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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Morning all. I've recently got an EV (Kia e-niro) and had a Newmotion Home Fast charger installed (it was the one recommended by the Salary sacrifice lease scheme I got my car though). The installation ordering process was very easy and the OLEV application was well supported, so I had a positive start. The charger also works (as in, I've charged up my car) so that's all good.

However, I understood that it was a 'smart' charger, and they charge a monthly subscription to that end (free for first two years), but I can't get it to do anything very smart. There's a web interface that shows my unit connected and looks like it should show energy used, but it's still all zero. I was expecting to be able to set charging session times (to charge overnight) but there are only controls to instantaneously start and stop charging. Am I missing something or is this really as good as it gets?

(Ps I know I can set charge times on the car but I want to set via the charger and it's a little flakey).
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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This is Shell's home/business charging solution by the looks of it. The problem with all the outfits that will install a "smart" charger for you under the OLEV grant scheme, rather than those who develop and sell a piece of hardware, is there's bugger all information about the kit. How does it connect to their back end? Does it have a SIM or is it on your Wi-Fi, or does it have a wired network connection. Basically the barrier to calling an EVSE "smart" is so incredibly low. It doesn't mean it has any features that are useful at all. It looks like these units will do load balancing, so can reduce the charge current to the car if other things in the house are using a lot of power. Does that count as "smart"?

Check how it connects to a network, and then take it from there to find out whether it's actually doing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. It's a shame, it's connected to the internet and can receive commands so it wouldn't be difficult to go that little bit further and provide a decent product. It's a real oversight in this market I think. Maybe I could write an App to interface with it. I'd have to learn how to write apps first, but how hard can it be? :)

I saw it advertises itself as having load balancing too, but I can't see how it would know how much electricity the rest of the house is using, so I'm a little sceptical.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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The load balancing is through use of ct clamps, usually on the main conductors on the meter, so it's possible to see how much current is being used overall. This then needs a way of communicating back to the EVSE, so it's either dedicated cabling or some sort of wireless setup.

You're right, the whole thing is entirely unsatisfactory. For the OLEV there should be a strict set of requirements that includes local area load balancing, API access... I dunno... loads of things would be better than the really poor offering we have.

In Jan I get a Project EV charge point installed, because it's the path of least resistance. THese are equally crap, the "smart" extends to maybe setting a schedule, which I can do on the car. Rubbish. The most frustrating thing is the hardware can do better, the providers have just thrown some firmware, a server back end and usually a terrible app together to make it work. It would be so easy to have made all of these things IFTTT compatible.... oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I was expecting to see a clamp, but there doesn't appear to be one on my house :(. Agreed, there's a lot that could be done better. There's scope here for someone to disrupt the market with a half-decent product. To be fair to Newmotion, they have managed to make the installation process simple, which is a lot better than most charging point suppliers seem to have managed.
 

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However, I understood that it was a 'smart' charger, and they charge a monthly subscription to that end (free for first two years), but I can't get it to do anything very smart.
“Smart “ for you or “smart” for them? If they can regulate the power when they can detect the overall draw, then that’s enough for them to be able to claim “smart”.
 

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I was expecting to see a clamp, but there doesn't appear to be one on my house :(. Agreed, there's a lot that could be done better. There's scope here for someone to disrupt the market with a half-decent product. To be fair to Newmotion, they have managed to make the installation process simple, which is a lot better than most charging point suppliers seem to have managed.
There are already ‘half-decent’ products on the market eg Zappi who are UK based but the market is being driven by price and marketing. The extra quality and capability of the Zappi is well worth an extra £100 imho. It’s going to be stuck on the front of the house for many years to come.
 

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Yeah the Zappi is twice the price, and often needs extra hardware to make it all work. It’s a very expensive option.
 
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