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Discussion Starter #1
Does anyone else find all these plugs/sockets confusing? I have just the standard charger right now which is simple, 3 pin plug one and and the car on the other. Now I want to be able to charge on the road it starts getting complicated.

From what I read the standard issue charging cable will not charge at 16A contrary to the brochure, but instead at 10A? That's not great and means another £500 to get a dedicated charging unit hard wired in. I can do that. Sounds to me like a way to push the home charging station though.

On the road, some charging points have 3 pin sockets, good, min 6 hour charge, bad. Most have other sorts of sockets and plugs. My question here is just how many cables do I need and where should I buy them from? I will mostly be driving in the uk.

Thanks
Richard
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

Hi Richard,

Yes, it is confusing at first but it isn't as bad as all that really once you understand what is happening.

Firstly, the reason that the supplied cable cannot charge at more than 10A is that the plugs in our homes cannot supply more than that. Theoretically they can supply up to 13A but not safely for the time that we have a car on charge. Even 10A should only be used on sockets and wiring we are certain of being sound. Otherwise we should switch to 6A.

The 6 hour charge should never really be an issue for Ampera owners. We normally charge at home and possibly work when 6 hours is normally never a problem. When we travel away from home yes it is good to be able to charge at public charging stations but the Ampera is an ER-EV with a petrol generator so if you are on a long trip then you will be using a bit of petrol instead. OK, if you can charge then I am sure you will, but the Ampera is not a 100% battery car so fast charging is not really a priority.

Apart from the 3 pin 13A plug on the supplied cable there is really only one other cable you might choose to get and that is the type 2 cable. The type 2 cable allows you to plug in to public charging stations that have the type 2 socket and charge at 16A. 10A will add about 10 miles per hour of charging whereas 16A will add about 16 miles. These cables currently cost about £250 so most Ampera drivers will probably not bother because with the petrol generator faster charging away from home is not our priority and we can certainly live without it. I have one but I also own a Nissan Leaf which is a 100% battery car and so charging away from home is essential and the extra speed is more important.

So, that is it really. They are your two options when away from home... 3 pin using the supplied cable charging at 10A or 6A (switchable) or a type 2 cable on a compatible public charging station at 16A.

The only other cable, well converter really, that you might want to get is a 3 pin to blue "commando" converter to allow you to use the supplied cable at caravan sites etc. Again, this is totally optional and most people won't worry about that either.

I hope this helps. If not then please say and I, or others, will gladly try to explain more if we can. :)
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

Thanks for that, Very helpful and I get your point about range extended and not needing to be charged, but I'm trying to play the game here and stay away from petrol as much as possible. Most of my travelling is < 40 miles round trip so I'm right in the zone for the Ampera, but when I do travel further I'd like to have the option of getting another 40 miles petrol free. One site I visit regularly has already agreed to provide a charging point, which is a really nice gesture. Another site, is just over the road from Tesco who are apparently installing charging points. Finally, once a month I park in a car park with a source london charging point. That's £10 a year. Seems like common sense to me to charge up when I can without going out of my way to do so. Its just a shame that I'm going to have a glovebox full of rfid cards to work the charging points :(
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

I can see what you are doing and I salute and support your "minimum petrol" approach :)

Don't join Source London though. Instead join the new POLAR scheme. It is the same price at just £10 per year and it gives you automatic membership of Source London, but also Source East, Milton Keynes, and the National POLAR network including all the Little Chef locations.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

Cheers for the Tip. Have applied to Polar for a card and so on.

As for the Type 2 Cable. Ecotricity say theirs is a type 2 400V 32A outlet. Can I use that (with the right cable) or is it going to set the car on fire?
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

They are talking bo***s - none of their sockets are 400V! The Ecotricity type 2 sockets work just fine with the ZCW cable - when the sockets are actually working that is...
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

proddick said:
They are talking bo***s - none of their sockets are 400V! The Ecotricity type 2 sockets work just fine with the ZCW cable - when the sockets are actually working that is...
Actually it is not bo***s !

Their type 2 sockets are 3-phase sockets. It is possible to use a 3-phase type 2 socket at 400V and about 43kW so in that respect it is not rubbish (to change the expletive ;) ) . In fact, the 3-phase charger on the Renault Zoe will be able to use the Ecotricity stations at 43kW using the 3-phase 400V through the same socket. However, proddick is correct in that they also work fine with our type 2 cables at 240V and up to 7kW... we of course only use up to 3.3kW.

Having said that I do believe that some, if not all, of their type 2 sockets are still wired for single phase but that will change as they upgrade.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

Ok, Cool. So the type 2 plug seems to be 5 power pins and two 'other' pins. So, even though its three phase, our car would only use a single phase of that, and at 16A? So no smoke and fire then?

I'm almost there. Just need a type 2 cable, a home charging station, and a car full of RFID cards. :)

Thanks for everyone's help on this.
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

Richard said:
Ok, Cool. So the type 2 plug seems to be 5 power pins and two 'other' pins. So, even though its three phase, our car would only use a single phase of that, and at 16A? So no smoke and fire then?
Yup... you got it :)

I'm almost there. Just need a type 2 cable, a home charging station, and a car full of RFID cards. :)
Yes for now but with the POLAR initiative and with the general trend now towards Pay-As-You-Go, even that will soon change and improve.
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

I stand corrected... I knew that the US stuff used two phases (to get the 220V) but forgot we had that option over here to get 440V (ish).
 

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Re: IEC / Mennekes / J1772 / Eu mode / this weeks favourite

I stand corrected... I knew that the US stuff used two phases (to get the 220V) but forgot we had that option over here to get 440V (ish).
US 220 Volt is split phase not 2 phase. Split phase is derived from a single phase with a centre-tapped transformer creating 2 hots - effectively +110 Volts and -110 Volts. Connect between and get 220 Volts.

Taking 2 of 3 phases gives two waves a third of a cycle out of phase (120 degrees) whose voltage isn't the sum of the two contributors.
 

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<Escalating Pedantry Level>
SAE J1772-2009
<Now holding steady at Ped Con 4>
 

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This is just a farce though isn't it... surely charging a car has to get more simple than this what with J1772, Type 2, IEC 62196, CCS (type 1, type 2 etc), CHAdeMO, 3-pin 13A, 16A Commando, 32A Commando... how are the general public going to be convinced to switch when there is such complexity?

I think this much all consolidate into a single car charging standard that encompasses both DC and AC. Just plug in to any car and the technology sorts out the rest.

Am I dreaming of the impossible? Perhaps.
 

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I vote for Type 2-Supercharger. Neat, EU standard plug, capable of taking a broad range of power loads including sustained high power DC. Patents are open - ABB etc : go build.
 

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Surprised no-one has piped up yet, but you can get a home charging unit for free under the government scheme as long as you have off street parking. Mine was from Charge master but there are many other suppliers.

You may also want to switch to economy 7 and make use of the delayed charging feature.
 

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Paul - from 010812 - "Don't join Source London though. Instead join the new POLAR scheme. It is the same price at just £10 per year and it gives you automatic membership of Source London, but also Source East, Milton Keynes, and the National POLAR network including all the Little Chef locations."

Do you know if this still applies with their new charging systems & mobile app?
 

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This is just a farce though isn't it... surely charging a car has to get more simple than this what with J1772, Type 2, IEC 62196, CCS (type 1, type 2 etc), CHAdeMO, 3-pin 13A, 16A Commando, 32A Commando... how are the general public going to be convinced to switch when there is such complexity?

I think this much all consolidate into a single car charging standard that encompasses both DC and AC. Just plug in to any car and the technology sorts out the rest.

Am I dreaming of the impossible? Perhaps.
By 2017 ACEA members ( i.e. most cars sold in Europe) will have Type 2 or Type 2 Combo inlets. Dedicated EV socket outlets will likely be Type 2 as is already the case in most European countries.

There will still be some demand for legacy cables with national plugs and/or Type 1 /J1772 vehicle connectors.
 
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