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Hi All,

As the title suggests, do I actually need a charging point?

I have recently brought a Mk7 Golf GTE. I have a temporary solution to charging via a standard water proof extension lead through a letter box so am looking for something more permanent. I charge every 2-3 days when the battery reaches 8-10 miles range so I am not charging as much as I thought I would. I also don't do this over night as usually 2.5hrs is sufficient to bring the charge back to full.

This has lead me to question my original intent to buy a dedicated EV charger. I have had various quotes but the cheapest is Pod-Point @ £559.

I would like a more preminent solution & the ability to charge over night & perhaps us the preheat function on the car to clear the windscreen of frost. So was wondering if a decent outdoor & waterproof plug socket would do?

I am due to have a side extension on the house so was thinking of having an outdoor plug installed then. But this isn't happening until March at least.

Would something this this be sufficient & safe until then?


Or


I was thinking about drilling a hole through my living room wall to a plug in there then mounting the outdoor unit on the driveway wall.

I would like to know if people have similar set ups & there experiences. Also any advice from electric experts or anyone permanently using an extension lead.

Or should I just pay up for the £500 for the dedicated EV charger?

Thanks in advance.
 

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EV Convert
iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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I'd definitely do the outdoor socket no matter what. Safety and convenience if nothing else.

As for the wallbox - depends on whether you plan to get a BEV at any time soon. If so then I think it's definitely worth it.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20
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I can say the toughleads extensions are excellent. Really good quality and well made. They also do a 'letterbox' connector, basically using something like a Neutrik Powercon to join the cable with a low profile connector. They're not designed to be permanently installed through the wall though, and I'd caution against installing a bodge.

There's nothing wrong with charging from a 13A socket providing everything is sound. Really it's all about heat. Drawing a constant 10 amps for hours on end will result in heating of cables and connectors. If everything is good quality, in good condition, that's well within the rated amperage so no problem. As soon as the socket is old, crap or damaged and the contact points are compromised that will result in more heat. A badly installed/broken ring main can be problemic, especially if you have one ring in the house and it includes the kitchen. Too much heat for too long and bad things can happen.

Right now you clearly don't need a type 2 charge point and could manage without. As A1GSS says, having one makes the transition to a BEV much easier in the future.

Given you're having building work done that's the time to sort it out. You could take the option of getting a 32amp commando socket installed (with TT earthing ideally) as part of the electrical work on the extension. Chances are that will add so little cost you'll barely notice it in the overall project. You can then use that with something like the Ohme cable, or one of the commando to type2 cables evonestop sell.
 

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EV Convert
iPace HSE / 2019 and eTron 55 / 2020
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... As A1GSS says, ...
Confusingly I just changed my user name :) what's the chances of that.

...you could take the option of getting a 32amp commando socket installed (with TT earthing ideally) as part of the electrical work on the extension.
The 32A commando socket is a good idea.
 

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Outdoor socket will be fine. Reliable and cheap.
 

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Nissan LEAF30
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Outdoor socket will be fine. Reliable and cheap.
But the "granny chargers" seem to have a limited life, and a move to BEV is likely (if not for the OP at least a future owner of the property) so a 32A circuit is a worthwhile investment.
 

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As far as I've seen, a lot of type 2 home chargers seem to be flaky - especially the smart ones. Plug sockets are proven and robust - switch it on, current flows, done.
 

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An outdoor socket would do - but does depend what the state of the home electrics are. i.e. you'd want RCD protection, maybe use 4mm cable for the outdoor socket if it is a spur to help with heat disipation, check continutity on the existing ring circuit (assuming it's a ring), etc.
Get it done properly.

A proper Type2 might be an idea to install now anyway and be done with it. After all you're not paying for petrol/diesel so its a net saving there anyway.
The government grant to install charger may well be removed soon.
 

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You can read my 5yr experience of use of granny EVSEs here: Granny EVSE finally dies - beyond even my zombie efforts...
bottom line is, these can & do wear out, even if your 13A electrics are perfect. And if you're crucially dependent on electrons, you'd better have at least 2 sources available in case one breaks. At least with a Phev you avoid this requirement!
 

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As far as I've seen, a lot of type 2 home chargers seem to be flaky - especially the smart ones. Plug sockets are proven and robust - switch it on, current flows, done.
Certainly there are problems with some charge points, but fundamentally there are the same components in a "granny" lead packed into a smaller space and hence more likely to suffer issues relating to heat so it is not just the "plug socket". The plugs themselves are not robust - there are numerous issues with them overheating around the fuse and Live pin.
 
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At least that's a physical fault so you can send it back or know to buy a new one/replace it easily. Whereas if some stupid "smart" app throws API errors and you get bounced around various call centres, that's a problem.
 

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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I suppose paradoxically with a PHEV you actually need to charge "more" than a pure EV (as in plugging it in after pretty much every journey if you want to use it to its full potential). So I suppose how much of a pain you find it, a dedicated tethered charge point on your driveway would make this a lot less hassle.
I don't yet have a charge point for my EV as I simply don't do the miles, especially at the moment. I literally plug in once every 1 or 2 weeks on the granny. I know it's much slower than say a 32A point, but I've never found myself returning from a long journey with an empty battery knowing I have to do another long journey within the next day. And if I did, I've got about 5 or 6 rapids within 5 miles I could use, that's a lot of rapid charges for the cost of a charge point.
Also, charge points are way too expensive imo at the moment. The grant just seems to inflate the cost of them. I don't really see why they should be £300-£400+ if you source them yourself, there really isn't much to them compared to other mass produced electric items like electric showers/washing machines etc.A charge point is really just a high current plug socket with a few electronics in it.
The price will come down a lot I think.
 
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A commando socket and portable charger would be much better and generally more reliable.

I use a commando to charge my LEAF my 32A charger was £270 and if it ever goes bang I can just call EV One Stop and get them to overnight me a new one.

No waiting for an engineer to visit or electrician just turns up in a box and plug it in.

Bish Bash Bosch!

I charge at 3 different addresses and have 3 commandos installed and 1 charger.

I never plan to have a fixed charge point, I really don’t see the point.


The display is good too:

136898
 

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I suppose paradoxically with a PHEV you actually need to charge "more" than a pure EV (as in plugging it in after pretty much every journey if you want to use it to its full potential). So I suppose how much of a pain you find it, a dedicated tethered charge point on your driveway would make this a lot less hassle.
I don't yet have a charge point for my EV as I simply don't do the miles, especially at the moment. I literally plug in once every 1 or 2 weeks on the granny. I know it's much slower than say a 32A point, but I've never found myself returning from a long journey with an empty battery knowing I have to do another long journey within the next day. And if I did, I've got about 5 or 6 rapids within 5 miles I could use, that's a lot of rapid charges for the cost of a charge point.
Also, charge points are way too expensive imo at the moment. The grant just seems to inflate the cost of them. I don't really see why they should be £300-£400+ if you source them yourself, there really isn't much to them compared to other mass produced electric items like electric showers/washing machines etc.A charge point is really just a high current plug socket with a few electronics in it.
The price will come down a lot I think.
About 10 months ago I got mine for £280. Ok it's not a fancy one, just a standard smart charger, but now they're £100 more! That's serious inflation.
 

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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If I'm going to charge once or twice a week using the EVSE, I'll be using one of the toughleads weatherproof extension leads... Do I need one with the RCD or not, is it worth it?
I'd definitely use an rcd with one if using any electricity outside.. But if your consumer unit is rcd protected then there is no need. If not then a simple plug in rcd should be fine.
 

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A commando socket and portable charger would be much better and generally more reliable.
I charge at 3 different addresses and have 3 commandos installed and 1 charger.
I never plan to have a fixed charge point, I really don’t see the point.
That's the beauty of the commando solution. You've got 3 low tech sockets to dispense 32amps, and you're carrying the smart bit with you in your car. Worst case if you forget the cable, you could adapt commando to 3pin, and charge at 2.2kW.
 

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Certainly there are problems with some charge points, but fundamentally there are the same components in a "granny" lead packed into a smaller space and hence more likely to suffer issues relating to heat so it is not just the "plug socket". The plugs themselves are not robust - there are numerous issues with them overheating around the fuse and Live pin.
I'm in Canada so I have a 120v/12a charge cable (what we call a level-1). It's used outside, but kept dry. I wonder if being lower voltage and/or lower amperage and/or keeping it outside is likely to improve its life when it comes to heat build-up? I guess I'll find out! :)

My suggestion is to not get a charging solution where the amperage exceeds 25% of the Ah rating of the battery (eg. 60 Ah battery would be a maximum recommended charging rate of 15 amps). Keeping it to 25% or less will improve the service life of the battery. Many level-2 home units can be switched between lower and higher amperage, and I imagine type-2 would be similar.

I suppose the best of all worlds in Europe/UK would be a level-2 charger that could charge at a 25% amperage normally (such as overnight charging), and a faster amperage in an emergency (back to back trips).
 

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I'm in Canada so I have a 120v/12a charge cable (what we call a level-1). It's used outside, but kept dry. I wonder if being lower voltage and/or lower amperage and/or keeping it outside is likely to improve its life when it comes to heat build-up? I guess I'll find out! :) ...
Well, the heat dissipation through a resistance (e.g. points in a relay acting as high-current circuit breaker) is I*I*R, so your 12A at 120V is going to run hotter than my 10A at 240V, despite lower power throughput! But colder air temps should help a bit.

... I suppose the best of all worlds in Europe/UK would be a level-2 charger that could charge at a 25% amperage normally (such as overnight charging), and a faster amperage in an emergency (back to back trips).
Easy to arrange if you have a controller inside the EVSE that has a publicly documented interface/details. My Rolec now has a Viridian Mainpine ECU in, and the current it provides (offers to the car actually) is set by a resistor wired between 2 terminals. So it's easy to arrange a rotary switch, or variable potentiometer to set this anywhere between 6A and whatever-is-your-max-wiring-limit, in my case 32A on a 7kW unit. Or you can fit a computer-controlled potentiometer (digipot) and hook it up to solar-panel-current-export-measuring setup if you want, for max economy. As I shall be doing soon, now I have an Ev capable of benefitting from this.
 
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