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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Taking the first steps towards EV ownership which as a committed petrolhead is quite scary. Going to keep my A250 and then get a DS3 or E-208.

Luckily I've got a driveway, so where is the best place to look regards to a home charger? I'm in the North West if that makes any difference.

Also, tethered or non-tethered?
TIA Craig
 

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Tethered .vs. untethered is your call. Tethered works out cheaper, as untethered has extra plug & socket in total, and these are not cheap. But tethered lead may be shorter than you like. My EVSE is untethered, so the Type-2 lead can go with me on hols. Not all EVs come with Type 2 cable, and even if they do, they may not be a long as you'd like, my ID.3 comes with a 6m one, but that's not enough for how I park so have got myself a 10m cable for home use.

As mine's inside gge, appearance makes no difference & each is theft-proof. If your EVSE is outside, tethered is safer, but some use lockable straps/shackles to make their untethered cable safer. You have to work out the pros & cons yourself, what it looks like, whether you're happy to wind up & store a cable elsewhere when not in use, etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the reply Andy. Think I'll probably go down the tethered route, I have a decent sized driveway so finding the right position should be easy enough.

Any suggestions for who to buy from or avoid? My regular sparky is registered to install them but hasn't done many as yet. Just wondering if it works out cheaper to buy the pod then get it installed separately? Do you get the grant for the purchase or the install?

Craig
 

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2020 Honda e Advance Platinum White Pearl on 17s
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We live 9 miles east of Manchester, we used EcoPlugg to install a Pod-Point untethered unit in December 2019, and bought a 10m Type 2 cable from EVonestop, zero issues to date.
 

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V wide choice, and I'm probaby not the best person to advise. But here are some things I've learnt over 5 years EVing. I started with a Rolec, cheap, didn't know anything at all about EVs etc, but was savvy enough to get 32A 7kW one even though Ampy only neded 3.3 kW one. Turns out some of the components Rolec use are cr*p, namely the RCBOs, mine survived 3 years as was only running at 1/2 power at most. After 3 yrs it began to fail, and a torrent of failed Rolec RCBSs elsewhere gave the mfr a bad name in here. And their latest, supposedly better RCBO they supply today has already thrown up about 3 failures that we know of, so to fix a bad Rolec, what you do is bin their RCBO and put a decent one in for £25. Before it overheats & melts the wiring. Some people reckon the case can crack up; mine's inside gge, no probs. But plastic does age, so overtighten the front cover screws at your own risk!

Great advantage of Rolecs is you can replace all the bits inside yourself, if happy to tackle simple mains electricity work. You are not tied to the mfr for spares, and all the important bits are mounted on standard industrial DIN metal strip so literally dozens of RCBOs and Contactors can be swapped in, as can a Viridian Controller unit if the Rolec one fails (or get's destroyed by a car's socket short-circuit, as happened to me!). Replacement cost of the Controller is around £80 for the original "simple" Viridian one, but they now do a safer one that's up to new regs standard; with all the bells & whistles that's more like £180. I've fitted on of these to my Rolec to upgrade it to super-safe status, thread below has details. Total cost of parts for this upgrade was £250 + my time.
Rolec Dumb Charger upgraded with DC Leakage Protection...

So I'm very happy with my Rolec, as I understand it all, and it's 100% under my control. I repair it.

Viridian make EVSEs, and they use excellent quality components throughout as far as I can see form their website ( ecoharmony.co.uk ). Again, I think all the bits in there are easily diy replaceable.
You can build your own from a kit if you want, OpenEVSE.org.
So far these are all "dumb" EVSEs afaik. No solar-aware capability, no timed programs, no load-balancing with house or other EVSEs etc.

Other EVSEs tend to have proprietory circuitry inside. While this may get you the "smarts" you want, it also locks you into them for repairs. Someone on here had a dumb Podpoint (big circular box thing) that got PCB destroyed by builder yanking the wires while was powered on, moved the cables inside & knocked components off, = bang. Mfr quoted something like £450 to repair it! I suggested asking evbitz.uk to reair, which they did for £160. They simply scrapped the PCB, put in a Viridian early-model controller, a temperature-cutout, a Contactor I think, and that was it, job done. These dumb EVSEs are not complicated, and pretty much all of them could be repaired like this I reckon. But a smart EVSE like a zappi, Ohme, ... is another matter.
Podpoint 3kW EVSE Repair using Viridian Controller &amp...

Can a dumb EVSE be made smart? Yes, within limits. Someone here has reprogrammed their Rolec Controller to do just that, so it takes wifi commands to set the charging current offered to the car (std dumb Rolec is 16A or 32A only). I'm beginning to play with the Viridian Controller in mine, and that can have the current set via an external resistor, so I'll stick a digitally-controlled resistor in & use an Arduino to vary this acc to my solar panels & house.
 

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... I have a decent sized driveway so finding the right position should be easy enough.
Hmm, maybe one day you'll have someone else parked where you really want your EV, only to discover that having a longer lead in the first place is less hassle than juggling cars? I have double gge, EVSE just inside. Cable runs below the door as decent air-gap, and my wife's/son's cars may be in the way. 10m cable sorts that issue!

... My regular sparky is registered to install them but hasn't done many as yet.
If it's mounted outside, an Earth Rod may be trivially easy to fit. Or, I believe the PEN-loss protection systems (as fitted in new Viridian Controllers) meet the latest regs that now require better Earthing, or something like that. I think you can avoid having to have Earth rod, if you go for PEN-loss protection? But I'm not a sparky, just raising one thing to consider, as not all EVSEs have this option, and you might not want an Earth rod knocked through your perfect new driveway!
 

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No earth rod required for our Pod-Point installation. It is Smart in that it records the charges and costs against what you input as your kWh rate, but that's it for smartness!
 
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