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Discussion Starter #22
About 6 months ago now during a boiler breakdown, I didn't speak with them, the engineer did and they told him it wasn't compatible. I've never particularly wanted one so I wasn't too concerned. Might give them a call
 

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As another reference point - had my 7kW charger installed recently.

As others mentioned, the preferred install route seems to be separating the power supply just after the meter for EV chargers - so it does not go via your consumer unit at all. That way it's entirely isolated and down to the capacity of the wiring coming into your house, and diversity of anything else being powered in your home. This was done for my install, despite having a modern enough consumer unit to cope.

I contacted my DNO (local power network delivery company) to inspect and upgrade my cut-out fuse - This is a big black, or grey/white box where the power from your street terminates into your home. I had a 60A fuse, which they were able to upgrade to 80A. Note - some networks charge for this service - fortunately mine was FOC.
I could not go to 100A (which is preferred for EV charging) because they apparently did not hold plans for my area to confirm the size of the incoming wiring was suitable enough to cope with such a load, but apparently 80A is fine for 7KW given my home power diversity (electric cooking, and 8.5kW electric shower - Gas CH).

They did tell me at the time that the main cut-out fuses are 'slow blowing' - and are actually rated 1.5 times their printed rating. So a 80A fuse will have to be regularly run at 120A before it fuses out. No need for any metering / power throttling in my case - but it all varies which EV point installers can help you navigate.

As for installers, I wish you better luck than on your quoting / supplier journey. I had many who never bothered following up, or reply to questions. The few that did varied wildly in the statement of work and cost as I was not considered a standard install (have a private pathway to cross). I ended up getting a charger myself on eBay, then paying for install, which balanced out to around the mid-range cost of most 7kW points.
 

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Discussion Starter #24 (Edited)
Thanks again everyone, this is all incredibly helpful! I've had a look under my stairs at the CU and meter, I will try and attach a picture as I do believe I've already got a 100amp fuse. Which seems somewhat surprising to me!
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Looks like you have 3 phase coming into your property there. Would not imagine any problems getting 7kW charging with that.
Even if your PHEV for only supports 16A / 3kW.

Heck you could get a 22kW 3-phase charging in the future for cars that take it.

Downside of doing 3-ph for a car that only supports single phase is you only get 16A


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Discussion Starter #30
So 3 phase is better? Is it worth future proofing if possible by getting a bigger charger? Or is that a waste if cash.
Im not sure what seals you are referring too? As you can probably tell I've no experience with electrics so this is how it was when we moved in 18 months ago
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Might this phase 3 stuff be the reason we have been unable to get a smart meter in the past maybe?
 

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So 3 phase is better? Is it worth future proofing if possible by getting a bigger charger?
Well... Sort of. I alluded to it a little in my previous post but can expand.

Single-phase chargers can go up to 32A / 7kW - which is widely accepted by all battery EVs today.

3-Phase Chargers are 22kW - which is made up of 3 x 16A supplies. However - not all BEVs are compatible with this today, but more are adopting it. Tesla and Renault Zoe are good examples of cars which can charge at this speed.
However - for a BEV which only supports single phase, they are going to be limited to 3kW / 16A charge on a 22kW charger as it can only take power from one of those 3 phases the charger offers.

For your instance in a PHEV, they only support 3kW charging anyhow, so going 22kW would not make a difference to you now, but if you did futureproof and go full BEV in the future a 22kW / 3-phase charger is going to give you the fastest charge you can get at home for a supporting car, but will cost a lot more than an equivalent 7kW / 32A single-phase charger.

If I say a car has an average of 3.5 miles per kW...
3kWh single-phase = ~10.5 miles per hour added (majority of PHEVs can only charge at this speed) - cheapest install
7kWh single-phase = ~24.5 miles per hour added - slightly more cost than 3kW
22kWh 3-phase = ~77 miles per hour added - most expensive install. Not all BEVs support it.

Im not sure what seals you are referring too?
Usually the cut-out fuse, and a meter has a little metal security wire/tag attached to ensure they've not been tampered with. It could be an electrician had to pull the fuse for maintenance to the consumer unit and does not have the authority to replace. It's not a huge deal - mainly red tape.

As for restriction for smart meter, whilst they have presented 3 phases to your home, you are only using one - so the meter you have would be a single-phase. Unlikely to be reason as to why you were declined a smart meter - but could have been signal capabilities to upload the meter consumption. This has got better over time so might be worth asking again if you want to look at a smart tariff. They have a website that can verify your chances of getting a signal for the smart meter.
 

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Hi all,

I've ordered my first PHEV, (2020 Kuga). It will be used mostly for short commutes 5/6miles and for towing our caravan every 4/6 weeks. As I don't do loads of miles I probably would only need to charge it 2 or 3 times a week and this would almost always be overnight so no need for high speed charging.

We live in a 1950s 3 bed semi with a drive that I will be parking on.
The electrics are not new, we are looking to have them redone this year.
My CU is on the external wall that is next to my drive.

So my first question is what sort of charger should be looking at? (I have many more haha!)

Many thanks all!
I don't know the Kuga, but isn't the car delivered with a brick charger and a Type 2 cable to be able to charge from public chargers and wall socket? So in principal, you will not need anything. If you don't have those items included in the car then I'd suggest to buy a brick charger which can charge with up to 16A (3.7kWh) and has a limiter. Set the limit to 10A (2.3kWh) or below, where you live now and if you move to a new place make sure you have a proper socket for charging, delivering 16A. In both cases, get a qualified electrician to inspect your installation before starting to charge, and during the first charges you should manually check that the socket or the charger is not overheating. Also, you should NOT use extension cords, so get chargers with long enough cables.

You don't need a wall box for your car. The benefits would be minimal. Also, 3-phase is overkill, because your car probably only takes one phase anyway, just like my BMW and all the VW and other PHEV I know of. So unless you plan to buy an EV save your money on the wall box.
 

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Nothing stopping you from having a smart meter there except if the signal strength for the smart meter wasn’t strong enough. It’s a three phase head but only being used single phase. Chances are the fuse carriers for the other two phases will be empty anyway.

That said for Smets2* we can install RF Mesh hubs and aerials to get around that (*depending on where in the country you are)
 

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Nothing stopping you from having a smart meter there except if the signal strength for the smart meter wasn’t strong enough. It’s a three phase head but only being used single phase. Chances are the fuse carriers for the other two phases will be empty anyway.
I think that is your best answer. Previously you may have not "been allowed" a smart meter either due to concerns over possible 3 phase or a lack of mobile phone signal, both of which can be overcome now.
It could have a smaller fuse in still
Again, the key point. Only your DNO can tell you. Ask someone like PodPoint and they will find out for you. It isn't a real issue as DNOs have to do all reasonably possible to upgrade for EVs or A or GSHP.
Looks like you have 3 phase coming into your property there.
Yes, but if you connect the other phases you are likely to end up paying a higher standing charge, and at present there is little advantage for you. Wait until you need it if ever.
In terms of supplier, Octopus are excellent. But as a small provider they are slow to fit Smart Meters whereas the "Big 6" are incentivised to do it, so if you are with one of them get them to fit the meter first before moving. There are few restrictions on type.
Finally, charging from the "brick" or "granny" charger is not recommended as a long term solution. Firstly "Level 2" charging is less safe (although countless people have done so without being killed), and secondly it is less efficient as the cars onboard charger will be optimised for its maximum current (16 Amps) and charging at less (say 10 Amps for the "granny") will be at a lower efficiency (this is more significant the further from the maximum you go, but is appreciable at this difference). A reliable firm is PodPoint unless you want a time of use tariff (such as Agile) or smart features or have solar (which you said that you don't).
 
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