My intent with this design is to make a small, simple, portable level 2 charger out of a level 1 charger that can still function as a level 1 charger. I also want it to be fully automated using the EVSE as the control unit, relays, and a GFCI. I'm also keeping the grid protection device in place because I like the idea that the grid stayed up because my car was plugged in.


You will be working with a 220V circuit. All parts used should have a minimum rating greater than or equal to 15AMP and 220VAC. I TAKE NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOU ELECTROCUTING YOURSELF. If you don't have experience with High Voltage/High Current you may not want to do this.  If you do not wire this circuit as it is in the diagram you can damage your car and house and yourself. NEVER WORK ON A HOT (PLUGED IN) CIRCUIT! Do research beyond this article before you start. I take no responsibility for you or your car or any property that may be damaged.  You are responsible for wiring things properly! If you do not know how to work safely, and how to wire things in reference to a schematic do not attempt this.

Step 2: Parts List


Three feet of SJOOW 12/4 wire ($1.49 a foot) totaling:                            $4.47
     (If you are using an extension cord you might want
     to get a length of wire, so that you will no longer
     need to use an extension cord.)
Box of 12-10Heat Shrink Ins Butt Conn :                                                    $5.89
Wall plug box                                                                                              $7.47
12/1 AWG XHHW/THWN $0.17/ft X 2ft                                                      $0.34
NEMA 14-50 plug (standard in newer homes and RV parks):                 $10.95

Total :                                                                                                        $29.12

Step 3: Pulling the Cord

NOTE: I did this a long time ago and did not get pictures so these are a recreation. Drill a small hole in the cork, thread a cork screw in and pull out the cork. Then take out the 6, CR-V3 HEX (This is a 3 mm hex head center hole security bit) head screws out and pop the case apart.

Step 4: Stock 2013 Leaf EVSE, Simple Schematic

Stock 2013 leaf EVSE layout. FDCD stands for Frequency Dependent Charging Device. Note:I doubt this is the way the windings on the coils of the relay are wired, but this is how they behave.

Step 5: Simple Schematic 2013 Leaf EVSE Post Level 2 Upgrade.

2013 EVSE post upgrade. As you can see it's realy just one wire and a plug. FDCD stands for Frequency Dependent Charging Device.

Step 6: Simple Schematic 2013 Leaf EVSE Post Level 2 Upgrade With 110V ADAPTOR Back to Levle 1.

Just undoing step 5. See step 13 for adaptor details

Step 7: Unplug

Remove the screws holding the cord in place, unplug the small square plug, disconnect the tension relief from the EVSE and pull the cord through. Get a 12gauge wire and cut it a foot longer than the cord. Note if you're going to use this outside that 12gauge wire should have a outside rating.A 12 AWG XHHW/THWN would be a good choice.

Step 8: Room for the Wire

Use a trim saw two cut a in small track for a single wire to run through. Just a little groove in the side of the large existing hole, not a new hole.

Step 9: Adding an Extra Wire

Remove the tension reliever from the cord place the singles 12gauge wire parallel to the cord. Apply some wire lube and pulled the tension reliever over the cord and the 12gauge wire, it's a tight fit.

Step 10: Reconnect Wires

Reconnect the will wires, tension relief and wire anchor just as they were when you started.

Step 11: Cut the Red Wire

The best part, I get a say the magic words "cut the red wire". Cut the existing red wire and cap the end coming out of the circuit board. Cut the new red wire to length so that it will but up against the existing red wire. Strip both wires and place into butt connector and crimp. I used a butt connector that has heat shrink tubing built on to it and would recommend that.Use a heat gun to shrink the tubing.

That completes everything inside the box. So put the lid back on the screws back in.

For crimping use a ratcheting crimper.

To strip a multi strand wire use a stripping tool one gage larger than the wire. For example a 12AWG multi strand wire strips with a 10AWG striper.  The number on a stripping tool is for solid wire, multi strand wire is one gage larger.

If some of the strands are cut off when stripping, cut then all off and start over.

Step 12: Keep the Plug

The first thing to note here is that the original cord and plug are kept and are not modified in any way.

The additional wire simply runs parallel to the original cord.

I connect the SJOOW 12/4 wire to a NEMA 14-50 plug And then connect the other end of it to a small self-contained plug. The bottom two panels. When connecting multi strand wires to screw connectors you MUST first connect the multi strand wire to crimp connectors. Do not connect multi strand wires directly to screw connectors. 

The red wire from the SJOOW 12/4 wire Should be butt  crimp connected to the 12/1 AWG XHHW/THWN From the EVSE (Not shown, sorry about that.).

Put the cover back on the NEMA 14-50 plug And the wall plug. Then plug the cord from the EVS see into the wall plug and the NEMA 14-50 plug Into a NEMA 14-50 Outlet.

Note, I then wrapped the whole thing in a cord wrap and wrapped that with a self sealing tape. This is not as aesthetically pleasing as I would like. The fact that the grid protection device is in the plug really forced me to keep plug intact.

Afterthought: it probably wouldn't be a bad idea to add varistors to the 220 V plug as seen in the last part of step 12 of the 3.0. Note the varistorin the EVSE DO NOT need to be removed on the 3.13.

Step 13: 110V ADAPTOR

Warning: This adaptor is only for this unit and should not be used for anything else. The NEMA 14-50 receptacle is wired so that what the NEMA 14-50 plug is plugged in the black goes to black, white goes to red AND white, and green goes to green. The 110v plug is a standard 110V plug with black hot, white return, and green ground.

Step 14:

This is probably the end of the up-grading the EVSE projects (Unless of course they come out with a new EVSE.). I could make it put out more power (amps) but I do not think that would be safe. I could try some three wire 220V configurations; 220V to 20V transformer - extra cost and work, voltage regulate 220V to 110V - extra cost, work and watts, use the ground as a return - Dangerous illegal wiring.   None of these are as good as what I’ve done: the 110V/20V side of the circuit is run off 110V/20V and the 220V is handled by relays capable of handling 220V and the circuit is built for 12AMPS. This upgrade also preserves all of the safety features including, current limiting, surge protection, GFCI, dead wire until connected and grid protection.

Here is a link to an article on how the grid protection works


So what’s next, maybe a charger from scratch, who knows?

If you have any questions please ask.
<p>Dave, I measured the device in the original 110V plug with the two <br>extra yellow wires to be a simple NTC (temperature dependent resistor) <br>to allow the EVSE to cut power when the plug gets too hot (bad contact, <br>plugged into a corroded outlet and so on). As I posted in your other <br>instructable, the frequency dependent charging (power throttling) is a <br>function of the EVSE processor which will measure very accurately the <br>period of the incoming AC line and if it sees a deviation from the <br>nominal frequency, it will modulate the pilot signal to tell the EV to <br>change its current draw and thereby adjust load (EV) to grid conditions.</p><p>The<br> two yellow wires in my EVSE plug are not connected to the incoming AC <br>so they can't measure the AC period accurately, so it is not possible <br>that they are part of an FDR. I measured the resistance between the two <br>wires at room temp to be about 21k Ohm and after a few minutes in the <br>freezer it was 26k so it is an NTC embedded in the plug. replacing it <br>with a 22k resistor and using a 4-wire plug will be the safest upgrade <br>path, also avoiding the kluge with the external 240V wire.</p><p>Hope this clarifies, Cor.</p>
<p>OK, I upgraded mine with a standard NEMA 14-30 dryer cord which was barely able to fit through the original cable gland. It was a hassle to take up the slack in the wire ends by looping them around, but the modification was super-clean, since the only real changes besides the different cord, were only the cut in the red wire on the circuit board and crimping that to the incoming red wire and soldering a 22k resistor in place of the connector for the NTC in the original cord.</p><p>Once the enclosure was back together, there was nothing hinting at a modification of the charger, it simply has a different but still standard appliance cord. I will post pics as soon as I have them downloaded from my phone.</p>
<p>I just managed to open my EVSE, I would like to see your EVSE pictures before I proceed to modify.</p>
Dave, a friend is trying to help me with this conversion. The inside of my box looks totally different though. Can you give me a push in the right direction?<br><br>Thanks,<br>Dave S.<br>
<p>Hi</p><p>Flip it 180 degrees.</p><p>Thanks Dave</p>
<p>Dave,</p><p>My unit has 3 and 4 connectors instead of 3 and 3. The instructions seem to say to cut the wrong color. I am confused. I know this is a 2013 unit but the inside looks unlike anything else I have seen on the net. Any advise.</p><p>Thank You,</p><p>Dave S.</p>
<p>Hi</p><p>Yours looks Exactly like mine. In the picture you sent it is oriented 180&deg; out from the pictures that I have. But it is the exact same unit with three screw connectors and a plug on one side and four screw connectors on the other side. The work is done on the three screw side.</p><p>Thanks Dave</p>
<p>This image is before and after pics of the same side of EVSE, this took a while to notice that.</p><p> <a href="https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FT3/99JR/HRWNBIBM/FT399JRHRWNBIBM.png" rel="nofollow">https://cdn.instructables.com/ORIG/FT3/99JR/HRWNBI...</a></p>
<p>Note there are older instructions that might be better for some people:<a href="https://www.instructables.com/id/CONVERTING-A-LEAF-LEVEL-1-12AMP-CHARGER-TO-A-LEVEL/" rel="nofollow">https://www.instructables.com/id/CONVERTING-A-LEAF...</a></p><p>I used these instructions to make a repair to an already upgraded unit. Water got in, and the 20VAC supply died. I added an external 110V-&gt;9V transformer per the attached picture.</p><p>People wanting a professional repair or upgrade consider http://evseupgrade.com/ though it is expensive.</p>
<p>Dave?</p><p>I have dryer receptable, 3 prongs, nema 10-30.</p><p>do you have instruction to use this instead of nema 14-50?</p>
<p>is it for the 2016 Leaf's plug too?</p>
<p>thank you, it works great</p>
<p>I've been looking for a way to modify circuitry in order to connect directly to a single phase 220V/50Hz line, but seems is not possible, any help?</p>
<p>Hi</p><p>I take it that you are outside the US. So your charger may not be the same. Send me a photo preferably of the inside and we will go from there.</p><div>Thanks Dave</div>
<p>Thanks Dave, Yes I'm in Paraguay and charger is from US 110V, here is a picture. I've been thinking splitting 220V with diodes in order to have 2 semicicles of 110V and use your convertion circuit, but not sure.</p>
<p>Just to make sure we are on the same page you have a type E plug?</p><p>And what year Leaf?</p><p>Thanks Dave</p>
<p>Plug is B type and Leaf is 2013. (imported from the States).</p><p>Thanks</p>
<p>I made this over a year ago and it was working AWESOME. Until, about two weeks ago I started getting a &quot;fault&quot; error and it would actually drain the battery when hooked up. My trickle charger still works, but not the amazing one you helped me build. And ideas?</p>
<p>HI</p><p>send me a picture of your out side setup and then pop it open and send me a picture of the inside. If I can see it I'm sure I can help you fix it.</p><p>Thanks Dave</p>
You are awesome! But, lol, i found a 6k on ebay for 450, so i ponied up the cash. But thank you again for your instuctable and a full year of fast charging!!!
<p>Thanks Dave!</p><p>I've been reading your instructions several times over the last few weeks and finally took the plunge today.</p><p>As you can see in the pics I used a slightly different approach. My end is an L14-20 so that I can make up a set of &quot;adapters&quot; for different types of outlets. I even made up a 120v end that twists right on. </p><p>For a box I used a standard wall box (blue plastic) and an inexpensive ($3.47@ WallyWorld) outdoor cover. Still more bulky than I'd like, but I don't plan on dragging this one around; it will be mounted semi-permanently in the garage as we have a charger at work. </p><p>Again, a big THANK YOU for taking the time to write this up and post it!! </p>
<p>Hi</p><p>A little clunky but I like it.</p><p>Thanks Dave </p>
<p>Hello,</p><p>I am new to this forum. I have a Chevy Volt and been using a<br>Leaf level 1 charge adapter that I bought on eBay over a year ago for the convenience<br>of leaving my Volt level 1 charger at home. I would like now to modify my Leaf<br>charger to a level two. I have reviewed the IEEE specifications for theses type<br>of car chargers. I have noticed that there is a handshaking protocol that<br>requires the charger to tell the car what kind of charger adapter it is connected<br>to, and how much is the Max power the car can draw from the charger adapter.<br>This is done by a &ldquo;Pilot signal&rdquo; sent from the charger adapter to the car. This<br>connection is shown in your schematics but I don&rsquo;t see any mention of it in<br>your modification.</p><p>Can you or anyone reading this explain how just bumping up<br>the voltage is all that is needed without changing/modifying the Pilot signal<br>to tell the cat it is now OK to draw more power? Is there something I am<br>missing? Has anyone tried this modified adapter on a Chevy Volt?</p><p>Thank you </p>
<p>Hi</p><p>The handshaking protocol tell the car how many amps to draw not how much power to draw. So if we double the volts we double the watts. I would not recommend changing the handshake it is unsafe.</p><p>Thanks Dave </p>
<p>I just built mine tonight and hooked it up to my Volt. Worked great! My wife has a Leaf, so it was actually her EVSE that was modified. </p><p>Did a similar modification to my factory Volt EVSE about a year ago and it has been flawless. </p>
<p>The handshake tell the car how many Amps to draw not how many watts to draw. So we leave that alone. We double the voltage at the same Amperage thus doubling the wattage and cutting the charge time in half.</p><p>I have not looked at one, pop it open and send me a picture. </p><p>Thanks Dave </p>
<p>Dave H,</p><p>Just wanted to let you know you have another satisfied customer. I just finished doing the evse upgrade and it is working just fine. I would not have been willing to try this on my own but the information you have provided gave me the confidence to do it.</p><p>Thanks</p>
Hi<br><br>You're welcome, I'm glad I could help.<br><br>Thanks Dave
<p>Hello,</p><p>I am new to this site. My purpose in joining was to find out about converting my 2015 nissan leaf level 1 charger to a level 2 charger. I have read through posts listed here going back 2 years. Are the instructions given applicable to the 2015 charger?</p><p>Thanks,</p><p>Jim</p>
Hi<br><br>Yes:)<br><br>Thanks Dave
<p>It definitely still charges the car. So that's great. I can't tell if it's charging any faster though. Is there a definitive display that will tell me that it is going 240v 3.6kw?</p>
<p>DERP! The car display shows it. Now that I got the wiring and ground all correct.</p>
Good!<br><br>Thanks Dave
Would it be possible to use a Nema 10-30 (standard dryer plug) instead of building an adapter?
<p>I don't know how safe it was, but I did use a 3 prong dryer plug initially.<br><br>One hot, and the middle (nuetral) went to the 110v wall plug. From the ground on the wall plug, I ran to a water pipe. I know it's the wrong way. It gave me the full 240V though.<br><br>It also shocked my son when he tried to unplug it, and plug in the dryer. So I changed to a 4 prong, and went direct to the breaker box.</p>
<p>I'm really interested in the answer to this question also. I'll get a picture of how I did it, but I can't tell any noticeable difference in the speed of the charge.<br><br>I wonder if maybe it's because I have the &quot;neutral&quot; cable connected to the return side of the wall box. AND to the ground. (that was necessary to get it to work at all). </p><p> Would that be messing with the circuit so that it ends up only drawing 120V?</p>
<p>NM, ended up wiring my garage for 240V/40A.</p>
<p>i have double checked my wiring several times. but I'm still getting a ground fault blinking green then when i plug the car in i get a solid green but a blinking red or fault i think.but it just won't work</p>
<p>Try checking the socket. if that doesn't work send me some pictures.</p>
<p>I had the blinking green power light also.<br><br>I'm using a 3 prong NEMA10-30 instead of the 4 pronged NEMA 14-50 that is explained in this tutorial. (I had one laying around and I'm cheap).<br><br>Reading that the middle is neutral and not ground, gave me the idea that I should 'ground' it on the Green screw of the wall box from this lesson. The car still reads that it's only charging at 120V though.<br><br>Did my change cause it to not draw the full 220V?</p>
<p>The Green Blinking seems to indicate there is no ground. If you use a 3 wire dryer plug the center plug is neutral not ground. I had this problem and temperately jumped the ground from the charger to neutral in the adapter box. This is not a long term fix. </p>
<p>The schematic of the Panasonic EVSE does not show what is inside the GFCI or Control boxes. When you run the EVSE with this modification, the Control continues to see 120V so would not see any difference = good. The GFCI box now sees 240V. Are there any components like varistors or other protection devices inside the GFCI box that would now see the 240V and be at risk. For example, a varistor intended for 120V protection would fire and possibly be destroyed by seeing 240V? What do you mean that 3.13 does not need the varistors changed. Is this a model month and year? Where there earlier models that need new varistors? Do you have a complete schematic showing components inside the control and GFCI boxes. Does anything such as the 120V to 20V transformer see the 240V? What is the contact rating on the relays? Will it safely support 240V? The FDCD wires from the control box leave the control box and appear to go through the cable to the 120V plug. How are they wired and and what is their purpose? They appear to be the yellow wires that have a plug inside the EVSE. They do not show up in your photos of the plug wiring. Where do they go? </p><p>Nice project but there are a few missing details that would be helpful.</p><p>thanks</p>
<p>If your are going to ask more than 5 questions please number then.</p><p>Q1)The schematic of the Panasonic EVSE does not show what is inside the GFCI or Control boxes. When you run the EVSE with this modification, the Control continues to see 120V so would not see any difference = good. The GFCI box now sees 240V. Are there any components like varistors or other protection devices inside the GFCI box that would now see the 240V and be at risk. </p><p>A1)No the GFCI is run off of 120v and it see the current off of the 240v. If current in dose not = current out it trips.</p><p>Q2) For example, a varistor intended for 120V protection would fire and possibly be destroyed by seeing 240V?</p><p>A2) The 120v varistor are conected to 120v and I have you add varistors for the 240v.</p><p>Q3)What do you mean that 3.13 does not need the varistors changed</p><p>A3)Yes the 2011 and 2012 were diferent see the instructables I posted on them.</p><p>Q4)Do you have a complete schematic showing components inside the control and GFCI boxes. Does anything such as the 120V to 20V transformer see the 240V?</p><p>A4)No</p><p>Q5)What is the contact rating on the relays?</p><p>A5) I've already posted an answer to that one why don't you read the threads and find the answer your self.</p><p>Q6)The FDCD wires from the control box leave the control box and appear to go through the cable to the 120V plug.</p><p>A6)To the plug not the AC or Ground.</p><p>Q7) How are they wired and and what is their purpose?</p><p>A7) They are a safety device read thread. </p><p>Q8)They appear to be the yellow wires that have a plug inside the EVSE. They do not show up in your photos of the plug wiring.</p><p>A8)They are in the photos, they are left in place. they not modified in any way. See thread. I've already posted an answer to that one.</p>
<p>I enlisted the help of my father on this one as he is an Electrical Engineer. It took us about an hour and a half and it worked perfectly. Thanks for putting this Instructable together. It saved me $250.</p>
I'm glad to hear that it is getting used.<br><br>Thanks Dave
<p>Hello Dave H</p><p>Great Job!:</p><p>safe, clever, simple , very clear instructions</p><p>Thank you for sharing </p><p>One of the best set of instructions I ever saw</p>
<p>Dave,</p><p>I just joined this forum with the express purpose of asking about using an APC UPS (208 volt single phase output - well controlled!) in conjunction with my 48 volt (nominal) DC off-grid solar system to power the modified EVSE charger. More careful reading indicates your modifications require both 120 volt phase of our standard split phase household electricity to work properly. </p><p>I just purchased a used 2012 Leaf and want to charge at the higher voltage with my off-grid system, and would modify the OEM charger to do so. I have about 12-20 KWHrs per day and have a 2700 watt inverter. Can charge with grid power if required - just want to use my &quot;solar&quot; when possible. Any suggestions?</p><p>Mark</p>
<p>Can confirm, this works great! It was a bit of a challenge wrestling all the wires, but it works like a charm. The car reads it as 3.3 240V. None of the wires get hot. I'm going to 3d print an enclosure, and it's good to go. </p>
<p>Unfortunately this has been tried before, although you can put 240V into the EVSE there are components that are not designed for 240V that WILL fail, sometimes immediately and sometimes down the road depending on your house voltage, conditions and luck but they will ultimately fail. People that have already tried this have had their units blown and Nissan will not warranty them. When this happens the failure is catastrophic and a significant fire hazard. This has already been documented and anyone attempting this should be made aware or of the high potential fire hazard. </p>
<p><a rel="nofollow">Hi</a></p><p>I&rsquo;m curious would you say that &ldquo;EVSE Upgrade&rdquo; conversion is unsafe <br>for the same reason?</p><p>Fortunately, my design takes the most conservative approach to <br>solving this problem. If you read the conversations on the 3.0 or look at the <br>schematic you will see that the control side of this circuit is still fed by <br>110 V and that the switching side of the relays are the only component feeding 220 <br>V. and in the conversation you will also read that anyone can just look at the <br>relay and read the specifications off the side of the relay. Where the relay itself <br>documents a 250 V capability. So the only component getting 220 V is <br>self-documenting that it can handle more than 220 V.</p><p>I could not help but notice that you have not contributed anything <br>to the instructables community. And that this is the only comment you&rsquo;ve ever <br>made on anything. It is almost as if you opened an account solely for this <br>purpose, as if my showing people how easy it is to upgrade without having to pay <br>someone a large sum of money to do so, causes you some distress. After all this site is about showing people <br>how to do it then selves, how to help other people make things, not to try to <br>sell then things. If you have something to add to the &ldquo;Help people make things&rdquo; <br>conversation, please do so. </p><p>Thanks Dave</p>

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