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Discussion Starter #1
I'm very new to the electric car world but have just ordered a BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV. It has a type 2 connector and a maximum charge rate of 3.7Kw. I need to get a home charger installed ready for delivery but that's about where my knowledge ends. I also expect that we'll buy a second full electric car in a couple of years but may well want a second charger for that when the time comes.

I need some advice and pointers on where to start, but my thinking so far is:

  • I want to benefit from OLEV funding if it reduces the price
  • I think I would be better putting the maximum rate charger in which I think is 7.4Kw as I only have single phase
  • I have a long driveway and need the charger about 50 feet (15m ?) from the house
  • I need the charge on it's own post next to my fence
  • I have space capacity in my consumer unit for additional circuits to be added
  • My home electrics have a ground spike for earth if this is relevant
Can anyone point me in the right direction for choosing the best installer, the best charger and how the installation is likely to be done in terms of connections etc?
 

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Welcome to the forum and the start of your journey to EVs.

Before choosing an installer I'd suggest that you need to consider what features you want from a charge point first. Lots of installers are blinkered to some suppliers and may not offer the best solution. Look and learn first then select the supplier.
  • Will you want a time of use tarrif or do you just want to charge straight away?
  • Do you have solar panels and want to use the output from those?
  • When you get a BEV will you want to charge that at the same time from the same point or will you want a second charge point?
  • What's the limit on your electricity supply? You may need to contact your DNO (details on your bill - not the company that charges you but the local operations company that actually manage the cables). Don't make the mistake of reading the limit on the fuse holder and assuming that is the fuse actually fitted, it may be smaller.
  • Do you have other electric devices that pull large current, eg electric heating, showers etc.?
  • Having a TT Earth is helpful. Do you want to organise your own groundworks from your house to the post to bury the cable or an all in one provider?
  • Do you have a good home WiFi signal where you want the charge point? If you want smart features and the OLEV grant this is essential unless you choose one of the few wired LAN connected units.
  • Finally, have you checked whether your electricity supplier offers any deals on installation? For example, and this isn't a sales job, Octopus who I'm with do a deal on an EO Smart Mini. Also check out the Charged EV Smart+ and if you go for Octopus Agile then consider Ohme.
Sorry about all the questions, but you did ask!
 

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I'm very new to the electric car world but have just ordered a BMW X5 xDrive45e PHEV. It has a type 2 connector and a maximum charge rate of 3.7Kw. I need to get a home charger installed ready for delivery but that's about where my knowledge ends. I also expect that we'll buy a second full electric car in a couple of years but may well want a second charger for that when the time comes.

I need some advice and pointers on where to start, but my thinking so far is:

  • I want to benefit from OLEV funding if it reduces the price
  • I think I would be better putting the maximum rate charger in which I think is 7.4Kw as I only have single phase
  • I have a long driveway and need the charger about 50 feet (15m ?) from the house
  • I need the charge on it's own post next to my fence
  • I have space capacity in my consumer unit for additional circuits to be added
  • My home electrics have a ground spike for earth if this is relevant
Can anyone point me in the right direction for choosing the best installer, the best charger and how the installation is likely to be done in terms of connections etc?
Your installation is going to be far from standard.

Forget OLEV, it will only cost you extra money.

Get a local supplier to quote for installation of the cabling, eg buried conduit with 10mm2 Steel Wire Armoured XLPE cabling plus Cat 5 data cables.
 

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When I say local supplier, I mean electrician. You might discuss with the electrician subcontracting the trenching.
 

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BMW X5 xDrive45e on order
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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for all of the questions.

  • Initially I'll just want to plug in and charge, with a maximum of 3.7Kw I'm not that bothered, but I would like to future proof and have some smart options.
  • We have no solar so all power will be via our 100amp single phase supply.
  • Any additional vehicle will get it's own charge point installed on an external wall of the house.
  • We have a rarely used electric shower and electric oven, otherwise no significant consumers.
  • Unfortunately my electricity supplier doesn't offer any frills (but maybe there's time to switch).
  • I'm happy to arrange my own groundworks if that makes life easier.
  • I'd assumed that OLEV would make a significant contribution to the cost, but would be happy to go the most sensible way forward.
  • I hadn't expected to need Cat5 to the charger - it's no problem, but is this always needed or do some work with WiFi or 4G?
  • I'm quite technical working in the IT industry, and I have a couple of good electricians locally, is it practical for the installation to be carried out by a domestic electrician (qualified to sign it off of course) or is it more of a specialist job? (My assumption has been that the charge point is effectively a 32amp commando socket with a bit of smart technology which can be programmed)

Thanks again for the help so far.
 

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I'm quite technical working in the IT industry, and I have a couple of good electricians locally, is it practical for the installation to be carried out by a domestic electrician (qualified to sign it off of course) or is it more of a specialist job? (My assumption has been that the charge point is effectively a 32amp commando socket with a bit of smart technology which can be programmed)
The old - non smart EVSEs just managed the protocol between the car and the mains - basically the EVSE communicates with the car and negotiates the power available, the rating of the cable plugged in, and the car decides how much power it wants - your X5 basically says I want 3kw single phase regardless of what is plugged into it. Your car also has a basic off-peak timer built in so you can set it to say - charge car on cheap rate between x and y for a departure at z. This needs no comms. These basic EVSE's are no longer qualify for the OLEV grant.

The new - smart EVSEs just have to add the facility for the DNO to cut off the EV charging supply if there is a high demand on the local supply - this is no advantage to you. But as they now must have connectivity some suppliers can then add some sort of charging control which may come at a monthly cost.

So if you are happy with the car's built in off-peak timing charger you have to work out if it is cheaper to install a dumb EVSE without the grant, or a smart EVSE with the grant.

I have a 330e with a relatively small battery but if you have a new X5 at 24KW capacity it might be worth you looking at an E7 tariff so a daily charge over 7 hours, or something like Octopus Agile with an Ohme smart cable depending on your usage.
 

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  • I'm quite technical working in the IT industry, and I have a couple of good electricians locally, is it practical for the installation to be carried out by a domestic electrician (qualified to sign it off of course) or is it more of a specialist job? (My assumption has been that the charge point is effectively a 32amp commando socket with a bit of smart technology which can be programmed)
Thanks again for the help so far.
Yes you can get a domestic electrician to fit the correct commando socket, sign yourself up to Octopus and buy the commando ohme for £199. It has a data SIM card in to make it smart so requires no local internet. That will work assuming you have mobile coverage - can't remember what phone network Ohme use.
 
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