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Two EV Household Charging Options

3912 Views 20 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  GDN
I know there has been a lot of discussion around what you need for the 80amp Ford Charge Station Pro and ultimately I will either farm out to Sunrun or another qualified electrician.

However, what I wanted to ask this group is if there is any experience with a 2 EV household and what your current set up is.

Are both cars in the garage? If any of your cars sit outside, do you have enough length with your charging cables? Is there a limit?

This will be my first EV but if I'm going to need electrical work I want to plan ahead for the next vehicle as well. Do I need to basically double my available space for the next car?

Other useful tips to think about that will be cheaper in the long run with some smart planning?

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Thanks for the information. Although we have a small 2 car garage, we've never had 2 cars in that thing. I'm thinking that I would install the Ford charger on the outside wall with access to the Lightning since it won't fit in the garage and when we eventually get the second car, it will use the 14-50 plug you mention.

I never really considered switching between the chargers mainly because at this stage I'm most concerned about inclement weather impacting the battery life. However, this is a problem that doesn't exist yet (since we're still a couple years aways from having 2 BEVs) but from the sounds of your two examples, it's not too much of a hurdle.

I currently have a 100amp service that at the very least I would like to upgrade to 200amp to support the Lightning.
The harger should be outdoor rated but depending on your city, they may require that it not be visible from the street. I’ve seen a number of installations where the charger is in the garage and a small slot (like a mail slot) is used to pass the cable through to the outside. Only downside is that you have to temporarily remove the cable from the charger so you can pass it through.
Also, if it’s installed outside and gets sun during the day, think about some sort of shade. UV is a b*tch on plastic, even outdoor-rated plastic.

25’ is the longest allowed cable length (not that you can’t find extenders but they aren’t code compliant and can be a hazard) so try to plan around that.
I struggled with this last night, thinking about the 'configuration' of my two EV's, parking in my pull-thru carport, and how I could run the needed wiring and make it both practical for daily use, and 'pretty' from an asthetic perspective. My 2015 Nissa Leaf works great, and is perfect for the normal work commute, and has the charging outlet in the FRONT. This configuration makes the most sense for EVs - you have a lot more options, and easier connection options, with this location. You can pull INTO a charge station while on the road, rather than having to back into it. The Lightning, though, presents a problem. It does not have the TWO locations that most of us would think Ford would provide, but only the single 'driver side' location. For me, this means that I have to pull the truck into the carport with the driver's door on the side with the charge cable, yet, in my case, that leave very little room to then OPEN the driver's door. I don't like that.
So, as ChasingCoral stated, we may have to look at trying some different parking configurations to make both chargers work at the same time. If the Lightning simply had the charge port option on BOTH sides of the truck, this would not be an issue. If makes sense in one perspective that getting out and plugging in from the driver's door is the 'easiest' method, but the reality is that it creates a problem for many of us who want the charge cable to come from the other side of the truck, leaving much more room to exit the vehicle. In some garages I suppose you could simple mount the charger in the middle of the carport wall ahead of the parked vehicle, but my pull-thru carport has nothing to mount to - it would have to be either the left or right wall.
One other option would be to mount the charger overhead and use a cable management device to retract the cable.
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I know we are in the early adopter group (not just Ford Lightning but BEV's overall) but these are truly practical concerns that will impede the growth of this market. You can imagine the hundreds of millions of household configurations that exist in the world today. Some have ample space, others, no garage/carport at all. The home infrastructure just doesn't exist yet and we're so early in this process that homes are not designed around the charging of it's vehicles.

Things would definitely be easier if I had the nice clean, spacious and modern garage that we all see in marketing campaigns but until there are charging ports on either side of the Lightning, it's going to be a bit chaotic.
The challenge with multiple charge ports is cost. If you simply have two charge ports wired up in parallel, then when you are charging on one port, the other one becomes hot and poses a shock hazard. So they have to add relays that disconnect one port while the other is in use, which adds cost and complexity. Probably the most likely outcome in the future, if they add a second port, will be to allow you to specify which one is the combo connector and which one only has the AC plug. That would at least allow them to manage the DC circuit requirements, which are always the most difficult because of the power levels involved. And for most of us, we only need the flexibility for AC charging at home.
Yeah, both the tool balancer and central pivot approaches can work. Just watch out for over stressing the cable. If you have a twist point, you’ll want to leave a loop at the fixed end to reduce the twist at the joint.
For all approaches you’ll want to keep the bend radius to about 6-8 cable diameters. That’s going to be somewhere around 3-8” minimum bend radius. Depends on how thick the cable is.
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