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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Taken the plunge on an EV, with a 2018 ZE40 to arrive at the end of the month. I live on a terraced house on a main road, residents parking in a bay across the pavement. Not reserved spaces, so can't always get a spot right in front of the house.

I am fortunate to live within a 10 minute walk of 3 22kw chargers in public car parks, currently with free electric supplied by the council, so only need to pay car park fees (which are free after 6pm and up to 8am) and a connection fee to the provider (chargemystreet x 1 and bp pulse x 2 - bp pulse would be "free" connection with a subscription). There are also 4 7kw chargers slightly nearer, on bp pulse that would be 16p/20p kwh, but these have a parking restriction of 3 hours at a time, so would only deliver a half charge on the battery.

The neighbouring town also has serval more points with similar arrangements, although zapmap suggests these ones are less reliable.

The car will be mostly be for commuting on country roads, doing about 175miles a week so I'm reckoning on needing 1 1/2 - 2 longer charges a week.

I have figured that the likelihood of them all being out of service at the same time is low, but not impossible. As we can't always park outside our house, and not wanting to risk a regular cable across the pavement, I'm considering a granny cable for emergencies (and possibly when travelling, though we will keep our existing petrol car). I'll buy a cable protector for it to reduce the trip risk. It would need to be a 10m cable to get from the socket, through the window and to the car, with a high footfall at times, and not living in the "nicest" area, I don't want to risk it being on an extension so it would be easy to disconnect and nick.

Trying to do research ahead of time, in case one should be needed in a hurry, I've come up with the two options below

EV Home Charging Cable | Type 2 to 3 Pin plug | 10 Amp | 5/10 Metre | Mode 2 |



The top one seems to be Zoe Club recommended, but is significantly more expensive than the bottom one. The research I've done seems to suggest the Zoe can be fussy, but both these seem to have good reviews, and several mention using them without issue on Zoes. but would be interested in real world experience/recommendations.

Thanks for the advice - slightly nervous that it may be an inconvenience without being able to charge at home, but we seem to be very fortunate to have so many chargers locally, otherwise I wouldn't be considering getting an EV.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The Screwfix one should be fine. My wife's Zoe charges just fine on one that I bought her as a backup, as the official Renault one was silly money for what it is.
Thanks, that's the answer I was hoping for. Couldn't believe how much an official one costs! (still a bit staggered how much these ones cost though)
 

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Been said before on here that you need to be very fussy about what socket you plug it into. The socket needs to be clean, not rusty, of a heavy duty construction and in perfect condition.

I used a granny cable at work for 6 months without issue, then one day smoke began pouring out of it and I was very lucky not to have a fire.

If the contacts in the socket are loose, poor condition etc it creates a high resistance, which in turn creates a LOT of heat, the reduces the quality of the connection which increases the resistance and causes more heat and so on.... very rapidly it can spiral into a danger.

I would get an electrician to install a dedicated socket at the very least, of very high quality and brand new - tell them what it’s for and make sure you fit a smoke alarm just above it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you. I'm hoping we'll be confident enough using the public points that we won't really need to get one, but I'll see if I can find an electrician to give things the once over or for some advice.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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I think it's worth having one as a backup. If you need a decent extension lead, toughleads.co.uk is the place.

On the occasions I've had to rely on the granny charger, I've always set an alarm to check things after about 40 mins... make sure nothing is getting uncomfortably warm. If it's unknown socket, I've been a bit more cautious. It's easy to be complacent about it. Whilst it should be fine, it's worth being over cautious in my opinion.

Of the two sockets I had to use regularly, the MK branded one got to about 20 degrees (with an ambient of 10) , the other was newer but unbranded and that say at about 28 degrees.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Our house was rewired by the previous occupants around 20 year ago. We've no reason to believe it was done badly, but it would probably be advisable to get it checked before using. With a 10m lead, we wouldn't need an extension cable. The cost of the cable and having the electric socket checked over is probably going to be north of £250, so we're then into the stage of wondering if there's benefit of getting an external port put on the house, though with no off street parking there's no OLEV grant available.
 

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Nissan e-NV200 (converted campervan)
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I use a Tesla granny cable which works fine, it was surprisingly cheap 2nd hand. The Nissan Leaf (2nd gen) cable also works. I don't think the Zoe is as fussy as people think when it comes to granny chargers, I've yet to find one that doesn't work. The Zoe is definitely fussy about the earthing, make sure the 3-pin plug you're using has a good earth or the Zoe won't charge.

The main issue with granny charging a Zoe is the chameleon charger has poor efficiency, at 10A the Q90 is only 60% efficiency, so a lot of energy and money is being wasted, the R90 is a bit better at 70%. Both motors are 90% efficient at 32A. See Renault Zoe charging time and efficiency - 🔋PushEVs
 

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On the subject of granny chargers, I tried recently to use my stand alone Type 2 charging cable (that came with the car) as an extension lead to the granny charger but it didn't work. It physically fits the connector - is there a reason why it doesn't work ?
 

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On the subject of granny chargers, I tried recently to use my stand alone Type 2 charging cable (that came with the car) as an extension lead to the granny charger but it didn't work. It physically fits the connector - is there a reason why it doesn't work ?
The pins are slightly shorter on one of the connectors to stop people doing this, it's possible to remove 10mm from the end of the T2 charging cable connector to make it work.
 

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The pins are slightly shorter on one of the connectors to stop people doing this, it's possible to remove 10mm from the end of the T2 charging cable connector to make it work.
And in the process deliberate defeat a built-in safety feature that is designed to stop people getting killed or injured . . .

FWIW (and knowing that some don't give a shit about safety) there are several built-in safety features with both Type 1 and Type 2 connectors (defined in IEC62196), and the signalling protocol in IEC61851/J1772 that were very carefully thought through to try and make it very difficult to have a live connector that was not plugged in to the car, and to ensure that there was minimal risk of arc flash should a connector be pulled out under load (and the flash and bang from breaking 32 A into a fairly reactive load will be quite impressive).

Those safety measures include physically preventing connector daisy-chaining, because daisy-chained connectors will not have the safety locking pin to stop them being disconnected under load by designing the connector such that one control pin is shorter, so that it breaks first if someone is stupid enough to modify a connector to prevent it locking, hopefully causing the supply contactor to open quickly and remove/reduce the arc flash risk and the electric shock risk if the connector were to be wet whilst this happens

A backup safety measure is included, by designing the signalling protocol such that if there is any indication of the CP signal being partially shorted to PE, then the contactor in the charge point will open to isolate the supply and reduce the risk of electric shock.

As well as this abundance of safety provisions designed in to the connector and the signalling protocol, we have added some additional safety measures, as we know that people will be fuckwits and deliberately modify connectors to remove the safety features, as they believe that the risk of death or injury is always a lower priority than being free to do as they wish. That's one reason why we insist that all charge points have protection that is equivalent to a Type B RCD, because there will always be fuckwits that will take a hacksaw to a connector . . . Hopefully that RCD might, possibly, save them from their own gross stupidity, but then again maybe it won't, and they might get removed from the gene pool, so bringing about an overall increase in the nation's IQ.
 
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