The Necessity Of Physically Grounding An External Gasoline Generator For Charging?

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Some time ago when considering an electric car, I was curious about the cost of using an emergency backup gasoline generator to charge the car.


Taking into account the efficiencies, my calculation resulted in an equivalent mileage of about 25 miles per gallon, not much different than a typical internal combustion car if it became necessary to use the gasoline generator in case of a power outage.


When I posted this it was brought to my attention that this wouldn't work unless the gasoline generator was physically grounded with a grounding rod connected to its chassis and actually driven into the ground. Although I understand the safety reasoning for doing this, I found it difficult to understand how the electronics could sense that the charger (in this case the gas generator) had been physically grounded.


My question is this. Would not the same result have been achieved by connecting the neutral output of the generator to the chassis (ground lead) of the generator?


I was hoping that anyone with more experience in this matter could comment.

Edited by smartdriver

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Buy a Volt.   Seriously.   Lots of used 2012's available.

If the Smart ED doesn't fit your driving patterns, don't buy one, you'll regret it.


Charging from generator is possible, but a pain, see this video :


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Thank you for the video link.


It clearly indicates that a gasoline generator may be used if the neutral and common are joined and not what the following previous response describes.


  On 6/14/2016 at 9:14 AM, steveyfrac said:

You would need to carry a large mallet and a copper grounding rod as well. You cannot charge any EV with a normal generator, unless you properly ground it. I tried it, just to be sure.

The car checks the ground, by intentionally leaking current to ground, and making sure that the ground voltage doesn't change. A little generator wont (and can't) pass this test. So, you'll plug it in, and the car will refuse to charge unless you pound a grounding rod into the ground, and wire it up correctly to your generator.



Edited by smartdriver

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