We continue our mini series about used components, today with chargers. Chargers are needed to charge the battery of your conversion at home or at so called level-2 charging stations that provide AC power. So they convert 230V AC to typically 300 to 400V DC.
There are a number of second hand chargers that have been reverse engineered and can therefore be used.
Let’s start with perhaps the most popular one, the 2nd generation charger from the Tesla Model S and X.
Tesla Gen2/Gen3 charger
The Tesla charger contains 3 x 3.5 kW modules in one enclosure. They can be connected to pull all power from 1-phase AC or they each can be connected to its own phase of a 3-phase AC outlet. The former is common place in the US and the latter in most of the EU. All modules combined will charge your battery with roughly 10 kW.
A quick search on ebay reveals prices in the upper 3-digit range. Some can be had for 150€ – but beware! These units come from Teslas super charger stations and use a differing communication protocol that has not been reverse engineered. The Gen3 chargers don’t seem to exist in this variant though.
The Nissan Leaf charger comes as part of the so called drive stack. So this charger is quite attractive if you use the Nissan Leaf drive train anyway. It sports a 3.3 kW, sometimes 6.6 kW charger plus a 1.7 kW DC/DC converter. Stand alone use is a bit clumsy as you need to manually bolt it to the bus bars and make the connection water tight.
The only downside: the stack is quite tall, so especially when bolting the motor to your existing transmission it is likely that you can’t close the hood. When sticking with Nissan’s original diff the drive stack sits lower and might fit.
As mentioned in a previous post the typical price for the tower is about 1,200 €.
Mitsubishi iMiev/Outlander charger
For its compactness this is also a popular choice. It offers a 3.3 kW charger plus a 1.5 kW DC/DC converter in one box. The charging speed is low but good enough for many use cases. As compact as the enclosure is the price. These can be had for around 200€.
The Chevy Volt chargers didn’t make it into this article as they are not widely used and not widely available. Should you get ahold of one, you can still use it with the information provided in openinverters charger section.
Check back there frequently as new chargers are being reverse engineered. Currently, there is a whole range of VW chargers, from 1-phase 3 kW to 3-phase 11 kW on Damiens bench.