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When do you plug in your Ampera at home?

  • Whenever I return home regardless of time of day and leave it plugged in until I next use it

    Votes: 11 73.3%
  • Whenever I return home regardless of time of day but unplug when it is fully charged

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only when it needs charging it anytime

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Only when it needs charging but only at night

    Votes: 2 13.3%
  • Only at night but every night regardless of how charged it is

    Votes: 1 6.7%
  • Something else (please post and explain)

    Votes: 1 6.7%
1 - 11 of 11 Posts

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Discussion Starter #1
I realise that this might have been discussed elsewhere on the forum but I wanted to do a poll so we can see what others are doing over time.

Until now I have only been plugging in the Ampera when I need to charge and the main reason is that I am on Economy 7 and so any power taken in the day is expensive. I always charge overnight using the timer so I was concerned at how much power the Ampera might take in the daytime when not actually charging. I think if I had a single tariff electricity supply I would just plug in all the time and charge immediately all the time but on a dual tariff it changes the playing field considerably.

So, what do you do and why?

If you change your approach later then come back here and tell us why you changed.
 

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I don't know if i read this in the manual or not, but does the battery thermal management run all the time the car is plugged in?
This could use a bit of power even when the car is not charging. Not sure though.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I believe it does Adam and that is my concern I suppose. How much power it uses I don't know. I shall leave it plugged in today when not using it and see how much it uses - remember, I charge at night so plugging in won't charge the car and I can then see how much the car and the TMS uses when not charging.

I read somewhere that the Tesla Roadster used 3-4kWh per day when not charging for its TMS when first launched but that has now been improved. I realise that the Tesla and Ampera TMS will be quite different but if the Tesla could use that much when it was first launched I suppose it is quite feasible that the Ampera might use a fair bit too... or may be not ;)

More on this when I have some useful figures.
 

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I'm just on a standard tariff, so it doesn't really matter whether I charge immediately or overnight.

My incentive to charge immediately is that when I get home there are still several hours of daylight left, so some proportion of the charging can be done from the solar panels. Probably not much, but it may contribute a bit, so that's what I've been doing so far. I have the charger set to 6A because I'm not going to get more than that from the panels and it makes the rest of the charge go on until the small hours when demand on the grid should be lower.

Reasons to charge overnight are: arguably lower CO2 emissions from the power stations, and less battery drain in the morning (because the battery will be at temperature if the charge has only just finished). I'm not altogether sure I believe the first: CO2 emissions are definitely lower overnight, but I don't quite believe that the marginal effect is lower. The second will matter more in the winter when I won't get the evening sun anyway so I'll probably change to doing a delayed charge on 10A then. One thing I've noticed is that if I do use delayed charging on 6A it doesn't finish quite on time.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
More on this when I have some useful figures.
OK... not scientific in any sense but the Ampera has been plugged in for about 4 hours without charging... remember, I charge overnight so the timer is on preventing charging until 1am.

It is clearly taking some power. I have a Pod Point home charging unit and when it is not drawing power at all the lights on the unit flash blue/green alternating. When power is being taken it is steady green. The Ampera is steady green at the moment and has been most of the morning but when I look on the power meter for the house it is not noticable up on normal. So clearly it isn't taking much.

The 4 hours has taken 0.03kWh so if that is typical, and I don't know if it is, then that is 0.18kWh per day. Not much at all really. It might take more in colder or warmer weather and I will do more tests when the temperature chage significantly.
 

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When at home my Ampera is always plugged in and set to start charge at 1am on economy seven. I have done this since taking delivery, I understand the battery temperature will be controlled from the mains. The battery will always be ready and at its best condition when I want to drive.
However, I would not leave it plugged in if I went away for a few days without the car, just in case it started bibbing or doing something silly, frigtening the neighbours.
If it is not plugged in, I am not sure whether the battery thermal management operates drawing power from itself or is it switched off?
Good to know how much electricity it draws just being plugged in and not charging, often wondered how much it costs, as I do not drive it every day, thanks.
 

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Plug mine in all the time for the same reason as Duncan - when its sunny the panels charge the car - usually a 1.5kW to 2kW on average but on a really sunny day as much as 3kW. It also helps as when we want to go out I can turn it on and the inside of the car is quite pleasant after two or three minutes especially if the car is in the sun.
 

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Have just voted for 'something else'.
I generally plug in immediately I get home and leave it on charge, but if I am expecting a really sunny day tomorrow and am not using it until later on the next day I leave it to grab energy from my solar panel generation. Cloudy days are a pain!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That is what I thought I would do when I first got an EV. As we have solar panels I thought it would be sensible to use the solar when it is available but I have decided that it isn't worth the hassle and unless it is generating at least 1500W then it is more expensive for me to charge using solar than overnight on E7.

Most days are not 100% sunny and as the clouds roll in and out so the solar output fluctuates up and down. I might be using all solar when the sun is shining but when a cloud rolls in I am then importing from the grid. Electricity for me is 3 times more expensive in the day than at night so it doesn't take many clouds to make my "solar" charging more expensive than just doing it overnight on cheap rate.

So I have decided that I will always charge overnight or during the day if I need to. However, I don't celay charging overnight just to use the solar... it rarely is worth it for me and a lot more hassle :)
 
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