Home charging setup

I have been charging my electric pickup truck off of an existing standard NEMA 5-15 (120 volt 15 amp) outlet next to our garage for over a year. [And occasionally running a cable out the door from our 240 volt dryer outlet to get a fast charge.]

electrical boxes and meter mounted on a brick wall
Finally this summer I had an electrician run a 50 amp 240 volt circuit out to the side of the garage to put in a “real” charging station. Even though the existing Zivan NG3 240 volt charger will only use 12 amps at 240 volts, the NEMA 14-50 outlet gives me lots of room for improvement (240 volts at 40 amps max continuous draw, or 9.6 kilowatts). It also allows anybody with a super big RV to plug right in!

In addition to the NEMA 14-50 outlet, I also ran a GFCI 5-20 (120 volts at 20 amps) off of the same circuit, in case we want to max out 120 volt charging. The entire circuit runs through a sub-meter that easily allows me to read off how many kWh of electricity the truck uses. So far it’s averaging out to about 7-10% of our total monthly electricity usage. (The small plug at the bottom left of the above picture is the original NEMA 5-15 outlet.)


#1 Irma on 10.09.12 at 1:00 am

Looks a little fishy, is that meter there for your incoming house power? or the outlet load? how is that receptacle panel fed? Other than that, awesome!!! really wish I had a 50 amp receptacle on the outside of my house. Then again I wish I had 3 phase 480 VAC coming in but we can always get that. sorry for the grilling. (Electrician in training)

#2 Jay on 10.09.12 at 6:24 am

The houses’ incoming power meter is elsewhere, near the main circuit breaker panel, and is one of the new radio/electronic ones provided by the utility.

The 50 amp (6 gauge) wire from the main breaker panel comes through the brick wall behind the check-meter (sub-meter). This meter is simply to measure/display the draw through these outdoor outlets so that I can tell how much power my electric truck is using on a day/week/month basis. I chose the “easy read” digit display instead of mechanical dials to make it easy to read or just take a photo with my phone. Whenever I park the truck I take a photo of the odometer, and whenever I unplug it I take a photo of the meter. Every week or so I enter all the data into a spreadsheet to track total “from the wall” electricity usage vs miles.

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