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Hi
I currently have an electric vehicle on order (Toyota PHEV plug-in) and British Gas are going to do an online survey for the install. I don’t think I have the necessary electrics. I have a thick cable running from the consumer unit under the house up the wall of a nearby detached garage and into the garage where there is an electrical box. Please see photos. I’m going to ask BG what do I need to add, I’m hoping BG will tell me and not just say not suitable.

Is it feasible to use the existing cable in the consumer unit (marked garage) and put a fused box in the garage, thereby not having to run a new cable ?

Photos attached, any advice appreciated, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Hi it’s a Dynamic Premium RAV4 Plug-in hybrid. I understand it’s not on the list but apparently Toyota are still paying British Gas to install
 

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There is more than one solution!

First thing I'd recommend is binning off BG. I've heard a lot of terrible reviews of their BEV charging point installation service. Makes sense for a "greenwashing" service undertaken by a FF company to be low-priority.

Solution 1: Swap the 32A MCB for garage sockets for a 20A, and install a 16A BEV charging point (applying diversity). 16A is plenty for a PHEV, but if you see a big-battery BEV in your future then you'll only add 120miles (ish) in 8hrs overnight. Fine if you have a short commute, but you do a lot of miles and you get home late/leave early it's not going to cut it.

Solution 2: Install a 32A Zappi (or similar). This can vary the charge rate of the BEV to ensure the garage supply never goes above 32A. So if the car is plugged in and you run your lawnmower (or whatever) from the garage sockets, the car-charging will slow down while the device is running. Won't be a problem for your slow-charging BEV, but important if a friend/family member charges their BEV, or you get a BEV in future.

In all circumstances you need a proper spark to check over the installation.

BEV charging isn't the same as other devices. Your washing machine might be rated at 13A, but it only draws that momentarily (while heating water) the vast majority of its 2hr cycle it draws 1-2A. Whereas BEV charging draws full whack for the entire 10hr charging period.
Many thanks for the suggestions, a lot for me to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I’m interested to see how much they quote and if it’s done for free as BG are coming to me on 28th to do a survey and I think I will need some extras. Good luck. Mine is via Toyota / BG, is yours the same ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #28 ·
Your existing garage supply is only 32A, and will probably be run using 6mm² cable. Given you have garage sockets and lights on the same circuit that cable would likely need upgraded. You can also see that the cable has through crimps inside the consumer unit which I would not feel especially confident relying on for continuous 32A charge.

The garage supply is also broken somewhere else as it’s 3-core SWA (probably) at the garage end but looks like Twin&Earth at the consumer end (colours don’t match). This could be where it emerges through the building wall (is there a box on the outside with the black cable going into it?).

The only real option you have without upgrading the cable would be to have a charge point that monitors the load on the garage supply (using a CT clamp) and restricts the charge rate of the car while other loads in the garage are turned on.

The garage end has a number of issues which need resolved. Primarily the box is not really suitable and would be best replaced with an actual mini-consumer unit that has dedicated neutral and earth bars (the way all the neutrals are stuffed into the bottom of the RCD is nasty). The other issue is that the 63A RCD in that box is type AC and needs to be upgraded to at least a type A.
Hi, Sorry for the delay as I was away for work. There isn't a box on the outside, only a black thick cable coming out of the ground and up the wall of the garage and through the wall at the top where it comes out inside. I will probably get a couple of survey / quotes done for any extra work needed, thank you.
 
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