Introduction: (3.13)CONVERTING a 2013 LEAF LEVEL 1 (12AMP) CHARGER TO a LEVEL 2 (12AMP) CHARGER

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.

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