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Discussion Starter #1
Can anyone tell me why we don't just have a retractable 120v electrical cord connected to the VOLTs charging system that can just be reeled out and plugged into a standard US 120v socket when we're not at home or tethered to a 240v Blink or other high end charger? Why isn't the 120v charger that comes with the car contained onboard with just a cheap, retractable and replaceable standard electrical cord exposed to burglars and ne'er do wells ? I've just finished reading about a number of time consuming, expensive, and dangerous tricks to "secure" or protect this 120v charger that comes with the car when one is not at home, or in ones garage, for fear that it might be stolen. What am I missing here?
 

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just a cheap, retractable and replaceable standard electrical cord
You just answered your own question. It would not withstand the current load of charging.
 

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More Flexibility and less to go wrong with the car.
Plus we are on the third revision of the 120 volt units.

The charge cord would be a very simple cable if the ( very needed ) safety features were removed.


PLUS : any cable is NEVER the right length and the cost is always in the connector.
 

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I challenge you to 1.) find a cord reel that is small (and has a heavy duty cable) 2.) After you find the smallest cord reel, look for a place that you could put it in the car 3.) after you realize there is no place, start thinking about how much trunk space you may want to give up for this feature

cord reels are also pretty un-reliable. they may last in a shop for 3 years or so before they need service, not to mention they pick up a ton of dirt and would be really difficult to clean if integrated into the car.

my 2 cents
 

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Every solution has pros and cons. A retractable EVSE has convenience on its side. The cons would be extra weight for the retracting components, extra expense when they fail, less usable space in the car, issues with the cord not extending/retracting, need to clean dirt/water/ice accumulations.

I prefer the durable simplicity of a separate EVSE, YMMV. It's only con is it is less convenient than a pull-out cord. Then again, I use mine rarely, having a 240V instead.
 

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Realize the EVSE is just a simple cord. The charger already is on the vehicle. But you need the logic that is in the EVSE to make it safe. If the EVSE doesn't communicate properly over the data lines, the physical connection between the AC power in the wall and the power electronics in the car doesn't happen. This is a 360V system you are talking to that has to be safely connected to the outside work in all weather conditions. You don't make that final connection with a plain Jane 120V extension cord.
 

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They're talking about doing something like this where a male 120V plug is made available via a port in the car.

Go to minute 18:00 and see what this means (18:56 exactly): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VMEjzF7PsI

This "might" be ok where you use a 10ga extension cord and the rest of the EVSE is within the vehicle. (Ignore rain issues and all that).

The extension cord would be live always while the EVSE doesn't make the working-end of the J1772 hot until it communicates with the circuit within the EVSE during charging.
 

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They're talking about doing something like this where a male 120V plug is made available via a port in the car.
This seems more like the Tesla approach. That makes more sense to me than retractable (ignoring weather issues of course), but does not address the anti-theft and convenience issues which I think is at the heart of the desire for a retracting cord.
 

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It would make the 120V "proliference" a little easier. Plus hotels and other places could offer 10 or 20 foot extension cords so you don't have to take the portable 120V EVSE along with you. Or, you may only need a 5' extension cord if you park with the port close to your wall socket. All sorts of "options" with this style of port. Including having to go to the dealer should the EVSE inside the car have problems. Maybe having it somehow stored in the rear hatch under the carpet like the EVSE storage space is now but integrating it into the car's circuitry somehow. I do know this might be less girth and safety than the J1772. But I think the OP is sort-of saying "why do we need all that external stuff, just use a simple 120V [retractable] extension cord". Rather than retractable, the tesla-port idea may be more appropriate if it were re-engineered.
 

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Imagine all the possible issues from retracting into the car a cord that's been laying for hours in dirt, sand, water, leaves, pebbles, hot sticky tar, mud, oils, or snow day in/day out.
 

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The real point is the personnel protection. GFCI and AFCI are in the boxy part of the EVSE cord, very close to the outlet, then the cord that lays on the ground is protected. Also, the j1772 connector interrupts the current before it is unplugged, preventing arcing.

Nate
 

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The real point is the personnel protection. GFCI and AFCI are in the boxy part of the EVSE cord, very close to the outlet, then the cord that lays on the ground is protected. Also, the j1772 connector interrupts the current before it is unplugged, preventing arcing.

Nate
BINGO!
I'd say it's probably 95% safety reasons. With EVSE you have a 1 ft unprotected cord, that sits behind the EVSE and is in very little danger. Then you have 15 ft of J1772 cord that may get stepped on, run over, or cut at any time. If that happens, the EVSE would cut the power immediately.

If you only had a standard cord, it would be left to the breaker (or fuse) to cut the power. Which isn't going to be as effective as all the protection in the EVSE. People could be plugging in to very old electrical systems with little to no protection. The EVSE gives you that protection, and more.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks for all the replies. I was not aware of any of the potential personal electrical hazards that necessitate having the boxy part outside the vehicle. It appeared, to a non-technical person, that the boxy part (that contains the GFCI's etc) could be contained within the car, limiting the owners exposure to theft (who would steal an extension cord, otherwise?). I imagine that there are plenty of VOLT owners who don't lock their cars in garages at their employment, during travels or at home who wish we had a safer way to protect what is an expensive and eminently steal-able piece of necessary equipment for us. Can a locking mechanism be added to the boxy part to loop the cable through to secure it? Can a towing style metal loop be added in the undercarriage near the charging port to secure this locking mechanism to so that we don't have to loop the charging cable end through the spokes of the front wheels, as I've seen in some related posts? It just seems impractical and downright economically ill-thought out that such an expensive piece of equipment is left so vulnerable. Any ideas?
 
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