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EV Charging Port Locations

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 6:42 am
by JoeS
Thought I'd separate and put this somewhat controversial topic on the table, and I put it into this Other Electric Vehicles subforum as it may be a consideration when buying the next BEV.

Let me reiterate why, in countries which drive on the right, IMO the right rear is preferable for a charging port over all other configurations. I was happy to see it there on the upcoming VW ID.4, and continue to be dismayed by the number of companies following GM's lead of having the charging port on the left side of the car.

Whereas I agree that a charging port on the front of the car (e.g. Leaf, Kia, Hyundai Kona EV) is also very good, a consideration for front charging ports is their vulnerability to the common front/rear fender-bender accidents..

HOME GARAGE PARKING

No matter where the charging port is located, it behooves us to locate the EVSE charging cord very close to that charging port to minimize the amount of time it takes to plug the car in - after all, we do this hundreds of times a year. A bonus is if the cord is short and doesn't touch the floor then we don't have to coil it back up and get our hands dirty.

Even if we have large garages, it is nice to have as wide a passageway alongside the car or between cars as possible. Thus, if we park on the right side of the garage going in forward we place the car really close to the right wall and have plenty of room to open the driver's door. Conversely, if we back into the garage, unless we need something that's against the wall, it's a good idea to park up against the left wall of the garage, for the same reason.

With the i-MiEV, I consider the ideal location for the EVSE to be on the right wall of the garage, close to the main door. This allows us to meet the above two criteria by driving in forward, with the added bonus of being able to uncoil the J1772 cable and charge a car outside the garage.

Left Side Charging Port Problem In Home Garage

A charge port located on the left side of the vehicle is poor because, if we park on the left side of the garage going in forward, since we need to leave about three feet so we can open the door we thus need at least a 6-8-foot charging cord stretching from the wall to the car. With the port located in front of the door, this charging cord now also blocks our forward exit.

With the the port located on the left side of the vehicle, if we park going in forward on the right side of the garage we have the problem of dragging a cord around either the back or front of the car, and the plug protrudes into our passageway.

Ditto if we back into the garage, with the same problems whichever side we choose.

IMO, the port on the left side of a car sucks as I have that issue with my Tesla (port located on left rear side by taillight) which is always plugged in when parked in my garage. That darn handle sticks out and seriously blocks a narrow passageway and I'm always concerned about snagging and damaging it. My friends' Bolts (port located on left side in front of door) always seem to need very long (and dirty) charging cables dragged over to them which they never bother coiling and just leave dumped on the ground. :cry:

Front Port in Home Garage

A charging port located in the front of the car is fine when going in forward and park against the right wall or all the way forward against the back wall of the garage, or backing in on the left side of the garage and the charging station located near the front of the garage with the benefits mentioned above, as minimal cable needs to be unwound in order to plug the car in (yet still needs about 3' more unwound than needed for the i-MiEV).

As has been mentioned elsewhere, a solution to a lot of these problems is to have a drop-down charging cable from the ceiling, epitomized as shown in this video: http://myimiev.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=1170&start=10#p35092

CURBSIDE CHARGING

The charge port being on the right side of the car allows a curbside charging cord to reach it easily and unobtrusively.

A charging port on the left side of the vehicle is very poor in my opinion for curbside charging because we have to drag the cord around either the front or back of the car and the plug protrudes out into traffic and could possibly be snagged by a bicyclist. Also, as I found out the hard way with my Tesla, the cord from the curbside charging station doesn't necessarily reach the left rear corner of the car where its charging port is located (happily, I carry a J1772 extension with me, primarily in case a charging station is ICE'd).

PUBLIC CHARGING STATIONS

Yes, the front charging port location is best for most of the stations, as most people are used to driving in forward. I happen to be a strong advocate of back-in parking, so the i-MiEVs right rear location of the charging port works equally well, IMO. I did almost get a ticket at an angled parking spot on a busy street that I nimbly backed into, because the policeman didn't like the way that my car was now facing traffic at an angle. I couldn't resist telling him that I now had an unobstructed view of oncoming traffic for a safe departure. We parted company on friendly terms as I showed him the charge port location constraint and the short cable on the charging station.

Flamesuit on. :)

Re: EV Charging Port Locations

Posted: Tue Feb 09, 2021 7:03 am
by Don
I agree ours is pretty good where it is - If it was center front like some other cars, it would be very inconvenient form us as we have 4 cars in our garage, but only 2 garage doors, so there's 2 on one side and 2 on the other and the front two are all the way in, up against the wall which would make charging those cars very difficult and then we leave a walk thru space between the front ones and the back ones to get to the laundry room, so charging the rear car would have the EVSE plug sticking out front where we'd be bumping into it carrying laundry baskets in and out

The only time I'd prefer it front and center is charging away from home because it would be much easier and not require backing in as you say, but then with 3 iMiEV's over the past 9 years, we've charged away from home only twice . . . . and we really didn't need any charge then. Once was at the mall and once was at a baseball game and the charge location was a handy, close parking space so we didn't have to walk quite so far . . . . :lol:

Don