Level 1 vs Level 2 Charging

Discussion in 'MINI Cooper SE' started by TripleD, Apr 30, 2021.

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  1. GetOffYourGas

    GetOffYourGas Active Member

    Two reasons one may prefer an outlet to a hard-wired solution come to mind.
    1) 14-50 outlets are fairly common at campgrounds, for RVs. I like having an EVSE I can bring with me when I go camping. I don't have an RV, but I do like to be able to charge my EV overnight.
    2) If you rent or otherwise don't plan to be in a location for too long, a plugged-in EVSE is much easier to take with you. This doesn't apply to me, but it certainly applies to some.

    Another reason for me, is that I have family members with an RV who occasionally visit. Now that I have an 14-50 plug, they can use wall power to run their RV instead of needlessly running a generator in my driveway.
    F14Scott and GvilleGuy like this.
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  3. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    Sure, but the latest NEC is making that more difficult. As I said, I'd like a pluggable EVSE where I could disable the internal GFCI since the outlets all are going to have GFCI.
    GetOffYourGas likes this.
  4. bldxyz

    bldxyz Well-Known Member

    Do you know the logic behind always charging it to max each day?

    I know Tesla’s are very different, but I did just see this article suggests to target 50%!
  5. GvilleGuy

    GvilleGuy Well-Known Member

    Mini (BMW) has already built the 80% buffer into the battery, so when we charge up to 100%, it’s like charging up to 80 on a Tesla.
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  6. GetOffYourGas

    GetOffYourGas Active Member

    50% is ideal for long-term storage of batteries, but that is not what we are trying to do here. 80% is almost as good as 50% for long term, but for a vehicle gives you much more available range.

    As GvilleGuy mentions, Mini already has a buffer, so charge it up as often as you like.

    Tesla sells cars based on their unmatched range. They get that range by not using any kind of buffer, but pushing the batteries to the max.
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  8. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I asked my MINI dealer about this when I first got my SE, and was told there is no restriction on amount of charging or type of charging. Even DC Fast charging as often as desired is fine as far as MINI is concerned. Lithium batteries don't suffer memory effect, and the max charge rate of 50 kW is low enough to never worry about causing heat issues when charging.

    Tesla went the "power user" route, giving owners complete access to the battery capacity. MINI's gone the other direction, keeping it as simple as possible for owners.
  9. Chicago

    Chicago Member

    Can you set the SE's Navigation to show you just the nearby DC fast charging stations?

    As far as pre-planning, is there an APP or website that can show you JUST the DC fast chargers in your area/along your route?
  10. You can set up your filters to do that in PlugShare.
  11. polyphonic

    polyphonic Active Member

    There's just no way that a 100% user charge on the Mini equals 80% in reality.

    The Mini has 28.x kWh usable out of 32.x kWh total capacity. That's about a 12% buffer total. Then you divide it between the top and bottom so that the user can't fully charge or discharge the battery.

    Most of it will be on the bottom because running a battery to zero volts really kills it for good. The protection is there so if you let the car sit for years it will still be ok.

    Almost every company is going the 80-90% daily use recommendation. It just makes the most sense with today's technology. Limit stress on the battery so you have extra range when you need it.
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  13. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Is that true? I know Tesla makes that recommendation, but does almost every company tell owners they have to worry about preserving their battery? Does almost every company give owners an option to automatically charge only to the safe 80-90% level? Or do they expect owners to time their charging carefully, then go out and unplug before exceeding 80-90%?

    You may be right, your numbers seem plausible. However, Honda is one of the companies that has no such 80-90% recommendation with our Clarity Plug-In Hybrid and MINI has no such recommendation, either. Perhaps those are the only two companies who don't make this recommendation, I just don't know.

    BMW has a lot of experience with the i3, and the company certainly doesn't want their BEVs to be saddled with a battery-reputation problem like the Nissan Leaf. BMW is greatly increasing their BEV offerings in the coming years, so their BEV cred is very important to them. An important bottom-line consideration: BMW does not want to be replacing lots of expensive batteries under warranty.

    BMW/MINI knows that charging a BEV with an EPA range of 110 miles to 80% for an 88-mile range would sound like a joke in 2021. They certainly assume MINI Cooper SE owners are going to charge their cars to 100% over and over. And over. Clearly, the company believes they have designed the car's battery to handle that "abuse."

    I'm willing to be one of BMW/MINI's guinea pigs. I don't charge every day, but when I do, I always charge to 100%. Range anxiety is bad enough without having to also suffer from battery-abuse anxiety, so I choose to trust the engineers and will accept the consequences if my faith was misplaced.

    If I'm wrong and in 5 years my SE's range is reduced to 88 miles, isn't that better than living with 88 miles of range from the day I took delivery of my wonderful MINI?
    F14Scott and GvilleGuy like this.
  14. GetOffYourGas

    GetOffYourGas Active Member

    The issue with this line of reasoning is that while you may be "living with 88 mile of range from the day you took delivery", during that time you always had the option of charging up to 110 miles for those occasionally longer days.

    That said, I'm not worried about the battery for the other reasons you gave. I charge it every 2-3 days, but always up to 100%. And BMW has built in a top buffer (unknown exactly how much). I suspect the battery will last long enough that I will be looking to upgrade anyway before it degrades noticeably.
  15. MustangMan

    MustangMan New Member

    If your decide to use the dryer outlet, NEMA 14-30, Clipper Creek makes the LCS-30P with a 14-30 plug. I use it with my Mach-E and works fine. Comes with a 25 foot cord. If that length can reach the car all good. If you decide to have the electrician install an outlet then doing the 40 AMP NEMA 14-50 makes sense.

    Your driving sounds like mine. I have the car set to charge to 90% between 11:00 PM and 7:00 AM, and never disappointed.
    GetOffYourGas likes this.
  16. Jim1960

    Jim1960 New Member

    If you don't have an electric tester, you can get one for under $5 at big-box hardware stores like Lowe's.
  17. Puppethead

    Puppethead Well-Known Member

    I'm a perfect test subject. I got my SE pretty early post-pandemic shutdown (delivered mid August 2020), and I drive over 80 miles per day (for 13,500 miles so far), charging to 100% every day. So if anyone's battery is going to show degradation it will be mine. I'm expecting one of four things to happen:
    1. No noticeable battery issues during warranty period
    2. Batteries get replaced under warranty
    3. Better battery pack becomes available as a retrofit for more range
    4. I decide to upgrade to a newer model MINI BEV
    #4 might be hard, since there's something collector car-like having a first-generation SE. So maybe #4 should really be "decide to buy second MINI BEV".
    GetOffYourGas, MichaelC and GvilleGuy like this.
  18. polyphonic

    polyphonic Active Member

    Right, "almost every" isn't quite accurate. VW, Audi, Porsche, and Tesla use daily charge limits. Data shows that smaller charging sessions within the middle of the pack leads to more cycle counts over the battery's lifetime. The Audi e-tron is often cited as an example of a large buffer, but internal documents show the top is less than 2% (100% user charge is >98%).

    The idea with the trip limit is you can charge to 100% whenever you like, just don't let it sit. My former Tesla and e-tron have timers to finish the charge by the time it's ready to go.
    insightman likes this.
  19. FrankW

    FrankW New Member

    It looks like I'm late to the party, but I'll add my opinion.

    I owned a 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV for a year and a half and have owned my 2019 Kia Niro EV for 15 months. I average driving them about 20 miles per day, and seldom over 50 miles in a day. (I have ICE-powered vehicle I use for long trips and for towing.)

    For both cars, I have relied on the level 1 chargers that came with them with completely satisfactory results. I don't even bother to charge daily, but wait until the range falls below 100 miles. I do use a circuit that has only one outlet, the outlet for the charger, and I have a 60 amp, 220 volt sub-panel in the garage so I could easily add a level 2 charger if needed.

    It seems that the OP intends to use his EV much as I use mine. I think it would be foolish for him to install a level 2 charger without finding out if the level 1 charger will work satisfactorily for him.
    GvilleGuy and MichaelC like this.
  20. MichaelC

    MichaelC Well-Known Member

    This is yet another EV battery management rule where BMW/MINI goes against conventional wisdom. Per the owner's manual, they recommend fully charging the high voltage battery if the car will be idle for several weeks, and leaving it plugged in to a charger if possible. They're more concerned about damage due to a depleted battery, and presumably expect the BMS to manage load-leveling as needed.
    TripleD and insightman like this.
  21. F14Scott

    F14Scott Well-Known Member

    I think I posted this in the EVSE section, but since it is germain to this discussion:

    rvparky.com is a nice resource to find RV parks where one can charge an EV, assuming one has an EVSE that has (best case) a 14-50 plug, (odd but still useful) a TT-30 plug, or even (so slow, but beats going dead in the water) a 5-20 plug.

    I once stayed at a VRBO house whose wiring was old two-wire, meaning my planned trickle charging was a no go without a ground. By happy coincidence, there was a tiny RV park hidden half a mile away, and so I was able to pay the owner $10 to charge up the afternoon before we packed out.


    HI-Cotton RV Park
    (210) 374-2780
  22. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member

    Autoweek published an interesting article about Californians who switch from EVs back to ICE-powered cars. We're lucky our small EVs are so efficient--the article illustrates the challenge Level 1 charging presents to the driver of a Mustang Mach-E:

    The Business Insider story says that a Mustang Mach-E EV plugged into a Level 1, 120-volt household outlet for an hour gave a Bloomberg automotive analyst just three miles of range, so 36 miles overnight. He told the website that he ended up taking the car to his office to charge it. A Level 2 charger puts out around 240 volts of power. The analyst says if you don’t have Level 2 “it’s almost impossible.” Two-thirds of EV drivers in the survey said they didn’t use them but didn’t say why not.
    GvilleGuy likes this.
  23. Recoil45

    Recoil45 Active Member

    It will be interesting to see how RV parks handle this long term. Many already suffer brownout level voltages in the hot summer months due to inadequate supply. They don't seem to upgrade their supply either as the same complaints come up on RV forums year after year after year.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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