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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm currently considering buying an Ampera, they've started to fall into my price bracket at reasonable mileage (50-60k).
My issue is the parking where I live is a private space at the foot of my garden, the nearest plug socket is at the back of the house about 20ft from where the car will be. I don't have the option to put a home charger outside, the entire rear wall of the house is covered by a conservatory and the garden is surrounded by wood fencing so there would be nothing to mount a charging box to.

My question is can I run an extension lead the length of my garden to reliably charge? How long is the lead that comes with the Ampera? We have a waterproof 'store' at the end of the garden which could house the reel part of the extension lead to keep it from getting wet, I'm just no sure whether this is a viable solution?

Any help appreciated, thanks
 

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You could put a point on a post. Heavy duty extension and no reels! This would do for the granny lead. Use a serious bit of cable though and good socket.
 

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Good afternoon Domj,
I have several places where I charge my Chevrolet Volt, and one of them needs a long extension cable to supply the granny charger.
I use a 2.5mm squared flex with a good quality plug and a good quality socket and it works very reliably.
However, in other locations I had to put a local earth rod into the ground near to the final socket, then all worked reliably.

In the longer term, I would consider having a proper power supply to the shed and then fitting a faster fixed EV charger onto the outside of the shed.
Hope that helps
HM
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies, I've found this which may work well for me being specifically designed. I may have an electrician look at the plug in the house I'm intending on using in case the socket isn't up to the task.
The next thing to overcome is finding the right one for sale! Very few Ampera's on the ground
 

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Just a thought, you do realise that to fully charge on the granny lead will take up to about 11 hours which will be good for something between 30 and 40 miles depending on time of year and heavy footedness and other factors.
 

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Just a thought, you do realise that to fully charge on the granny lead will take up to about 11 hours ...
11 hours??? Maybe in USA with only 110V! I have a Evconnectors granny charger which can be set to 6,8,10,13,16A; at 13A it warms my high-quality socket a bit but not excessively, and I would expect that to do a full charge in about 5 hours. The max current I've seen on my wall EVSE is 14A, and that's reckoned t be a 4.5 hour charge cycle. So a safe max for UK good-quality extension would probably be 10A, and I'd expect about 6.5 hours.
 

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Oops yes, my bad, thanks for spotting it!! I took it from a spreadsheet of useful info I was collating when I first got the amp - I've no idea of the source - but the line actually reads

6A = 1.5kW (11 hrs) , 10A = 2.5kW (6 hrs), 16A = 3.8kW (4hrs)

so 6 hrs or thereabouts with my unconfigurable granny charger. My wall thing will complete a charge from empty within the 4 hour cheap Octopus window.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Another quick question, is the 'box' part on the lead (sorry I don't know the term for it. With the LEDs and such on it?) waterproof in anyway? Is it designed to be outside in the rain or do I need to factor in putting it somewhere dry?
 

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the box (its the EVSE) is waterproof but best not left in a puddle or jet washed!
Sit it on a brick at least.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks, shouldn't be an issue to raise it off the ground a few inches, if I run an extension to the car I may be able to just put it on top of one of the tyres?

About to go slightly off the original topic on my own thread but some general questions I have are unsurprisingly about range. I'm considering an Ampera because I have just changed jobs and my commute now consists of a 52 mile round trip in stop/start traffic. About 10 miles of it is a short motorway blast (I am completely content with plodding along at 60/65 for this part if it helps range) and then 16 miles of sub 30mph, majority of which is sub 10mph. I'm hoping to achieve all or most of this on the battery if possible but I don't know what a 6-7 year old 50-60k miles Ampera in these driving conditions is like. There is a possibility of charging near work (there are 2 ubitricity posts in the road behind) but ideally I'd do the round trip without using much petrol at all.
My current car (2 cylinder petrol turbo) I tend to hypermile as much as possible and coax about 45-46mpg (real world not what the trip computer says) across this journey.
 

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In summer that is do-able on electric alone if driven carefully - see the 50 mile club. Temperature and dry roads matter as do properly blown up tyres - 38-40 PSI. Keep to 60 or less to keep aerodynamic losses to a minimum. A cold winter could see the electric range drop to 30, Heating is a range killer and its often better to run the engine when leaving for a short time to generate heat, it gives both power and heat ;). If possible see about a charge point at the office.

Pre-heating helps a lot but sensibly this needs a proper wall box. You can pick up 16A ChargeMasters cheaply especially those with a type1 plug and have a local electrician wire it in and do the DNO paperwork without using the OLEV grant. Run an armoured cable down the garden from the Consumer unit.
One on Ebay
 

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50 is undoubtedly do-able but in my experience it's quite an achievement to get over 40 in the summer unless you are really working at it. I managed 48 this year (when testing whether Octopus electricity that they'd paid me to take away was a powerful as the usual stuff :) ). That was slowly going to the nearby not-hilly motorway, which has a 50 limit on for miles, and sitting on cruise at 50 for the duration (I did do the round trip to home).

The GOM often estimates my winter range at below 30 but I rarelyt go far enough in one go to empty it so I'm not sure what actual would be.

I doubt there are many who can claim to get near 50 on daily commuting but I could be proved wrong.

I certainly would be cautious about offering advice to a potential purchaser that they could regularly get 40 from it. Yet having said that I am not being negative, I still love the car.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all in the insight, so assuming charging at work (which should cost me about £2 a go) the round trip should be doable on elec? And for the days I can't charge I should be using minimal petrol hopefully. If I can average 70+mpg on this trip it would be worth buying the car over my current one.
 

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if the trip is 26 each way with a charge at work then you will not use petrol IMO, even in deepest winter 26 miles is fine with preheating.
I used to do 34 miles (17 each way with no charging at work) except for winter I did not use fuel and then only a little mainly to warm the car at the office, the beast from the east was cold...
in summer i always thought I could do 3 trips on a charge ;) the run was fairly flat, no motorway, 50 most of the way some at 30. Over the year (10,000 miles, mostly the commute) I used about 10-15 gallons petrol in total, 99% in winter + a few long trips
The Amp if driven normally will return 45/50mpg on fuel alone, its pretty efficient.
 

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Just to add my two-penneth, throughout the last year, I have been obliged to use my 'Granny Charger' because my EO Mini 'fast charger' stopped working. For much of that time, our home was in the hands of building contractors, and I used a 50 metre long industrial 16 Amp extension lead to feed the 'Granny Charger' from where we moor our narrow boat. I used a 'Y' shaped splitter like this one to take off another extension lead to supply our boat with power. I had been told that using extension leads was not a good idea but using these all weather industrial connectors has worked well with no overheating and no loss of charging capability.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Oh yes one of those would do perfectly, may as well cut out the middle man and just get a longer charger, no idea why that never crossed my mind! All that's left to do now is find the right Ampera... There's one for sale near me that fits the bill but the dealership looks a bit sketchy and they have terrible reviews online so not sure how much I fancy them... Everything else is either the wrong colour or too far away!

Additionally is it worth going for an Electron over a Positiv? The prices differences on the used market are negligible between them but there are a few Positiv's that fit the bill but I don't know what I might be missing out on? The only change that I've noticed is the stereo system being bose on the Electron, is it much better than the standard system?
 

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Additionally is it worth going for an Electron over a Positiv? The prices differences on the used market are negligible between them but there are a few Positiv's that fit the bill but I don't know what I might be missing out on? The only change that I've noticed is the stereo system being bose on the Electron, is it much better than the standard system?
I would say yes to that - and try to get a late build if you can because these have other subtle improvements.
If you are worried about the dealer, think about taking it to Ampera experts like Bellinger's and ask them to check it over to make sure that it hasn't been messed with. A few hundred quid is a good investment for peace of mind. And, if it is a bad buy, you can return it under the provisions of the Consumer Protection Act.
Also, don't worry about the common but cheap to fix faults like door handle buttons not working and the rear reflectors misting up - the benefits of owning and driving an Ampera will soon become obvious and will outweigh these niggles.
 
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