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2018 Kia Soul EV
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought my 2018 Kia Soul at the end of last August. Being in lockdown and shielding I have only driven around 400 miles. I have been charging using the granny lead connected to 13amp plug in my garage. During use, the plug, socket and lead to the socket have stayed cold.
In anticipation of buying an EV I have had the main fuse changed to 100amp by UK Power Networks. When we come out of this series of lockdowns and return to some sort of normality, I expect to be driving up to 4000 miles a year.
Now the question is should I continue charging the car from the 13amp socket or will it be worth my while buying a 'proper' charger?
If the answer is buy a charger then what do you all recommend?
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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You are going to only use around 1,000 kWh of energy but will lose some charging efficiency. But even if that's say 10% and at 15p/kWh which is expensive that's about £15 per year so even over 5 years the case is hard to make.
However, I'd say buy a dedicated 7kW charge point for two reasons:
  1. It adds value to your house
  2. It gives you a back up if one method fails
Counter to this is if you rent or have a difficult and hence expensive installation.
 
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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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You are going to only use around 1,000 kWh of energy but will lose some charging efficiency. But even if that's say 10% and at 15p/kWh which is expensive that's about £150 per year so even over 3 years the case is marginal.
However, I'd say buy a dedicated 7kW charge point for two reasons:
  1. It adds value to your house
  2. It gives you a back up if one method fails
Counter to this is if you rent or have a difficult and hence expensive installation.
I don't think losses are that much higher on the granny charger than say a 7kW one. Even if it was 10% that would be £15 a year difference.
Note that some cars, the ioniq being one, operates the battery heater on a 7kW if the temperature is below 20°C, so that can actually outweigh any possible benefits of charging at 7kW during colder month.
 

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Portable granny EVSEs use relays as their contactor. When run at 10A for hours, these can and will wear out. I used mine heavily for 5 years, mainly at 6A (solar panels), some 10A. After 4 years relays started to overheat, so I swapped them out. 1 year later the PCB blew up, damaging my Ampera which is now being repaired slowly & expensively. There is no air ventilation in these cramped devices, so imho they are not suitable for permanent & regular use. Wall mounted EVSEs use much more substantial contactors, far more robust. Get yourself a proper big EVSE.
 

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I bought my 2018 Kia Soul at the end of last August. Being in lockdown and shielding I have only driven around 400 miles. I have been charging using the granny lead connected to 13amp plug in my garage. During use, the plug, socket and lead to the socket have stayed cold.
In anticipation of buying an EV I have had the main fuse changed to 100amp by UK Power Networks. When we come out of this series of lockdowns and return to some sort of normality, I expect to be driving up to 4000 miles a year.
Now the question is should I continue charging the car from the 13amp socket or will it be worth my while buying a 'proper' charger?
If the answer is buy a charger then what do you all recommend?
It's much much safer with a proper EVSE and cheaper think of the cost of a house fire.
 

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Kia Soul EV 2020 64KWh
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There was a similar discussion on one of the sub boards last week. Bottom line for me is that it is not a good long term solution to use a granny charger. Sooner or later, something will fail. If you're lucky, it will trip the consumer unit. If you're unlucky, it will start a fire.
 

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Kia Soul 30Kwh, 2018
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I bought a Kia Soul (2018 -30Kwh) last November - spent a few weeks on the granny charger then bottled it and went with a 7Kw Wallbox Pulsat Plus. Haven't regretted it (yet). Obviously the Kia is limited to 6.6KW on the AC but will take 24Kw in the 4 hours of 5p/Kwh on Octopus Go between 1230-0430. If I've pushed it and need more then another hour at 14p is still worth it.
Summary is as stated above - Better safe than sorry. Also remember that you are supposed to charge these regularly on a higher powered charger, so if you go with your own wall charge point then you don't have to remember that - and - it's better for the battery's longevity to charge around 20-80% SOC rather than 75-100%, which is what I tended to do on the granny charger just because of the sheer amount of time it would take.
 

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Kia Soul 30Kwh, 2018
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Also, as an add-on, while I was using the granny charger I also had a hardwired fire alarm system installed, including the garage, which I never would have bothered with if I hadn't gone EV. Better safe than sorry and ultimately an added selling point should we sell in the future....
 

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VW eGolf
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There’s also the case for getting one: the OLEV grant keeps going down and may well go away at some point. If you qualify for it (pretty much own an EV and have off-street parking) and may want one in the future, better to do it sooner rather than later.
 

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2018 Kia Soul EV
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you all for replying to my post.

I take the point about the frequent use of the granny. I have estimated that I would use it less than 50 times a year so perhaps not putting so great a strain on it. So far I have only charged the battery up to about 80% and while this lockdown persists I would continue to charge very infrequently.

However, I think now that I should have a proper EVSE and will look into getting it sooner rather than later.

Now I will need to find an installer in the South London/North Surrey area. I don't think it will be a difficult install - through one internal wall, run the cable under the kitchen units behind the kick boards and then through the external wall.
There are no spare spaces in the aged CU ( I replaced the wired fuses with circuit breakers many years ago ) so there will be work to be added.

Lastly do all EVSEs have flashing lights on them?

Once again thanks for all your advice.
 

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Ioniq 5 Ultimate
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Just a thought, we still charge on economy 7 overnight on a 16amp EVSE that we got about 7 years ago and its extra speed has been enough to do our 12000 miles a year. 16 amp EVSE is very cheap used these days and would only cost you for an electrician if your after a cheaper option.
 

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Plenty of flashing lights. After a bit you just ignore them, or give a quick glance to confirm charge has started, etc.
Get a 32A EVSE if at all possible. Extra cost over a 16A one is minimal, and the time will come when you want to fillup at 20 miles/hour rather than 10, maybe the cheap overnight period got reduced in duration, maybe a friend dropped by needing a charge, maybe the electricity supplier has started playing around with when you can/cannoit refill, who knows what's going t happen in a few years from now...

Several people in here started with 32A EVSEs when their car could only draw 16A (I'm one!), and have been grateful when later their newer EVs drew 32. No real point installing a retrograde EVSE tbh. Maybe get one that's switch selectable, use 16A for now if your supply is limited, but able to go back up to 32A some day.
 

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ID3 1st & e-Golf
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I've been charging off the granny charger at work since September. It's usually plugged in twice a week for 6-10 hours at a time.
I've asked about having a charge point fitted and it's being looked into but when I spoke to the usual electrician about it last week he wasn't at all concerned that I was plugged into a 13 amp socket drawing 10 amps all day.
 

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ID3 1st & e-Golf
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Then change the socket every couple of years.
At only 4000 miles a year out only needs a small to up once a week, or even smaller to up every time its used.
It set the charge % to 60% and plug it in every time it got to 40% or so.
If I was concerned about the socket getting too hot I'd take it to a rapid on the odd occasions I needed a full charge or turn the amps down to 6A on the car if the plug is getting hot.

If, like most of us, the car needs to be charged regularly then fit a charge point, but with the very low mileage talked about here I don't think I'd bother spending around £500 on a charge point.
 

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Renault Zoe 50
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or turn the amps down to 6A on the car if the plug is getting hot.
Yes, if you can. But it tends to be the more expensive cars (like Teslas) which allow this.

I still don't get the logic of spending £30k on an EV and then trying to save £500 on a proper charger. Even if you do low mileage.

If you are really so tight, get a push bike. ;)
 
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