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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all - complete newbie here! :rolleyes:

I'm having a Chargemaster unit installed tomorrow and picking up a new Ampera on Weds.

Because I'm not sure what vehicle I'll go for next, or what charging type it will be, I've gone for an untethered unit (on Chargemaster's advice) and asked Vauxhall to throw in a Type 2 to Type 1 (Mode 3) cable as part of the deal. The rationale being that I can use it at home AND if I need to charge up on an ecotricity unit. It does however mean that if I buy a different EV in the future (which is likely to have fast charging) I'll have to buy a new cable....but that's preferable to having to shell out for a new charging unit.

Thought I'd just check that my reasoning is sound, with experienced users.

Thanks in advance.
 

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welcome @Brooktop :)

if I need to charge up on an ecotricity unit
Unfortunately, you cannot use your cable on the Ecotricity rapids... you can use it on their Type 2 Charging Stations but I believe they are only installed at two locations.

It does however mean that if I buy a different EV in the future (which is likely to have fast charging) I'll have to buy a new cable....but that's preferable to having to shell out for a new charging unit..
That's very sound reasoning and it's very likely your next car will have a Type 2 connector :)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Kevin. Are there any charging stations Amperas CAN use? Or does the slow charge rate, high electricity prices and lack of infrastructure mean I should ignore 'electric highways' and just accept that I'm using petrol on any journey over 40 miles? I will head off to the GM thread to do some more research...
 

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Thanks Kevin. Are there any charging stations Amperas CAN use? Or does the slow charge rate, high electricity prices and lack of infrastructure mean I should ignore 'electric highways' and just accept that I'm using petrol on any journey over 40 miles?
You can use any 'fast' Charging Station from any of the networks that offer public access. However, any fee based network is probably more expensive than putting petrol in your Ampera :(

You may find the ZeroNet locations useful because they offer free charging when doing something like visiting the NT, staying in a hotel, or playing paint ball, etc.

http://zerocarbonworld.org/zero-net
 

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However, any fee based network is probably more expensive than putting petrol in your Ampera :(
In the US Blink charges $1.00 for any use to RFID customers. If I can charge at a convenient Blink station for about an hour while I do some shopping or eat at a restaurant then I can usually pick-up 17 miles or so on the battery charge. In US petrol prices that saves me about $2.00 of petrol.

Honestly, the $1.00 savings is not really worth the effort. But what *is* worth the effort is extending the time between my visits to the petrol station. I'm quite happy to go through the effort to charge-while-shopping (when convenient) if it can delay my next visit to purchase petrol.

However, I suspect that in the UK that fee-based charging will not be so inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Indeed Lee - if the UK government and councils spent as much on systems designed to make low pollution driving a practical reality, as opposed to expensive, inflexible public transport systems like trams, as well as systems designed to 'fleece' motorists eg bus lanes & speed traps, then adoption would be much higher.

But I'm getting off-topic....
 

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Discussion Starter #7
You can use any 'fast' Charging Station from any of the networks that offer public access. However, any fee based network is probably more expensive than putting petrol in your Ampera :(

You may find the ZeroNet locations useful because they offer free charging when doing something like visiting the NT, staying in a hotel, or playing paint ball, etc.

http://zerocarbonworld.org/zero-net
Does that include Ikea charging points then?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
So you can use 'slow' and 'fast' ...but not 'rapid' and that's what ecotricity/Ikea are?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks Paul
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Think I will be more focussed on getting a charge from a standard plug at my destination...from the 6m cable with 3 pin plug. Having read scare stories about 'dedicated circuits' and not using extension cables, the Ampera dealer saleswoman told me she uses an extension cable at home when she has the Vauxhall car.
 

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Yes your logic is spot on I did exactly the same 32a, socket and type 2 cable.
Kevin has hit nail on head in practise you'd use petrol and never pay for charging in an Ampera.
You can use some Ecotrocity but not many filter for the blue Type 2 on their map
 

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Think I will be more focussed on getting a charge from a standard plug at my destination...from the 6m cable with 3 pin plug. Having read scare stories about 'dedicated circuits' and not using extension cables, the Ampera dealer saleswoman told me she uses an extension cable at home when she has the Vauxhall car.
When we first got the car we only charged from a 13a socket in the garage. Full unwind any extension and make sure they are a good thick correctly rated one (my emergency one has a built in thermal cut out). The circuits you use must either not be being used by anything else and checked regually to make sure it is not overheating or you have had it checked by a competent sparky.
My advise would be do not charge over night or leave the car untill you are completely happy that the circuit can handle the current the car draws. IT IS PERFECTLY SAFE as long as you are careful.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I've not gone for a fast charger at home because whether it's 6 hours or 3 hours is immaterial. I'll be charging overnight on economy 7. Don't know if it's the same with li-ion, but ni-mh domestic batteries can be fast charged, but it reduces their longevity.

Doesn't the supplied cable and brick tell you if the supply is safe? Ie if all 4 lights are showing green, you are safe to plug in.
 

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I've not gone for a fast charger at home because whether it's 6 hours or 3 hours is immaterial. I'll be charging overnight on economy 7. Don't know if it's the same with li-ion, but ni-mh domestic batteries can be fast charged, but it reduces their longevity.

Doesn't the supplied cable and brick tell you if the supply is safe? Ie if all 4 lights are showing green, you are safe to plug in.
I don't think the evse is that clever. If your household wiring is not capable of a maintained 10a current, the evse will just switch off when the cables in BT house melt and trip the fuse.
If you are going economy 7 overnight charging and are unsure, you could always leave the ampera set to 6a which will be less stressful on the household wiring, although obviously slower to charge.
 

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I've not gone for a fast charger at home because whether it's 6 hours or 3 hours is immaterial. I'll be charging overnight on economy 7. Don't know if it's the same with li-ion, but ni-mh domestic batteries can be fast charged, but it reduces their longevity.

Doesn't the supplied cable and brick tell you if the supply is safe? Ie if all 4 lights are showing green, you are safe to plug in.
It's still a good idea to have a separate circuit with a 3-pin socket, rcbo and simple meter installed for the evse charger I reckon, even if you are confident in your ring main, because:
- you know it will be fine with 10a for as long as it takes, and if you use the right cable, you're ready for a dedicated charger if/when you move to one
- if for some reason the circuit trips, it won't affect other circuits in the house
- you will know from the meter how much electricity you are using just for the car
Having a dedicated circuit like this installed is very cheap in the larger scheme of things Brooktop, mine cost me around £175 all told IIRC :)
 

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I've not gone for a fast charger at home because whether it's 6 hours or 3 hours is immaterial. I'll be charging overnight on economy 7. Don't know if it's the same with li-ion, but ni-mh domestic batteries can be fast charged, but it reduces their longevity.

Doesn't the supplied cable and brick tell you if the supply is safe? Ie if all 4 lights are showing green, you are safe to plug in.
My post was refering to using a standard 13a socket not a dedicated home charger.

If you have gone for the 32a charger at home then you should have nothing to worry about as they are fitted specifically to supply your car, plug in and forget about it!!!!!!!!!!

Have you gone for a tethered or non tethered? If its non teathered you will need to buy a type 2 cable.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I've gone for the standard home point charger untethered unit and Vauxhall are 'throwing in' a type 2 type 1 (mode 3) cable for use with it (which I can also use out on the road). I just didn't think it was worth the extra £95 for the fast charge because the Ampera can't use it and any future vehicle would be charged up over night anyway.

Are you saying that I shouldn't use the standard cable at friends' houses for fear of frying their electrical system?
 
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