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Is there any fundamental reason why I should install an EV charger? I've had the car for a few months now and done c. 3000 miles using only the granny charger, whilst waiting (through lockdown) for a quote to install the charger. My garage is at the end of my garden and basically requires a 70 metre cable run - at £10/metre this makes the thing so expensive. I've easily managed on a few hours charging/ day to keep the battery topped up to 80%. I'm retired so I'm able to charge it at regular intervals.
I appreciate that at 10Amps there is considerable loss of efficiency but I reckon I'd need a very long way to recoup the cost. The car is garaged with existing electricity so there are no issues re extensions etc. I charged for 6 hours yesterday to check and neither the plug nor the socket were warm.
So I'm wondering if I really need to install a proper charger. Are there technical reasons why not to stick with the granny charger?
Advice would be much appreciated.
 

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It’s not a great long term solution.

Sockets can corrode and you might wake up with your house on fire one day.

Has an electrician checked your wiring and consumer unit recently? I doubt your garage socket was installed with car charging mind.
 

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Is there any fundamental reason why I should install an EV charger? I've had the car for a few months now and done c. 3000 miles using only the granny charger, whilst waiting (through lockdown) for a quote to install the charger. My garage is at the end of my garden and basically requires a 70 metre cable run - at £10/metre this makes the thing so expensive. I've easily managed on a few hours charging/ day to keep the battery topped up to 80%. I'm retired so I'm able to charge it at regular intervals.
I appreciate that at 10Amps there is considerable loss of efficiency but I reckon I'd need a very long way to recoup the cost. The car is garaged with existing electricity so there are no issues re extensions etc. I charged for 6 hours yesterday to check and neither the plug nor the socket were warm.
So I'm wondering if I really need to install a proper charger. Are there technical reasons why not to stick with the granny charger?
Advice would be much appreciated.
Tell us more about the loads in your garage and what you know about the cable supplying the garage.

If you dont mind slow but just faster, a 10A granny charger with a Commando socket in the garage would be cheap and might be fit for purpose in your special case.

The 16A Commando socket would cost around £40 plus fitting plus the cost of an electrician checking your house wiring which you should do anyhow to avoid fire.

Speak to Martin at EVBitz and ask him if he can modify your existing granny charger and fit a 16A commando plug (No not via an adaptor that would not eliminate the potential fire risk)

regards
 

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Tell us more about the loads in your garage and what you know about the cable supplying the garage.

If you dont mind slow but just faster, a 10A granny charger with a Commando socket in the garage would be cheap and might be fit for purpose in your special case.

The 16A Commando socket would cost around £40 plus fitting plus the cost of an electrician checking your house wiring which you should do anyhow to avoid fire.

Speak to Martin at EVBitz and ask him if he can modify your existing granny charger and fit a 16A commando plug (No not via an adaptor that would not eliminate the potential fire risk)

regards
If you don't mind slow but just want safer!
 

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So I'm wondering if I really need to install a proper charger. Are there technical reasons why not to stick with the granny charger?
In the circumstances described I would stay with the granny charger. There are technical reasons why that is not considered to be a great permanent solution. The main issue is that people tend to just plug into any old 13 amp socket and that can lead to problems if it is old and the internals worn from years of use. If the socket connectors have lost some of their 'spring' then that can create resistance and heat build-up. Sometimes this can be resolved simply by replacing the old 13 amp socket with a modern good quality unit. A DIY task for someone with common sense and a bit of tech knowledge.

Next best would be to change that 13 amp socket for a commando socket, or wire one alongside, but that raises problems with the granny charger. You can't simply change the 13 amp plug for a commando plug as the original has a thermister built in to alert the granny 'brick' if it overheats. The 'brick' won't work without a satisfactory signal coming from that thermister. It can be overcome by fooling the 'brick' by wiring in a suitable resistor across the two signal wires in the five core cable. Or by digging out that thermister from the original 13 amp plug and building it into the new commando plug. But you could be into specialist electrical assistance if you want to go that route.

Running a new 32 amp armoured cable 70 yards would be expensive. And unless you plan to require a much faster charge rate would be prohibitive - even if that is the ideal solution. Perhaps the existing cable is already the right size. That would be a lottery winning event.

If I were to be in your overall circumstances unless you are fully confident that the existing garage socket is in good condition and fairly new then I would consider changing it for a new MK double 13 amp unit and carry on using the granny charger.
 

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Not suggesting this as a permanent solution but have you had a look at zap map to see whether there are local free chargers near you? Tesco are putting free chargers in a lot of their big stores which I've used a few times now. The max charge is 7kWH but if you're shopping and having a coffee for an hour then it adds a nice little extra to your car. As for whether you replace the cable or not, £10 a metre sounds expensive or would that include burying the cable as well? May be worth getting another quote.
 

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I'm planning on seeing how far I can get before I need to install a charger. There's a free charger (in a pay and display) and a paid charger (in a free car park) nearby which I reckon will cover most of my needs.

Only time I'll want to charge at home is getting to 100% for a long trip
 

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I would just get someone in, and install one.

Yes, you can get by without it, but for me, one of the key appeals of owning an EV has been the ability to easily plug it in at home without any hassle. Every journey starts with the right charge. It can also charge the car within 5 hours - that comes in very handy.

It's a fraction of the price of the car and well worth it.

70 metres is quite some distance from your house....maybe it's more convenient to have the charger closer to your house further up the driveway anyway? Charge it on the drive, longer term parking in the garage maybe?
 

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E-Niro 64kWh '4' since 22/9/20 (was Prius)
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@MathewSt In my West Yorkshire location, there are several free for now 50kW chargers. They are all located in council run pay and display car parks. The parking is free for EVs for the duration of your charging! I checked with my local authority. I suggest you do the same.

Peter
 

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I’ve done 15k miles or so since last April with a 3 pin cable fed through the letter box (with a high quality extension, RCD and new wall socket).

Can’t yet bring myself to spend hundreds of pounds on something that won’t materially offer me any great benefit (in my circumstances).

If I had a car with a larger battery that couldn’t be charged at the same % per hour rate, then I’d be more inclined to get a faster charger installed.
 

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I am in a rental house with the garage below the house. I've had an electrician inspect the installation and we found that a number of sockets was wired with 3.5 mm cable and the circuit is 20 amps. I've had him make me an extension cable that I can drop down to the garage and plug in the granny charger.

It works, but it's a bit of a nuisance having to unroll the cord, lower it, walk down to the garage again, plugin... So if this were my own house, I'd install a wallbox for convenience. No hassle getting the cable from the boot but just come home, plugin and enjoy a charged battery the next day.
 

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@MathewSt In my West Yorkshire location, there are several free for now 50kW chargers. They are all located in council run pay and display car parks. The parking is free for EVs for the duration of your charging! I checked with my local authority. I suggest you do the same.

Peter
Thanks for the tip. I'll have a check on the Bingley car park, but a bit further down the road (Keighley) I know there's another free (for now) charger in a free car park at the leisure centre
 

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Did you get it from Keighley Kia? That’s where mine is coming from. Next week hopefully.
Peter (Halifax)
 

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I don't see any reason why you can't use the granny charger on a permanent basis as long as it's out of the weather/sun and doesn't get physically damaged. I attached mine inside an outdoor electrical enclosure to keep it dry and provide a hook to hang the cable. The charging rate (only 8 amps, 2% an hour) is enough for my needs (Kona) and the saving of avoiding a wall box install will cover my electricity expenses for many years of driving. It's even on a 25m extension cord until I can get it hard wired to the nearest circuit.

134895
 

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Alternatively install an EV charger near the house and charge the car outdoors.

Plus as EVs get more commonplace your guests could enjoy a charge during visits (if this becomes the social norm).
 

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Tell us more about the loads in your garage and what you know about the cable supplying the garage.

If you dont mind slow but just faster, a 10A granny charger with a Commando socket in the garage would be cheap and might be fit for purpose in your special case.

The 16A Commando socket would cost around £40 plus fitting plus the cost of an electrician checking your house wiring which you should do anyhow to avoid fire.

Speak to Martin at EVBitz and ask him if he can modify your existing granny charger and fit a 16A commando plug (No not via an adaptor that would not eliminate the potential fire risk)

regards
Do ^ this one ....

;)

You might as well fit a 32A socket too, then it will take 10A without even changing temperature at all let alone a detectable change (16A commando do heat up when drawing 16A, FWIW, not noticed with 16A from a 32A plug/socket. Not saying you should draw more than 10A, but you see what I mean, bigger is always better if you want to avoid contact heating.)
 

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I’ve done 15k miles or so since last April with a 3 pin cable fed through the letter box (with a high quality extension, RCD and new wall socket).

Can’t yet bring myself to spend hundreds of pounds on something that won’t materially offer me any great benefit (in my circumstances).

If I had a car with a larger battery that couldn’t be charged at the same % per hour rate, then I’d be more inclined to get a faster charger installed.
In the end everyone has their own circumstances and level of inconvenience they put with.

Personally, I wouldn't have even got an EV if it meant trailing cables out of letterboxes.

You have to compare the price of the charger to the car itself and what it is offering you. With the OLEV grant you are basically talking about the cost of 5-6 tanks of Dino juice for an investment that will out last the car.
 

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Personally, I wouldn't have even got an EV if it meant trailing cables out of letterboxes.

You have to compare the price of the charger to the car itself and what it is offering you.
Yes, in my case it’s not that having an EV necessarily meant a cable out of the letterbox was inevitable - I could quite easily get a wall box - just that it was the initial solution for charging when the car first arrived and just so happens to have remained so since, for various reasons.

My i3 is on a monthly subscription, so particularly when it first arrived, wasn’t necessarily a long term fixture, and still isn’t.

I thought I would probably use the 3pin cable for the first month or so whilst seeing how an EV fitted my needs, and then most likely invest in a wall box. But I’ve been pleasantly surprised how well the car charges via 3pin and have never actually felt the need in practical terms for a wall box.

A wall box would be aesthetically neater at times when the car is charging - once or twice a week overnight - but we don’t have many visitors overnight and the postman doesn’t seem to mind in the morning!

Another consideration was that we were/are in the process of carrying out and deciding on home improvements which may have been affected by a wall box installation, and vice versa.

If I had bought an EV outright, or committed to a long-term lease, and the home improvements weren’t a issue, it’s probably more likely I would have had a wall box fitted by now.
 

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It’s not a great long term solution.

Sockets can corrode and you might wake up with your house on fire one day.

Has an electrician checked your wiring and consumer unit recently? I doubt your garage socket was installed with car charging mind.
The fire risk to the house occupants is low if they are 70 metres away.
Seriously a commando socket and Ohme cable would be a good solution for 10A to 16A charging. Depending on existing garage wiring and loads
 
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