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Discussion Starter #1
After doing lots of research into EV I went to my local Nissan dealer today to look at the Leaf as it was the first on my list of potential purchases. Before I knew it I'd done a test drive and bought a 15 plate 24 kWh acenta. I'd thought if I bought a leaf at all it would have to be the 30 kWH version for the occasional holiday week away. But then the dealer explained that they would lend me an ice for 2 weeks a year .... and I had already worked out that 95%+ of my journeys were less than 50 miles.

I'm loathe to splash out on a brand new EV right now as I am sure that the market will continue to evolve rapidly over the next 2 years and this is a really cheap way to see how I get on with ev. I can use it for a year or 2 while the ev market steadies down then either trade it for the new leaf or whatever else has come along.

So, some questions:

I get a pod point fitted for free. Even though my leaf is only 3.3 kW, should I future proof and pay the upgrade fee for a 6.6 kW charger? I'm looking at the charge times for the new Leaf 2 and it seems quite long at 3.3. if they do produce the bigger battery in 2019 it would take even longer

I assume that you can plug a 3.3 car into a 6.6 charger without problem?

Does anyone have thoughts on whether it is best to have a tethered pod or one with just the socket? Is the tethered plug end a standard that would work with any EV, or just Leaf? If I got one with just a socket, is it a standard that any car could work with if I had the right lead? Presumably if I just got the socket one I'd have to buy a Nissan cable to go with it?

I understand that part of the deal of getting the free Charger is that it passes usage stats back to some government agency. I don't have a problem with this, but wondered if this has to be forever, or whether you can disable this feature after school period of time?

The salesman mentioned an extra lead I could buy to use with some chargers that have a different socket. It costs £310. What would I use this with and how often, in your experience, would I need it?

I'm confused by the number of EV apps available (on android). Do people have a view on which is best for planning routes, checking on charge points etc?

Apparently I can use a rapid charger at any Nissan garage for free. What is the etiquette for using these? Do you just rock up and plug in or do you need to check in with reception or even book in advance?

Sorry for the number of questions and thanks for your patience.

John
 

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Madam Legurtz
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I'm in a similar position, a recently acquired '15 plat 24kWh Acenta, and loving it so far. Charging with the EVSE until I can get a Pod Point installation sorted out. There are a few complications with my install that don't prevent it but mean I may need to lay out some cash for the cabling.

I've gone for a Universal socket Pod Point at 7kW to future-proof the installation. Its going to be there a long time, outliving any EV that I currently have, for sure. Your Leaf's on-board 3.3kW charger will happily work from a 7kW input (I actually just used a public (free) Pod Point 7kW at Bluewater shopping centre tonight, no problem.

Challenges/Issues
1. I need to upgrade the house main fuse to 100A from the 60A incumbent which means that
1.a My supplier (British Gas) needs to upgrade the meter tails from 16mm2 to 25mm2
1.b UK Power Network to upgrade the primary fuse from 60A to 100A
2. Either Pod Point or my appointed electrician to run a suitable single phase mains cable from the a 40A RCD on the Consumer unit to the cabin, a distance of some 36 cable meters!

I cannot imagine that being terribly cheap, although all of the work to upgrade the house power capacity is completely free of charge.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks
I'm in a similar position, a recently acquired '15 plat 24kWh Acenta, and loving it so far. Charging with the EVSE until I can get a Pod Point installation sorted out. There are a few complications with my install that don't prevent it but mean I may need to lay out some cash for the cabling.

I've gone for a Universal socket Pod Point at 7kW to future-proof the installation. Its going to be there a long time, outliving any EV that I currently have, for sure. Your Leaf's on-board 3.3kW charger will happily work from a 7kW input (I actually just used a public (free) Pod Point 7kW at Bluewater shopping centre tonight, no problem.

Challenges/Issues
1. I need to upgrade the house main fuse to 100A from the 60A incumbent which means that
1.a My supplier (British Gas) needs to upgrade the meter tails from 16mm2 to 25mm2
1.b UK Power Network to upgrade the primary fuse from 60A to 100A
2. Either Pod Point or my appointed electrician to run a suitable single phase mains cable from the a 40A RCD on the Consumer unit to the cabin, a distance of some 36 cable meters!

I cannot imagine that being terribly cheap, although all of the work to upgrade the house power capacity is completely free of charge.
Thanks for that and good to see you echo my thinking. I'd never even considered that I might need the house wiring upgrading... Is that normal? I'm in a 2 year old house so everything must be built to the latest standard, but what that is I have no idea.

Will you have to buy an extra cable to connect to the socket?

John
 

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Madam Legurtz
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Thanks

Thanks for that and good to see you echo my thinking. I'd never even considered that I might need the house wiring upgrading... Is that normal? I'm in a 2 year old house so everything must be built to the latest standard, but what that is I have no idea.

Will you have to buy an extra cable to connect to the socket?

John
For a 7kW Pod Point charger you're going to need 100A capacity into the house, you can check the main fuse by the meter to see, there should be a label on the sealed fuseholder stating what it is.

Pod Point will need to run a suitable cable from a 40A breaker on your Consumer Unit (fuse board). Thats all part of the standard install covered by the OLEV grant and Nissan top up. My install differs in that I need to have the point quite remote from the house as I have no off-road parking alongside the house. Mine is by a cabin at the end of my garden, 26 meters from the building's rear wall.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I used EV Connectors (evconnectors.com) buying a soft cable case and 5 metre "J1772 to 62196-2 32A Electric Vehicle Charging Plugs / Cable " from them for £154 delivered.
Great - I just checked my meter and the fuse is 100 A so I should be good to go. I'll order a cable in the morning.
 

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Check ebay or classified here. I bought a second hand 32A cable for £80, there are cheaper ones on ebay.

I also went for 7kW untethered option. Then I pad-locked the removable cable to the thick cable coming up to the pod-point. I also installed a dummy socket next to the charger. So essentially turning the untethered wall unit into a tethered unit with option of removing the cable for long trips and easy change of cable for the future.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Check ebay or classified here. I bought a second hand 32A cable for £80, there are cheaper ones on ebay.

I also went for 7kW untethered option. Then I pad-locked the removable cable to the thick cable coming up to the pod-point. I also installed a dummy socket next to the charger. So essentially turning the untethered wall unit into a tethered unit with option of removing the cable for long trips and easy change of cable for the future.
Great ideas, thanks
 

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I've got a 3.6 Leaf 24KW, I paid £95 extra to have the 32A podpoint installed, to future-proof myself.
I went for tethered for ease of use.
If I need to change the tethered cable at some point, it really doesn't look like a difficult job at all.
The installer showed me the inside of the podpoint.
 

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Challenges/Issues
1. I need to upgrade the house main fuse to 100A from the 60A incumbent which means that
1.a My supplier (British Gas) needs to upgrade the meter tails from 16mm2 to 25mm2
1.b UK Power Network to upgrade the primary fuse from 60A to 100A
2. Either Pod Point or my appointed electrician to run a suitable single phase mains cable from the a 40A RCD on the Consumer unit to the cabin, a distance of some 36 cable meters!
@Handson Apart from the 36M all this was the same as mine. I called ChargeMaster myself and Nissan paid the base fee. UK Power sorted my 100AMP fuse and meter tails free of charge. I switched to OVO as I have an old Wire Fuse setup and need an isolation switch fitted. EDF wouldnt do it at all. OVO charged me £67 to fit the isolator. Then Chargemaster charged me £50 extra to fit a small consumer unit just for the charger and I paid an additional £75 to get the 7Kw charger upgrade. I also had to install some cable tray between my house and garage as they like to run straight out of your meter and wouldnt use the existing power.

Yes its worth getting the 7Kw untethered unit for future proofing.
I unplug my cable in the morning and pop it in the boot. Then once I am finished driving around for the day I plug it in as I arrive home.
I have Economy 7 so I set my charge timer for 10.30pm to get the cheaper rate.

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Just an update, POD point were very efficient and turned around my application paperwork the same day I contacted them and arranged to come and fit my charger on 15 Dec. I can't believe that this all mostly paid for by a government grant - I think it is the first time I have ever qualified for some sort of handout. I decided to go for the 6.6 untethered option for future proofing which now costs an extra £95. Apparently a tethered charger can be changed to a universal socket, but it costs around £250, which I thought seemed a lot. I have found 2 charge points nearby, both part of the POLAR PLUS network so I have joined their scheme (first 3 months free then £7+ a month) and the 2 chargers are free to POLAR card holders. I have looked at the ecotricity scheme but, unless I've misinterpreted it, this looks quite expensive at £7 fixed fee per charge plus 19p per unit.

I've loaded the plugshare app on my phone and was a bit disappointed - I thought it would have more tools and look a bit more 'professional' What I would like is to have an app that I could put my travel requirements in and have it suggest a route and where to recharge. Ideally, I would tell it how low I was prepared to go on charge level and it would then plan stop offs on this basis. If it could monitor actual charge level and charger availability so much the better. I do think this part of the technology is still too immature for mass use. By the time everyone has an ev, there will need to be some sort of coordinated system that does all your planning for you and pre-books chargers along the route, otherwise there will be an awful lot of frustrated people out there.

I'm really tempted now to get some solar panels and a power wall fitted. I believe OVO are doing this and shortly the technology will be able to sell power to them from your car battery ay peak load times. Probably best to let this tech mature for a while though.

I've read the charger bumpf that came by email and it looks like you provide them with your wifi password when they set it up so that it can call home. What do they do if you change your password?

PS just found the evhighwaystatus website which almost let's you plan like I suggested. I did try a route though and it has me arriving at a charger at -33% battery, so I guess it needs some more work
 

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PlugShare app does allow you to do route planning. On iOS it's a button to the bottom left of the map, above the map filters button. It allows you to set distance between charges and then suggests charge point along the way, won't calculate your remaining charge though.

I think only Source London can pre-book charger for you. Not sure I'd accept the concept though, won't be impressed to arrive at a rapid charger that is prebooked and empty for 10min before the guy turns up and charge 30min. First come first serve, at worst wait 30min or go to your plan B location.

Ecotricity is now charging fixed £3 connection fee followed by 17p per kWh. Polar Plus rapids charge 9p per kWh with their monthly membership fee.

If you change your Wifi settings. You can connect to the Wifi pod-point is broadcasting and use its webpage to connect to your new network. It works similarly to how you'd configure a Wifi range extender.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
PlugShare app does allow you to do route planning. On iOS it's a button to the bottom left of the map, above the map filters button. It allows you to set distance between charges and then suggests charge point along the way, won't calculate your remaining charge though.

I think only Source London can pre-book charger for you. Not sure I'd accept the concept though, won't be impressed to arrive at a rapid charger that is prebooked and empty for 10min before the guy turns up and charge 30min. First come first serve, at worst wait 30min or go to your plan B location.

Ecotricity is now charging fixed £3 connection fee followed by 17p per kWh. Polar Plus rapids charge 9p per kWh with their monthly membership fee.

If you change your Wifi settings. You can connect to the Wifi pod-point is broadcasting and use its webpage to connect to your new network. It works similarly to how you'd configure a Wifi range extender.
Thanks for that - really useful
 

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I have found 2 charge points nearby, both part of the POLAR PLUS network so I have joined their scheme (first 3 months free then £7+ a month) and the 2 chargers are free to POLAR card holders
If you switch your provider to OVO you can get the Polar Plus network for free for 24 months.
I have and I have a Polar rapid which is free just round the corner from my work :)

Russ
 

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Discussion Starter #17
If you switch your provider to OVO you can get the Polar Plus network for free for 24 months.
I have and I have a Polar rapid which is free just round the corner from my work :)

Russ
That sounds like a good idea - I've done the sums and at the moment my contract (which I can't change until July) is slightly cheaper, but I'll definitely consider them when I do my annual price check and I'd happily pay a slight premium for green energy.
 

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I'm getting universal 7kw Rolec installed over the next 2 weeks.
My car has only 3.3kW charger.
Purchased original Nissan fast charging cable (type1 to type 2) for 100. will buy another one soon so I can leave it plugged in.

It's going cost me 215.00

I'm planning to replace standard din with energy monitoring din one day
 
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