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Happy owner of a blue ID.4 FE
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So it's an emergency charger? That's fine, but that could still be accomplished with a combo charger, like the Audi one. Plenty of EV's come with combo chargers, like my friend's Leaf, so it feels like VW was cutting corners there. It doesn't make sense that my two Audi PHEV's will have come with a better charger than my ID.4.
They likely did. cheap out. However, this omission spurred me to buy a higher power MUSTART Travelmate unit and three connector extensions, 14-50, 10-30, and 5-15. This allows me to charge at up to 40A at home and some other places, 24A at many relatives, and level 1 in a full on emergency. At home the unit will be in a holder on the wall and the cable wrapped and stored much like a wall unit. On road trips it will live in the back of the car. I doubt the Audi unit had this high amperage rating.
 

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Dusk Blue ID.4 FE, 2X - 2004 Phaeton V8
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They likely did. cheap out. However, this omission spurred me to buy a higher power MUSTART Travelmate unit and three connector extensions, 14-50, 10-30, and 5-15. This allows me to charge at up to 40A at home and some other places, 24A at many relatives, and level 1 in a full on emergency. At home the unit will be in a holder on the wall and the cable wrapped and stored much like a wall unit. On road trips it will live in the back of the car. I doubt the Audi unit had this high amperage rating.
Christoph how is the Mustart Travelmate working for you? I have one ready to go, just no car to plug it into
 

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If they "cheaped out" on a Homelink mirror because their data says only x% of their customers use it, then yeah I'd expect them to "cheap out" on a backup charger that, like a spare tire and jack, will probably never be used by the majority of owners. I think a more appropriate way of thinking about it is they focused on delivering the goods and eliminating unnecessary costs with this model. Most of these EVSEs probably end up in landfill never used.

I think calling it an "emergency charger" is like BMW calling theirs an "occasional use charger." It implies that is shouldn't be used regularly. I think if it suits somebody -- even plugging it at work for 8 hour, 5 day a week -- it's OK to use all the time. Sure I agree there are better options available for not much money, but this device isn't like a can of Fix-A-Flat.
 

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They likely did. cheap out. However, this omission spurred me to buy a higher power MUSTART Travelmate unit and three connector extensions, 14-50, 10-30, and 5-15. This allows me to charge at up to 40A at home and some other places, 24A at many relatives, and level 1 in a full on emergency. At home the unit will be in a holder on the wall and the cable wrapped and stored much like a wall unit. On road trips it will live in the back of the car. I doubt the Audi unit had this high amperage rating.
The Audi unit goes up to 40A as well.

 
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Happy owner of a blue ID.4 FE
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Christoph how is the Mustart Travelmate working for you? I have one ready to go, just no car to plug it into
Currently running off the 10-30 dryer outlet until I get a 14-50 installed, and working great. I have some weirdness on my SolarEdge reporting since I plugged it in, but might be complete coincidence.
The Audi unit goes up to 40A as well.
That鈥檚 cool, thanks @stealthg. They did the same as Tesla then, where many owners forgo a dedicated wall unit, as they should if smart features are not needed.
 

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One point of caution for people using 14-50 and 10-30 plugs is that they are not intended to be plugged/unplugged regularly. If you're going to use those travel ones at home then either buy another adapter for on the road or leave one plugged in and disconnect it at the EVSE end instead of the wall receptacle.

I also never used my dual use openEVSE charger but it was $300 bucks well spent insurance when we had an 86 mile range EV. I noticed some people were talking about going camping and you'd be able to plug them into a camp site, which was a common reason to buying these back in the day. We didn't have anywhere near the selection we have now. They were mostly homegrown back then, like mine, and I still prefer to support those open source projects.
 

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I was able to snap a picture of the included Level 1 120 volt EV Cord Set at the dealership today.

View attachment 1791

I found https://www.aptiv.com/docs/default-source/user-manual/english-user-manual-ic-cpd.pdf, which appears to be the manual for this device. Although the US English specific labeling on the back says 60 Hz and 120 volts, the user manual says 50 or 60 Hz, and 100-240 volts, with a "depending on the model" caveat.

Once I get my ID.4, I'll take a closer look at this to see if it can be used as a 240 volt EVSE with an adapter. I think there is a good chance the components are the same worldwide and it is universal voltage.
It says 10amps on the charger. So even if you can/do plug it into a 240 you will only get the "flow" of 10amps instead of the potential 48amps you can get from some aftermarket EVSEs.
 

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Ok, I did some research. The Electrify America EVSE isn't even available yet! Kinda lame. But, I learned alot about charging in my research. The amps are what is important. More amps (flow) means a faster charge. So, I really wanted a 48amps EVSE to get the fastest charge rate. I also learned that 14-50 plugs are built to support up to 40amps. So, I considered hardwiring to get that extra 8amps. Then, I found out that my landlord will only allow me to install a 50 amps circuit breaker. In order to run 48amps continuous power the electric standard is a 60amps circuit breaker. Also, a 14-50 will only support up to 40amps. So, I had a 50amp circuit breaker installed and a 14-50 plug put into my garage. Now, I am glad I did that because when we move I will be able to just leave the new plug and take my EVSE. If I had hardwired it I would have had to pay to un-hardwire to take my EVSE. So, for my preferences I got the Grizzl-e avalanche. I would not recommend the avalanche typically because the company makes a separate hot climate or cold climate EVSE. But, because of the nature of my profession I may find my self in both an extreme cold or extreme hot environment and planned accordingly. If you have no plans on moving outside of your current climate I would recommend the one that suits your climate best and save a few bucks. I have now used the charger twice with absolutely no issues. It charges at 34(ish)mph. I hope this helps on your search for an at home EVSE.
 

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The amps are what is important. More amps (flow) means a faster charge. So, I really wanted a 48amps EVSE to get the fastest charge rate.
There's one more variable that's a factor: voltage. A Level 2 charger can take 208 to 240 volts, and the difference is 208x48 = 9,984 watts vs. 240x48 = 11,520 watts, and that's ultimately what the car's charger is working with to replenish the battery. But you're right from the standpoint that you can upgrade the amperage of your circuit within reason, but 208 or 240 is dictated by what the power company delivers.

I am glad I did that because when we move I will be able to just leave the new plug and take my EVSE. If I had hardwired it I would have had to pay to un-hardwire to take my EVSE.
I just want to throw a couple of considerations in the mix (not for you bekahb, just for anybody else reading this and considering hard wiring):
  • connecting / disconnecting a hardwired connection is just a matter of removing the face plate and disconnecting three wire nuts, preferably with the circuit breaker open!
  • hardwire installations don't require a neutral, which can be a small cost consideration when purchasing 6 gauge wire
  • hardwire installations don't require a GFCI; I believe it's now code that 14-50 receptacles are protected
  • 14-50 installations by code only allow the EVSE to have a 1-foot pigtail which limits where the box may be mounted
 

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ID.4 FE GW
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So it's an emergency charger? That's fine, but that could still be accomplished with a combo charger, like the Audi one. Plenty of EV's come with combo chargers, like my friend's Leaf, so it feels like VW was cutting corners there. It doesn't make sense that my two Audi PHEV's will have come with a better charger than my ID.4.
You bet VW cut corners here and lots of other places on this car. Have you tried to listen to music via the audio system? Worst sound (flat, constructed) that I have heard in a 30K+ car. Would have been a lot better if they spent an extra $200 on the speakers. Lots of labor time/cost to rip the factory ones out and replace them with something serviceable.
 

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There's one more variable that's a factor: voltage. A Level 2 charger can take 208 to 240 volts, and the difference is 208x48 = 9,984 watts vs. 240x48 = 11,520 watts, and that's ultimately what the car's charger is working with to replenish the battery. But you're right from the standpoint that you can upgrade the amperage of your circuit within reason, but 208 or 240 is dictated by what the power company delivers.



I just want to throw a couple of considerations in the mix (not for you bekahb, just for anybody else reading this and considering hard wiring):
  • connecting / disconnecting a hardwired connection is just a matter of removing the face plate and disconnecting three wire nuts, preferably with the circuit breaker open!
  • hardwire installations don't require a neutral, which can be a small cost consideration when purchasing 6 gauge wire
  • hardwire installations don't require a GFCI; I believe it's now code that 14-50 receptacles are protected
  • 14-50 installations by code only allow the EVSE to have a 1-foot pigtail which limits where the box may be mounted
I love the input. I could've installed the 240 plug myself but had to pay a licensed electrician because I am renting and would've had to pay again for the uninstall when I move if I had hardwired it. Only reason I went with the 240 outlet. It will be cheaper in the long run.
 

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VW ID.4 FE Dusk Blue
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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
In case anyone was curious, I opened up the US model included EVSE and took a look. While the specs are disappointing, the construction is not- this is a very weather resistant enclosure, and the cable entrances are well constructed and shouldn't be very susceptible to damage from yanking on the cord.

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I started looking up some components to try and figure out if there is going to be any smoke and fireworks if I try this thing out at 240 volts, but haven't reached any conclusions just yet.

The bridge rectifier chip (LB10S) is good up to 1000 volts, and the capacitors I was able to look at seemed OK as well for both 120 and 240 volts. I think I know which chip is controlling and regulating the SMPS (switch mode power supply), but I have been unable to find a datasheet for it. These components are one the left side of the board, near the visible capacitors and transformers.

I don't see any DIP switches or obvious jumpers or anything to control the allowed amperage sent on the control pilot, so it is likely programmed into the main processor chip (FS32K142M), which you can see behind the orange wire on the right side of the board.

The black boxes are the relays to switch Hot/Neutral/Protective Earth on and off, and the red box is a Residual Current Monitoring Unit (RCMU101SM1).
 

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Discussion Starter · #53 ·
I found the information and datasheet for the SMPS switching regulator chip. It looks like a NCP1075 chip. According to the datasheet, it should operate on a range from 85鈭265 Vac. The capacitor between the bridge rectifier and chip is rated for 400V, so that shouldn't be an issue.
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My confidence is growing that the charger won't let out the magic smoke if operated on split-phase 240 volts. I might take a trip to the store this weekend to get a few parts to try it out as safely as possible.
 

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I'm curious though if a particular component is rated for 85 to 265v that only implies one hot leg with a neutral, right? I'm with you though, why design for 120 when a universal design for 240 can be done for no added cost. I'm willing to sacrafice mine and have the necessary adapters, I'll test on Saturday.
 

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Not sure my Duosida had a relay, I've never heard it click.

Also, the wire shouldn't need to change. 120v 16A needs a 12 gauge hot and 12 gauge neutral. For 240 volts split, it's two 12 gauge hots, basically the neutral gets repurposed since it's already the correct gauge. In fact, the 50 foot extension cord I use is just a standard (good quality) 12 gauge cord sold for 120 volts but with new connectors also used for 240 volts, no issues.
 

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Mine has an L620P so I can charge with a standard 5-15R or up to 32A with the appropriate plug.

You have a connector that allows you to plug into two 120v receptacles? If it's using two 120 outlets, that would explain why yours doesn't have a relay. It would require users to make sure their outlets were on different branches so that's probably why VW isn't setup for that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I'm curious though if a particular component is rated for 85 to 265v that only implies one hot leg with a neutral, right? I'm with you though, why design for 120 when a universal design for 240 can be done for no added cost. I'm willing to sacrafice mine and have the necessary adapters, I'll test on Saturday.
If you're already set with the ability to plug this into a 240 volt outlet, you're ahead of me. I have an outlet but would need to make a adapter cord. Whatever we do, let's post results here so at most only one of us ends up with a bricked charger if mistakes were made! :)

The solder points for the incoming cord from the wall are labeled "L" and "N", so strictly interpreting that, it does imply one hot leg with neutral. With that said, modern electronics and appliances haven't assumed ground (protective earth) and neutral are the same for quite some time, since GFCI (US term) and RCD (residual current detection, rest of world term) were introduced. For GFCIs, typically 5 mA or more of leaking current to ground would cause these to trip. So neutral is typically completely isolated from ground, and thus, it is typically unlikely that the relative potential between ground and neutral even matters.

Examining even more components, the metal-oxide varistors (MOV) used for surge protection purposes are SNF14 K300, which indicates they likely start shunting current around 300 volts AC. This is another good sign, as if this was designed for 120 volt operation only, you'd likely use a lower voltage MOV.

Yes, the cables aren't very big here, but we're only looking at changing voltage, not amperage. 14 AWG is plenty sufficient for 10 amps current. However, running on 240 V vs 120 V will go from 1.2 kW to 2.4 kW charge rate.

Remember also that the NEC wire size standards are for ensuring things don't get too hot inside walls, ceilings, or other closed spaces. This cable is out in the open and able to be air-cooled, and UL or other appliance standards apply, not the NEC. Take a look at the AWG of your 1500 watt toaster oven or other heating appliance sometime- it's likely only 16 AWG, or 14 AWG if they really wanted to spend the money. It is extremely rare to find a 12 AWG cordset.
 

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You have a connector that allows you to plug into two 120v receptacles?

No, single receptacle. My Duosida EVSE has a 6-20P. I modified the extension cord with a 6-20R, but left the conventional 5-15 on the other end, and have a slew of 20A receptacles I can plug into at work. I made a pigtail to plug into a 6-20 at home when I want the faster rate. It runs at 16A in either mode. I have to remember to select "reduced current" in the car if I'm plugging in to a 15A circuit.

I just finished installing a 120 / 240 receptacle outside my garage to greatly uncomplicated my charging. This is primarily for the i3. I'm at the tail end of getting a 40A unit set up for the ID.4.
3112
 

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Yes, the cables aren't very big here, but we're only looking at changing voltage, not amperage. 14 AWG is plenty sufficient for 10 amps current.
They really cut down on their supplied EVSE. The eGolf came with a Clipper Creek that charged at 16A!

My openEVSE has the ability to adjust amps and uses 10AWG.

The engineer who built mine explained the reasoning, but it's been about 5 years and I can't remember what he told me, but at the time the 240v openEVSEs used contactors while the 120/240v kits used relays.
 
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