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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have been looking to buy an EV for couple of years now but I put the idea on hold as we weren't travelling much and even the ICE at home looked like a massive waste of money. I finally sold the car and now seriously looking to buy an EV replacement. In the meanwhile, I also registered for the SolarTogether few months ago and now received a very competitive quote - house is very well placed with nice south/south west facing roof which can take 8-10 panels easily.

I don't plan to buy batteries as we are home all the time (work from home for past 10 years) and can make best use of PV when the sun is shining. But I also plan to get a Zappi charger so I can solely charge the car from PV. Hyundai Kona is so far on top of my list of cars (used).

My issue is justifying the PV/EV outlay, and here I have few questions -
1. Do you have experience of such set-up, does this significantly increases with cost savings?
2. Our annual milage is on the low side, especially now that my son is old enough to take a public transport - is there an annual mileage where you would consider buying an EV is not worth it?
 

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What's your feed-in tariff and the cheapest overnight rate you can get?
 

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I think you would really want the 10 depending on what your electricity usage looks like during the day. The Zappi needs 1200w spare solar before it kicks in.

I don't have a Zappi but I regularly during the summer when home turned the charger amps down in the car to triple charge some solar.

Personally solar was a natural progression for me after buying an EV. Partly due to becoming more environmentally aware. April to September especially as now working from home and not doing much miles the solar does the majority of my car charging.

If getting the Zappi I would strongly suggest getting the Eddi also so you can use the excess solar to also heat your water.
 

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you can blend solar with grid with zappi - it really wants 1.4kw before starting a trickle charge (which is very slow...) - but you can set it so it only waits for half of that (or any amount) and tops up to 1.4kw with grid.

tbh I'm not sure how practical it is with a 3kw array. You may only get 1.4-2kw during peak times.

What might work better is something like octopus go, you can charge most cars 50%+ during the 4 hours off peak - 28kwh for £1.40. Then your solar becomes more about offsetting your peak elecriticy usage while you're at home, and potentially looking at something like an Eddi (works with Zappi) to use spare solar to heat your water or other things
 
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If you’re getting solar it’s probably worth getting a charge point that enables you to use it. We’ve got a fairly small array and a Zappi set to blend with the grid when it’s exporting about 900W. It doesn’t add much but in conjunction with Octopus Go feels like a good combination.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you all. Learned quite a lot from the replies.
1. My original plan appears to have a little chance of success from what Zappi can do, even though I'll be happy with a trickle charge, it may only happen for a very small % of time in the UK if 1.2KW is the cut-off
2. We haven't got storage heater so the only use of Eddi I can think of is by getting an under the sink heater (I'll ask this during the survey)

As much as I am looking to switch to EV & Solar for ages now, current low usage of car doesn't seem to justify an EV (in fact it is hard to justify owning a car purely going by the usage). May just go for Solar in the end, but here too, at present we do not have plans to live in London/UK for longer than 5 years atm, so this is going to be an altruistic project.
 

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I had solar on the original FIT which was a real money-spinner with doing next to nothing to self consume though being all-electric the heat pump and hot water diverter helped use the excess. But these days you would probably have to have a battery/hot water diverter/EV to make it worthwhile. However, that has a big outlay for a small array to fulfill so perhaps not worthwhile. Man maths required. These days Octopus Go faster fulfills my needs with a cheaper rate for all the heavy loads with zero outlay.
 

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Thank you all. Learned quite a lot from the replies.
1. My original plan appears to have a little chance of success from what Zappi can do, even though I'll be happy with a trickle charge, it may only happen for a very small % of time in the UK if 1.2KW is the cut-off
2. We haven't got storage heater so the only use of Eddi I can think of is by getting an under the sink heater (I'll ask this during the survey)

As much as I am looking to switch to EV & Solar for ages now, current low usage of car doesn't seem to justify an EV (in fact it is hard to justify owning a car purely going by the usage). May just go for Solar in the end, but here too, at present we do not have plans to live in London/UK for longer than 5 years atm, so this is going to be an altruistic project.
Financially it won’t be worthwhile getting solar if planning to move in 5 years.
I would still consider an EV if budget allows but you would be making that decision on an environmental one and driving pleasure rather than financial.
 

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You could consider a combination of solar and economy 7. You then charge the car overnight, without the extra cost of a Zappi, on cheaper rate electricity. The daytime generation then offsets the higher cost of peak rate.

This has the benefit of charging the car overnight, rather than during the day, when you want to be driving it. You always wake up a full battery. Additionally, and solar generation initially offsets higher cost units. It works just as well charging the car in winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Have you compared it with the cost of a 100% green energy tariff?
Is this simply to work out cost benefit factoring in the environmental impact? The cheapest 100% greener tariff is almost same as what I am paying currently.
 

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I've had a 4kWp installation with a hot water diverter since 2013 and at the end of last year purchased an EV. Although I have had a charger installed with an OHME charger I've only used it in anger about twice when Octopus Agile has been ridiculously priced - the last time 1.1p a unit on Easter Sunday afternoon. But I have been taking advantage of the recent sunny weather by using the granny charger out the front window for a number of hours a day. I'd have done more except for my current very low lockdown mileage. One of two top ups free at the supermarket as well.

I haven't bothered with a Zappi and as at home much of the time or out on the bicycle I've found manual switching and looking at the weather forecast and the sky perfectly adequate. When my mileage and the winds pick up again in autumn I'll revert to cheaper overnight charging.
 

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As has been said, a small array (less than about 16 panels) makes EV charging solely on solar very difficult.

May just go for Solar in the end, but here too, at present we do not have plans to live in London/UK for longer than 5 years atm, so this is going to be an altruistic project.
I'd say that's no longer the case, solar has become very popular since the furloughs & lockdowns started: Residential solar boosts house prices by average of £30,000

We're the busiest we've ever been.
 

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Look up Nigel's YouTube channel: The EV Puzzle. He used to have a Kona, solar panels and Zappi, posting hours of his experiences. He's got a Mini EV now but I haven't watched his output for a few months.
10 X 360w = 3.6kw isn't going to do much for you at all. Could you get more? I say this because you won't see the maximum very often. On a dull day, you will see less than 5% of that figure. On an average year, you'll probably see around 3,000 kWh.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I'd say that's no longer the case, solar has become very popular since the furloughs & lockdowns started: Residential solar boosts house prices by average of £30,000

We're the busiest we've ever been.
I find that stat a bit surprising, seems like a lot - one simple reason being it only costs 3-4K to do it, with hopefully minimal disruption. I am in London and own a costlier than average home so that mean £90K+ increase according to the article, seem too good to be true. Anyway, it is not my motivation, but at the minimum I would not like the house price or desirability to be negatively impacted - which the way the wind is blowing does not look likely, one would assume people will be fully onboard the green train by 2025.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Look up Nigel's YouTube channel: The EV Puzzle. He used to have a Kona, solar panels and Zappi, posting hours of his experiences. He's got a Mini EV now but I haven't watched his output for a few months.
10 X 360w = 3.6kw isn't going to do much for you at all. Could you get more? I say this because you won't see the maximum very often. On a dull day, you will see less than 5% of that figure. On an average year, you'll probably see around 3,000 kWh.
No I am afraid, it is a terrace house and the roof area is about 20sqm and the installer thinks only 8, I am hoping they could do 10 after the survey. We only use 2000kwh a year so it still seem worth it.

I watched 2-3 videos from the channel, thanks, it has given me few pointers - Kona seems quite good and most importantly the solar quote that I got isn't as good as I though. Thank you.
 

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I find that stat a bit surprising, seems like a lot - one simple reason being it only costs 3-4K to do it, with hopefully minimal disruption. I am in London and own a costlier than average home so that mean £90K+ increase according to the article, seem too good to be true. Anyway, it is not my motivation, but at the minimum I would not like the house price or desirability to be negatively impacted - which the way the wind is blowing does not look likely, one would assume people will be fully onboard the green train by 2025.
Do be aware that in central London there are potential additional issues, like needing permission to install scaffolding, and paying emissions charges for each vehicle that attends your property, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thank you @Trevor Larkum, I am not in Central London - but just outside North Circular. Quite conveniently located off the M11 junction and parking is not an issue - free and ample. This is at the back of the property so no issues with scaffolding either (both my neighbours did work last year). I've sent you a quote request online.
 
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