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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've had a recent survey carried out by Chargemaster and although I'm waiting for their report, they have stated the job will be to difficult to do under the free charging point scheme. Has anyone else had a similar experience and is there an alternative?
 

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If it is difficult for ChargeMaster to do under the free scheme then by rights it will be difficult for anyone to do it under the scheme.

They have set requirements which are meant to be the same from all the suppliers that are installing the free chargers.

What have they said makes it difficult to do for free?

Welcome to the forum BTW :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Pending the report, it boils down to where the box is presently located (i.e. front of house) and the proposed charging point would need to be at the rear of the house plus all the fun and games of installing a line it through the house. Do you know where the requirements are presnted?
 

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Pol

It sounds as if they are saying the charge point itself can be installed and covered by the grant funding but potentially not the additional work needed to be able to connect the unit to your mains supply (dedicated circuit).

There is standard rules as to what is covered by the fund with any additional work needed to be covered by the homeowner and those reasons can cover a multitude of scenario's such as a spare way in the consumer unit to have a dedicated circuit, cable run length, earthing or data transmission requirements from the meter to OLEV etc.

If you would like to send me some details then I can check exactly what they are saying but if you following that I can certainly put you in contact with one of our installers who install Rolec rather than Chargemaster.

Please feel free to let me know

Kind regards
Martyn

[email protected]
 

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It's inevitable that the suppliers will cherry pick the most profitable locations and I've heard of third party electricians being paid ~£200 for the work including parts.

I know one house where the owners dug the trench around the property and installed the armoured cable ready for the 'free' Charging Station. You might find that some of the smaller companies like @Thephoenixworks are open to this :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Pol

If you would like to send me some details then I can check exactly what they are saying but if you following that I can certainly put you in contact with one of our installers who install Rolec rather than Chargemaster.

Please feel free to let me know

Kind regards
Martyn

[email protected]
When I receive some feedback, I will let you know. Cheers.
 

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Hi all, I'm also new to the forum and am just at the beginning stage of planning a future of electric motoring. I'm not sure if it's more appropriate for me to start a new thread or to join this one, as I'm also curious about the details of getting a home charger installed and I'm not sure who to turn to to get it done.

I live in an apartment building on the second floor. There is a shared car park on the ground floor and I have my own dedicated parking space. The problem is that the power in the car park is shared with the whole building and not directly connected to my flat. To get a charge point put in I assume it will at least require a separate meter, if not a whole new supply. I wonder if anyone else has had experience of this situation, or can recommend how to go about tackling it? I've applied to Chargemaster for an assessment but haven't heard back from them yet.

A secondary issue is that of internet access. I've read that grants for home charging points can include the requirement for a cellular data connection in order to upload usage information. It would also be helpful for me to be able to maintain a network connection to my car so I can remote control and receive notifications (I'm thinking of getting a LEAF). There is no cellular reception in the car park and my home wifi connection does not stretch far enough either. The walls in the building are seriously thick (it's an old industrial building) so I'm not sure that a simple range extender will do the trick.

I'm trying to come up with some options for working around this problem. One option could be to have some kind of cellular receiver on the outside of the car park, with a wire going in through the wall. This might do for the charging point, but I would still need something to provide a wireless signal for the car. I've looked at a couple of weatherproof devices that can pick up a wifi signal from a long way off and connect to a computer via USB. If something like this could be mounted outside the car park, maybe I could run a wire inside and have it connected to a wireless router to provide wifi in the car park as an extension of my home network. (My parking space is less than 100 metres from my flat, and on the same side of the building.)

Both these solutions seem pretty far-fetched to me, but so far it's the best I've been able to come up with!
 

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You won't be eligible for the free install I'm afraid. Any install in the location you have available is fraught with issues and complications. You'll need permission from the land owners, a separate metered and fused circuit etc etc.

Once you start looking at self financed installs, the requirement that the charge point have a cellular connection is removed though, so that's one small positive I guess.

I wish you luck but you've a mountain to climb there :(
 

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Hi @Neil B and welcome to the forum!

I am afraid I must agree with @Darren Griffin. I think it highly unlikely that you would be eligible for a free charging station in your flat car park. Even installing a privately funded one will be very difficult and quite likely expensive... by that I would expect many thousands rather than hundreds. You would need the permissions Darren talks of and in my experience these are generally not given by landlords or freeholders. However, you might be lucky so perhaps it is worth asking the question of whoever holds the freehold.

As far as communicating with the car is concerned... the Nissan Leaf communicates with the outside world in 2 ways... via the mobile network and via Bluetooth. There is no WiFi so t it cannot connect to your WiFi at home so all your suggestions wouldn't apply.

If you have a mobile signal where the car is parked then you can get some info and limited control via CarWings via a phone app or the web but without a mobile signal that won't work.

The Bluetooth is really for in car use and isn't suitable for use outside the car. Bluetooth has a very limited range and in any case, it only works the phone and audio systems.

I hate to say this because it sounds like we are being very negative but I wouldn't think that your situation would make it very difficult to own an EV right now. This is one area of EV ownership that has no viable solution yet in my opinion. People without private off-road parking and/or without a private 16A or 32A supply owned by them, in their control and near the car (<5m) have few alternatives right now.

Trying to be positive...

If you are prepared to forgo the communication with the car when parked up at home you could use public charging only. There are a few people that do that but you need:

- the charging stations very nearby
- they must always be working or you would need alternatives nearby in case they fail
- to have parking rights including paying parking fees
- to be certain that they would be available and unoccupied (either by an EV or non-EV)
- be prepared to risk losing your cable or having it maliciously unplugged
- have the additional time that all this implies... finding a free and working charging station every time you return home and want to charge... which for most people that is almost every day.

I wouldn't do it because it is highly unlikely that all this will come together every day when I need it to and it would get so tiresome I wouldn't want to do it.

If you have a rapid charger near you then that is a better option. There is a Leaf owner than only charges on public rapid chargers and that has worked for him for over 50K miles but it requires you to have the time to visit the rapid charger normally daily, it must be working or you need an alternative nearby... again, not something I would do but it is a genuine alternative if you could make it work for you.

It isn't looking good but don't give up. We are just owners, albeit some are quite experienced but still just owners, so we don't know all the answers and there might be a way... I just can't think of anything better right now. Sorry.
 

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Thanks very much for the replies.

It sounds like my electric car dream might have to wait until I have my own house to live in. The government is currently putting its money where its mouth is in terms of making sure people can get chargers installed for their houses, and that the amount of public charging points continues to rise. But they need to come up with a solution for this kind of shared ownership situation so it doesn't become a drag on the adoption of EVs.

The lack of a cellular signal in the car park is something that may never be overcome, certainly as long as it remains against the law to rebroadcast cellular signals, meaning we can't use any kind of booster to increase the signal down there. This is actually a problem throughout the whole building, not just the car park.
 

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The good news is that the current grant scheme ends in a years time (sooner if the funds run out) and with luck we will return to a competitive environment where cellular reception is an option not a requirement.
 

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Hello again.

I've been making further enquiries and it seems I might be able to get a charging station put in to my parking space, dependent on it being possible to run a cable to my flat for the electricity supply. I would have to pay for the extra cable installation myself, but the actual of the charger installation would be covered by the government grant.

I'm still working on the problem of the cellular signal. I think I read somewhere that in order to be eligible for the grant, the charging station needs to be able to connect to the O2 network. Can anyone confirm if this is correct?

If I am to get a Nissan LEAF, I would also like it to be able to get a cellular signal while parked in the car park. Can anyone tell me which network the LEAF connects to?
 

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They will do a cellular signal check when they go to install at the actual location and if the signal is too weak they will not install... at least that is what they are meant to do ;)
 

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I always planned to 'wait and see' before jumping on my one shot of OLEV money. Having engaged with, and dismissed ChargeMaster and British Gas, independent family run @Thephoenixworks are installing my Rolec 32A Type 2 Socket charger at the end of the month. It matches my personally bought charging station and is once and easy to whip the communications module out in 3 years time. Also nice and modular should any component need swapping out.
 

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I live in an apartment building on the second floor. There is a shared car park on the ground floor and I have my own dedicated parking space. The problem is that the power in the car park is shared with the whole building and not directly connected to my flat. To get a charge point put in I assume it will at least require a separate meter, if not a whole new supply. I wonder if anyone else has had experience of this situation, or can recommend how to go about tackling it? I've applied to Chargemaster for an assessment but haven't heard back from them yet.
Could I add another option that Paul didn't include in his list: charge it from a standard 3 pin socket. It may be a lot easier to arrange access to one of these in your shared car park.

You don't need a home charger to charge a Leaf, you can do it from a standard 3 pin socket.The only difference is the current you will be using and the time it will take to do a full charge.
  • 3-Pin Socket draws a current of 10A, takes 12 hours for a full charge.
  • 3.3kW charger 16A, 8 hours
  • 6.6kW charger 32A, 4 hours
The usual usage pattern is to come home in the evening, plug the car in and let it charge up overnight so it really doesn't matter if a full charge takes 8 or 12 hours.

Finally, two important points:
  • Three pin socket charging has a high current draw, so it is very important that the socket is rated to be able to supply 10A continuously.
  • The 6.6kW charger is an £800 optional extra on the Leaf Acenta (not sure about the other models). If you get this option the car will be supplied with a cable to enable you to plug into public chargers and you won't get the cable to plug into a 3 pin socket (an EVSE). This cable is not a simple lead, it has a box of electronics in the lead and will cost £200 or more. On the other hand, if you don't get the 6.6kW charger option you do get the EVSE but don't get the cable you need to use public chargers, and that will set you back another £200, so it's a bit swings and roundabouts.
 

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Roger is correct... charging through a standard 13A socket is a viable option providing the socket and all the wiring is rated at 10A continuous and it is on its own circuit back to the consumer unit. Both of these points are important because if you are charging your car at 10A there is absolutely no headroom for extra appliances on that circuit.

Needless to say, it should be installed and inspected by a qualified person (electrician) in accordance with the Part P regs... but I am sure you knew that (sometimes things just have to be said again just in case - sorry :) ).
 

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Thanks. Some good options there for me to explore.

Anyone know what cellular network the LEAF connects to? Presumably it is one of the usual ones such as O2, Vodafone, Three etc...
 

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Been lurking around here for a bit, and facing exactly the same issue with the same solution (to run a cable from my meter down to my parking space). After many months of back and forth, the management company have now asked for an example where someone else has done this ... (drag feet much?!)

Anyone on here actually managed to get a point installed in a apartment, or even know of someone who has..?
 
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