How much did it cost to install your level 2 EVSE? - Chevy Bolt EV Forum
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post #1 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 10:37 AM Thread Starter
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How much did it cost to install your level 2 EVSE?

I am a potential owner of a new Bolt but I am dismayed by the costs of installing a level 2 charger at home. A Clipper Creek 32 amp EVSE is ~$600 including shipping and my electrician says I need a new subpanel to hold the 40 amp breaker in addition to running new wire which will cost nearly $2000, which is double what I had anticipated. There goes all of my state rebate (for the car, my state stopped doing EVSE rebates) which I was hoping to keep some of. Was anyone else in a similar situation before they bought their first EV? Do you think it was a good investment for your home?
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post #2 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by dthompson View Post
I am a potential owner of a new Bolt but I am dismayed by the costs of installing a level 2 charger at home. A Clipper Creek 32 amp EVSE is ~$600 including shipping and my electrician says I need a new subpanel to hold the 40 amp breaker in addition to running new wire which will cost nearly $2000, which is double what I had anticipated. There goes all of my state rebate (for the car, my state stopped doing EVSE rebates) which I was hoping to keep some of. Was anyone else in a similar situation before they bought their first EV? Do you think it was a good investment for your home?
Without knowing the layout of where your panel and garage are, it will be tough to know if that is a reasonable rate. If they are right beside each other or close, it shouldn't cost that much, but longer distances can be a pain to pull wire etc. The costs do add up. If you need a separate subpanel, it is probably because your main panel is full (does your main panel/service need to be upgraded?). Even then, there might be an opportunity to use tandem breakers to avoid that need. The install of an EVSE itself is quite simple, your situation however may not be. Also consider that the electrician has probably included for all the inspections and whatever else, as required by code.

You can probably get a decent guess about how much of the cost is for material and how much is labor/inspections simply by looking up material pricing on the homedepot website.

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post #3 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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Without knowing the layout of where your panel and garage are, it will be tough to know if that is a reasonable rate. If they are right beside each other or close, it shouldn't cost that much, but longer distances can be a pain to pull wire etc. The costs do add up. If you need a separate subpanel, it is probably because your main panel is full (does your main panel/service need to be upgraded?). Even then, there might be an opportunity to use tandem breakers to avoid that need. The install of an EVSE itself is quite simple, your situation however may not be. Also consider that the electrician has probably included for all the inspections and whatever else, as required by code.
My main panel does not need an upgrade. I have 200A service and the electrician said that was plenty. The main panel is full of breakers which is why I'd need the subpanel. I thought that some were not being used but I guess I was wrong. I don't have a garage, unfortunately, so my panel is in my unfinished basement. As a quick guess I think about 30 or 40 feet of wire will be needed to get from my panel to where the junction box will be on the exterior of my house, but since the basement is unfinished they have easy access to the joists and whatnot to run wire so there should be minimal pain. More than half of the cost is due to the new subpanel that I was really hoping I wouldn't need. Thanks for your thoughts!
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post #4 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 12:31 PM
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You can double up some of the existing 120 volt breakers to make room for your EVSE breaker. As long as your buying a breaker and wire I would oversized it for future use (when I installed my first EVSE for a Volt I only neeeded 20amps, but ran a 50 amp). In your case I probably would ren 100amp service. This would allow 2 high power chargers simultaneously. For future use. 200 amp service should be fine unless you live in a giant energy sucking mansion, especially with overnight charging.

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post #5 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 12:53 PM
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You can double up some of the existing 120 volt breakers to make room for your EVSE breaker.
I needed to do exactly that on my already full main panel. The electrician should choose circuits with small daily loads (an outdoor shed and patio circuits in my case) for the double breaker(s).
Saved me from running a sub or even a new main panel...

If you want to save on labor... trench the run yourself for the electrician... have him lay the cable... you cover it up.

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post #6 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 01:05 PM
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Not that it will help with a full panel, but I've been quoted $300 to install a new 40A circuit and a hardwired EVSE that I'll supply. The charger will be outside on the same corner as my basement panel so just a punch through the exterior wall and seal up the holes.
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post #7 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 01:17 PM
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Tandem breakers are allowed by code, and should be explored as a first option.

A decent article explaining their use here:
http://www.startribune.com/how-to-kn...ers/140688183/
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post #8 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
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Tandem breakers are allowed by code, and should be explored as a first option.
The electrician actually commented on the one tandem breaker that I have right now and told me that a home inspector would complain if I were to sell the house. I bought this house less than a year ago and my inspector didn't mention it. So now I'm thoroughly confused. Does this guy just want to bill me for a subpanel? Thanks for sharing.
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post #9 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 02:04 PM
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^ A home inspector might complain or comment on tandem breakers... but if it isn't against local code he really has no leg to stand on.

The main knock against tandem breakers is that it's like adding extra breakers to your panel that in theory could possibly allow you to exceed your panel design capacity if most all the circuits are drawing near full load.
Nowadays with LCD TV's, LED bulbs, Energy Star appliances, high SEER HVAC's, etc... that could probably never happen. But, in theory it could.... so some don't like tandem breakers.

Sounds like he's fishing for $$$$$ at your expense.
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post #10 of 38 (permalink) Old 05-17-2017, 02:56 PM
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I'm going to pitch in a "crazy" idea here.

Depending on how you plan to use the Bolt, maybe you could live off L1 charging?

I'm planning on replacing my Volt with a Bolt. My commute is only 32 miles a day. If I run some errands, perhaps I'll use up 50 miles on a weekday.

As long as I plug in when I get home each evening, L1 will still get me a full battery every night. And even if I lose a bit of range during the week, when the weekend arrives I'm mostly home. If we go somewhere for the weekend, like the 125 mile round trip to grandma's house, if needed, there will be DCFC stations along the way. And depending on where we're going, destination charging is possible. (And for my example, 125 mile trip, I won't need any DCFC or destination charging.)

I know that won't work for everyone, but for those of us with shorter commutes it would be just fine.
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