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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello, I'm about to buy an e-niro and I'm trying to find some info on the available options on the market for chargers.
I already have an old 3kW Pod point which I've been using for 8 years with my faithful Prius Phev. Now at that time it was just a matter of "does the plug fit? Good to go!".
Now I need a 7kW charger but what else can I choose from? WiFi fair enough... Timers? I thought the cars were doing all the heavy lifting if setup correctly...
If it helps I'm in the middle of switching to Octopus Go, no smart meter yet. I'm assuming they'll provide me with one...
Which other options do I have in front of me? Is there a recent guide somewhere I can study from?

TIA.

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Ioniq 38kwh 2020
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Hello, I'm about to buy an e-niro and I'm trying to find some info on the available options on the market for chargers.
I already have an old 3kW Pod point which I've been using for 8 years with my faithful Prius Phev. Now at that time it was just a matter of "does the plug fit? Good to go!".
Now I need a 7kW charger but what else can I choose from? WiFi fair enough... Timers? I thought the cars were doing all the heavy lifting if setup correctly...
If it helps I'm in the middle of switching to Octopus Go, no smart meter yet. I'm assuming they'll provide me with one...
Which other options do I have in front of me? Is there a recent guide somewhere I can study from?

TIA.

Sent from my SM-G950F using Tapatalk
I suppose your options could also be decided by how your current one is currently wired in. ie is the wiring and CU / RCD capable of a 7kW charger? If so it could be a relatively easy swap. If not then you are basically looking at a new install, presumably with the grant. I think in order to qualify for the grant the charger has to be "smart" capable.
 

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ID3 1st & e-Golf
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Unless it's a second car I don't think the grant will be available if it was claimed for the first charge. Wiring will probably still be an issue though.

If you are only intending to use Go then the Niro timer will be able to be programed to charge at the appropriate times. If you are likely to want to use Agile on thr future then you will need a smarter charge point, the Ohmn is a good option as Octopus will supply one that plugs into a 32amp commando socket for £200.
I have a zappi that will charge at the cheapest agile times
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20
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If your existing cable run is adequate, and especially if you won’t get the grant, replacing the podpoint with a commando socket and getting an Ohme cable for £200 through Octopus is probably the cheapest option. All depends on the existing install.
 

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Your existing installation is very unlikely to meet the current regulations for a new installation, so almost certainly you will effectively be starting from scratch.

How "smart" a charge point you need depends on what sort of tariff you have for electricity and whether you need something smarter than the onboard timer of the car to maximise the benefits of a dynamic tariff such as Agile. Note also that the "smartest" units require access to the API for the car which is not available on the e-Niro which might leave you getting less than ideal behaviour from them.

So my questions are:
  1. Do you actually need to charge fast than 3kW - about 9-12 miles range per hour?

  2. Do you need something smarter than the timers on the car?

  3. Are you bothered by the reports of issues with old Rolec units or want to upgrade to the latest safety standards or just want to change because you can?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Heya, thank you very much for the info. As I mentioned I'm just trying to understand what's available.

New info I didn't have before:
  • There are chargers which interface with the car API (not the e-niro, fair enough)
  • Some chargers replace the car timer and interface with cheapest off peak time providers for dynamic tariffs (e.g. Octopus Agile)
  • Compared to 8 years ago the safety standards have evolved, mine will be outdated
  • I need a smart charger to claim the grant

On top looks like Kia has got a deal with PodPoint and BP
Kia's new partnerships give UK customers discounts on home charging points

  1. Do you actually need to charge fast than 3kW - about 9-12 miles range per hour?

  2. Do you need something smarter than the timers on the car?

  3. Are you bothered by the reports of issues with old Rolec units or want to upgrade to the latest safety standards or just want to change because you can?

1. Probably no but if I need to update the setup to meet the regulation at this point would be added benefit and I'm ok spending the extra money
2. Not sure, still investigating the available dynamic tariffs and their (currently anomalous because of the lockdown, I suppose) trends
3. Still have to look into these Rolec issues you're mentioning

Thank you very much, lots to learn!
 

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Rolec issues are almost entirely due to the low quality RCBOs they fit. So I avoid any RCBO with Rolec name on it. All the "original" style ones with blue text are suspect & rail eventually. We know of one of their new ones with green text having also failed. Too early to say if all of these will go the same way, who knows. Garo are a reputable make though, so that's what I stick with. Would be good to heve opinions from experienced sparkies around here as to what brands are good, what to avoid. All sorts of low cost stuff from Screwfix etc, but is it quality stuff like MKS, ABB, etc make?

I'm about to do a write-up of a repair to a friend's 3kW Podpoint. The PCB got a few components knocked of it (!!) and broke., The repairer fitted a Viridian ECU plus Contactor on a standard industrial clip-on rail, exactly the same system used inside Rolecs. Cost of parts would have been appx £80 ECU, £15 Contactor and £2 for a thermal cutout added as a wise extra. Assuming you want to stick with a single EVSE, you could do something similar; I'd recommend the newer Viridian EPC 2.0 with all the extra PEN-loss & DC-leakage detection options, cost about £180 for that; Garo 32A 2-Pole contactor £26 Amazon, Another Garo 32A 2-Pole contactor the same, for use as the Earth-dicsconnect Contactor (only 1 pole used, but is cheaper than buying a 40A 1-pole item!!), and you may or may not need an RCBO with this lot. Garo 40A RCBO is £22 meteor electrical. Then you need the cable from EVSE to car uprating to 32A. If you're untethered, nothing to do, the cable limits the current accordingly. If tethered, evbitz.uk can probably supply a new 32A Type-2 cable +plug that's easily wired in. Then you need supply from CU uprating for 32A use.

RCBOs, RCDs & anything that trips out on overcurrent should be 40A. My upgraded Rolec tripped on first ever charge at 31.5A on new Ioniq after 20 mins, the the RCD warmed up to >30C (not a problem, these do warm up) and started to derate! (what they do apparently!) so having derated to say 31.4A, it tripped! Replacing with a 40A RCD in the CU fixed this.

Here's link to my Rolec upgrade, info on Viridian, their manual has excellent electrical diagram etc.
Rolec Dumb Charger upgraded with DC Leakage Protection...

As this would be a repair/upgrade to existing, maybe your sparky could do this without having to appl for permission/grants etc. But this would still be a dumb EVSE, so relying on the car to do any smarts required. Easy enough to add a rotary switch to it, if you wanted a range of different currents to be manually selectable, from 6 to 32A!
 

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I need a smart charger to claim the grant
Don't forget that

Unless it's a second car I don't think the grant will be available if it was claimed for the first charge.
I'd suggest calling OLEV and asking - the situation with the previous grants is a bit opaque to say the least.

At least you are not going to have the issue of changing the tethered cable on the current unit (unless it is untethered) to charge at 3.6kW as the e-Niro uses the same "Type 2" as the Prius.

All in all a lot to consider and no obvious answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'd suggest calling OLEV and asking - the situation with the previous grants is a bit opaque to say the least.

At least you are not going to have the issue of changing the tethered cable on the current unit (unless it is untethered) to charge at 3.6kW as the e-Niro uses the same "Type 2" as the Prius.
Sent an email to the DfT I'll see what they answer regarding the previous grant. They are called differently so I'm expecting them to be different but, yes, you never know...
Breaking news... the Prius I have has got a round type 2 vs the current half so that needs to go anyway :cautious:
At this point I'll just replace everything.
 

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Breaking news... the Prius I have has got a round type 2 vs the current half so that needs to go anyway :cautious:
Sounds like a Type 1 - perhaps the earlier version had that as I'm sure the later ones had Type 2.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yes you're right. Looks like same distribution of connections but round plug = Type 1. Probably there are other differences but my electrical/electronic knowledge is very basic
 

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Do you "need" a 7kW?

I had a Chargemaster 16 amps (so 4kW really) and I've just switched the cable to make it type 2, but you can buy an adapter to make type 1 into a type 2 (I've got one on another lead) and they are fine.

It doesn't matter how big your battery is, the charger will still add the same number of miles for each hour of charging. Even limited to 7 hours of economy 7, my 40kWh Leaf will still go from about 20% to over 80% overnight.
 
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