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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
XC90 T8 Home Charging Station

This write-up should apply for US and Canadian markets - I'm not sure if these products are available elsewhere. Connections may also differ in countries that don't use the North American wiring system and standards.

(As this is fairly long please don't reply with quote the entire text - makes the thread really long / hard to read!)

Since getting my 2016 XC90 T8 I had been using the AeroEnviornmenet TurboCord charging cable that came with the vehicle for charging at home and where a charging station was not avaiable (but a mains connecdtion was).

TurboCord
http://www.evsolutions.com/turbocord

I was a little disappointed that the Volvo supplied TurboCord only came in a cheap plastic bag and not the bag that was pictured in some of the announcements - and it also did not come with the cable hanger that had been pictured - see this page:

http://insideevs.com/2016-volvo-xc90-t8-plug-hybrid-include-free-aerovironment-turbocord/

One of the cool features of the TurboCord is it has both the NEMA 6-20 and 5-15 plugs. The 240 VAC plug fits over the 120 VAC plug and is held on with a black plastic slide. When the 240 VAC adapter is connected it has a small plastic protrusion that fits into the TurboCord housing that allows the TurboCord to function as a Level 2 charging cable.

In using the TurboCord though I've found that the sliding black clip easily comes disconnected. This is especially true when you remove the 240 VAC adapter to use with 120 VAC charging.

It would have been nice to have the bag pictured in the link above to help keep wherever you store your TurboCord clean ... as there will certainly be times and places where you may use the TurboCord in inclimate weather or dirty environs. The last thing you want to do is coil up the TurboCord and then throw it on the floor or cargo area of your car - especially if you have blond carpets.

Having a dedicated charging station at home is a benefit as well - as you can leave your TurboCord in the car for times when you need it - and simply just grab the J1772 charging cable off the wall and plug in.

All chargers for the US and CA come in different configurations depending on:
  • hard wired or plug-in, and
  • 240 VAC 20 amp or 40 amp service
Chargers that connect to a 20 amp circuit provide a maximum of 16 amps of charging power and chargers that connect to a 40 amp circuit provide a maximum of 32 amps of charging power.

The higher amperage circuit can deliver more power over the same amount of time - BUT - only if the vehicle can charge at that rate. For the 2016 Volvo XC90 T8 having a 40 amp circuit (and charger) won't benefit you as the vehicle can't draw that much power.

Going with a 40 amp service may make sense if you want to future proof your installation.

While I was considering installing a dedicated 40 amp hard wired charger I decided to go with a 20 amp plug-in version because:
  • The 20 amp charger costs less
  • I already had a 20 amp circuit available
  • Using the 6-20 receptacle if I ever have a problem with the charger I can just plug the TurboCord into it
While there are a lot of choices for home charging systems that provide the Level 2 standard J1772 connection I narrowed it down to either ChargePoint Home or ClipperCreek.

ChargePoint Home
http://www.chargepoint.com/home/

ClipperCreek
http://www.clippercreek.com/

I went with the ChargePoint Home because:
  • I have a ChargePoint account as a number of the nearby public charging stations are ChargePoint based.
  • ChargePoint has both a mobile app and web interface where you can review your usage.
  • The ChargePoint home has both Bluetooth and WiFi support and your charging usage info is automatically uploaded to your account.
  • It interfaces with Nest products (I've been thinking of upgrading my aging home automation and energy system).
I purchased my ChargePoint Home through Amazon as the price was right and I get free shipping with my Prime membership. (Many EV charging systems are available through Amazon.)

Depending on which charging station you purchase there may be a third option - and that is the length of the cable from the charging station to the vehicle. The 16 amp ChargePoint Home package comes with a 12 foot cable which is easily twice as long as I need in my garage. While they have a bundle which for one price you get both the charging station and cable it is possible to purchase the items separately and get a different length cable. This is actually an option / another choice with the 32 amp station.

I was really impressed with the ChargePoint packaging and easy to understand instructions. They have a lot of info on their web site including nicely done PDF's. And the product is equally as well thought out.

It comes in two boxes: the charger itself and the charging cable.

The charger packaging is well designed - plenty of spacing to ensure it is not damaged in shipment. The charger itself is over-wrapped in plastic. Also included are three screws, a drill bit and nut driver to complete the install. The installation guide is well laid out, written and easy to understand.

You'll need to supply an electric drill and stud finder. Optionally you can use a 1/4 inch socket wrench for driving the screws.

They also provide a template for locating the mounting holes. Choose your location, mark and drill three holes, put the top screw in and hang the unit on it and then secure with the remaining two screws.

The hardest thing to do was connecting the charging cable to the charger: they have small white levers that you have to lift to open the slot where the cable ends plug in. It requires quite a bit of force / leverage to lift these - at first I was concerned that I would break them. I actually found it easier to do this with the charger in my lap than on the wall.

Once hung - put the electrical box cover on (use a quarter), the black fascia plate and plug it in.

At this point you'll need to have the ChargePoint mobile app installed. Within Bluetooth range of the charger open the app and let it discover the charger - it then adds it automatically to your account.

HINT: with my Android based Samsung Galaxy S6 based phone I first needed to pair the charger with the phone before the ChargePoint app could talk to it.

The ChargePoint Home charger has an integral dock that you can connect the J1772 connect to when not in use. You can also coil excess cord around / over the top of the unit to keep off the floor or ground.

With this setup I'm able to fully charge a run down T8 battery in about 2.5 hours (approximately 7.5 kW charge).

In the US - installation of a home charging station (retroactively in 2015 and in 2015) may qualify for an Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit - see here:

http://www.afdc.energy.gov/laws/10513
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
ChargePoint Home



Securely packed - with plastic over-wrap
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ChargePoint Home



With fascia plate removed - 16 amp version with 6-20 plug cable attached
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
ChargePoint Home



Installation guide and instructions - you can also download this as a PDF from their web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
ChargePoint Home





Included is a drill, three hex head screws and a nut driver for the screws. While I used my portable electric drill to install the top screw I opted for a 1/4 inch drive and 1/4 inch socket to install the screws in the bottom (where the electrical wiring is).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ChargePoint Home



The 12 foot / 3.7m charging cable. Comes with a retaining clip to hold in charger. Cable ends specially terminated for easy connection to crimp connectors in charger.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
ChargePoint Home



Electrical connection inside charger. Takes quite a bit of force to lift these levers (the ground connection on the right hand / charging cable connection is lifted). Lift to open crimp connection - insert cable - press to close. I found it easier to do this with the unit sitting in my lap than on the wall. Once connected insert the CABLE CLIP restraint to keep the cable in place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ChargePoint Home



Charger mounted and with safety cover over the wiring connections.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
ChargePoint Home



Completed installation with fascia plate installed. The ring around the J1772 dock has a colored LED light that indicates charging status. (Not powered on in this photo.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
ChargePoint Home



Typical charging session info via the ChargePoint web site.
 

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Wow, his is super helpful. Thanks for all the info. I'm going to look into this setup as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

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I still have it in my garage, but when I had a plug-in Prius and a Volt I used a GE Wattstation and never had an issue with it. I found it to be a great high quality level 2 charger. At the time, which was some years back, I got it delivered from lowes using a 20% off coupon code.
 

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I still have it in my garage, but when I had a plug-in Prius and a Volt I used a GE Wattstation and never had an issue with it. I found it to be a great high quality level 2 charger. At the time, which was some years back, I got it delivered from lowes using a 20% off coupon code.
Is there an interesting story behind no longer being electric or not waiting for the T8? Seems unusual to me for someone to invest in electric, then abandon it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

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Thanks for the advice. I had mine installed this week. Just waiting for the T8 to arrive!
Cool! May I ask total installed cost??
 

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Cool! May I ask total installed cost??
I had an electrician do it. $1000 for install, including breaker and parts and inspection.

The charger is also about $1000. I can apply for 50% of each cost in rebates from the provincial government.
 

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I had an electrician do it. $1000 for install, including breaker and parts and inspection.

The charger is also about $1000. I can apply for 50% of each cost in rebates from the provincial government.
Thanks for the info! So if you apply for the rebate your end cost will be $1,000 not bad. I thought would be more expensive. I assume it's level 2 charger correct?
 
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