Do I need to run new 400 amp service in my house for the Lightning + everything else?

rjhedrich

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I have my early reservations fo the lighting and doing some pre planning for charging. i live in southern Nevada and I have a 200 amp service in my house. I have pool , 2 ac and most of house is electric. I have solar panels on house that provide more power than I use each day. So where the problem is that I have only at most 40 amp left. If I am correct the Ford charger is 80 amp . If this correct I would need to run a new 400 amp service which will cost me $15,000. I am asking if I am seeing this correctly.
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biers

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Not an electrician. But as I understand it your limit is 200A from the grid. If you are pulling more than that at anyone time, you would need to upgrade. Don’t add up your breakers, add up what actual draw would be if both ACs were running pool heater, dryer and the car is charging.
 

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Not an electrician. But as I understand it your limit is 200A from the grid. If you are pulling more than that at anyone time, you would need to upgrade. Don’t add up your breakers, add up what actual draw would be if both ACs were running pool heater, dryer and the car is charging.
You should check the electrical code as that will probably limit what you can put in the box before the actual loads. If you have natural gas in the house, it might be cheaper to switch over a couple of appliances to gas than pulling a 400amp service in. Look at changing out the oven, stove and dryer as they are big hitters. The solar panels won’t make any difference because all your service runs through the breaker box.

Remember that you have 200 amps at 208v or 200amps on both phases. I would guess that the Ford charger is 40 amps at 208.
 

xtraman122

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You should check the electrical code as that will probably limit what you can put in the box before the actual loads. If you have natural gas in the house, it might be cheaper to switch over a couple of appliances to gas than pulling a 400amp service in. Look at changing out the oven, stove and dryer as they are big hitters. The solar panels won’t make any difference because all your service runs through the breaker box.

Remember that you have 200 amps at 208v or 200amps on both phases. I would guess that the Ford charger is 40 amps at 208.
No, the charger pulls a full 80A at 220v/240v, they get installed with 100A breakers (To keep with the NEC max 80% utilization).
 

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No, the charger pulls a full 80A at 220v/240v, they get installed with 100A breakers (To keep with the NEC max 80% utilization).
I stand corrected, that’s going to be rough with 200A service.
 

xtraman122

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I stand corrected, that’s going to be rough with 200A service.
Yeah it's a pretty huge load for most residential installations. People with older wiring and a 100A panel are completely SOL. Most with 200A will have capacity and cut it close, but I for example for 2 bays left in my 200A panel, and would be heavily oversubscribed if I were to fill those with 100A breakers for a charger.

No gas where I live so I have an electric range (50A), well (30A), 2 heat pumps/ACs (One at 30A, one at 25A), dryer (30A), and hot water heater (30A) all at 240v. Would be interested to see if the 200A main would take it or not... Won't be looking for an EV for another 3 or 4 years most likely, but it's already on my mind.

What will be most interesting is when people try to install 2 chargers. Sounds excessive now, but picture having 3 or 4 cars in a household when there are 2 adults plus some teens with cars, and in 10 years or so it won't be that out of the ordinary for all of those to be EVs. That'll be 160A of constant pull just from those two running concurrently.
 

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Couldn't you just set the Ford to charge at night and put a timer on the pool pumps so they don't run all night? Not only would you not have pool pumps running but less likely to have a lot of other stuff on at night while you are sleeping.
 

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First, you don’t have to charge at 80 amps. It can be lower if you choose, unless you drive 300 miles every day. Second you can get load splitters which will prioritize which item gets the load.

Also check with your power company as there may be other options such as a 320 amp service up grade. Or you may be able to install a separate 100 amp service for the charger.
 

astricklin

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What will be most interesting is when people try to install 2 chargers. Sounds excessive now, but picture having 3 or 4 cars in a household when there are 2 adults plus some teens with cars, and in 10 years or so it won't be that out of the ordinary for all of those to be EVs. That'll be 160A of constant pull just from those two running concurrently.
I would imagine someone will make, if it isn't already available, an evse with two connections. It could then be programmed to either charge one vehicle then the other, or charge both simultaneously at half the rate.
 

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It's also worthy to note Ford does not recommend fully charging the battery daily, they recommend to maintain the battery between 20-90% for daily use so you won't be charging it all the time. Just to top it up for road trips.

If you keep it charged at 100% all the time you won't benefit from regenerative braking.
 

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I would imagine someone will make, if it isn't already available, an evse with two connections. It could then be programmed to either charge one vehicle then the other, or charge both simultaneously at half the rate.
There are several chargers that facilitate circuit sharing among 2 or more chargers of the same brand.
 

blkZ28spt

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Biggest thing I figured, already mentioned, charge the vehicle overnight. Don't use your (electric) stove, oven, clothes dryer, curling iron, hair dryer, toaster, etc, at night while car is charging. Golden.

A/C doesn't even draw that much after the compressor is going.

If you want/have to charge during the day, maybe avoid cooking with electric appliances with the A/C running while also trying to max out your EV charge amps

When I hook up a backup generator to my transfer switch and run just about everything other than the above list (and other than A/C) while watching the wattage meter...I realize...you can run a lot of stuff with not a lot of power so long as you avoid the resistive (spelling) heating elements, and A/C. Not even refrigerator/freezer uses much at all.
 
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Blainestang

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What will be most interesting is when people try to install 2 chargers. Sounds excessive now, but picture having 3 or 4 cars in a household when there are 2 adults plus some teens with cars, and in 10 years or so it won't be that out of the ordinary for all of those to be EVs. That'll be 160A of constant pull just from those two running concurrently.
Some people will do this, for sure, but for most use cases it’s incredibly overkill.

That’s 38.4kW total. Overnight, 10 hours, you could add 384kWh, which is enough energy to charge a Lightning ER, two Mach E ERs, and a Nissan Leaf ALL from 0% to 100% in one night.
 

GarageMahal

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I have my early reservations fo the lighting and doing some pre planning for charging. i live in southern Nevada and I have a 200 amp service in my house. I have pool , 2 ac and most of house is electric. I have solar panels on house that provide more power than I use each day. So where the problem is that I have only at most 40 amp left. If I am correct the Ford charger is 80 amp . If this correct I would need to run a new 400 amp service which will cost me $15,000. I am asking if I am seeing this correctly.
I suspect 200 amp service will be plenty. As mentioned before, adding up the breakers you have doesn't indicate actual concurrent load. Do you have any way to monitor the peak energy used during a day?

I also have two AC units and a pool but live in a very different climate. We do also have solar which produces more than we use and provides detailed monitoring of production and usage. The highest usage we have had is just under 11kw which works out to about 45 amps at 240V.

It's a good question and deserves advice from someone more qualified than me but personally I am not worried about the capacity of our 200 amp service.
 

shutterbug

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The highest usage we have had is just under 11kw which works out to about 45 amps at 240V.
That's about what a typical 48A charger draws all by itself. Reading through Mustang Mach-E forum, there are a number of people who got 40A or 48A charger and chose to dial down the rate of charge for one of two reasons:
  1. They felt the car makes too much noise keeping the battery cool during the hot summer months and annoys them or their neighbors. Seems like a bigger problem in Europe, so not a concern for F150 Lightning buyers
  2. Some have electric utility with a 24X7 demand charge pricing. That increases overall electric bill.
 
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