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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm finally getting a proper charge point installed and am trying to decide between the Ohme and the SyncEV.

I want something discreet, affordable and reliable. In an ideal world I'd rather have the very small, untethered SyncEV (or EO Mini Pro 2 which seems to be in the same off-the-shelf case...), but the Ohme seems to be far more reliable based on reviews (including app store reviews, which are abysmal for the SyncEV and EO).

Principally, I need something that will reliably stop charging at a set time/charge level as my car doesn't have this functionality (will always charge to 100%). I know the SyncEV can do this in theory, but many reviews seem to say it's not reliable and needs to be reset a lot. (Of course other reviews say it's rock solid but it's not clear if the smart-charging features are being used.)

I don't want to spend the money on something higher-end like a Zappi (and I don't like the bulk of it anyway).

Anyone who's got experience with both these products and can advise?

Thanks
Ben
 

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Search EV Nick on youtube. He is reviewing both along with many others.

I'm very biased (see signature) but personally would go for neither and buy a proper smart, larger EVSE based on reliability alone. Plenty of options available.

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm very biased (see signature) but personally would go for neither and buy a proper smart, larger EVSE based on reliability alone.
What is the benefit of a “larger” EVSE? It seems to me that many on the market are in larger plastic casings than ought to be required given their functionality - but perhaps I’m missing something!
 

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What is the benefit of a “larger” EVSE? It seems to me that many on the market are in larger plastic casings than ought to be required given their functionality - but perhaps I’m missing something!
Nothing to do with size. Just that the three smaller units don't do things as well as some of the normal size units.

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Hi,

I'm finally getting a proper charge point installed and am trying to decide between the Ohme and the SyncEV.

I want something discreet, affordable and reliable. In an ideal world I'd rather have the very small, untethered SyncEV (or EO Mini Pro 2 which seems to be in the same off-the-shelf case...), but the Ohme seems to be far more reliable based on reviews (including app store reviews, which are abysmal for the SyncEV and EO).

Principally, I need something that will reliably stop charging at a set time/charge level as my car doesn't have this functionality (will always charge to 100%). I know the SyncEV can do this in theory, but many reviews seem to say it's not reliable and needs to be reset a lot. (Of course other reviews say it's rock solid but it's not clear if the smart-charging features are being used.)

I don't want to spend the money on something higher-end like a Zappi (and I don't like the bulk of it anyway).

Anyone who's got experience with both these products and can advise?

Thanks
Ben
Hi Ben,

We have the SyncEV tether less and I can't fault it. Small in size, clean and unnoticeable install on the house. We set it using the SyncEV app to charge the Leaf at night maximising the Octopus GO tariff.

We looked at many many chargers before taking the plunge on the SyncEV and I'm convinced we made the best decision.

Cheers

Steve
 

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Thanks Steve, really helpful. So you’ve had no issues with ignored schedules or needing to reboot?
Hi Ben,

There was one occasion on week one when I had the charger in basic mode (charge whenever plugged in) and I had been messing with schedule charging settings during the day. I didn't realise when you schedule accept a smart schedule charge it passes the set hours over and changes from basic to smart.

So, I plugged the car i thinking it was in basic and nothing happened, so I rebooted it, couldn't for the life of me see why it wouldn't charge straight away. Then I realised it was my fault for pushing the charger into scheduled charging.

So not a SyncEV issue but more a learning curve. Since that I've had no ignored schedules or reboots.

Cheers,

Steve
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I see, thanks. I suspect there is a learning curve for all of these "smart" systems. As long as it will reliably stop charging when I tell it to, and is working as designed, good enough for me!
 

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What kinds of things do they not do as well?
Speaking generically, not each point is true of each product...

-Overheating.
-DC fault protection missing.
-PEN fault protection missing or non compliant.
-Fake components.
-Components not meeting lifetime requirements (mainly relays).
-Water ingress issues.
-Impact rating not to spec.
-Internet comms issues.
-Vehicle comms issues
-Lack of locking solenoid on T2 sockets.
-Not enough space for installers (glands and cables)
-Higher failure rate in field.

Again I'll call out my vested interest in my signature for transparency. This is just my insight from within the industry.


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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Mike - if the units I am considering have any of those issues, that’s exactly the kind of information I am looking for!

Some are quite serious - for example fake components. Surely electricians selling and installing these units could be liable if they are selling products with fake safety equipment?

So, speaking specifically about the Ohme and SyncEV, which of the above listed issues are you saying they each have?
 

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Thanks Mike - if the units I am considering have any of those issues, that’s exactly the kind of information I am looking for!

Some are quite serious - for example fake components. Surely electricians selling and installing these units could be liable if they are selling products with fake safety equipment?

So, speaking specifically about the Ohme and SyncEV, which of the above listed issues are you saying they each have?
I'm not willing to risk calling it out directly.

Take a look at what the larger credible installers carry and you'll have a good idea of what they won't carry for various reasons.

ChargedEV, The Pheonix works, Smart Home Charge, Joju, efaraday, etc

Also take a look at who energy companies have done deals with. Again, they wont want the bad press...

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Fake certification in electrical/electronic components and equipment is, sadly, pretty common. One pretty well-known charge point "manufacturer" has acquired an unenviable reputation for using absolutely crap components, for example.

The bottom line is that a charge point operates at a higher continuous current, for far longer, than any other item of domestic electrical equipment. It also has to operate safely outside, in all weather conditions, and still be reliable and safe. Frankly, it's not an item to look to cut corners with and needs to be properly designed and manufactured.

I'll add that I have an extreme dislike of no-brand Chinese crap, because I've seen far too much of it that has been bloody lethal, along with loads of it that it fake or non-compliant with safety and performance standards.
 

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Few things to consider...
1. As jeremy says, consider that you might have a fire risk if you use cheap kit! (the brand jeremy refers to, I had and the component basically burned out, but fortunately didnt cause a fire, though it was very burned up on the side!)

2. Mike's comment on features... regs require some specific things to be done with EV chargers so you dont electricute people! Some of these features are built into the device and some you have to add. BUT the key point is how well these features are done to ensure safety.

3. If you are not qualified, dont fit it yourself... you can have both a fire risk (see jeremy's comment about high current) and a safety risk. (there are regs and specific things you must do with charge points)

Now your real question is about charge point choice...

so there are several smaller charge points, but dont let size deceive you! Some of the gear needs to be put elsewhere the extra safety kit need to be added somewhere and it will cost extra for the kit. (eg pen fault detection!) so you need to look at the total cost not just the charger.

If you want teathered, then its going to be larger, and there is an advantage to having a teathered charge point. So recognise the smallest devices tend to be unteathered but then you have the faff of getting the cable out to charge the car.

You need to have a smart charge point to qualify for the grant, so a bunch of smaller devices are also ruled out but many are not.

Because you will have a smart device, you need to consider how much support and how they provide upgrades. As mike says, there is a communication thing with the cars, and so a good brand will be working on compatibility (especially as new cars come out) and will have simple ways to upgrade.

Finally there are a bunch of other things to consider eg personal taste
Ohme are interesting because they work well with Octopus Agile, but given at the moment agile works out more expensive than go, you wouldnt realy use the features it provides.
Also look at the install for Ohme, and its actually some extra boxes which make it less pretty and less small over all. Other boxes look better and are only a little larger.

There are a few boxes which have consequences both good and bad... I'll jokingly thinking of one of the small boxes being illuminated too much and it can be used as a light for your driveway!

Artisan Electrics are installing lots of different chargers and video them all and give comments on both how it installs, and the safety features. https://www.youtube.com/c/ArtisanelectricsUk/videos
I agree with Mike in the comment about looking at reputable installers, they pick devices which they can trust, because it impacts their reputation too. I would speak to a few installers and ask them what they would recommend as options and why??

For me... I switched to a zappi... because it gave me the control over the solar and where to route my excess power. (I have a diverter which send excess to imersion heater but now can put some excess to the car on really sunny days) Its not tiny but also its not the biggest charge point either. Its only marginly wider than my old charge point and it is shorter and less deep.

If you still are not sure, do some more searching for the different options around and watch a few different videos from different people.
 

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Thanks Mike - if the units I am considering have any of those issues, that’s exactly the kind of information I am looking for!

Some are quite serious - for example fake components. Surely electricians selling and installing these units could be liable if they are selling products with fake safety equipment?

So, speaking specifically about the Ohme and SyncEV, which of the above listed issues are you saying they each have?
I think when you start looking at this molecular level of detail on anything you'll find discussion points and inconsistency.

Skip the detail misery and buy the SyncEV! I'm fussy and it's been great so far. The Ohme I also looked at very closely but it's ugly as hell and the app sucks.
 

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Are either of these two UK, or even European, made products?

I know for sure the Ohme isn't, as it has Chinese/USA cable colours (so technically it's non compliant just for that). I have a suspicion that the Ohme is imported from China, via Ireland, I think. I do not think that Ohme actually design and manufacture these units, although they clearly have designed, or at least had some input into, the interface and app. I've not yet had a chance to look at a SyncEV up close, but unlike Ohme, the company does claim to be a manufacturer.

Edited to add:

Been digging around a bit, just out of curiosity, really, and, as I very strongly suspected from the non-CENELEC cable colours, the Ohme unit is indeed a re-badged Chinese EVSE, sold on Aliexpress under the name "Zencar": ZENCAR EVSE 10 16 20 24 32A adjustable CEE 5 Schuko adapter plug IEC62196 Type 2 5M cable Electric Car ev Charging cable Duosida|Battery Cables & Connectors| - AliExpress

This is the "Zencar" unit from China:

146032


And this is the Ohme (for comparison):

146033


Looks like the only difference is the sticky label on the front to me, as I doubt anything else has been changed, given that the cable uses the wrong colours and that would have been an obvious and cheap thing to sort out if there were UK/EU specific modifications to the hardware.
 

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I currently advise against thethered cables for 2nr reasons:
1) Theft - with the current high prices of copper, thethered units are being targeted by scrap thieves.
2) Ability to alter length - once you have the thethered unit, you are stuck with the length (i.e. too long and having lots coiled up all the time, too short and having to park in weird and wonderful ways).. to alter the length on the thethered unit you will need to get an electrician out to change it (you could do it yourself, but would be non-compliant).

Ive sadly no experience with either EVCP above, but as Jeremy has pointed out, the ohme seems a bit sketchy...

We have been recommended the EV Sync by one of our wholesalers. Price seems a bit too good to be true with what you get in the unit. However, can't knock them, until you try them.. i will eventually install one in our guinea pig install (pub next door) and see if i get any problems.
 

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Some are quite serious - for example fake components. Surely electricians selling and installing these units could be liable if they are selling products with fake safety equipment?
A very common arrangement is that the electrician that installs the equipment will just be someone sub-contracted by the supplier/distributor/manufacturer, and their only liability would be in relation to the work they performed. The electrician doing the work just has to comply with the provisions of BS7671:2018 plus, for England and Wales, Part P of the Building Regulations. The electrician has no liability with respect to the components inside any bit of equipment, as long as they carry the required approval marks. Electricians aren't expected to take apart sealed equipment to check whether any approval marks are fake, although you will find that some know all about the fake approval marks and sub-standard cables and components that tend to originate from the Far East. Many will just not recommend anything that uses components they suspect may be dodgy, but there are, sadly, some that really don't care.

Product liability rests with the manufacturer or importer, not the installer, as a general rule. This is complicated by the tendency of some companies to be less than transparent about the way they sub-contract for installation services. Some customers may assume that the person that turns up to install their charge point is really from the company they have contracted with, but this is very often not the case.

I know of an electrical contractor locally that works as a charge point installer for two fairly well known UK manufacturers/suppliers, for example. He's just an approved installer for them, on a sub-contract basis, so when a customer in this area agrees to buy from one of these manufacturers/suppliers he'll get given the job, and get paid by the company the customer has contracted with. I know that he just gets his normal sub-contract daily rate for these jobs, and the manufacturer/supplier puts a fairly hefty mark up on that. For this reason, I think it's actually better to do some research, choose the charge point you prefer and then just get a quote from a local, trusted, electrician to do the installation. Chances are it may well be better value, as it removes the mark up that's added to cover the cost of sub-contracting.

Finally, although I am very deeply suspicious of a great deal of Chinese made electrical products, based on having seen far too many downright scary and dangerous items from there, there are some high quality products from that region, too. It all comes down to trust in the quality assurance processes used. The chances are that everyone has a fair bit of good quality Chinese made kit, like phones, laptops etc, and these tend to have tight QA processes that are overseen by the big brands that contract manufacture to China. The problem arises with all the tens of thousands of manufacturers of unbranded equipment, that is often just printed up with whatever logo and approval marks a purchasing company wants. China is notorious for not enforcing product safety approval standards, so there is no easy way to get assurance of quality without direct intervention by the purchaser.

A friend of mine used to build custom bicycles before he retired. Almost all, reasonable quality, common bike components come from Taiwan. He had a massive amount of trouble with suppliers there reducing the quality of parts after he'd placed an order. It didn't matter which companies he contracted with, this practice was rife. He ended up employing someone locally, as his agent, to do QA on the suppliers he used, which worked fine. There wasn't any real issue of dishonesty involved it turned out, as the suppliers were also reducing the price along with the quality. It was a cultural thing, where the manufacturers always sought to reduce the price of anything if they could, even if the quality suffered. It seems that price carries a very much higher value than quality, something that's exacerbated as very few Far Eastern manufacturers offer proper warranties; they know that shipping returns back there is so expensive for purchasers that most wont bother (shipping from China and Taiwan is subsidised very heavily, so is cheap).
 

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For anyone interested, I think I've tracked down the Chinese company that actually manufactures the units sold here with the Ohme badge on the front: 科德森充电枪官网 - 电动汽车充电枪,便携式充电枪,随车充,汽车充电枪,新能源充电枪 Their website is only in Chinese, unfortunately, but enough of it translates OK to confirm that the specs for their 32 A smart charge point are the same as those for the Ohme badged version. I'm pretty sure that all the Aliexpress sellers offering the same units with different brand names on the front, like the Zencar badged unit above, are probably just retailers badging up units with different apparent brand names.

This is pretty much exactly what I found when trying to trace the manufacturer of the Rolec branded RCBOs that were failing a couple of years ago. Then I found loads of near-identical products being sold on Aliexpress by different Chinese vendors, and eventually I managed to track down the company that was essentially making unbranded units, that would screen print whatever any reasonably large customer wanted on them (probably including apparent approval marks).


Edited to add this image of the Kedesen, showing it's the same as the Ohme and the Zencar badged units:

Output device Product Peripheral Yellow Gadget
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks everyone - that is all really useful food for thought.

Take a look at what the larger credible installers carry and you'll have a good idea of what they won't carry for various reasons.

ChargedEV, The Pheonix works, Smart Home Charge, Joju, efaraday, etc

Also take a look at who energy companies have done deals with. Again, they wont want the bad press...
That's actually a great help - as I'd been wondering who the reputable national installers were. I'd of course heard of Smart Home Charge (who seem to be experts in SEO...) and have got quotes from them, but wasn't sure if they were recommended or not.

It appears that:
ChargedEV offers the Ohme and the EO Mini Pro 2
The Phoenix Works offers the EO Mini Pro 2
Smart Home Charge offers the Ohme and SyncEV. They told me they have stopped carrying the EO Mini Pro 2 in favour of the SyncEV.
Joju offers the "dumb" EO mini but not the smart versions.
A local independent installer that I've spoken to strongly recommended the Ohme ("rock solid") over the SyncEV ("plasticky"). He also offers the EO Mini Pro.

So sounds like that is somewhat of a vote of confidence in favour of these models? (Recognising that they all also offer "larger", more expensive options.)

And of course the Ohme is marketed by Octopus.

As jeremy says, consider that you might have a fire risk if you use cheap kit!
Right - again this is very serious - is there actual evidence of an increased fire risk with the units I've asked about, all of which are offered by major reputable national vendors? If so this is obviously really important to know - the key reason I am moving from the granny charger (which is actually sufficient for my power needs) to a hard-wired install is for safety. If you're concerned about posting publicly, please PM me!

Because you will have a smart device, you need to consider how much support and how they provide upgrades. As mike says, there is a communication thing with the cars, and so a good brand will be working on compatibility (especially as new cars come out) and will have simple ways to upgrade.
This seems to be something Ohme is committed to - is there reason to believe this is not the case? I.e. what is the basis for saying Ohme is not a "good brand"?

Also look at the install for Ohme, and its actually some extra boxes which make it less pretty and less small over all. Other boxes look better and are only a little larger.
Agreed and understood. In the location where I want it (on a brick pillar of my porch) I still prefer its modular design to the bulkier designs. All three installers that have quoted have said an earth rod will work for my install so I think I can avoid the extra mini consumer unit, though I know I still need the junction box above the unit itself.

I'll jokingly thinking of one of the small boxes being illuminated too much and it can be used as a light for your driveway!
Are you referring to the Wallbox Pulsar Plus? When I realised that this is a lot smaller than it looks in the pictures it did pique my interest, especially given that it's now "promoted" by Octopus for their new Intelligent tariff. But to be honest the jokes about the nightclub lighting put me off. I also haven't priced it up properly yet.

Artisan Electrics are installing lots of different chargers and video them all and give comments on both how it installs, and the safety features. https://www.youtube.com/c/ArtisanelectricsUk/videos
I'm familiar with their videos - they've done at least two featuring the Ohme (including one posted yesterday), both complimentary. However, I've found that they seem to be complimentary about all the options, except the Rolec. They've also done a positive video about the EO Mini Pro 2, though it's all focused on the hardware and install and less so on usability/reliability.

If you still are not sure, do some more searching for the different options around and watch a few different videos from different people.
I've watched endless videos - they all seem vaguely positive about everything! I've never seen one (except Artisan's Rolec video) that clearly pans anything. That's why I came to this forum for advice - as I said at the top, I really just want something low-profile and affordable that reliably does what I tell it to in the app without having to be rebooted and battled with!

The Ohme I also looked at very closely but it's ugly as hell and the app sucks.
Now this is super interesting. If your actual experience is that the SyncEV is reliable and the app is better than the Ohme's, that's very useful to know.

I've not yet had a chance to look at a SyncEV up close, but unlike Ohme, the company does claim to be a manufacturer.
I believe it is a generic case with a Raspberry Pi or similar inside. This has driven some of my reliability concerns vs purpose-designed hardware.

the Ohme unit is indeed a re-badged Chinese EVSE, sold on Aliexpress under the name "Zencar"
For anyone interested, I think I've tracked down the Chinese company that actually manufactures the units sold here with the Ohme badge on the front: 科德森充电枪官网 - 电动汽车充电枪,便携式充电枪,随车充,汽车充电枪,新能源充电枪 Their website is only in Chinese, unfortunately, but enough of it translates OK to confirm that the specs for their 32 A smart charge point are the same as those for the Ohme badged version. I'm pretty sure that all the Aliexpress sellers offering the same units with different brand names on the front, like the Zencar badged unit above, are probably just retailers badging up units with different apparent brand names.
My understanding was that they use the same generically available case, but have different hardware inside. Regardless, it does seem that Ohme is a British company (which has a deal with Octopus and whose product has been picked up by major national installers), which is using kit manufactured in China.

Finally, although I am very deeply suspicious of a great deal of Chinese made electrical products, based on having seen far too many downright scary and dangerous items from there, there are some high quality products from that region, too. It all comes down to trust in the quality assurance processes used. The chances are that everyone has a fair bit of good quality Chinese made kit, like phones, laptops etc, and these tend to have tight QA processes that are overseen by the big brands that contract manufacture to China. The problem arises with all the tens of thousands of manufacturers of unbranded equipment, that is often just printed up with whatever logo and approval marks a purchasing company wants. China is notorious for not enforcing product safety approval standards, so there is no easy way to get assurance of quality without direct intervention by the purchaser.
Fully agree. I'm not going to write something off just because it was manufactured in China. But the fake certifications are a serious concern, hence my desire to do some research and buy from a reputable vendor. As I said at the top of this post, it would seem that the fact that major national vendors as well as a local well regarded installer are recommending these units provides some assurance. But if any of you have contrary information suggesting that there are fake certifications or parts in the products I've asked about, I would very much appreciate being pointed in the direction of this information. PMs welcome.

Thanks again everyone!
 
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