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Hi all.
Just went and signed for my Merc C350e estate - it's in stock so just waiting for them to PDI it.

I am an EV virgin and have a couple of questions please ?

What is the best charging point to put on my garage and what do the different "Types" and Amps mean ?

For the public points (Waitrose etc) someone said you need some sort of card to wave in front of it ?

Do some places charge you for charging ?

And I also heard that you need to pay £10 and register somewhere to avoid the congestion charge ?

Would appreciate any help or advice.

Many thanks
Stephen
 

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Ecohound
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On the domestic charge point question I would recommend the 7Kw 30A with type 2 socket. Your car most probably doesn't charge at 7kw but the upgrade cost is small and will save you in the future if you wanted to upgrade the point (y)perhaps because you get a long range BEV. The reason for the socket is if you are charging away from home you will already have the cable so no extra cost. Also friends and family who visit will also be able to charge irrespective of what make of car they have and you won't be stuck to only a handful of manufacturers when you change car's.
 

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Hi all.
Just went and signed for my Merc C350e estate - it's in stock so just waiting for them to PDI it.

I am an EV virgin and have a couple of questions please ?

What is the best charging point to put on my garage and what do the different "Types" and Amps mean ?

For the public points (Waitrose etc) someone said you need some sort of card to wave in front of it ?

Do some places charge you for charging ?

And I also heard that you need to pay £10 and register somewhere to avoid the congestion charge ?

Would appreciate any help or advice.

Many thanks
Stephen
Welcome Stephen!

Here are the congestion charge links

Discounts & exemptions - Transport for London
http://content.tfl.gov.uk/ultra-low-emission-discount-application-form-141030.pdf
 

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For the public points (Waitrose etc) someone said you need some sort of card to wave in front of it ?
You do. Depending on where you live and who runs the chargers you'll use most, you'll need to sign up for a card for that scheme. Prices vary. Some of the charging networks offer an app for a smartphone instead/as well.

If you post where you live and where you expect to charge, folks here can advise which network(s) to sign up for.
In any case, get an Ecotricity card, for use on motorways, and a few other locations.

Do some places charge you for charging ?
Yes. Get familiar with some of the websites and/or apps that show you where to charge. My favourite is Plugshare, and I also use Zap Map. There are others.
 

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On the domestic charge point question I would recommend the 7Kw 30A with type 2 socket. Your car most probably doesn't charge at 7kw but the upgrade cost is small and will save you in the future if you wanted to upgrade the point (y)perhaps because you get a long range BEV. The reason for the socket is if you are charging away from home you will already have the cable so no extra cost. Also friends and family who visit will also be able to charge irrespective of what make of car they have and you won't be stuck to only a handful of manufacturers when you change car's.
I went for 32A type 2 socket as well. But now I think the tethered lead has points in favour. Putting the lead away every day is a bit of a pain. Having friends and family use public charging? you decide. You could change the plug if changing the car?
 

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Welcome and Congrats on deciding on the Merc C350e. That car looks really sweet. I would love to hear about your experiences with that car.
I'm very jealous of the EV infrastructure you have in the UK. The uptake and dedication to EV's succeeding by all the different groups is great to see. Yes, they're doing it for a profit most likely. But at least they're willing to invest in it. I hope the costs are reasonable.
Here in the Toronto area, CS's are sparse. And it's worse if you're further out of the downtown area. I understand that there are not too many EV's on the road here but if there are more CS's available I'm sure people will give EV's more consideration. (just me venting). I do wish the CDN (Ontario) Gov will do more than just throw $$ at people to buy them b/c that's only part of what needs to be done to get acceptance.
It's also the 2nd reason for me not going the BEV route.
 

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What is the best charging point to put on my garage and what do the different "Types" and Amps mean ?

For the public points (Waitrose etc) someone said you need some sort of card to wave in front of it ?
Most people opt for a 32amp charge point as that can deliver 6 Kwh. Many cars can't actually take that rate of charge but as the cost of installation of a 32amp point is not much more than a 16amp one it provides a bit of future proofing. I also prefer the tethered version but if you intent to charge away from home you will then have to buy another cable.

But you need to consider this too. :- I suspect that the C350e wont accept 6Kwh as it's battery is only 6Kwh. Not a problem with a 32amp charge point of course as it will just take what it needs at its own rate. But here is the rub. Charging from empty to full at a public point will take at least two hours and as that only gives you 19 pure EV miles you may find better ways of spending that time.

For that reason I would suggest that you wait a while before investing in various card subscriptions to see if charging away from home in this particular hybrid configuration is practicable. That research will then be a deciding factor on whether to get a tethered point at home or a socket version.

The cost of each option is identical. A tethered unit is the same price as an untethered. But if you don't charge away from home you don't then need a separate cable as it's already with the unit. And if you get a socket version you WILL need a cable at extra cost just to use it at home. A tethered system is thus £130 cheaper as it already has it's cable. But only if you don't also get a cable for away use. Phew .....you will have to read this a few times lol.
 

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Most people opt for a 32amp charge point as that can deliver 6 Kwh. Many cars can't actually take that rate of charge but as the cost of installation of a 32amp point is not much more than a 16amp one it provides a bit of future proofing. I also prefer the tethered version but if you intent to charge away from home you will then have to buy another cable.

But you need to consider this too. :- I suspect that the C350e wont accept 6Kwh as it's battery is only 6Kwh. Not a problem with a 32amp charge point of course as it will just take what it needs at its own rate. But here is the rub. Charging from empty to full at a public point will take at least two hours and as that only gives you 19 pure EV miles you may find better ways of spending that time.
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Just wait till Donald reads this. He will have a field day.
 

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Ecohound
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I wouldn't bother with the Ecotricity card as they only have Rapid charging leads which I doubt your car can take. As for destination charging best to check that out on Zap-map.com, openchargemap.org or Plugshare. It's a lot to take in but with a PHEV charging away from home is an option not a necessity so take your time.
 

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The c350e has a 16A (3.6kW) onboard charger, so a 16A charging point will be sufficient. But as others have said, a 32A unit will most likely be barely any more expensive, and is a good investment for the future should you buy an EV that can support the higher charge rate.

My view on home charging is simple: do whatever you can to make it as convenient and effortless as possible. In order to get the best out of your car you're going to want to plug in every time you get home (i.e. charging multiple times per day if that fits your driving pattern) so that every single time you set off you have the benefit of the battery being full.

So I would:
  • think carefully about where you want to locate the charge point (i.e. put it as near as possible to where the charging socket on the car is going to be when it's parked)
  • either buy a tethered unit (with permanently attached cable) or get a Type 2 lead and plan to leave it permanently plugged in, ready to connect up - having to unpack/pack a charging cable every time you want to charge will drive you to distraction and probably mean you get dirty hands.
 

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... A tethered unit is the same price as an untethered...
Eerm, not too sure about htis - my 32A Rolec un-tethered was the same price as tethered, but only the tethered one comes with the cable to connect to the car. So I had to buy my own separate cable - which of course I can take with me for use elsewhere. More flexibility, at more cost.
Later edit: Apols to Hitstirrer - I failed to read his append properly! My mistake - this simply repeats what he said.
 

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Eerm, not too sure about htis - my 32A Rolec un-tethered was the same price as tethered, but only the tethered one comes with the cable to connect to the car. So I had to buy my own separate cable - which of course I can take with me for use elsewhere. More flexibility, at more cost.
That's what I said. They are the same price. A tethered unit is the same price as an untethered. Read that whole paragraph. Quote " The cost of each option is identical. A tethered unit is the same price as an untethered. But if you don't charge away from home you don't then need a separate cable as it's already with the unit. And if you get a socket version you WILL need a cable at extra cost just to use it at home. A tethered system is thus £130 cheaper as it already has it's cable. But only if you don't also get a cable for away use"
 
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