Clipper Creek Introduces Smaller, Cheaper, More Portable 240-Volt Charging Unit

By · September 18, 2013

Clipper Creek LCS-25P

Clipper Creek LCS-25P

You want to buy an electric vehicle but you’re renting your place? You don’t want to pay to have a home charger hardwired into an abode that you don’t own? Or maybe you are thinking about moving sometime soon? Then, Clipper Creek has a home EV charger it says is for you: the just-released LCS-25P.

The LCS-25P plugs into a 240-volt home outlet. “It installs in a matter of minutes if you have the outlet available,” Will Barrett, inside sales manager at Clipper Creek told PluginCars.com. “Put the four screws on the wall, hang the box, and plug it in.”

The 20-amp Level 2 home charger includes a 25-ft cord and sells for $549. That includes a three-year warranty. Clipper Creek developed it “based on market feedback and demand,” said Barrett.

The latest edition to the Clipper Creek lineup is a reconfiguration of an existing product, the LCS-25, which must be hardwired. The main limitation of the LCS-25P is power delivery, said Barrett. It will charge most electric vehicles overnight, but a bit slower. It wouldn’t make any difference for model years 2011 and 2012 Nissan LEAF, because the onboard charger for those cars is rated at 3.3 kilowatts. For the 2013 model year, and any other EV with a 6.6 kW charger, the amount of range added in an hour would be around 15 or 16 miles—rather than 23 to 25 miles that could occur with a charger rated for 30 amps.

Most drivers charge overnight, so it wouldn’t make any difference. The LCS-25P putting out 4.8 kilowatts would take about five hours to fully charge a Nissan LEAF from empty to full—while a 6.6-kW pull would take around three and a half hours. The differences would have more impact on a vehicle with a much larger battery, like the Tesla Model S.

Why So Big?

Like the LCS-25, the LCS-25P is small, measuring just 11 in. x 4 in. x 3 in. That’s significantly smaller than the home-charging units of competitors such as Aerovironment. “Clipper Creek engineers have been building charging stations for electric vehicles since the mid-1990s,” said Barrett. “We have figured out how to shrink it all down.”

How do competitors measure up, literally? They are larger, but also more powerful. With a 20-amp charger, Clipper Creek strikes “a balance between as much power as we can fit into the small package and the cost,” said Barrett.
Barrett defended the slightly longer charging times as a very good trade for the smaller size. “People charge overnight and the difference between four and five hours is not that big.”

Competition from other established manufacturers include:

  • Aerovironment’s EVSE-RS 30-amp home charging station measures 12 in. X 12 in. X 8 in. and sells for $999, including a 20 ft. cord. It must be hardwired into your electrical system.
  • Bosch’s Power Max 30-amp. charger measures 16 in. x 14 in. 5 in. It costs $593 with an 18 ft. cord and $749 with a 25 ft. cord. It also must be hardwired. It includes a three-year warranty if installed by a Bosch certified electrician. Otherwise the warranty is one-year.

Or compare the Clipper Creek LCS-25P to one of the several inexpensive aftermarket or DIY options, including the popular offerings from EVSEupgrade.

Comments

· · 1 year ago

Of course, the problem here is finding a dryer outlet nearby , or having the landlord install one for you. It would be interesting to see how many landlords as a rule would be willing to install one on your meter, or less likely, Their meter. If all you need is 16 amps, you might be better with a Voltec or Bosch PowerMax 16 amp, and install your own attachment plug, or have a knowledgeable friend do it for you (both need a 20 amp 208/230 air conditioner outlet).

· · 1 year ago

This still seems like a Canadian Product primarily since Canada's primary appliance circuit is 25 amps, which is all this product needs.. SunCountryHighway.CA is the rebranded Canadian Branded unit. This unit used to be on sale, but now is back to the normal price (LCS-25) without a plug (you have to provide your own attachment plug) for $CAN 599.

"....The differences would have more impact on a vehicle with a much larger battery, like the Tesla Model S. ...."

Model S buyers dont need this unit, since it just plugs into a Range or RV outlet directly. They won't sell you a Model S without a Universal Mobile Connector (unlike my Roadster which I bought without purchasing anything other than an adapter).

· · 1 year ago

I think most people who own a home with a garage have a suitable outlet. But it might be difficult to find such a plug in a rental unit. And though I didn't emphasize it enough (in my opinion), the real advantage to this charger is no need to hard wire it. The size is the same as an existing Clipper Creek charger which must be hardwired.

· · 1 year ago

This is the RV outlet plug?

Damn. We bought our Clipper Creek charger a bit soon, it seems.

· · 1 year ago

I have small problem for which I am finding no solution. I do have a dryer outlet in
my garage and this EV charger will fit there perfectly. I am currently using 120V with
my Volt that takes 9.5 hrs to charge and could use some faster charging. However,
the dryer outlet does have the dryer plug. The dryer is used for about 6 hrs on the
weekends. Switching the 2 plugs frequently will doom the outlet as those plugs
are not designed for frequent plugs and unplugs. What I need is a 240V outlet
replicator with a switch for mutual exclusion. I am not sure if this is even legal according
to code. Could someone please enlighten. A dedicated 240V line means a conduit from
my panel to garage which is > $1000.

· · 1 year ago

I thought I read that a plug-in 240V charger was not allowed. I guess that is wrong? Perhaps the amps allowed are limited?

· · 1 year ago

This is the same unit as the LCS-25. I have one and I put a L6-20 plug on it and has been using it for over a year and it works great. I have another L6-20r to 6-20p adapter cable to plug in elsewhere.

The hardwired LCS-25 is only rated for 4.8KW and I think the derating to 3.3KW is mostly due to the plug and the wire between the plug and the unit.

Either way, it is great portable unit. Way cheaper than the EVSE upgrade.

@igh,

Do a search online and I believe someone has installed a "legal" bypass switch on his dryer wiring so there are two plugs on the wall where only 1 can be powered at any given time. The guy has the original LCS-25 hardwired to one side and dryers to the other. All he does is to switch between the two plugs without any hard removal of the plug.

Also, if you worry about the plugs, I use them daily and after about 1 year and it seems to be fine. Changing out the outlets and plug won't cost more than $20 in parts....

· · 1 year ago

@igh

The CC unit is available in either a 3 prong cordset (old dryers) or a 4 prong cordset (new dryers). Have a friend make up a '2 fer' adapter with 2 outlets if you are wary of plugging in and plugging out all the time.,

@Spec

The following manufacturers make cord and plug connected EVSE's

Welder Plug: (30 or 40 amp EVSE's) (3 prong 50 amp) (250 volts only)

Leviton 400, and 320, and 300.
GE Wattstation
Siemens (soon to be discontinued)
Aerovironment.

New range outlet (4 prong 50 amps ), also sometimes called a recreational vehicle outlet.

Tesla Roadster Universal Mobile Connector ($1500 for roadster)
Tesla Model S (included with the car).

Large electric heater or large Room AC Outlet (30 amp 3 prong) (250 volt only)

SPX 'Brick'... (limited to 24 amps).

New or old dryer outlets (3 or 4 prong) 30 amps 125/250 volt

LCS25P CC or SunCountryHighway (you must supply the attachment plugs for the canadian model currenty, although its assumed SCH will also sell the lcs25p soon enough).

· · 1 year ago

Also, the 16 amp plugin units (Leviton 160 and lookalikes) plug into a 3 prong 250 volt 20 amp semi-large room Air Conditioning (as opposed to huge, which would then be the 30 amp above).outlet.

· · 1 year ago

Spec, the 2014 update to the National Electrical Code (NEC) makes it explicitly permissible to power an EVSE with a plug and cord up to 32 amps, if I recall. The EVSE must still be mounted on the wall. Above 32 amps it must be hardwired. If I recall, above 50 amps there must also be a disconnect nearby.

Before the 2014 NEC, the language was unclear but some manufacturers argued the point successfully and got UL listing for plug and cord powered EVSE at 240 volts, Leviton is an example.

I think the 2014 NEC will be published around November. Unfortunately, the cord into the wall outlet is still required to be very short, unlike in Europe. The idea being that if someone does leave it on the floor, a short cord makes it less likely that you can run it over.

· · 1 year ago

I don't understand why the NEC is all worrying about the 240V. It is only 240V if you measure between the two phase (or 208V on a 3 phase). Unlike Europe and Asia, where the lines are actually 230V+ to the ground. Here, each hot wire is only 120V to ground and only 240V between them....

We just need a better plug and better wiring requirement....

· · 1 year ago

You can..like others have done is add a plug and pigtail to any EVSE (Aerovironment and the VOLTEC/BOSCH before the plug in models were available people made plug-in homemade versions of them)...just keep in mind safety to not lay cords on ground ear water sources and outside recepticals have covers and gaskets to reduce moisture.

Its an excellent small package, about the size of the Panasonic EVSE and can easily be stored. I'm debating on getting one of these guys to leave in my trunk.

If the plug doesn't fit...adapters can be made or purchase pre-made ones online

· · 1 year ago

I have the wired version of this charger that simply wired a plug to and it works great. Even outdoors in the driving rain we got in Colorado recently it has been perfect. I actually use the portable feature of this a lot because my work has access to a 240V outlet so I just take it with me on my commute (33 miles each way in a volt). That and I got it for $325 new on ebay and I am really happy with it.

· · 1 year ago

I don't know where you guys get all that information. 50 amp branch circuits have been legal in US homes for 80 years. The Leviton 400 draws 40 amps on a plug. So its more than 32 amps.

· · 1 year ago

@jamcL3

The point of the short cord is to avoid having anything electrical lower than 18" in a garage containing gasoline. All Gas appliances have to have the burner at least at an 18" elevation and no cords can spark below this distance.

Most ev cords and J1772 connectors can be successfully driven over.

· · 1 year ago

to igh, you should be able to buy a transfer switch and a second outlet so that the dryer can remain plugged. I don't know the code in your area though. The transfer switch would eliminate the possibility of both plugs drawing power at the same time.

· · 1 year ago

Thank you for your help. I was finally able to get the info I was looking for but it requires some DIY which I think I should be able to handle. I am sure this is not allowed by local code but the procedure seems entirely safe to me. I plan to do this project during my company's year end shutdown. In the meantime l will gather the parts and the charger from Clipper Creek. My wife currently achieves 90% EV in the Volt at 120V charging.
With this contraption I hope to push it to 95%. Here is the link:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?9599-Low-Cost-DIY-SPX-L2-EVSE-Pl...

· · 1 year ago

Thanks for all the responses. I thought something must have changed. I guess the code was a bit ambiguous at first but now manufacturers are going ahead.

· · 1 year ago

@igh, glad you found my link :) I was going to post it but now no need. That setup worked great for me and a few others who have copied it. Good luck!

· · 1 year ago

I purchased this Clipper Creek LCS-25P with the L6-30 plug prewired for my Chevy Volt:

http://stores.buyevse.com/-strse-27/Charging-Station--fdsh--LCS-dsh-25P%...

I am waiting for an electrician estimate on installing an F6-30 outlet in my garage and externally at my ex-wife's house.

In the meantime, I purchased the 10-30/50 & 14-30/50/60 adapters from EVSEAdapters.com for maximum flexibility when I travel:

http://www.evseadapters.com/adapters-for-nissan-leaf.php

· · 1 year ago

Thank you Joule Theif for your detailed post and instructions.I was able to repeat your procedure. However, I am not as handy as you and it took me a whole 6 hours of trial
and error to do it. The most difficult part was to connect the six 10 gauge wires to the
DPDT switch. They were all pulling at different directions and it was tough. I received
the Clipper Creek charger yesterday and everything is working smoothly. It cost me
a total of $800 with the charger. The IRS gives back 30% and I sold the trickle charger on Ebay for $300. So for $250 I got a 240V charger. The Volt is now charging at 10 miles per hour instead of 4. :) . I feel that with the increased use of EVs and with many people having 240V dryer ports in their garage, there is an idea for an integrated product here but
it requires some changes in the electrical code.

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