Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

1 - 9 of 9 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I've had my Nissan Leaf nConnecta since 28th January 2020 (separate thread on my first week here), and I've been loving it - it's arguably one of the best cars I've ever owned (and I've come off the back of two great experiences with Mercedes Benz). Of course, 'charging anxiety' has been a factor since Day One. I live in Scotland, so I was able to get the £20 per year ChargePlace Scotland card and use a 44kw fast charger near my workplace (usually in the mornings when it tends to be quieter) or a really great InstaVolt pay-charger near my house, which has been relatively inexpensive to use. I've also used other CPS points around my local area (at train stations etc.) which tend to be slower, but if I park up to go for a one-hour walk, it usually tops me up nicely.

When I received my proof of order document from Nissan, I requested quotes from two companies to get a home charge point installed. The first one was a local firm who have installed a lot of commercial charge points and are OLEV registered (which means they get the £500 government grant towards the install), but unfortunately, they were not registered for the Energy Savings Trust additional £300 grant you can get in Scotland. I only found this out after accepting their quote and applying to the EST. It took about a week to get a response of "they're not on the list, so you won't get the £300". Unfortunately, the EST website currently does not allow users to login and replace the old quote with a new one, so I had to get the second quote and email it manually. I'll deal with the second quote below.

Sending in a second quote caused a fair bit of confusion - because the EST people appear to use Microsoft Outlook for their emails, and don't seem to understand the concept of dealing with the most recent email sent by an applicant first - they tend to reply to the oldest unread emails and then get to the new ones a few days later. This trailed on for about two weeks, going back and forth responding to emails that had already been replied to, or being asked questions that I had already dealt with. They would email me back and ask for documents I had already sent (such as my V5) - which I would then re-send, and they would struggle to keep up. I originally sent a photo of my V5 taken on my phone, and they said they couldn't accept it - it had to be a PDF scan (I resisted the urge to point out that a scan is a photo). So, I put the photo in a PDF document and re-sent it, and they rejected it again - this is despite the information being very clear and detailed, along with all the other purchase documents for my car. I eventually sent a scan, and received a response about three weeks after my original re-quote has been sent, to say they would be happy to process my application. So, that was positive.

However, the second quote I received was from EverWarm - who are a pretty big company in the UK. I filled out all of the documents they sent me, emailed through all of the purchase documents I was asked for - including very detailed photos of the exterior of my property, interior photos, annotated plans and illustrations of where the cabling could potentially go, and shots of the fuse box etc. All good, and they then sent me through a detailed quote. It was all fine - a tad more expensive than I was expecting (ie. the additional contribution that I need to make to the cost). I had asked for an untethered Rolec, and, all new charge points have to be "smart" charge points, so that added to the cost. I did a fair bit of research into the charge point I wanted, and the Rolec with the built-in SIM card (7.2kW 32A Type 2 IEC 62196 charging socket) appealed to me for a number of reasons, including already having my own cable, possibly purchasing another EV in the coming years, and the online functionality.

Anyway, they replied with the quote, which I was happy to accept. I submitted this to the EST (after the aforementioned email tennis) and everything was agreed. Then they sent an email saying how they would do the install - which was totally different from what had been agreed. I had to draw another picture (like something from a kids TV programme) to explain what they had got wrong and what had been agreed. The senior engineer replied to say my version was correct, and they had made a mistake - so it was all sorted.

The next thing I had to get done was a load test on the house - which went a bit better than the rest of the process; it was a simple case of the energy supplier calling me to arrange a date for an engineer visit, then they came to the house, tested and approved the load and sent a letter to EverWarm to say we were good to go. That took about another 10 days.

The next issue was getting an installation date - EverWarm phoned me as I was about to go on holiday for a week, so I the only date I could get was three weeks after that, which I was happy to agree to.

Then came coronavirus, and I was starting to think I wouldn't get the installation done before any kind of major lockdown. Before anyone jumps on this - I am what has been classified as a "key worker" under the current crisis (I won't go into detail). I know all-too-well the impact this is having on people's lives, their income and their health. A home charge point not getting installed is not the end of the world for me, but getting it done would be one less thing for me to worry about during the pandemic. Being able to charge the car at home without undue exposure to public places etc. was on my mind - and also, I didn't want to be putting installation workers are risk (or vice-versa; me, my family and neighbours at risk).

So, the day came yesterday (Friday 20th March) - 52 days since I received my new car. The EverWarm guys were really decent, friendly, chatty and helpful. They asked me loads of questions about what I wanted, were very clear and understood what I was looking for them to do, and talked me through it all. The install took around three hours in all - and not a spec of dust was left at the end of it. The installer set up my Rolec account, showed me how to set it up on my phone, and then we tested it in the car - and it worked a treat. He left me his number, in case anything went wrong - and will be returning at some point to replace a breaker that stopped working while he was fitting my islolator (he made sure my lights circuit was functioning properly on another breaker before he left, but wants to make sure it goes back the way it was).

So, there we have it. My home chargepoint is installed, it’s working, and my charger anxiety is pretty much gone. I topped the car up to 80% yesterday, then went out a drive to go for a walk to get some fresh air - and plugged in to a CPS free point while I was out. All good. I'll be looking into moving to a decent overnight tariff when the covid-19 crisis dies down (long story - I have a so-called "smart" meter at home that's none-too-smart).

I guess one of the big points I was going to make in all of this was the levels of bureaucracy I had to go through just to get a quote, or to get the two grants approved, then to get the load test done, an installation approved and carried out - it took weeks, and was I repeatedly frustrated by an inefficient system that wasn't really fit for purpose. And I'm a pretty patient guy. I understand that these organisations are dealing with government barriers, the energy companies/suppliers, inefficient systems and safety issues - and a whole host of other things that generally just hold the process up. But the issue, as I see it, is how a system like this scales up when ICE vehicles are phased out. I hope people are thinking about it now, but they are going to struggle in the coming years with installing points at scale - not least of all because the economy is going to take a beating due to the coronavirus outbreak, but because there simply isn't a system in place that currently works smoothly or quickly.

So, that's my charge point install story. Feel free to ask any questions about it and I'll do my best to respond.

CDC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
Thats some useful info on the process.

I'm in Scotland as well and was hoping to be able to use the OLEV and EST grants but so far I've only been able to obtain a single quote and that was higher than I was prepared to pay.

I was unaware that it would take as long as that though. :(

Cheers
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
267 Posts
I think the grants will be long gone in a couple of years and a more competitive market will exist. Ramp up on charge point manufacture equals lower cost hopefully. Regular sparks can install no need to be OLEV registered.
I have a pod point (3 years old) type 1 socket will probably just get a new type 2 plug and lead for new car if and when.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
60 Posts
I suppose I'd best get on that as soon as possible in the new financial year. It'll be interesting to see how it all goes with the restrictions due to Corona only ramping up. I'm also a key worker in Scotland, but I'm not due to have an EV until August. I'm sure it'll be possible to have something I can use in place by then even if it's only CPS membership
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Yeah. You can apply for CPS membership as soon as you have your car details. Getting the chargepoint might prove difficult, depending on how things go with covid-19, but be prepared for the process being slow whatever the case.
 

·
Registered
Renault Zoe ZE50 GT-Line Rapid Charge
Joined
·
1,847 Posts
I was told I needed a replacement cutout (the fuse before the meter) in preparation for my chargepoint, and the DNO had no issues with sending a couple of guys out to do that for me.
(There were two of them because I apparently have a "looped" supply - ie. power comes into my house, then across the driveways to my neighbour's place)

Hoping Chargemaster have a similar attitude to getting work done in the next couple of weeks! 🤞
 
1 - 9 of 9 Posts
Top