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Hey all,

Am considering my first purchase of a vehicle with EV capabilities (an outlander phev), and am reading up on potential home chargers.

From mobile phone batteries, I know that only charging to 80% and charging slowly whenever possible is the best way to maximise battery life, and from what I can gather so far from looking about at helpful places such as this is that much the same advice applies to EVs/PHEVs.

I gather that most cars don't report their charge level to the charging unit (even though there is some communication down the charging cable?) so you can't just tell it to charge to 80%, you need to do it by knowing what level you're at and setting a timer manually to deliver the right a amount. A bit of a faff but no big deal.

However, my main question is to do with charging speeds. Are there any chargers that allow you to choose how fast they charge? I'd like to get a 7kw one so that I have the capacity if needed for the future, and so that if I do have to charge quickly I can (though I realise an outlander only runs at 3.6kw on the vehicle side). But given the small battery (compared to a full EV) in the outlander and my small daily commute, I'll only really have to charge every second night unless I do a lot of extra curricular driving, and even then a slow charge at level 1 type speeds will be enough overnight to be ready for the next day, and hopefully going slower for most charges will help prevent a little more degregation.

So are there any chargers that do this, and allow you to control the power/current/speed of the charge being supplied?

Thanks for your help,

Kevin
 

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So are there any chargers that do this, and allow you to control the power/current/speed of the charge being supplied?
Yes.

Regarding the charge limiting some cars can be set to terminate charging at an adjustable % but I don't know if the Outlander has that. (Given the small battery I rather doubt it.)
Non-rapid charging to 100% isn't actually a big deal as long as it's not left like that for a long time. Running down to near 0 is considered more harmful and is more likely done with a PHEV than BEV because there isn't the range anxiety. I think you'd be better charging to 100 before driving off so you are less likely to run the battery below 20%.

Bear in mind that the charging process has some overheads in that some car systems will be active as well as those in the charge-point. So charging for longer at lower rates will use a bit more power than a 'max' rate charge for minimum time.

Point of terminology, the box supplying power to the car is not a charger - it's a charge-point or EVSE ... a glorified contactor. The charger is the thing in the car.
 

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First: Don't fall into the trap of thinking that an Ev battery has the limitations and needs treating like a mobile phone battery.
It is quite OK to charge an EV battery to what the car reports as 100%. For more information see here

Second: Why go for a PHEV and not a BEV?
If you buy a PHEV you are still buying a a polluting ICE vehicle but with a very small battery and limited electric range. You are buying the worst of both worlds. PHEVs will be banned in UK at the same time as ICE vehicles anyway. I believe you should think again and do more research.
 

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Two neighbours own Outlanders and they happily charge from the supplied brick with an external weather proof 13 amp socket. It is true that there is a lot written about charging to 80% and battery longevity. With EVs such as the i3 this can be managed by setting an off peak charging period and a departure time some days later. For example, if a 42kW battery was at 50%, then approximately 2 hours of charging time at 7kWs/hour will give c.80%. Provided that the car's computer calculates that there are enough off-peak periods left to charge to 100%, then the EV will stop its offpeak charge on Night 1 after 2 hours of charging.
 

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Zappi lets you choose both: current and duration. So you can trickle charge and limit the charge level. Although it is a bit costly if you plan to use it for small battery.
3-pin brick (hope you are supplied with one) should allow you to choose current (eg 6amps) so it will be as slow as you get.
 

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Don't worry about it unless you expect to keep the car more than 10 years. Just plug it in and let the battery management system sort itself out.
 
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