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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I am a complete newbie to EV cars, I have ordered an e-golf and due to arrive start of November.
I will be charging at work with standard 3-pin plug, and looking to install a faster type charger at home but don’t know where to start.

There seem so many options out there I don’t know where to start, can anyone recommend a good thread or place I can read up?
I’d appreciate anyone letting me know what worked better for them.
I would also look at changing electric supplier if needed.
Understand there are government grants towards install etc.

Any comments would be appreciated
Thanks Alex
 

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If you add your location, you might get some recommendations from localish installers that can survey your house.
My throwaway would be to avoid anything in a green and white plastic casing due to numerous quality problems.
 

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Have a read here. https://www.zap-map.com/charge-points/
Even if your Ev only charges at a max 3.3 kW, you'll be looking to get a 7 kW charger as that's what will be most useful in future. Lots of suppliers, some units are prettier than others etc. A 7 kW unit needs a 32A supply, so your house needs to be up to this. I got my 60A house fuse upgraded to 100A by my electricity supplier at very low cost, but older houses may have feebler cables coming so may need a bit more work doing. If the worst comes to the worst, you can go for a 16A 3.3 kW one which only needs 16A supply. It's a good idea to get a small digital consumption meter put in series with it, so you can keep tabs on how much juice the car's using.

Think about where to place the charger; car may be outside gge on driveway, and you don't want cables trailing where people could trip over them. Mine's just inside the gge, and I can trail the cable under the gge up-and-over door without damaging it, and this also keeps my charger totallly out of sight.

Lots of other things maybe - if you have or are considering soalr panels, they can do useful charging for you, and Rolec & Zappi & maybe other mfrs have chargers designed to be able to vary the charging rate so as to maximise use of "spare" solar-generated leccy.

Your question has come up many times before, so do have a hunt through the threads here, and you'll find more info than you though possible!
 

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They are not really chargers, they are power adaptors. The actual charger is in the car.

The make of it doesn't matter too much, most of them are good. The old Rolec ones had quality problems but I think they've been solved now.
I'd say go for the cheapest that comes with the grant that suits your needs - cable length and whether or not it's tethered.

I had a Leaf 40 for nearly a year now, I've managed fine charging it overnight on the 3 pin plug.
 

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Discussion Starter #6


  • If you add your location, you might get some recommendations from localish installers that can survey your house.
    My throwaway would be to avoid anything in a green and white plastic casing due to numerous quality problems.
    WV15 5PH 👍
 

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As said, dont beat yourself up about the charger. I looked at and would have got the EO mini on purely aesthetic grounds, but my local installer wasn't up to much so got something else. Its OK, does the job.
Main starting point is, tethered or not? (eg do you want a cable included or is that not necessary?)
And as Andy said go for 7kW.
You could charge on a 3 pin and granny using an existing socket, the issues with that are that unless you have a good connection on that it might get hot, and the cost to install an external 3 pin on a dedicated socket are as much, give or take, as a "proper" 7kW charger on the £500 grant.
 

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I have a tethered PodPoint which I am very happy with (especially since Nissan paid the other half after the government grant :)). I needed to get my own electrician to install a new circuit, though, but that depends on your own situation. I also needed my DNO to upgrade my main fuse from 60A to 100A.

Regarding electricity supplier, I have to declare an interest (with a referral code :)), but Octopus Go charges 5p/kWh for 4 hours overnight and a very competitive rate outside those hours. You could check https://octopus.energy to see what the daytime rate would be for your post code.
 

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They are not really chargers, they are power adaptors. The actual charger is in the car...
True. They simply turn on a mains supply to the car, and an additional line tells the car how much current is the maximum the car's allowed to take. This can be none at all, or anything from 6A upwards to whatever's the limit the "charger" & your Type 2 cable can cope with. Most home chargers are single phase, 3 phase not relevant here.

The make of it doesn't matter too much, most of them are good. The old Rolec ones had quality problems but I think they've been solved now...
Agreed. I've had a Rolec for 4 years now. Had to change the RCBO, £25, so it's now fine. What I like is I can replace all the internals myself, parts are standard off-the-shelf items (Contactor, RCBO). The "brains" item, aka ECU, can be swapped out for a Viridian Mainpine off-the-shelf unit costing about £80. So these are really simple to maintain & fix. And you can tweak them if there's a Mainpine in; I'm making mine solar-aware variable-current, gradually!

I'd say go for the cheapest that comes with the grant that suits your needs - cable length and whether or not it's tethered.
I went untethered, as you can get a longer cable that way (10m), handy if 2+ cars on driveway etc. Also it's the exact same cable you use for 3.3 or 7 kW "destination" chargers at supermarkets etc, so mine goes with me when I travel. A longer cable also means you have more chance of reaching a destination charger if some numpty has parked his petrol car in the EV charging space! Some prefer tethered as it's a bit cheaper, and neater. Cable theft doesn't seem to be a problem with untethered; I'm ok as unit is inside gge. So some fit external padlock thing to the wall just-in-case. Your choice entirely.

I had a Leaf 40 for nearly a year now, I've managed fine charging it overnight on the 3 pin plug.
Be careful here! I've used a good quality 13A "granny" portable EVSE for 4 years now. This got a lot of use as I could set it to 6,8, or 10A, depending on my solar panel output. Mostly it ran at 6A for long periods. A few months ago it started to drop the charge with a fault light displayed if I used 10A, so I limited myself to 8A max. Worked for a month or so, then 8A threw a fault. Usually after 1/2 an hour's charging at night, so in the morning car was still almost empty! I stripped the unit, and finally found that the problem was the relay inside that acts as the power contactor, the points were wearing out. Having replaced this with a better quality relay, I hope I'm now set for next 4+ years. I've read here of at least one other incident where a "granny" 13A EVSE has had a similar relay problem. These things tend to be small, with zero ventilation as they have to be waterproof, so will tend to heat up inside.

So it's wise not to rely on a single charger! They can age & fail gradually. They can suddenly break, and that could be a disaster if you're dependent on it for your daily commute. Best to have 2 chargers. I had a car problem, but only found out where the problem lay as I could test with 2 chargers, and both detected a fault. With only a single charger I'd have been flummoxed.
 

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I have a pod point 7kw charger. Was about £350 after grant. Our install could have potentially been a bit tricky but the installers were very good.

They fitted a monitoring device onto the house supply (like one of those energy monitors). It monitored the whole house consumption and if it got too high the charger would reduce the charge rate, quite smart.

I went for a type 2 charger without a cable attached, that way I can charge any car using the relevant cable (like the one you’d normally use at public charge points).

I would recommend pod point.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have a pod point 7kw charger. Was about £350 after grant. Our install could have potentially been a bit tricky but the installers were very good.

They fitted a monitoring device onto the house supply (like one of those energy monitors). It monitored the whole house consumption and if it got too high the charger would reduce the charge rate, quite smart.

I went for a type 2 charger without a cable attached, that way I can charge any car using the relevant cable (like the one you’d normally use at public charge points).

I would recommend pod point.

Thanks
Thanks for that, pod point looks good!
The tethered is almost same price as un tethered, can I ask why this was preferred ?
Are you not worried regards someone stealing the cable?

Also does this system allow you to control what time it starts charging to benefit from the cheap electric at midnight?
 

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Also does this system allow you to control what time it starts charging to benefit from the cheap electric at midnight?
The PodPoint doesn't - you have to set the charge timer in the car to determine when it charges. I believe there are other makes that do this, but if you have a car timer there isn't much point. You may be able to find an eGolf manual on line to check out facilities beforehand (or failing that ask your dealer).

Edit: I had a quick look and the good news is you can download manuals. The bad news is you need to enter your VIN so you need to own the car already :)
 

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The PodPoint doesn't - you have to set the charge timer in the car to determine when it charges. I believe there are other makes that do this, but if you have a car timer there isn't much point. You may be able to find an eGolf manual on line to check out facilities beforehand (or failing that ask your dealer).

Edit: I had a quick look and the good news is you can download manuals. The bad news is you need to enter your VIN so you need to own the car already :)
Very useful thanks very much

It’s on order not built yet I will try to find out
Can you set the car charger on the car net app?
 

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Thanks for that, pod point looks good!
The tethered is almost same price as un tethered, can I ask why this was preferred ?
Are you not worried regards someone stealing the cable?

Also does this system allow you to control what time it starts charging to benefit from the cheap electric at midnight?
Hi,

I have had a couple of different EVs and this one won’t be my last so I wanted the flexibility of being able to charge type 1 or type 2 cars. My house is pretty out of the way so it’s not likely the cable will be stolen. It’s locked to the car while on charge anyhow.

There is a smart version of the charge point with an app but not sure if it does charge scheduling. I can set the Zoe to charge at a certain time but to be honest I just wanted the simplest system possible, then if/when the wife also has an EV she can plug in and it just works.

Cheers
 

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Hi Alex
Just to clarify (if someone hasn't already done so) your chosen installer will claim the £500 Government grant on your behalf and simply charge you for the remainder of the install inclusive of the charger. If it's a fairly straightforward install, you'd probably be looking at forking out three to four hundred quid for a 7kw charger installation. Do keep an eye out for free chargers on your travels though. My local Sainsbury has free charging, and Tesco are also to offer free charging for customers too. Ikea and LDL also do freebie charging...... And should you feel like a trip to Scotland, then you'll find most (about 80%) of the charging points are free to use. See here... https://chargeplacescotland.org/ And if you browse the Podpoint site Alex, there ought to be a list of approved installers nearest to your location......
 
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