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Old 15th April 2022, 11:21   #1
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Default Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

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Confused about all the different home-charging options? Let's K.I.S.S. (keep it simple stupid ). IMHO, 95% of car owners do NOT need anything more than the regular dirt-cheap 15A plug. Reasons:

- I reckon 15A will be the most widely used option for car owners in India, once there is more knowledge about charging. 15A charging is the cheapest (important for price sensitive Indian car owners) and simplest way to top up your EV at home. Importantly, do note that slow charging via a 15A plug is better for your battery health than fast charging. Very few electric car owners will be able to get the bigger 7kW charger for themselves because of the complexities (stiff costs, wiring, additional load requirement, permission & clearance from your electricity service provider etc.). Remember, in India, even basic charging facilities are going to be a challenge for a long time to come. Faster home charging is a pipe dream. 95% of Indian EV owners won't be able to get anything other than a 15A plug.

- Did I mention its cheap? You could get a 15A socket installed for as low as ~2000 bucks, depending on your existing setup & location. I had to run expensive wires from the meter room all the way to the backside of the building, so my 8 sockets ran a bill of Rs 50,000 installed (or Rs 6250 per 15A socket).

- You’ll actually make money as you can sell the fast charger that came free with your car (e.g. the charger is built into the cost of the MG ZS EV). BHPian Lobogris says you can get 30 - 40k for it.

- Your car is anyway parked overnight for 8 - 12 hours. That is more than enough to charge your battery to a level that will exceed your daily commuting requirements. Heck, in most cases, a 10 hour charge on a 15A plug will give you enough juice for 4 - 5 days. If you drive 1200 km / month, you won't need to charge more than once a week.

- No one will wait till 0% to charge an EV. Assuming you plug it in at 30%, you will easily be at 80% (or more) by the morning. Sure, the full charge times from 0% are long, but guess what, I never run my petrol / diesel tank dry and I will never wait till 0% battery level to charge my EV either.

- With any EV, the initial 0 – 80% charging is faster than the final 81 – 100%. For city commuting, I doubt anyone needs a level over 80%. And just FYI, a Tigor EV goes from 0 – 80% in 8.5 hours. Most cars in India are parked overnight for durations longer than 8.5 hours. Fact = many informed EV owners intentionally don’t go over 80% charge levels to preserve battery health.

- Even with a 15A plug, the typical commuter won't need to charge more than once or twice a week. This “fast charging” is overhyped for regular car owners like you & me. Unless you are a taxi driver, commercial vehicle owner or drive 300 km on the highway everyday, you do NOT need anything more than a simple 15A plug.

- The primary use case for fast charging will be by those who can't have any kind of charging at home (or their office), highway vehicles, commercial vehicles, careless owners who forgot to charge and so on.

- Plugging in isn't a hassle at all. In fact, its more convenient than going to the petrol pump. My cars are on trickle chargers and it's way more effort to plug the trickle chargers in than an EV. I have to remove the Bosch C7 from the boot, open the bonnet, place the Bosch C7 carefully, connect the positive & negative terminals, then route the power cord through a gap, plug it into a wall, power up and close the bonnet. Sometimes, I have to manually choose the mode too (AGM vs regular 12v). Repeat exercise in reverse when I have to drive away, and repeat in the same order when I return. In comparison, the ZS EV I recently had was a breeze to plug in.

- Get used to 15A charging as it’s here to stay. Most hotels will only install 15A chargers as its cheap and their guests would obviously be staying the night. Fast chargers cost big bucks (the super fast funs run well over a crore and that's if they get permission & higher load allocation in the first place). Do you think that a hotel in a smaller town with power challenges will ever get higher load allocation for charging? Dream on. They'll offer 15A plugs to their customers. Heck, cities like Pune & Nashik still have power cuts, so forget about the smaller towns & villages.

- We are lucky to have 240v infrastructure, unlike the USA, which has 120v standard for homes, and many EV owners have to jump through hoops for conversion to 240v. After weighing all the pros & cons, my close friend charges his Tesla Model 3 Dual Motor off a 15A 240v plug in his house. In fact, that's what his Tesla outlet recommended him to get.

- Even if you want the bigger 7kW charger and have the money for it, your electricity supplier could deny permission to you.

- Live in a housing society or a big complex? Odds are, the housing association won't approve higher-powered lines due to cost, complexity & clearances from the electricity board. On the other hand, it'll be far simpler for them to just install 50 15A sockets in the parking spots of residents. I doubt the electricity authorities will approve lakhs of fast chargers just like that; remember, India still has power supply challenges & shortages.

- Fast charging from public chargers on a regular basis? Those 3rd-party companies are in it to make money. Check the USA = in some cities, the cost of fast charging is comparable to petrol! Eventually, we'll see the same in India as well. You can do it, but you'll pay through your nose and then, you'll think of the humble 15A socket on this thread .

- What's really needed is knowledge & common sense. Someone I know bought a Kona and without thinking, got the faster charger installed after going through a lot of headache. I told him I installed eight 15A sockets in my compound and his eyes popped out. Flabbergasted, he said "but it will take you 8 - 12 hours to charge your car!!!". My response "well, I sleep for 8 hours every night. Charging for 8 hours will give my EV enough juice for a week!". We are accustomed to charging our smartphones while we sleep; it'll be the same with our EVs.

My compound with 15A sockets all around. Two of them are already being used for trickle charging my cars. This is the ZS EV being topped up, right behind is the Bimmer on trickle charge:
Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car-f09c3ad3266c4d869c503bbbd515225f_original.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 16th April 2022 at 08:29. Reason: 50k
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Old 15th April 2022, 11:35   #2
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Default re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Requirements for slow charging from a 15A socket:

- It's so simple! Your air-con & geyser are already using a 15A plug.

- For a 15 amps socket, 2.5 sq mm 3 core cable if distance is within 30 meters, 4 sq mm if distance is more than that.

Faster Charging Requirements:

- Single phase is okay, but 3 phase is much preferred.

- Higher load clearance might be needed from your electricity service provider.

- RCCB is put after the meter and a 40A MCB just before the charger.

- Cable used is 10 sq mm three-core if the distance is under 30 meters.

- 16 sq mm (armored cable) if distance is over 30 meters from meter.

- Install 4 inch PVC conduit and keep handholes at every 5m.

Last edited by GTO : 15th April 2022 at 11:54.
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Old 15th April 2022, 11:36   #3
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Default re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Here's what Electric Car owners on Team-BHP have to say:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobogris View Post
You really can make do with simply a 15A power type plug and the slow charger. Don't give up on your EV just for this! I have been charging my ZS using the slow charger without any issues. Normally I put it to charge at around 25 to 30%. I charge to 80% for battery health. So I need around 10 hours on the slow charger. Plugging in at night, you can easily get 12 hours of charge by the morning which is equivalent to a 60% top up. Unless you are going on a long trip and need a 100% charge, this works really well. When I have a long trip coming up, I simply plug in at around 5pm and I am ready to go by the morning. You can also stop by a fast charger for 30 minutes once in while if there is some urgency but I have never needed to do this.

You can easily sell your MG provided 7KW charger on various forums. You can reach out to me if you need any help with this. Expect around 30 to 40,000 for it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WRXXX View Post
Understand what are the AC charging options (there is a regular 15A charge option(3.3 KW max) and a 7KW 32A single phase special connection and some really high end ones demand a 3 phase 22KW AC charger so that their 70+kwh batteries can juice up overnight), bigger the battery more time is needed to charge unless one can setup a fast AC charger at home. I suggest settling on the 15A charge type if the time available between charges is good enough, as it is safer for the battery life and we as owners will adjust to what is available anywhere and everywhere. We haven’t completely mastered the way to fast charge without affecting or heating up the battery today, hopefully the XFC tech and solid state battery comes and changes this.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lobogris View Post
I have the MG ZS EV as well. I have not installed the 7KW charger and have been happily making do with the slow charger that plugs into any 15A plug. If you plug it in at night, say around 9pm, you would get around 60% to 70 charge done by the morning. Normally one does not charge from zero and should charge till about 80% for battery health. Hence if you plug it in at 20 to 30% charge remaining, you will be at 80% by the morning even with the slow charger. Unless you need to drive 300 kms daily and don't have the time to charge overnight, the faster 7KW charger is not needed. You can contact me after you receive the ZS and I can help you sell the 7KW charger if you want to do so.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lina View Post
Dont bother with the 7kW charger. Just use the 10A charger that also comes with the car. For this, get a regular 15Amps socket installed in your car park. Get a good quality one and make sure you replace the socket every year. This adds about 14km per hour. I have been using this from August last year. Couple of times a week, an overnight charge is enough. No issues at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lina View Post
i have been using the ZS EV since August and have run about 9k km on it. I charge it primarily at home from a 15Amp socket. The car will take 15-20 hours to charge from 0. But no one in their right minds will discharge an EV to 0 percent regularly. I drive about 30-40km a day. I charge the car overnight every 4-5 days. It is not a bother. For those who can get a sanctioned load of 7kw+, they can go for the 7kw charger.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RachhaMan10 View Post
I live in a row house and my neighbor brought a kona recently. Even though we have our parking right in front of the house my neighbor is using regular 15 amp port to charge his car over night and he has been doing this for past one year.

this is what he has to say "Need to analyze the total power capacity allocated to the transformer in the society and take a permission from BESCOM on the same. If every row house wants to have their own fast charging point this may go beyond allocated capacity and then we have a problem." Also the society should grant a permission for the same."

He is happy with 15amp charging as he don't need to bother about all the issues and in future he is planning to install a solar panel on top of the terrace and use it for both home and car charging needs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brt_mhn View Post
Regarding charging at the resort, it was a standard 15A socket. Didn’t really measure the time as we plugged it in overnight and it was done by the time we woke up in the morning. But 20-100 at home takes me around 15 hours with a regular 15A socket. Haven’t got the wall box installed as load needs to be upgraded from 3 to 8 kW which can be a costly affair due to you know what.
Quote:
Originally Posted by docelectric2020 View Post
Your decision to install the charger at Ranipet is a good one.
Charging the MG at home with the 15Amps charger is more than sufficient. The 15amps charger adds about 6% charge in 1 hour. So overnight charging would be sufficient most of the time.
Kanchipuram already has one 7kw AC charger in MM legacy Hotel.

The Chennai-Velloe route will have some fast chargers coming up soon which can be used in case of unplanned trips.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tharian View Post
However, the overall cost just for BESCOM to sanction the higher power was unbelievable, that I opted straight out from it and got a neat job done from a known person to get a 16amp plug point fixed in our car park, which was connected to our meter.
For my sister's type of use, this was perfect since she has a fast charger installed in her office building and otherwise it is charged overnight using the portable charger. 5% / hour is the average charging rate on the portable charger and from what I read and heard, it is good for the battery life.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chrome6Boy View Post
I had the same problem. It is an expensive headache to enhance our electrical connections. If you read the earlier posts on this thread and the other MG ZS EV thread (3 Nights & 2 days with the MG ZS EV - Extended Test Drive & Review) there are some who have opted out of installing the 7 Kw charger and simply use the 16A plug at home.

Luckily my workplace is a factory with plenty of capacity to install the charger, at home I will use the 16A plug.

Remember that unless you drive a lot every day the 16A plug should suffice. However if you do need to drive long distances regularly you need to find a way to install this charger at home. I think it takes almost 20 hours to fully charge using the 16A plug however most people will never take the charge close to zero on a regular basis.

What does hurt is that we will have already paid for the charger because it is included in the price of the car, and MG probably won't provide a discount or refund if you choose not to install it.

Last edited by GTO : 15th April 2022 at 11:58.
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Old 15th April 2022, 12:52   #4
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th April 2022, 13:22   #5
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Much needed thread! I was contemplating between ZS EV and Nexon EV and one factor acting against the ZS EV, apart from the higher cost of vehicle, is the increase in electricity bill due to increased sanction load. This clears things.

Just curious to know, what sort of 15A socket setup is it in the pic shared? Looks like it has a casing that waterproofs the sockets. Can you please share more details on it?

Also, just like a conventional battery in laptops and mobile phones. If we plug in the charging cable more number of times, will it not increase the charging cycles of the battery that will eventually lead to damage on battery health? From what I heard, plugging a mobile phone when it reaches around 20% charge and plugging it out at 80% would ensure the longest battery health. Does such thing apply to the lithium batteries in an EV as well?
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Old 15th April 2022, 14:06   #6
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghupro View Post

Just curious to know, what sort of 15A socket setup is it in the pic shared? Looks like it has a casing that waterproofs the sockets. Can you please share more details on it?
AFAIK, these are C&S Boxes. They are available on Amazon too. Inside switches and sockets are sold separately as well as in combinations. You can check the same in their brochure. Different sizes and forms are available.

8A switch and Box (except Socket) costed me 400 something, this was year ago.
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Old 15th April 2022, 14:13   #7
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghupro View Post
Just curious to know, what sort of 15A socket setup is it in the pic shared? Looks like it has a casing that waterproofs the sockets. Can you please share more details on it?
My electrician got it. Another look. Commonly available online or at any electrical store:
Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car-20220415-13.47.33.jpg
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Old 15th April 2022, 15:41   #8
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Question - if the socket is ‘outside’ exposed to the elements and the only option is ‘open’ parking, is it safe to charge overnight during the monsoons?
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Old 15th April 2022, 16:49   #9
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
Question - if the socket is ‘outside’ exposed to the elements and the only option is ‘open’ parking, is it safe to charge overnight during the monsoons?
I don't think electricity and water bond very well. Too many risks. Either your MCB will trip or your adapter will fail. IMO, it's a perfect recipe for blowing your components.

DIY a box just like they use for solar components. Place your adapter plug and 15A socket in it. Since it'd be waterproof, chances of anything going wrong would be less.

IMO, It isn't worth the risk. Just wait till the weather clears up.
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Old 15th April 2022, 16:51   #10
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by batish View Post
IMO, It isn't worth the risk. Just wait till the weather clears up.
Wouldn’t overnight charging be a pain in monsoon if we have uncovered parking? Can’t predict which night it would rain all of a sudden.
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Old 15th April 2022, 16:59   #11
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by raghupro View Post
Wouldn’t overnight charging be a pain in monsoon if we have uncovered parking? Can’t predict which night it would rain all of a sudden.
I am not sure which adapters these companies are using. So can't really say, but logically even the fast chargers which are being installed on highways and pumps do not have any roof above them. If the company is using waterproof components - adapters, plugs and sockets, then there should not be an issue.

But if these are normal 15A adapters which our AC's and Geyser's use then there are chances. Better to get a box with long extension cord which can keep your adaptor and socket inside plugged in safely.
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Old 15th April 2022, 17:03   #12
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by torquecurve View Post
Question - if the socket is ‘outside’ exposed to the elements and the only option is ‘open’ parking, is it safe to charge overnight during the monsoons?
I am sure there is a better way, as batish suggested. A jugaad box where the wire enters from a hole on the bottom and is covered from all other sides seems to be best. I will experiment. For now, my staff wrap the box up in plastic (after plugging it in), making it almost waterproof. Last monsoon, my cars were on trickle this way and had no problem. Didn't trip.
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Old 15th April 2022, 17:17   #13
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

So happy to read the content of this post. One more thread about how a real world 300km(10-85%) range is what most people ever need, and prove why 600km, 1000km range is unnecessary for most use cases is required.


Quote:
Originally Posted by raghupro View Post
Also, just like a conventional battery in laptops and mobile phones. If we plug in the charging cable more number of times, will it not increase the charging cycles of the battery that will eventually lead to damage on battery health? From what I heard, plugging a mobile phone when it reaches around 20% charge and plugging it out at 80% would ensure the longest battery health. Does such thing apply to the lithium batteries in an EV as well?
Battery life gets affected by age, number of cycles, charge rate and temperature. Whether you slow charge or fast charge the number of cycles remain the same, but when you slow charge the battery longevity increases as the heat generated is low. Usually, when you keep charging between 20-80% is not considered as a complete cycle.

Last edited by SKC-auto : 15th April 2022 at 17:24.
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Old 15th April 2022, 17:59   #14
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

As GTO mentioned K.I.S.S. is the way to go for home and office usage, where you are parked overnight or during the day for longer duration.

At my work, I have been using this simple 16A, 230V single phase AC socket for the past 3 years to charge my Model 3. It has been working like a charm in the rain, shine, snow and whatever the elements have thrown at it. It is as simple as charging your phone. When I am at office, I plug it in and the end of the working day, I am charged to the same level of what I started from home.

There is a circuit breaker (with earth leakage protection) within the office mains box and a normal 16A switch to turn if off from inside office, when not used. The cable runs underground slightly beneath the outdoor tiles in a protected piping.

Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car-img_5666.jpg

Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car-img_5667.jpg

Here is the charging curve from this morning:

Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car-screenshot-20220415-143358.png

PS: Don't ask me why I am not parked at the spot where the charging point is. I was ICE'd by a colleague when I went in this morning.

Last edited by carthick1000 : 15th April 2022 at 18:23.
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Old 15th April 2022, 18:23   #15
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Default Re: Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by SKC-auto View Post
Usually, when you keep charging between 20-80% is not considered as a complete cycle.
Can't say about cars but with Apple, this is what they say:

Why a cheap & simple 15A plug is just fine for home-charging your Electric Car-screenshot-20220415-18.22.20.png
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