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pinksnowbirdie

Monitoring power usage (kWh) of a plug in hybrid/EV car?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Not sure what subforum this is good in so I figured here would be okay and if a benevolent mod feels this isn't the right place that they can move it to the right place.

 

sometime next year I want to buy a 2nd gen Chevy Volt for doing deliveries for food delivery apps like Doordash/Grubhub/Postmates and grocery delivery apps like Instacart/Shipt/Postmates since it's easier on gas than my 2003 Saab 9-3 which in itself isn't that bad on gas but it prefers premium gas and I wanna monitor how much power the car is using so I can pay that part of the electricity bill that the car is drawing. I'd keep my saab

 

I know about the Kill-a-watt but I was wondering if that's safe to use with a charger for a car and can actually monitor kWh in the span of a month at a time


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3 minutes ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

Not sure what subforum this is good in so I figured here would be okay and if a benevolent mod feels this isn't the right place that they can move it to the right place.

 

sometime next year I want to buy a 2nd gen Chevy Volt for doing deliveries for food delivery apps like Doordash/Grubhub/Postmates and grocery delivery apps like Instacart/Shipt/Postmates since it's easier on gas than my 2003 Saab 9-3 which in itself isn't that bad on gas but it prefers premium gas and I wanna monitor how much power the car is using so I can pay that part of the electricity bill that the car is drawing. I'd keep my saab

 

I know about the Kill-a-watt but I was wondering if that's safe to use with a charger for a car and can actually monitor kWh in the span of a month at a time

A Kill-a-Watt would not be safe, no. There are charging stations like the ChargePoint Home which can monitor your usage but that one is quite expensive and requires a 240 V receptacle. There might be cheaper solutions but none that I'm aware of.

 

If the Volt allows you to limit the charging current to a lower value than normal (maybe like 4–6 A) then maybe you could consider using a Kill-a-watt, but then it would take upwards of 16 hours to fully charge, if I remember correctly that the Volt has around a 14 kWh battery.

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10 minutes ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

Not sure what subforum this is good in so I figured here would be okay and if a benevolent mod feels this isn't the right place that they can move it to the right place.

 

sometime next year I want to buy a 2nd gen Chevy Volt for doing deliveries for food delivery apps like Doordash/Grubhub/Postmates and grocery delivery apps like Instacart/Shipt/Postmates since it's easier on gas than my 2003 Saab 9-3 which in itself isn't that bad on gas but it prefers premium gas and I wanna monitor how much power the car is using so I can pay that part of the electricity bill that the car is drawing. I'd keep my saab

 

I know about the Kill-a-watt but I was wondering if that's safe to use with a charger for a car and can actually monitor kWh in the span of a month at a time

It can be.  Can is not the same as is though.   The issue is some car chargers use greater than standard house voltage.  If the measurement device can’t handle the wattage used there’s going to be a problem.  It’s also not impossible you might run the top off the measurement system because a car is going to use a lot of electricity over a month.

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
Just now, Glenwing said:

A Kill-a-Watt would not be safe, no. There are charging stations like the ChargePoint Home which can monitor your usage but that one is quite expensive and requires a 240 V receptacle. There might be cheaper solutions but none that I'm aware of.

 

If the Volt allows you to limit the charging current to a lower value than normal (maybe like 4–6 A) then maybe you could consider using a Kill-a-watt, but then it would take upwards of 16 hours to fully charge, if I remember correctly that the Volt has around a 14 kWh battery.

good to know haha
yeah I wasn't sure if the Kill-a-watt would be able to safely work with that and yeah I don't really wanna invest in any proper charging station because well I live in a manufactured house, and I don't have a garage but like 8 years ago we dug a shallowish trench from our power meter to our shed to bury a pvc pipe with an extension cord and it's hooked up to like a + shaped grounded outlet adapter with 4 plugs


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1 minute ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

good to know haha
yeah I wasn't sure if the Kill-a-watt would be able to safely work with that and yeah I don't really wanna invest in any proper charging station because well I live in a manufactured house, and I don't have a garage but like 8 years ago we dug a shallowish trench from our power meter to our shed to bury a pvc pipe with an extension cord and it's hooked up to like a + shaped grounded outlet adapter with 4 plugs

That doesn’t sound like 110v


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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A 230v power meter will typically be able to measure up to 16A, but I wouldn't keep it in a circuit that takes more than around 10-12A, so around 3000 watts (220..250v x 12A = 2600..3000 watts)

 

Your charger should tell you how much is pumping into your car and there's several types of chargers... a dedicated one in US is either 230v-ish (using two of your 120v phases) or may actually be higher, close to 380v

 

Fully Charged Show has a very well made series where they go through all the stuff about electric cars and explain at a beginner level, it's worth watching the series.

See the first part at around 7 minutes in, they say Fast charger is 7 kWh (so 230v - 20-30A) and Rapid chargers are 50kWh :

 

 

They go in detail and show the difference between the standard plug (super slow) charger and fast charger in part 2:

 

 

Anyway, the fast charger should actually tell you how many kWh it pumped into the car, or the car should tell you. Alternatively you can order a power meter just for the car charger, but don't think it's really worth it.

 

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Ok here we go I'll see if I can keep it short.

I have a Tesla for 4 years now and have charged it on every kind of charging there is.

For home charging at my mom's house I installed the HPWC and so I could pay he for the power I used I installed at the same time a meter for the charger. Naturally I can't find the one I bought off Amazon but it is similar to this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZHDMZJ8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fab_gg6AFbECVS3ZE

Just hooked one lead around each of the 2 hots and it was good to go. The power draw I ended up using was not as much as my mom expected so she just didn't bother making me pay her for the power and considered it part of my visit.

The amount of power you will draw is 100% dependent on the size of the battery in your car. Since you mentioned a Chevy volt I'll go with that. And it is only a little 18kWh battery and some is reserved for "brick prevention" so let's call it a 15kWh battery. An average for power cost is $0.10/kW so if you needed to charge the car from 0% to 100% (which you never do) it would cost you like $1.50 to charge the battery each time. But as I said you don't ever do full charges you'd go from 10% to like 90% so now your charge cost is like 60 cents or so.

Also if you wanted free power check out plugshare and select J-1772 connectors with free charging in your area. It would take like 2 hours? To charge you up for free.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
1 hour ago, airborne spoon said:

Ok here we go I'll see if I can keep it short.

I have a Tesla for 4 years now and have charged it on every kind of charging there is.

For home charging at my mom's house I installed the HPWC and so I could pay he for the power I used I installed at the same time a meter for the charger. Naturally I can't find the one I bought off Amazon but it is similar to this https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZHDMZJ8/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_fab_gg6AFbECVS3ZE

Just hooked one lead around each of the 2 hots and it was good to go. The power draw I ended up using was not as much as my mom expected so she just didn't bother making me pay her for the power and considered it part of my visit.

The amount of power you will draw is 100% dependent on the size of the battery in your car. Since you mentioned a Chevy volt I'll go with that. And it is only a little 18kWh battery and some is reserved for "brick prevention" so let's call it a 15kWh battery. An average for power cost is $0.10/kW so if you needed to charge the car from 0% to 100% (which you never do) it would cost you like $1.50 to charge the battery each time. But as I said you don't ever do full charges you'd go from 10% to like 90% so now your charge cost is like 60 cents or so.

Also if you wanted free power check out plugshare and select J-1772 connectors with free charging in your area. It would take like 2 hours? To charge you up for free.

yeah the other thing I'm considering is maybe just a plain ol Toyota Corolla Hybrid because I don't like the way the Prius looks.

 

Guess I'll probably have to look into it more eventually.

 

My electrical utility provider says their kWh price is

Energy Charge (kWh)
$0.1289 June – September
$0.1189 October – May

 

So if I purchased it in May, I'd be paying 13 cents almost $1.95 to top off the battery every day

I'd have to validate that my extension cord could handle the included L1 charger the volt has....

 

Difference is I'd buy the Volt (because well there's only used ones now) and I'd lease the Corolla Hybrid.


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3 minutes ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

yeah the other thing I'm considering is maybe just a plain ol Toyota Corolla Hybrid because I don't like the way the Prius looks.

 

Guess I'll probably have to look into it more eventually.

 

My electrical utility provider says their kWh price is

Energy Charge (kWh)
$0.1289 June – September
$0.1189 October – May

 

So if I purchased it in May, I'd be paying 13 cents almost $1.95 to top off the battery every day

I'd have to validate that my extension cord could handle the included L1 charger the volt has

The corolla only has a 1.3kWh battery FYI its mostly a gas car.

And again i say you wouldn't be charging the volt battery the full amount every time you charge it.

A Level 1 charger is a 120v 12A charge so technically any extension cord is useable. However, depending on how far you'd want (should use)something a little heavier, i use a 12awg cord to charge my tesla. Also when plugging in to a 120v outlet and pulling all 12A off of it you need to realize that is the absolute max amps you can draw off the entire circuit. So that 1 breaker needs to not be in use by any other outlets in the house or any lights. Reason is you are only allowed to pull 80% of the breakers max amps so on a 15A breaker 12A is max. In my case i have like 4 outlets on the same branch and 1 of them is used from time to time for random stuff. So to prevent any potential issues my Tesla only pulls 10A off the outlet to allow for that.

The option to buy a Tesla is always there too. Amazing car and i enjoy the crap out of driving it every day http://ts.la/kristoffer7516

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Posted · Original PosterOP
4 minutes ago, airborne spoon said:

The corolla only has a 1.3kWh battery FYI its mostly a gas car.

And again i say you wouldn't be charging the volt battery the full amount every time you charge it.

A Level 1 charger is a 120v 12A charge so technically any extension cord is useable. However, depending on how far you'd want (should use)something a little heavier, i use a 12awg cord to charge my tesla. Also when plugging in to a 120v outlet and pulling all 12A off of it you need to realize that is the absolute max amps you can draw off the entire circuit. So that 1 breaker needs to not be in use by any other outlets in the house or any lights. Reason is you are only allowed to pull 80% of the breakers max amps so on a 15A breaker 12A is max. In my case i have like 4 outlets on the same branch and 1 of them is used from time to time for random stuff. So to prevent any potential issues my Tesla only pulls 10A off the outlet to allow for that.

The option to buy a Tesla is always there too. Amazing car and i enjoy the crap out of driving it every day http://ts.la/kristoffer7516

yeah that's what I'm thinking is maybe just get something simpler that can't be plugged in

otherwise if I do pull the trigger on the Volt then well yeah I suppose I could attach the replacement extension cord in some fashion to the old one and pull it out on the otherside of the pipe we buried so we don't have to bury a new pipe or dig up the old one.

 

Tesla (even older ones) are still too cost prohibitive for me.


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5 minutes ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

Tesla (even older ones) are still too cost prohibitive for me.

 

A volt is $36k a used 2014 Model S P85D is $40-45K thats 200+/- miles of pure electricity no gas at all. The selling point for me is how much i save every year based on how i drive i save about $4k yearly on gas and oil and i bought the car for $100k and i don't make a lot of money...

But i digress, obviously do what you want and make choices as you see fit. Any more power questions or anything you have i can probably help ya out.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
17 minutes ago, airborne spoon said:

 

A volt is $36k a used 2014 Model S P85D is $40-45K thats 200+/- miles of pure electricity no gas at all. The selling point for me is how much i save every year based on how i drive i save about $4k yearly on gas and oil and i bought the car for $100k and i don't make a lot of money...

But i digress, obviously do what you want and make choices as you see fit. Any more power questions or anything you have i can probably help ya out.

https://www.autotempest.com/results?make=chevrolet&model=volt&zip=55434&radius=300&minyear=2016&maxyear=2019

Nah Chevy Volts, used go for about 15k.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
22 hours ago, airborne spoon said:

 

A volt is $36k a used 2014 Model S P85D is $40-45K thats 200+/- miles of pure electricity no gas at all. The selling point for me is how much i save every year based on how i drive i save about $4k yearly on gas and oil and i bought the car for $100k and i don't make a lot of money...

But i digress, obviously do what you want and make choices as you see fit. Any more power questions or anything you have i can probably help ya out.

on another note I just looked at my power meter again, it looks like we have a 240v outlet on it. Need to look at the circuit breaker and see if its 40amp because I could see myself maybe investing in a cheap EVSE for level 2 charging and maybe get a Chevy Bolt instead because it's not that much more expensive

rb7xnj.png

33k miles and that's for a Premier trim

 

 

Next problem would be getting some kind of cable long enough to run between there and my drive way


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36 minutes ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

on another note I just looked at my power meter again, it looks like we have a 240v outlet on it. Need to look at the circuit breaker and see if its 40amp because I could see myself maybe investing in a cheap EVSE for level 2 charging and maybe get a Chevy Bolt instead because it's not that much more expensive

33k miles and that's for a Premier trim

 

 

Next problem would be getting some kind of cable long enough to run between there and my drive way

So for charging at 40A 240V is level 2 and I honestly don't know what chevy includes with their cars. Tesla comes with a level 2 charge cable in the trunk.

If you have a nema 14-50 outlet then something like this will work for you:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Maxx-32-Portable-110V-250V-Electric-Vehicles/dp/B07H9H7W2N/ref=mp_s_a_1_25?dchild=1&keywords=level+2+charger+nema+14-50&qid=1600977935&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&sr=8-25

 

For extension cords you need to look at the NEC for what size wire you need for how many amps are going through it. Wire can get expensive so it could potentially be cheaper to just install a juice box near the cars parking spot. Although that depends on if you feel comfortable with wiring it yourself. Because hiring an electrician gets super expensive really quick.

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Posted · Original PosterOP
21 minutes ago, airborne spoon said:

So for charging at 40A 240V is level 2 and I honestly don't know what chevy includes with their cars. Tesla comes with a level 2 charge cable in the trunk.

If you have a nema 14-50 outlet then something like this will work for you:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Maxx-32-Portable-110V-250V-Electric-Vehicles/dp/B07H9H7W2N/ref=mp_s_a_1_25?dchild=1&keywords=level+2+charger+nema+14-50&qid=1600977935&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011&rnid=2470954011&rps=1&sr=8-25

 

For extension cords you need to look at the NEC for what size wire you need for how many amps are going through it. Wire can get expensive so it could potentially be cheaper to just install a juice box near the cars parking spot. Although that depends on if you feel comfortable with wiring it yourself. Because hiring an electrician gets super expensive really quick.

indeed they can, see the issue is the power meter is on the other side of the house no more than 50 feet away. 


Im not sure what GM includes with the Bolt, I know the Volt gets a Level 1 so I'd assume the Bolt gets a Level 1 too.


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Posted · Original PosterOP
16 minutes ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

indeed they can, see the issue is the power meter is on the other side of the house no more than 50 feet away. 


Im not sure what GM includes with the Bolt, I know the Volt gets a Level 1 so I'd assume the Bolt gets a Level 1 too.

well looking at the circuit breakers I see two 100 amp ones and one 20 amp one because I think the two 100 amp breakers are for the main service coming into the house


 


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:x@handymanshandle x @pinksnowbirdie || Jake x Tyler :x
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3 hours ago, pinksnowbirdie said:

on another note I just looked at my power meter again, it looks like we have a 240v outlet on it. Need to look at the circuit breaker and see if its 40amp because I could see myself maybe investing in a cheap EVSE for level 2 charging and maybe get a Chevy Bolt instead because it's not that much more expensive

rb7xnj.png

33k miles and that's for a Premier trim

 

 

Next problem would be getting some kind of cable long enough to run between there and my drive way

240v 40amp isn’t unusual in US homes.  It’s generally for electric dryers.  They’re not infrequently 3 wire though (so no ground) for the old style dryer systems.  Could cause problems. 40amp wire is thick.  If you’ve got to add another and it’s Romex it might almost be easier to just add another circuit and breaker.  I did a bit of looking at bolts at one point.  They’re surprisingly roomy.  They have an unusual battery type that includes iron.  Makes the cars cheaper but the batteries quite heavy. Volt might use them too.  I don’t know. 

Edited by Bombastinator

Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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18 hours ago, Bombastinator said:

240v 40amp isn’t unusual in US homes.  It’s generally for electric dryers.  They’re not infrequently 3 wire though (so no ground) for the old style dryer systems.  Could cause problems. 40amp wire is thick.  If you’ve got to add another and it’s Romex it might almost be easier to just add another circuit and breaker.  I did a bit of looking at bolts at one point.  They’re surprisingly roomy.  They have an unusual battery type that includes iron.  Makes the cars cheaper but the batteries quite heavy. Volt might use them too.  I don’t know. 

you're so close but so far away :)

3 wire dryer outlets have 2 hots and 1 ground, a 4 wire plug has 2 hots, 1 ground, 1 neutral.

 

the wire for dryers is usually only 10AWG for a typical 30amp which is pretty small in the grand scheme of things. If you went up to 40A then 8awg and 50A is 6AWG. Always remember the 80% rule sometimes people forget that one. So even if you're only pulling 40A, you need a 50A breaker and the proper wire for 50A run and if its a super long run you may even need bigger wire due to the whole resistance and whatnot but that's another story and google has calculators for what AWG for amps and distance.

i ran 2,2,4 when i installed my tesla HPWC but that is a 100A service now that is some thick and hard to maneuver wire :)

 

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Dunno how far away I was.  
you can’t put 30amp wire on a 40 amp breaker. 10 gauge is within reason. My 3 wire dryer Is 8awg to the outlet. 


Life is like a bowl of chocolates: there are all these little crinkly paper cups everywhere.

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