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Discussion Starter #1
So - after a 250 mile trip to Yorkshire yesterday and a 250 mile drive home I now have a Leaf 30 parked on the drive - happy days (I'll have some videos to post in due course).

Having Rapid charged on the way home and then 3 pin charged it today I am keen to get a home charger installed ASAP (I have already initiated energy supplier change to Octopus). This is where i would be grateful for feedback from the forum....

Im after a smart charger that will allow me to connect to an app that will:

  • allow me to set when to start charging to take advantage of octopus go
  • allow me to track the kw/h of each charge
  • allow me to track the cost of each charge

I don't mind plugging in both ends so don't want tethered as its location is on the front of the house so I need a relatively inconspicuous install.

I like the look of the eo mini smart home charger but the app has very limited feedback which is pretty poor. Ive also looked at rolec smart ev as an option. Pod points seem a little on the large side to me.

Anyone with experience of the above or other options care to offer any feedback.

Much appreciated :)(y)
 

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Hi I have pod point.
The app is not especially useful if I’m honest. Smart would be stretching a point.
It doesn’t allow setting the start and stop charge time. It doesn’t support remote switching on and off via the app either. It just logs charge sessions and applies a p/kWh to allocate s cost. It also gets those costs wrong from time to time. Only seems to understand plug and unplug time not actual start and end of charging. Occasionally it records a charge session as zero cost but then catches up at a later date.

I set the start and stop times for charging using the cars software via the touch screen.
 

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The Leaf already has a built-in charge scheduler, so your chargepoint doesn't need to do this.

Edit: Also, the cost will be 5p/kWh if you are charging in the cheap period of Octopus GO. No need for an app for that.

Finally the Octopus app/website shows electricity consumption on a half-hour basis. It's quite easy to see how much electricity the charging has used (assuming nothing else is drawing power during the charging times). The Octopus bills clearly separate the cheap Vs normal rates.

Further edit.
It might be worth looking at Ohme, which you can get at a discount as an Octopus customer. Another thought is a Zappi.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
The Leaf already has a built-in charge scheduler, so your chargepoint doesn't need to do this.

Edit: Also, the cost will be 5p/kWh if you are charging in the cheap period of Octopus GO. No need for an app for that.

Finally the Octopus app/website shows electricity consumption on a half-hour basis. It's quite easy to see how much electricity the charging has used (assuming nothing else is drawing power during the charging times). The Octopus bills clearly separate the cheap Vs normal rates.

Further edit.
It might be worth looking at Ohme, which you can get at a discount as an Octopus customer. Another thought is a Zappi.
So I don't really need to worry about another app or a smart charger as built in charge scheduler and octopus app/website will have me covered ?

I have 3.3 charger on my Leaf 30 so the 4 hrs at 5p won't fully charge the car (although i may do 80/20) in which case it might ? But for those times i do a full charge would i be right in thinking that as the battery fills up it won't necessarily be taking a full 3.3kw/hr by the end of charging ? This is why id be keen to see what kw its taking during cheap rate and what it might take after the 4hrs is up at the normal rate - I'm keen to accurately track my total electric cost and hence savings.

Thanks (y)
 

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So I don't really need to worry about another app or a smart charger as built in charge scheduler and octopus app/website will have me covered ?

I have 3.3 charger on my Leaf 30 so the 4 hrs at 5p won't fully charge the car (although i may do 80/20) in which case it might ? But for those times i do a full charge would i be right in thinking that as the battery fills up it won't necessarily be taking a full 3.3kw/hr by the end of charging ? This is why id be keen to see what kw its taking during cheap rate and what it might take after the 4hrs is up at the normal rate - I'm keen to accurately track my total electric cost and hence savings.

Thanks (y)
Yes, I think you have all you need. The Leafs built-in charge scheduler is great. I used it for 5 years on our Leaf.

And the Octopus app shows the exact consumption on a half-hourly basis, which you can feed into a spreadsheet (I do this). The bills are very clear too. You will soon spot if the charge is going over the four 'cheap' hours. If it is you could ask Octopus to move you to 'go faster', which gives you 5 hours of 'cheap' charging, but at a slightly higher cost (5.5p/kWh).

So your only decision is really which chargepoint to go for. They all have to be 'smart' to qualify for the government grant, so it's a matter of comparing features and cost.

One thing worth pointing out is your Leaf has a type 1 connector, whereas all new cars are type 2. So untethered is a good idea, otherwise you will have to replace the cable on a tethered box when you get you next car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, I think you have all you need. The Leafs built-in charge scheduler is great. I used it for 5 years on our Leaf.

And the Octopus app shows the exact consumption on a half-hourly basis, which you can feed into a spreadsheet (I do this). The bills are very clear too. You will soon spot if the charge is going over the four 'cheap' hours. If it is you could ask Octopus to move you to 'go faster', which gives you 5 hours of 'cheap' charging, but at a slightly higher cost (5.5p/kWh).

So your only decision is really which chargepoint to go for. They all have to be 'smart' to qualify for the government grant, so it's a matter of comparing features and cost.

One thing worth pointing out is your Leaf has a type 1 connector, whereas all new cars are type 2. So untethered is a good idea, otherwise you will have to replace the cable on a tethered box when you get you next car.
Thats great - thanks for your help. Makes it easier for me to now just pick the charger that looks least offensive on the house.

Also wasn't aware of the 5 hr 5.5p option with Octopus - will have to look into how many hours I'm charging for but good to have the flexibility. It took about 9 hours to charge up from the 3 pin plug today to 100% (think it was down to about 30 wish miles). Am i right in understanding that the wall charger will be quicker - i saw a suggestion of about 1.6x quicker. Im minded to go for the 7kw option on whatever I go for to again future proof (plus i have friends with cars that could use when visiting). Any downsides to doing this when i can only charge at 3.3 ? As far as i am aware it just charges at what the car and cable can take even though it could push out more ?

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Another quick Q.......

Im waiting confirmation of switchover to Octopus having completed the application. We've had the sorry your leaving email from our existing provider but haven't had anything from Octopus yet to confirm the switch.

We will also need Octopus to install a smart meter for us as we have the old spinny disc type one.

Am i able to crack on with the charge point installation or do i need to get the smart meter install sorted 1st ? Just trying to upgrade from the 3 pin as soon as possible.

Thanks again
 

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Thats great - thanks for your help. Makes it easier for me to now just pick the charger that looks least offensive on the house.

Also wasn't aware of the 5 hr 5.5p option with Octopus - will have to look into how many hours I'm charging for but good to have the flexibility. It took about 9 hours to charge up from the 3 pin plug today to 100% (think it was down to about 30 wish miles). Am i right in understanding that the wall charger will be quicker - i saw a suggestion of about 1.6x quicker. Im minded to go for the 7kw option on whatever I go for to again future proof (plus i have friends with cars that could use when visiting). Any downsides to doing this when i can only charge at 3.3 ? As far as i am aware it just charges at what the car and cable can take even though it could push out more ?

Thanks
EO mini is definitely the most unobtrusive. And definitely go for a 7kW box, as you next car will almost certainly have a 7kW charger. There's no downside apart from possibly being slightly more expensive to buy and fit (thicker wiring needed), or your house wiring isn't able to deal with it. The car, cable and chargepoint will happily work out the safest speed they can charge at; it's designed to do this. Even at 3.3kW, a 'proper' chargepoint will be about a third faster than the 3 pin plug.
 

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Another quick Q.......

Im waiting confirmation of switchover to Octopus having completed the application. We've had the sorry your leaving email from our existing provider but haven't had anything from Octopus yet to confirm the switch.

We will also need Octopus to install a smart meter for us as we have the old spinny disc type one.

Am i able to crack on with the charge point installation or do i need to get the smart meter install sorted 1st ? Just trying to upgrade from the 3 pin as soon as possible.

Thanks again
Definitely crack on with the chargepoint install. No need for a smart meter to be in place. It just means you won't be able to switch to GO yet.
 

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Am i able to crack on with the charge point installation or do i need to get the smart meter install sorted 1st ? Just trying to upgrade from the 3 pin as soon as possible.

Thanks again
You don't need the smart meter, but you may need an isolation switch if there isn't space in your consumer unit. Octopus will install this for free when they fit a smart meter.

I was in your position a few months ago and got the Smart+ charge point from ChargedEV. It was £249 at the time and I would have no problem recommending it at this price, but I think it's more expensive now. It will track your usage and cost of electricity, but I think this isn't particularly accurate. You can set a departure time in an app and it will have the car fully charged by this time and will make use of the low rate period. This is only any use if you want the car fully charged. I tend to use the car's timer so that I can control how much charge I get.
 

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The EO smart charger's app allows you to set a target charge rate and it'll estimate how much time is needed to reach that and stop charging when that time is up. The protocol used doesn't allow the car to tell the charger the actual charge - that's a protocol issue not the charger's fault. BUT... when the charger stops the charge, the LEAF throws up multiple errors which you have to clear by power cycling the car or by using a reset tool, before you can actually drive away. I don't know if that's a charger issue or a fault with the LEAF's software. Either way, it's really annoying and I just estimate the time needed now and use the car's timer.
 

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Another option, but not the neatest or cheapest, is the Zappi. It works really well with a Leaf and has lots of features built in.
You could set the timer on that to only apply power between the Go off peak hours and I didn't have it causing issues with the Leaf with error messages etc.

If you decided to switch to Agile or a similar variable tariff on the fire then it is more flexible.

The other option I would look at is the Ohme cable, it's a good price from Octopus and works with their tariffs.
 

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Have you thought about OvO Vehicle to grid? I've been surprised to see that it doesn't have to be on purchase of a new Leaf, but available to any 30kWhr plus leaf. I think it will give you a Chademo connector so that the lack of a 6.6kW rectifier won't matter, and you could charge at whatever ate the systems can handle. I may not be entirely correct about all this, but if you give OvO a ring, they'll tell you. Make sure you switch onto their one year fix, which is about 14.4p per unit. You lose the 5p night time rate, but will be compensated by payment for export. If you've got Solar PV it will also pay. Look at posts by Mike Schooling in General Ev thread on OvO, and you'll see my calculations on my costs/benefits - forgive my errors in earlier posts.
 

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Hi Emilian, yes, agree EO Mini is neat & discrete, my EO is black, on matt black painted brickwork. There's a chunky ground earthpoint box too, I sprayed it matt black. Mine is the Smart, to get govnmt grant, but my internet via fone doesn't support the smart capability, requires permanent wifi, say EO. Being retired, I just plug in when need charge and (preferably) sun shining, to harness free solar juice (just over 1kw output at mo, c third of the draw.) Yes, cabled up for 7kw, throttled down for current 3.3kw car, untethered, have 16m Type 1 to Type 2. Granny lead draws 2,300 watts, 2.3kW, is 10amps, whereas 3.3 is c16amps. Haven't used car's charge timer. At low to medium SOC, type 2 gives me 15%/hr, at higher %SOC that drops to 13%/hr. Granny lead gives c9% and 8%. I used latter feed for 4 months, until my contractor could get a smart EO mini unit, there ought to be a good availability now! Contractor also fitted an indoors isolator, handy if you're going away. Mini has tiny blue light when unit ready to go, changes to green when you connect to the car. Also 30kWh Leaf, like you. Have used the pre-warm once, while hooked up, double-clicked the starter button to get auxiliaries on (and no foot on brake), did a good defrost/mist job, but battery gains little during this high-load operation.
Richard.
 
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