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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all, I've got a 2019 Crosstrek PHEV and am considering getting a 240V outlet installed. The Subaru sales agent told me that a plain outlet is all that's needed, but when i searched online most references were to using a Level 2 charger, which is of course more than just an outlet. I also see from the owners manual, that the max charging current is 16 amps at 240V, does a charging station regulate the amperage that's delivered? I appreciate any help with this.
 

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First step is going to a charger (pick a free one) and see what your max charge is for your car. Most can charge at up to 7.4 kV. Is so then get yourself a portable L2 EVSE like one of these.
It is good for up to 32A at 240V. You will need to install a 14-50 receptacle in your garage. Pretty easy to do if you main panel is near. The charge amount is determined by your car, not by the EVSE.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi all, I've got a 2019 Crosstrek PHEV and am considering getting a 240V outlet installed. The Subaru sales agent told me that a plain outlet is all that's needed, but when i searched online most references were to using a Level 2 charger, which is of course more than just an outlet. I also see from the owners manual, that the max charging current is 16 amps at 240V, does a charging station regulate the amperage that's delivered? I appreciate any help with this.
First step is going to a charger (pick a free one) and see what your max charge is for your car. Most can charge at up to 7.4 kV. Is so then get yourself a portable L2 EVSE like one of these.
It is good for up to 32A at 240V. You will need to install a 14-50 receptacle in your garage. Pretty easy to do if you main panel is near. The charge amount is determined by your car, not by the EVSE.
OK, thx, The charger came with the car, so it looks like all I need is the outlet. My confusion was caused by web searches that indicated that I needed a Level 2 charging station for a 240V for the Crosstrek hybrid.
 

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OK, thx, The charger came with the car, so it looks like all I need is the outlet. My confusion was caused by web searches that indicated that I needed a Level 2 charging station for a 240V for the Crosstrek hybrid.
I doubt your car came with a Level 2 EVSE. Most (and all that I have ever heard of) only come with Level 1 cables, which are only 120V in North America. If you have an L2 cable, what does the plug look like. Is it a 14-50P?
 

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You don’t need a level 2 charger - it’s overkill. Your hybrid battery isn’t that big. You’re looking at around 5-6 hours to charge up assuming you’re empty on a regular outlet.
Since you’re only getting 20 miles of all electric range at best anyway, there is little incentive unless you spend your day doing multiple short trips and nothing longer than the 20 mile maximum of EV mode.

Your energy is measured in kilowatts which is the product of volts times current (amperes)

household outlets are supposed to maintain a load at or up to 80% of the rated value of the outlet since it is continuous load.

80% of 15A is 12A.


so, a 120V 15A household outlet charges 120V times 12A, or 1.4 kW. If your battery pack is 8.8 kW and empty, it will take about 6.25 hours to fill it up... basically overnight

heck even a Nema 6-20 outlet is the most I would do:

240V * 16A = 3.84 kW per hour. Full in 2 1/2 hours assuming empty.

the 240 thing is more of an issue for full battery EV’s that don’t have the gas engine to use when depleted.
 

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8.8 kW is the full battery, but the effective battery is around 6 kW. It's set up so you don't completely drain the battery. If you go to a 20A line, you could probably drop the charge time an hour or so.
 

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Level II is NOT overkill, unless you always have the time to wait for up to 5-6 hours on a Level I charger. PLUS, future proofing yourself for MOST EV's that allow for faster charging of 6.6-7.2 KWh on Level II. The 2 hours we have to wait is painful enough, especially since our 2 i3's charge at the 7.2 KKWh that out Juicebox pro throws at it. 2 hours to get 6.3-6.4 kwh put back in is slow enough.. Most utility companies will give more than enough credits to buy a Level II charger and most of the wiring install. You will be much happier knowing you wait 2 -2:15 to fully charge, rather than 5-6 hours..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the feedback folks, a good discussion of pros and cons. i do a lot of short trips on weekends, so a 2 hr charge would be useful, i hadn't heard about utility company credits, I'll check into that, if it's available it's a well kept secret. Yes, my wife is also thinking about an EV in the future, so that's a consideration. So, can i get 50A line installed considering possible future needs even though the maximum charge current for my battery is 16A?
 

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Thanks for the feedback folks, a good discussion of pros and cons. i do a lot of short trips on weekends, so a 2 hr charge would be useful, i hadn't heard about utility company credits, I'll check into that, if it's available it's a well kept secret. Yes, my wife is also thinking about an EV in the future, so that's a consideration. So, can i get 50A line installed considering possible future needs even though the maximum charge current for my battery is 16A?
Yes! 50 amp is best for a 40 amp level II-most level II cap out at about 32amp anyway, as right now that’s about the most EVs will take from level II
 

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@pjason -

I suggest you read up this article. It is intended for Tesla vehicles, but generally speaking the wiring/circuits and such are applicable in your instance:
Home Charging Wiring Guide | TeslaTap

Basically, your charging maximum will depend on a few factors. The most inconvenient/expensive to change will be your wiring as this is labor intensive. The link I posted has some wiring gauges in it. The general suggestion if you want to be more "future proof" is to go to the heavier gauge of wiring, so if you do bump up the amperage in the future you won't have to also replace the wiring. (I'm shopping for EV's once my lease is up, and I'm probably going to have 6-gauge wiring installed in conjunction with a NEMA 6-20 or 14-30 outlet in the event I upgrade my panel in the future, then I just have to upgrade the circuit breaker and outlet which I am comfortable doing myself...)

Example: A 50-ampere circuit will require 8 gauge wiring. You could increase this to 6 gauge wiring at a slightly higher cost (thicker wire, more material, more money) but it would allow you in the future to potentially increase the maximum to 65 amperes.

Another thing is the circuit breaker size: You need to figure out how much available amperage you have in your home/apartment. If your house has 150A service and you are using ~100A service, it may not prove beneficial to try to charge at or above 50A as you will not have enough current. You'd need an electrician to do a "load test" on your panel to see how much available amperage you have. This basically will make you turn all your appliances on and see what the maximum pull is. This would provide safety going forward to ensure you stay under your maximum feed.

Another thing is the outlet itself: If you do pursue the 50A circuit with the outlet standard called "NEMA 14-50", this means you will have to, by code, install a 50A breaker on your panel. If you set this to 60A because your wiring can support that, you would create an unsafe condition as the breaker would not trip at the appropriate point.

So, you also need to keep in mind that you are only supposed to pull continuous load up to 80% of the maximum circuit. This means if your circuit itself at 50A will only pull 40A at most.

40A * 240V = 9.6 kW per hour. Assuming your car could handle this. Some cars (Teslas, among others) can support the higher AC charging rate. Some cannot. Some are dependent upon the type of charger. Tesla's mobile connector that comes with the car tops at 32A, so regardless of what outlet you install, you'll never exceed 7.7 kW (32*240)

But as stated above, unless you're taking your car out multiple times a day with an empty electric charge, a 14-50 seems to be overkill - at least for the Crosstrek.

Subaru says it will take 5 hours to fully charge the battery. That's about 7.2 kW of total power, since 12A * 120V on a standard outlet is about 1.4 kW, and 1.4 kw * 5 hours is about 7.2.

You can find your owner's manual here

IMPORTANT: The owner's manual says that the Crosstrek will charge at public chargers at a maximum of 240V 16A, which is essentially the NEMA 6-20 that I suggested. This will charge you up in 2 hours according to the manual.

NOW, I don't own a Crosstrek Hybrid, and I haven't attempted to charge it FASTER than the 20A circuit (240V 16A charge rate) - but the manual says "maximum" so I don't know if you'd have any type of warranty issues if there was a glitch and it tried to charge faster. I also don't know if the Crosstrek even comes with a 240V cable or offers an OEM solution for it, but it looks like you can get a decent brand on Amazon for around $200, since you just need something that has the J1772 standard. Just make sure you choose the CORRECT outlet plug for it so it can get plugged into the outlet!

Back to the main topic of installing EVSE (car charger), if you want to be future proof, add a heavier gauge wire. The breaker and the outlets are pretty straightforward, easy jobs to change out down the road if you get a vehicle with more capability.

Using a 14-50 for that tiny battery is like putting 100 octane in your gas tank. It's overkill. There is no improved charging time over the 6-20 outlet that I suggested in an earlier post for this model.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the tutorial and all of the great suggestions, I think I'll go with the 6-20 outlet and the heavier gauge wire, as you suggest, and as you indicate, we can change the breaker and outlet in the future if it's needed. i haven't seen any reference to a 240V cable in the info I've looked through from Subaru and i wouldn't try a faster charge than what they say indicate as the maximum, it doesn't seem worth the risk. I noticed that there's a wide range of prices for the portable 240V chargers, are there a couple of brands that you'd recommend? thanks again!
 

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As someone who had a PHEV but not (yet) a Crosstrek PHEV, I'll just add a couple notes:

#1 if the Crosstrek PHEV is anything like my old C-Max the other big advantage to cutting charge times in half is if you live in a cold climate and want to do any sort of pre-heating of the car on electric. 120V would just kinda make the car "less cold", but if you wanted any sort of actual warmth at temps below like 50F then you needed to get up to the 240V EVSE.

#2 In regards to Pilot1226's note: You can't put in more than the car wants. The charger is actually built into the car. The "Charger" that most people refer to is actually an EVSE and basically just a smart extension cord. The car talks to the cord and says "OK, I'm ready, are you ready? What can you give me?" and the car and the cord will work out the charging rate. (on my C-Max, it would start out very low, just running the battery fans, then ramp up to max amperage, then back down again as it gets closer to full and then back to just fans again).
You can potentially have some other input on charging amounts/times. Like if the car has any settings for times of charging and rate of charge(I believe the Volt had options for lower charge rates so as to avoid blowing iffy 120V outlets). Also pre-heating and/or cooling settings.
Your EVSE can also have options. I can set the max charge rate, timers, etc on mine.

But you can't "Push" more amps than either the EVSE and/or the car itself want. The car will simply draw what it wants within it's own and the EVSE's limits. Generally the only place for electrical issues are the outlet you're plugging into and the wiring back to the panel if anything's not up to snuff. I've really only seen picks of melted 120V plugs and/or outlets where it wasn't made to handle 15amps for 5 hours...

Levi
 

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FYI, when I use my climate control in my car in the winter, I have it set to 60 F. It gets pretty darn warm in the car at 65 F and it takes maybe 3 min to really feel that warmth. I do most of my driving with the system off in the winter and it's really not that bad. I just keep the seat heater on low and roll with it. If the windows get a bit foggy, I'll either crack the windows or worst case turn on the climate control for a little while. I still get around 20mi per charge in the cold and around 17mi with the climate control on.
 

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FYI, when I use my climate control in my car in the winter, I have it set to 60 F. It gets pretty darn warm in the car at 65 F and it takes maybe 3 min to really feel that warmth. I do most of my driving with the system off in the winter and it's really not that bad. I just keep the seat heater on low and roll with it. If the windows get a bit foggy, I'll either crack the windows or worst case turn on the climate control for a little while. I still get around 20mi per charge in the cold and around 17mi with the climate control on.
I'd generally aim for 65F as well (The Ford would let me set the temp down to 60F but didn't actually work at that setting and instead would just blow frozen air on me even if it was -10F outside)

I did a number of days with no heat on, but found it was really just painful too much of my commute. It was one thing if you were out in the middle of a sunny day and it was like 25F or better out.

But too much of my driving was before sunrise with temps in the teens or lower and usually the windows would fog up within a minute of no air flow and that windchill gets cold awfully fast with any windows cracked at 55mph...

What does the Crosstrek have for electric heating? In the C-Max it was a resistance heater in the coolant loop. I'd go from about 20 miles EV range to about 13 miles with the heat on at temps around 15F outside.
 

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As stated above.. Invest now for the future. EV vehicles will "load balance" your charge to limit the intake of rate of charge. That being said, the technology of the Subaru, to only allow a max amperage, which is lagging compared to much of the EV industry, is based upon a small battery pack, and no cooling system presence for the battery pack. I would imagine that will change very soon, especially with introduction of RAV4 PRIME due to be on market very soon. (Shared tech with Subaru form Toyota).
I dont see how it is worth it to invest in wiring that will not allow a min of 40amp charger (50amp circuit), when you are installing a Level II charger. Chances are, if you like EV, you will either upgrade as Tech updates, or you will find yourself buyinh another EV vehicle, only to see that your 6-20 outlet, and lower Level II output charger will need upgrading, causing you to spend more in the long run vs. doing it now with future proof in mind. Our 2 i3's both pull 7.2 kWh at 32amp. Had I decided to buy less of a charger, it would equate to longer charge times, all for the realized savings of $200-$250 initially, but at the expense of much more wait time, which may equate to dollars for some.

Just some thoughts.

Again- The car and EV control Module regulate the current it draws form the charger. Using a standard J plug charger with more amperage and kWh capability will not damage the vehicle, as it is all software limited based upon the "handshake" between the vehicle and charger...
 

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I'd generally aim for 65F as well (The Ford would let me set the temp down to 60F but didn't actually work at that setting and instead would just blow frozen air on me even if it was -10F outside)

I did a number of days with no heat on, but found it was really just painful too much of my commute. It was one thing if you were out in the middle of a sunny day and it was like 25F or better out.

But too much of my driving was before sunrise with temps in the teens or lower and usually the windows would fog up within a minute of no air flow and that windchill gets cold awfully fast with any windows cracked at 55mph...

What does the Crosstrek have for electric heating? In the C-Max it was a resistance heater in the coolant loop. I'd go from about 20 miles EV range to about 13 miles with the heat on at temps around 15F outside.
I think it's a separate electric heating system. I hear it running under the hood and it doesn't have anything to do with the engine or a coolant loop. Whatever it is, it seems very efficient because it gets warm quick, like a space heater.
 

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Oh, it's a heat pump. Nice. Much more efficient. I have them on my house. But like it says, it's not going to be much help once you get a ways below freezing. My home ones will work down to almost 0F, but there's not a lot of heat coming out and they need to defrost a lot of the time.

Here's what the manual shows about the heating system:
View attachment 299070
 

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Hmm, and considering pre-heating while plugged in, I'm guessing that means the L2 charger would be less important since the heat pump is basically the AC in reverse and should draw a similar amount of power(maybe 1-3KW?) and not the 5KW+ that the Ford's resistance heater would draw...

But yeah, also that there's not going to be any electric pre-heating available if the temp is below 14F.... Wonder if you have pre-heating if it fires up the ICE in that scenario or just leaves it cold...
 

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Hmm, and considering pre-heating while plugged in, I'm guessing that means the L2 charger would be less important since the heat pump is basically the AC in reverse and should draw a similar amount of power(maybe 1-3KW?) and not the 5KW+ that the Ford's resistance heater would draw...

But yeah, also that there's not going to be any electric pre-heating available if the temp is below 14F.... Wonder if you have pre-heating if it fires up the ICE in that scenario or just leaves it cold...
Not sure yet with that. I've done the remote climate control a few times from my phone and I know a few times at least the engine never came on (just ate away battery power). What's nice about it is that it runs the system and doesn't run anything else, like headlights, to let others know that your car is running. Pretty sneaky!
 
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