years Ago
        Oh sure, you can install it yourself, and then you can blame yourself when your house burns down.

        Actually no, your insurance company will blame you, unless you're either a qualified electrician, or you know the electrical code well enough to get this thing to pass muster when it gets inspected by your municipality. You *did* get your solar panel wiring inspected by your municipality, right?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Exterior Installation?

      I would want this to be installed on the side of my house. I don't park any cars in the garage (I use the garage for a workshop). It sounds "interesting" to be plugging in a car in the rain though. OK FINE I'll put it in the garage if I have to!
        davidcg580
        • 5 Years Ago
        The charger will be UL certified for outdoor conditions. And yes, chargers can be placed outdoors.

        I think the author should have provided this link. It's Aerovironment's FAQ about the charger:

        http://www.avinc.com/plugin/faq

        davidcg580
        • 5 Years Ago
        Here we go. Every question ever asked on here answered


        Why do I need a charger?

        Electric vehicles carry rechargeable batteries that supply their energy. When you drive an electric vehicle it consumes the electricity from the battery. The charger refills your battery with electricity from your home, just like filling your 20th century car with gas.

        Chargers come in several types including those at the home, on the street and eventually fast charges.
        How does the charger work?

        The charger is typically mounted on your garage wall and connected to your home's electrical system. You plug it into your car when you get home, and unplug it when you're ready to drive.
        How will I know if my car is charged up?

        Lights on the charger will let you know when you're done charging.
        Can I stop the charger before it's at 100%?

        Just as you can stop refueling a gas car before the tank's filled, you can also safely stop charging your EV before the battery is fully charged.
        Does it stop automatically?

        The charger knows when it's done charging and will stop automatically.
        Where will I put it?

        The charger is mounted on your garage wall near where you park your car.
        Who will install it?

        Only a professional electrician is certified to install your charger to ensure that it works properly and meets code requirements.
        Will it work with any electric vehicle?

        Because the home charger's connector (the plug) is universal to most EVs, the charger is compatible with most EVs from large automakers.
        Will it work with Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles (PHEVs)?

        The home charger is compatible with most PHEVs and can reduce PHEV charge times considerably. The home charger can also make PHEVs more environmentally friendly by making charging easier and faster.
        How far will a full charge get me?

        Driving distance depends on the vehicle's range. If a vehicle's battery has a stated 100 mile range, a full charge is expected to deliver 100 miles.
        How much will the charger cost?

        The cost of the charger varies according to accessories and the site conditions for installation. A site assessor can provide a firm quote depending on what model you purchase and what is required for the installation, but the total is a fraction of the cost of the electric vehicle.
        How fast does it charge?

        Depending on the battery size and the design of the vehicle, in many situations the home charger can fully charge an EV in as little as four hours.
        When will the charger be available?

        Home assessments are slated to begin in the Spring of 2010, with the charger and installation in the fall of 2010.
        Is it safe?

        The home charger is designed with safety and reliability in mind, and will be listed by the Underwriter's Laboratory, the same people who certify other electric appliances in your home.
        What if rain gets in the garage?

        The home charger will be rated for outdoor use.
        What is the voltage requirement to run the home charger?

        The home charger plugs into a 240V plug, similar to the one you use for your clothes dryer.
        When it stops charging, does it stop drawing power?

        The charger is energy-conscious and stops drawing all but minimal power to provide energy to the LED lights.
        What's different about AV's charger?

        AV has been on the leading edge of electric vehicles since the 1990s, when we played a key role in developing the prototype of the first mass market EV (EV1). AV also has a line of testing and simulation systems used by automakers and battery manufacturers to test EVs, as well as a broad line of chargers used to charge heavy-duty industrial forklifts across North America and the world. AV's line of passenger EV chargers is based on this heritage and fielded technology - making it a proven solution with a truly reliable track record.
        What if I live in an apartment?

        Various charging configurations for apartment garages and other multi-family housing situations will be available from AV.
        What if I rent my house/don't own my house?

        If your landlord agrees, we can install the charger in your garage, and uninstall it when you are ready to move.
        Who will service my charger?

        Only professional electricians are certified to service your charger. All service calls for AV products are guaranteed within 24 hours.
        Will the charger communicate with the smart grid?

        Some versions of the AV home charger will communicate with the smart grid, optimizing your energy usage and further reducing your carbon footprint. Check with your local utility for availability.
        How do I know if it's charging?

        An LED will let you know when it's charging. It'll turn off when it's done charging.
        How do I get a hom
      • 5 Years Ago
      It has to be friendly to frail women. (and men) The existing Tesla plug socket tests right on the edge of usability for Grammy.
      Dryer plugs are only designer for occasional use without multicycle ratings, and those yellow RV plugs are not even UL approved. Besides, do you want a kid near that much power on those big copper plated pins?

      Bring on the J1772 level 3s!
        • 5 Years Ago
        This has been discussed already in detail. These are not chargers they are safety devices for the power cord and they are over priced. Please stop calling these charges as they are not!
        • 5 Years Ago
        You are right.
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is a major ripoff. I am an EV conversion owner and a friend of mine is one of the Mini E leaseholders. ALL current production EVs have the charger built into the controller. We opened up his "charger" wall box. It is empty except for a 240v, 50a relay that turns the power on a few seconds after you plug the car in and a few lights. Thats it!

      Do you know what I charge up with? A NEMA 14-50 RV panel with a GCFI circuit breaker. You can pick them up from any hardware store and install them yourself for under $100. And if as someone mentioned before you think 240v extension cords are illegal they should tell it to the millions of RV owners running their rigs off of these plugs in every campground and RV park across the country. There's your charging infrastructure.

      I'm really glad that the OEMs have started making EVs again. If they had let the technology mature naturally instead of crushing it 10 years ago we would be in a much better place now technology wise.
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