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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Not SunRun… from what I see they don’t service my state. Trying to get ahead, as my truck blended 2 days ago and should ship shortly. I called a local electrician to come poke around my house and talk about install and options.

I have 200a service into my house! In the panel I have room for at least 100a which is needed to charge ER at full rate.

They quoted a 100a sub panel install and 80a breaker in the basement. Aluminum 2-2-4 to a disconnect in the garage and out from disconnect to charger. $2640. I was reading SunRun install of charger was like $1650, but is that 100a or just level 2 with nema 1450 and 36a?

do we know if the charge station pro is hardwired, or plug? He was assuming it has to be hardwire for the 80a.

not sure of this is good or terrible… thoughts
 

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Charge Station Pro will be hardwired. The mobile connector comes with a 14-50 plug, but you likely already knew that.
 

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First things first, and this is likely an oversight by the contractor you spoke to (It'd be an easy fix once they read the installation instructions) but the charger itself requires a 100A breaker. Installing an 80A into a 100A subpanel wouldn't be large enough (technically), they would just end up putting a 100A breaker in the 100A subpanel.

The question is why the subpanel? Are you wanting to send power elsewhere, or just to the charger? A subpanel exists in order to reduce the total length of wiring in a larger sized home (like 2k sqft +), or to allow for further power distribution in a finished house where maybe you don't have very much power in the basement, but you want more in addition to the new charger.

If all you want is the charger, you don't need the subpanel. Also, what's the distance from your main panel to where the charger is going? Right now, Al 2-2-2-4 is going for $2.40/ft, so less than $100 worth of wire. Depending on the brand of your panel a regular 100A 2-pole breaker will set you back $100 or so. After that the question is how will the wire be run? In conduit exterior to the building? Under the floor? You can go on Home Depot or whomever's website to price out those materials.

At the end of the day, installing one of these things won't cost $300 in materials so long as you don't want to bury the wiring in your walls (which would require drywall, etc.). Depending on travel time to your location, its a 3 hour job at most. Sounds like this guy is trying to charge you $2640 - $300 - $1350 (I assume the $2640 includes the cost of the charger itself?) = $1,000 / 3 hours = ~$350/hour.

If the $2640 does not include the cost of the charger then he's charging you $750/hour. My dentist makes about $650/hour, but she has a staff and student debt.

On the bright side, if your panel has a main breaker, literally any idiot can do this for themself. Just throw the main breaker off when you do the final connection. Like, run the wire, connect it to the charger, mount the charger to the wall, then throw the main breaker off and install the 100A breaker. If you pull a permit (I live in California, I know rural areas probably don't have the luxury of building inspectors, so YMMV) a man from the county will come out and double check your work for you to make sure it's safe.
 

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I would assume that the 100 Amp sub-panel/disconnect provides an opportunity to transition from aluminum to copper conductors into the Charge Station Pro.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First things first, and this is likely an oversight by the contractor you spoke to (It'd be an easy fix once they read the installation instructions) but the charger itself requires a 100A breaker. Installing an 80A into a 100A subpanel wouldn't be large enough (technically), they would just end up putting a 100A breaker in the 100A subpanel.

The question is why the subpanel? Are you wanting to send power elsewhere, or just to the charger? A subpanel exists in order to reduce the total length of wiring in a larger sized home (like 2k sqft +), or to allow for further power distribution in a finished house where maybe you don't have very much power in the basement, but you want more in addition to the new charger.

If all you want is the charger, you don't need the subpanel. Also, what's the distance from your main panel to where the charger is going? Right now, Al 2-2-2-4 is going for $2.40/ft, so less than $100 worth of wire. Depending on the brand of your panel a regular 100A 2-pole breaker will set you back $100 or so. After that the question is how will the wire be run? In conduit exterior to the building? Under the floor? You can go on Home Depot or whomever's website to price out those materials.

At the end of the day, installing one of these things won't cost $300 in materials so long as you don't want to bury the wiring in your walls (which would require drywall, etc.). Depending on travel time to your location, its a 3 hour job at most. Sounds like this guy is trying to charge you $2640 - $300 - $1350 (I assume the $2640 includes the cost of the charger itself?) = $1,000 / 3 hours = ~$350/hour.

If the $2640 does not include the cost of the charger then he's charging you $750/hour. My dentist makes about $650/hour, but she has a staff and student debt.

On the bright side, if your panel has a main breaker, literally any idiot can do this for themself. Just throw the main breaker off when you do the final connection. Like, run the wire, connect it to the charger, mount the charger to the wall, then throw the main breaker off and install the 100A breaker. If you pull a permit (I live in California, I know rural areas probably don't have the luxury of building inspectors, so YMMV) a man from the county will come out and double check your work for you to make sure it's safe.
Perhaps the quote will make more sense to you. I do a lot of things but will let a qualified electrician do these type things. I sounded high to me which is why I posed info here. The price does NOT include the charger
 

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It looks like he's not putting in a subpanel, rather a disconnect similar to what you may have at your outdoor unit for your heat pump (with a lever you can throw to disconnect the line power, rather than turning off the breaker in the panel itself). Breaker is 100A as it should be. This is a bit pricy. I'd seek another quote or two.
 

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Not SunRun… from what I see they don’t service my state. Trying to get ahead, as my truck blended 2 days ago and should ship shortly. I called a local electrician to come poke around my house and talk about install and options.

I have 200a service into my house! In the panel I have room for at least 100a which is needed to charge ER at full rate.

They quoted a 100a sub panel install and 80a breaker in the basement. Aluminum 2-2-4 to a disconnect in the garage and out from disconnect to charger. $2640. I was reading SunRun install of charger was like $1650, but is that 100a or just level 2 with nema 1450 and 36a?

do we know if the charge station pro is hardwired, or plug? He was assuming it has to be hardwire for the 80a.

not sure of this is good or terrible… thoughts
My electrician told me the wire had to be copper not aluminum. I paid for a 100’ cable and a 100 amp breaker I also opted for a 2 gang box behind the pro station for future installation of a 250 plug if I move and take the pro station with me. It cost $150 for the permit and total cost was $1344.00. I’m just waiting to get the pro station so he can finish the hard wire. I live in Lansing, Michigan. I already have a whole house generator with a transfer switch, so I won’t use the Lightning as a a backup, however I was quoted an additional $1,000 for a second transfer switch if I wanted it installed.
 

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My electrician told me the wire had to be copper not aluminum. I paid for a 100’ cable and a 100 amp breaker I also opted for a 2 gang box behind the pro station for future installation of a 250 plug if I move and take the pro station with me. It cost $150 for the permit and total cost was $1344.00. I’m just waiting to get the pro station so he can finish the hard wire. I live in Lansing, Michigan. I already have a whole house generator with a transfer switch, so I won’t use the Lightning as a a backup, however I was quoted an additional $1,000 for a second transfer switch if I wanted it installed.
I meant a 240 outlet for a plug
 

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A difficult wire run can significantly add cost. That said this is really no different than setting up for a hot tub or dryer just a little bigger wire.

For those who don't know, this will take two spaces in your panel, a subpanel would also require two spaces in your main panel. If you install a 100A sub panel and charge at 80 amps keep in mind residential panels are not rated for 100% continous duty, you can't pull 100 amp off that panel all the time. So as far as adding circuits esides the charger I wouldn't unless you charge at a lower rate.
 

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My electrician told me the wire had to be copper not aluminum.
I believe that the requirement for copper conductors is for the connection to the lugs in the Charge Station Pro. You could run aluminum to a 100 A disconnect (or sub-panel) and use copper conductors from there to the CSP. It's not as clean of an install and parts and additional labor would quickly eat up a lot of the savings from using aluminum conductor in a shorter runs. Mine is going to have to be 150 feet if I want to move from 48 A charging to 80 A capabilities of the CSP. (60 A Copper exisiting to 100 A circuit) I don't think the benefits outweigh the cost. Personally, I prefer having a disconnect in close proximity to the EVSE since I am so far from my service panel.
 

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Okay, well it sounds like you’ve got a pretty good handle on it. Have you seen these 2 spec sheets?
I saw them when you posted them two posts above and a while back when they were released. I'm not sure what you're alluding to, unless it is the 'Circle i' information blurb at the top of the first sheet. I guess we could quibble about the definition of 'most homes' for a residential installation. Some utilities metered water heaters separately on the same service to compete with other fuels. I think that there may be separately metered EV rates.
 

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A difficult wire run can significantly add cost. That said this is really no different than setting up for a hot tub or dryer just a little bigger wire.

For those who don't know, this will take two spaces in your panel, a subpanel would also require two spaces in your main panel. If you install a 100A sub panel and charge at 80 amps keep in mind residential panels are not rated for 100% continous duty, you can't pull 100 amp off that panel all the time. So as far as adding circuits esides the charger I wouldn't unless you charge at a lower rate.
Your experience may be different from mine, but of the people I know who have electric cars, none of them ever use their chargers full capacity. Between the computer systems reminding them, and their own awareness of their charge level, along with the comparative ease of plugging your car in vs. stopping at a gas station, most people charge 100 miles per 6 hour session. In my area, the utility gives us a discount if we program our EVs to charge between 12pm and 6am. That's something like 30% of full beans.
 

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I saw them when you posted them two posts above and a while back when they were released. I'm not sure what you're alluding to, unless it is the 'Circle i' information blurb at the top of the first sheet. I guess we could quibble about the definition of 'most homes' for a residential installation. Some utilities metered water heaters separately on the same service to compete with other fuels. I think that there may be separately metered EV rates.
My market doesn't have separate EV rates per se, but we do get a discount for charging between midnight and 6 am.
 

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Perhaps the quote will make more sense to you. I do a lot of things but will let a qualified electrician do these type things. I sounded high to me which is why I posed info here. The price does NOT include the charger
Yeah, looks like he's running the wire in PVC conduit exterior to the wall. The materials costs that I talked about before are in line with that estimate, the time estimate holds as well. You should get two more quotes. If you don't want to do it yourself (which you absolutely should), you're at the mercy of your local market. As a reference point, in my area, upgrading a whole panel to a 200A service costs about $6k. In my area I'd expect to be able to hire a reputable contractor to bid your job at around $2k. The problem is that it's summer now, everyone's busy and no-one wants to do a job that sells for less than $2k. I'm not an electrician, I do HVAC, but if I were going to bid this job, I'd call it 3 hours labor @ $130 = $400 + $400 in materials + $400 waste of time fee = $1,200 + $100 Tax = $1,300 Total.

Again, I can't know your area, but get some more quotes and see if you can't get closer to the $1k-$1.5k range. Also, in my area the three cardinal rules of hiring a contractor are 1: If they suggest not pulling a permit, run. 2: If they advertise on the radio, run while screaming. 3: If they want to be paid upfront, call the police.

It sometimes helps to be specific when asking for work to be done, so if it were me, I'd say something like: "Hey, I'm looking to get a 100A service to an EV charger put in. The connection to the unit needs to be copper, but it's a 30 foot run, so if it's cheaper to run it in aluminum to a metal gang box exterior to a wall and make the transition to copper in there, that's fine. I know you're professionals, but I will want to see that you're using NoAlOx or similar at all Aluminum terminals. Again, I know that you are professionals, I've just been bitten in the ass by that one in the past. Other than that, I have no special requests. Conduit can be run exterior to the wall, gang boxes can be exterior to the wall, and the unit is designed to be installed outdoors."

Feel free to ask questions if you have any others.
 

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Your experience may be different from mine, but of the people I know who have electric cars, none of them ever use their chargers full capacity. Between the computer systems reminding them, and their own awareness of their charge level, along with the comparative ease of plugging your car in vs. stopping at a gas station, most people charge 100 miles per 6 hour session. In my area, the utility gives us a discount if we program our EVs to charge between 12pm and 6am. That's something like 30% of full beans.
That could be, I've never charged an EV :) . From an electrical standpoint many seem concerned to feed their charger a full 80A in which case that's about all you'd get out of a 100A panel. But with the dipswitch settings or user interface settings at a lower amperage yep makes sense that would be easier on your battery and not generally a need to quickly add charge when you have all night and only drove 100 miles a day.
 

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My market doesn't have separate EV rates per se, but we do get a discount for charging between midnight and 6 am.
I have time-of-use rates that help by about 20%. The CSP data sheet has this information:
To take full advantage of the above charging rate, most homes will require a new or second electric utility meter installation.
I think this might be a less-than-artful-language attempt to soften up the $$ shock for 100 Amp service panel owners who want 80 Amp charging and/or installation of a second separately metered service to the property. My utility won't do that for residence service.
 
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