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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Audi Etron Sportback, Pod Point Home Charger
A few charge cycles without problems and I am planning to use Octopus Energy with a Go account for overnight charging. As a starting point a daytime scheduled charge to see how it goes:
Does it work without an internet connection?
1. Installed the iOS version of the Pod Point App.
2. Setup a short charge interval and saved.
3. VDSL modem off.
4. Plugged in the car - charging light on the car says off - charging commenced on schedule.
Surprised that the Pod Point had access to the start time and was operating without a local network connection.
5. Halt charge on schedule failed to trigger.
Needs an internet connection to action end of charging?

The car has its own charge functions built into the MMI and accessible through an iOS MyAudi app but no start/stop schedule. The app has a simple single time entry and the car will charge to be prepared for that time i.e. a bit hit and miss to run scheduled overnight charging.

My internet connection is off overnight so my plan is to start on schedule and then let the car terminate charging at 80%. Typical charging cycles have been around 1 to 3 hours capped at 80%, nominal 7kW charger, and they would fit within the Go account limits. If power is taken outside the Go overnight charge period then it would be minimal.

Q. Being new to EVs and home charging - does the above make sense or suggestions for better charging practice?

Thanks
 

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Try not to mix the schedules on the car and the PodPoint. Use one of the other. Using both causes all sorts of problems.

If your PodPoint loses internet connection (WiFi) then it will lose the schedule and revert to a dumb charger. If it regains WiFi, it may ignore the current schedule and not charge until the next schedule. If there's no schedule set for the next 24 hour period, it will revert to a dumb charger again.

You can tell the status of the charger by its light. White, no WiFi connection so just a dumb charger. Blue with occasional magenta flash, Connected to WiFi but no schedule set. Again, just a dumb charger. Light green, there is a schedule set and won't charge until the schedule is reached. Red, something went wrong. Try resetting from the isolator. If it stays red, call PodPoint (good luck).

Basically, if you want to use the cars scheduling, set the PodPoint into dumb charger mode. You want to see either a white or blue light.

If, for example, you set the PodPoint to charge from 00:30 to 04:30 on Monday but you don't have any schedule set for Tuesday and leave your car plugged in, it will charge from 00:30 to 04:30. However, when it reaches midnight on Tuesday because there is no schedule set for that day, it will start charging again as with no schedule, it is just a dumb charger.
 

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I’m amazed by how limited the controls in a lot of cars are. I’ve had a succession of Nissan Leafs since 2013 and all have had the ability to set at least one start/stop schedule (the current model has two and feature to ignore the timer if the car is not at home plus a button next to the charge flap release to manually override the timer). Having this makes using Go dead simple. Set the car to charge in the cheap time and forget it. No need for a smart charger.

As it is just software, I struggle to see why manufacturers wouldn’t make the charging options as comprehensive as possible. I guess it’s in part because they still don’t really understand how their cars get used. It’s certainly something I’ll be looking at when assessing the options for my next EV, along with the ability to preheat or pre-cool by timer or app.

My internet connection is off overnight
Looks like you might have to review that to make the charger work as designed.
 

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42k miles on public charging. Am I an expert yet?
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I’m amazed by how limited the controls in a lot of cars are. I’ve had a succession of Nissan Leafs since 2013 and all have had the ability to set at least one start/stop schedule (the current model has two and feature to ignore the timer if the car is not at home plus a button next to the charge flap release to manually override the timer). Having this makes using Go dead simple. Set the car to charge in the cheap time and forget it. No need for a smart charger.

As it is just software, I struggle to see why manufacturers wouldn’t make the charging options as comprehensive as possible. I guess it’s in part because they still don’t really understand how their cars get used. It’s certainly something I’ll be looking at when assessing the options for my next EV, along with the ability to preheat or pre-cool by timer or app.


Looks like you might have to review that to make the charger work as designed.
True, but also I don't use any of the charge timers on my Leaf because it makes it a PITA when I want to use a public charger. Far better to just have the charge point control the schedule. It also means the charge point isn't sat there trying to commence a charge wondering why the heck the car is refusing it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for these replies.

With an internet connection + Pod Point App + 80% limit set and charge level at 79% + schedule saved - Phone switched off
1. Plugged in - no charge - started on schedule at set time
2. Car halted the charge at user set 80% (before timer schedule completed).
3. Pod Pointer timer halted charge on schedule.
4. Pod Point displayed green light i.e. wait for next charge schedule.
5. Into the Pod Point app and cancel repeat charging - back to blue/purple pulse on status lamp.

Works OK but a single charge option rather than repeated charge scheduling would simplify.
'...with the ability to preheat or pre-cool by timer or app... '
The simple departure time setting is used for seat preheat/ventilation, AC on, window heating...

I must not forget to cancel Schedule active...I must not forget to cancel Schedule active etc
 

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True, but also I don't use any of the charge timers on my Leaf because it makes it a PITA when I want to use a public charger.
Must depend on the model. I think only my latest one had the option to set it so it ignores the timer when away from home. They’ve all had the override button next to the flap release so even on the older models, having the timer engaged wasn’t really an issue to me. Thing is, the car has options so you can use it as it suits you, which others seem to lack.
It also means the charge point isn't sat there trying to commence a charge wondering why the heck the car is refusing it!
I don’t think even the smartest chargepoints exhibit that level of consciousness!
 

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True, but also I don't use any of the charge timers on my Leaf because it makes it a PITA when I want to use a public charger.
For my 13 Reg 24kWh Sunderland built Leaf I have almost no problem having the charging timer set - if I wish to AC charge outside the set charging timer times, I just press the charging timer over-ride button. If using a Rapid charger there is no need to press the over-ride button as the car correctly assumes that if you are using the CHAdeMO connector you are wishing to charge immediately.

The only time I have had a problem was when charging at a Nissan dealership when I forgot to engage the Type 1 charging connector lock, and someone unplugged and replugged the charging lead [this automatically cancels the timer over-ride].
 

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The car has its own charge functions built into the MMI and accessible through an iOS MyAudi app but no start/stop schedule. The app has a simple single time entry and the car will charge to be prepared for that time i.e. a bit hit and miss to run scheduled overnight charging.
Having faffed around with my father's E-Tron over the weekend to try to work with our Octopus Go tariff, there is a way of scheduled charging which is more detailed than the simple end time. I believe it's in the advanced charging settings where it allows you to set specific charge times by location which it will then remember when you visit relatives etc. Went through all that hassle and then didn't work despite saying in the car it was working with the location specific timer 😤

It does exist though so worth a try!
 

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Thing is, the car has options so you can use it as it suits you, which others seem to lack
So true. I use my Leaf timers to avoid home charging!
I get free work charging. In winter the pre heat timer will only come on if the car is plugged in, but doesn't have to be charging. So I set my pre heat to 7.30 and charge timer to 8.00-5.00 when Im at work.
This means i plu in at home but it doesnt draw electric, and the pre heat works in the morning!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Having faffed around with my father's E-Tron over the weekend to try to work with our Octopus Go tariff, there is a way of scheduled charging which is more detailed than the simple end time. I believe it's in the advanced charging settings where it allows you to set specific charge times by location which it will then remember when you visit relatives etc. Went through all that hassle and then didn't work despite saying in the car it was working with the location specific timer 😤

It does exist though so worth a try!
This has worked BUT:
For now a one off 15 min daytime test.
I used Home for location.
Switched off the local network and let the car use its data link (not entirely sure of that!).
Charge cycle completed as per schedule - the dashboard display has an info. line confirming that.
Even with a charge cycle completed the car's charging light remains green - in other circumstances I would take that to mean it is charging. Here it probably means charging cycle active and awaiting next scheduled start time.
These options are really well hidden at the bottom of the menu structure.
As with the Pod Point I would prefer to cancel a completed charge cycle rather than let it repeat.
The Pod Point would be 'dumb' and all settings - schedule, max charge cut off are with the car.

Tried myAudi to view the charging record but the gremlins intervened - "Unable to load data in full. Please try again later."

I will now set this up to run an unattended off peak charge and see what happens. Thanks for these suggestions. Faff would be an understatement for something which is intrinsic to the car's day to day running.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Why would you turn off your router overnight?
Why would I want an always on router?

Same reason I switch any electrical appliance off overnight, even if they have a standby function. I use the car in locations without cell phone reception or wifi so need to know just what is possible without access to apps or the car's MMI data link.
 

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The only issue with switching a router off is if it’s a combined router and ADSL modem. I believe the line calibrates itself each time the connection is restarted, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to find a reliable maximum. I think the process can take upwards of 24 hours.
Obviously doesn’t apply if the router is separate from the modem and the modem isn’t switched off or if the connection is a different technology.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The only issue with switching a router off is if it’s a combined router and ADSL modem. I believe the line calibrates itself each time the connection is restarted, starting at a low speed and gradually increasing to find a reliable maximum. I think the process can take upwards of 24 hours.
Obviously doesn’t apply if the router is separate from the modem and the modem isn’t switched off or if the connection is a different technology.
A long time since I used ADSL!! This is a VDSL device.
 

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I can confirm switching your modem off each night isn't a good idea, I did it when I first went ADSL and the line went down to stupid slow, I complained to my ISP and they explained switching off each night was the reason as it assumed the line was unstable.
 

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Caution: Do not switch off your router when you leave the house on a daily basis! With ADSL2+ and FTTC services (VDSL) Switching the broadband router off and on a lot can make the remote broadband hardware think the line is unstable and a process called Dynamic Line Management (DLM) may kick in and slow the line down in response to try and make it more stable.
 

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I'm on my third EV now and all have had poor charge timers. No idea why, it really shouldn't be hard to have a simple timer that starts and stops a charge at a fixed time, but it seems that many EVs struggle to do this.

My fix has been to always leave the car on "charge immediately" and just fit a time switch to control the charge points, so I have the option to either have them charge immediately or only charge during the off peak slot. 99% of the time both charge points stay set to off-peak charging. Both are dumb, have no form of internet connectivity, and just work reliably, all the time. I've never had a failed charge in the years I've had EVs and plug in cars (since 2013), as there's very little to go wrong with a simple time switch. There is a lot to be said for keeping things as simple as possible, and reducing the number of things that could cause a timed charge to fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Caution: Do not switch off your router when you leave the house on a daily basis! With ADSL2+ and FTTC services (VDSL) Switching the broadband router off and on a lot can make the remote broadband hardware think the line is unstable and a process called Dynamic Line Management (DLM) may kick in and slow the line down in response to try and make it more stable.
I have had VDSL about 8 years and do an occasional speedcheck. In that time it has never deviated i.e. 38+/-1 Mb download, apart from an outage 2 years ago. OK for a copper wire service. Switched off then back on within the last 5 minutes for 37.8Mb. The service normally runs 12 hours on + 12 Hours off - it is not switched off every time I leave the house.

Back to best charging practice and thanks for everyone's contribution(s).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I'm on my third EV now and all have had poor charge timers. No idea why, it really shouldn't be hard to have a simple timer that starts and stops a charge at a fixed time, but it seems that many EVs struggle to do this.

My fix has been to always leave the car on "charge immediately" and just fit a time switch to control the charge points, so I have the option to either have them charge immediately or only charge during the off peak slot. 99% of the time both charge points stay set to off-peak charging. Both are dumb, have no form of internet connectivity, and just work reliably, all the time. I've never had a failed charge in the years I've had EVs and plug in cars (since 2013), as there's very little to go wrong with a simple time switch. There is a lot to be said for keeping things as simple as possible, and reducing the number of things that could cause a timed charge to fail.
My experience similar to your description. So far:
Charging on the Audi MMI i.e. Timer and Schedule charging - Plug in and the settings are ignored - Immediate charging commences.
Clear the Timer, Schedule and Location settings from the MMI.
Set a schedule for the Pod Point in their iOS app. - Plug in and the settings are ignored - Immediate charging commences.

How did you fit a timer to control a 7Kw wall charger or was this off the domestic plugin 3.5 Kw charger?
 

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My experience similar to your description. So far:
Charging on the Audi MMI i.e. Timer and Schedule charging - Plug in and the settings are ignored - Immediate charging commences.
Clear the Timer, Schedule and Location settings from the MMI.
Set a schedule for the Pod Point in their iOS app. - Plug in and the settings are ignored - Immediate charging commences.

How did you fit a timer to control a 7Kw wall charger or was this off the domestic plugin 3.5 Kw charger?

Both our charge points are home made. I just fitted a small DIN rail time switch to control the EPC in each to control charge timing, using the facility the EPC module has to allow graceful control via the Control Pilot signal. This is the second one I installed, not long before my wife bought her Zoe earlier this year. The small waterproof switch at the top switches between off-peak timed or always on mode. The time switch is the module at the far left.

147549
 
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