Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Things you probably need to consider when adding an EV charger to an en bloc (on block) garage - I'm assuming that the garage is some distance from your house and likely doesn't have scope to be electrified directly from your house:
- Is there a different solution (e.g. converting a front garden/yard or waiting for on-street charging instead)? This is not a cheap or straightforward option!
- Do you have adequate parking space for your planned and any future EV? Don't forget that the charging point, plug/cable and using them will probably take up some space between wall and car. Our garage has a dedicated driveway but we set the charging point back a bit to add some extra length-wise space
- Will you be able to dig a 50cm deep, 20cm wide trench from the local power cable to the charge point location for the grid connection cable?
- What do you or will you use the garage for? It's likely this is gonna change!
- Will the conversion and charging point use get in anyone's way? The configuration of en bloc garages can be restricted and neighbours less understanding now or in the future.
- If you want to put the charger inside the garage, note that it and the charging plug will stick out a fair way (up to 50cm) and you might not have as much room as you expect. And en bloc garages tend to be narrow - will your new car fit inside? There may also be some insurance/regulation/policy issues with electrical fittings inside, if the garage is directly (or indirectly via other attached en bloc garages) attached to someone else's house - check with the grid company at least)
- If you intend to keep the car outside, will the electrics and charge point go on the side or do you need to replace the garage door and fit it at the front? To put the charger on the front, we replaced the roll-up garage door with a wall and a regular PVC door - but needed to get planning permission (probably - not 100% clear) to fit the charging point. Replacing the original door, from our experience, probably doesn't need planning permission but check with your local office. The PVC door we have is a bit shorter than normal as the garage roof is quite low - therefore might cost a bit more than expected.
- It might cost around £6 - £7k for the grid connection, wall and new door depending on local prices.
- Can you in any way (legally) electrify the garage directly from your house? Do it if you can! But complicated arrangements with the neighbours might cause issues in the future regarding home sale and new incomers.
- If you install a new grid connection, consider requesting a 3-phase cable as it likely won't cost (much) more and makes the connection more future-proof. Get an indicative quote from your regional grid operator (ours was UKPN - UK Power Networks - in SE England) and when they survey the potential connection they'll check if your local wires can handle a 3-phase connection (not that you'll be using it right-away...).
- You'll need a separate meter and supply, so make sure you sign-up for this to get a new smart meter. Don't let them get confused by it being a new connection vs a switch from an existing supply (and most importantly that they don't also try to switch your existing home supply if with a different company). Our garage has our postcode but to save confusion has its own address as "garage at 00 high st, AB1 2CD" so they can distinguish it properly.
- There are of course a few suppliers who provide specific tariffs tailored to EVs, so you may well end up using two suppliers - one for the house and one for the garage.
- You (well your electrician) can connect a separate fuse box in parallel with the one used for the EV charger, so you can somewhat electrify the garage - so long as you don't move over into the "new purpose" box and fall foul of planning regulations. We're planning on a couple lights and a chest freezer to supplement the storage options.
- In order to help the freezer out and minimise issues with fire risks, we're also intending to insulate and cover the roof underside with plasterboard.
- Will you want the car (and perhaps the charging point) internet enabled? If so you may need an external wi-fi access point (we used a TP-Link N300) if your existing internet/wi-fi doesn't reach the garage. The TP-Link has a rated range of 200m but with obstacles that's of course reduced - it's hard to tell ahead of time if it'll do the trick but test it out before permanently fixing it to anything, maybe using a wi-fi strength app on your phone. Of course, the access-point will need to be connected to your home network, either directly via a cable through the wall (we used an old phone cable's hole or you'll need at least a 400mm x 6mm drill bit) or a 2nd access point to create a mesh network.
- If it takes a while for the car to be delivered after your electricity is connected, make sure you don't end up paying lots of monthly bills and generating a huge amount of credit - try to manage down the monthly payments.
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