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Hi all, I'm planning to lease a Kia e-Niro via salary sacrifice and want to get a tethered home charger installed. I had surveys done by my local Rolec EV and Pod Point installers and both seem to think it'll be doable, albeit more expensive than a standard install (my house is weirdly laid out). The question is, which one should I get?

The charge point will be in my back garden behind a locked gate so I'm not fussed about security features. I do, however, need to be able to set a charging time to use off-peak electricity rates. I understand the Kia e-Niro can be set to do this but what happens when I need to override the default settings when we need a longer charge? I'm guessing that this would be easier using a charge point app rather than the car? Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

From what I can work out, the Rolec WallPod HomeSmart connects to the internet via GSM (mobile signal), meaning it must be registered and be phoning home all the time, which concerns me. It does have a timer though so we can set it to use off-peak electricity. In contrast, the Pod Point has WiFi capability so can be connected to our internal network. However, as far as I can tell it doesn't have a timer function, which seems bizarre to me!

So yeah it seems like it's a choice between GSM plus app timer, or WiFi plus car timer. What would (or did) you got for? Any thoughts appreciated!
 

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Can't comment on Podpoint but I do have a Rolec Homesmart with a tethered 10m cable.

Firstly don't worry about being able to lock it. Initially most people do worry but someone sitting on your drive for hours to steal a couple of quids worth of electricity is a non-issue. I flick mine off in the garage if I’m going to be away for a week or so.

The app for the Rolec (EV.energy) allows you to select your tariff and schedule the charge. If your tariff isn’t listed they’ll add it for you. When I switched to Go Faster they added all the possible versions of it within a couple of hours. The app can optimise charging for off-peak only or to minimise CO2. The timer can also be easily overridden by using the 'Boost' button.

The app becomes chargeable after 3 years via a subscription. Apparently this is to cover the GSM sim cost and ongoing support. I haven’t seen a cost confirmed yet but I was told it won’t be significant and they guarantee that if you don’t save money by smart charging you won’t pay. Therefore I guess if you were on a flat rate tariff there would be no charge.

What are your concerns about the GSM connection? I believe the SIM can use multiple networks. Certainly mine has been fine and just works.

Hope that helps? Hopefully a Podpoint user will be along to tell you about their charger soon.
 

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Can't comment on Podpoint but I do have a Rolec Homesmart with a tethered 10m cable.

Firstly don't worry about being able to lock it. Initially most people do worry but someone sitting on your drive for hours to steal a couple of quids worth of electricity is a non-issue. I flick mine off in the garage if I’m going to be away for a week or so.

The app for the Rolec (EV.energy) allows you to select your tariff and schedule the charge. If your tariff isn’t listed they’ll add it for you. When I switched to Go Faster they added all the possible versions of it within a couple of hours. The app can optimise charging for off-peak only or to minimise CO2. The timer can also be easily overridden by using the 'Boost' button.

The app becomes chargeable after 3 years via a subscription. Apparently this is to cover the GSM sim cost and ongoing support. I haven’t seen a cost confirmed yet but I was told it won’t be significant and they guarantee that if you don’t save money by smart charging you won’t pay. Therefore I guess if you were on a flat rate tariff there would be no charge.

What are your concerns about the GSM connection? I believe the SIM can use multiple networks. Certainly mine has been fine and just works.

Hope that helps? Hopefully a Podpoint user will be along to tell you about their charger soon.
how are you finding the 10m tether? I’ve ordered this one too. Does it wrap around the unit ok?
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Can't comment on Podpoint but I do have a Rolec Homesmart with a tethered 10m cable.

Firstly don't worry about being able to lock it. Initially most people do worry but someone sitting on your drive for hours to steal a couple of quids worth of electricity is a non-issue. I flick mine off in the garage if I’m going to be away for a week or so.

The app for the Rolec (EV.energy) allows you to select your tariff and schedule the charge. If your tariff isn’t listed they’ll add it for you. When I switched to Go Faster they added all the possible versions of it within a couple of hours. The app can optimise charging for off-peak only or to minimise CO2. The timer can also be easily overridden by using the 'Boost' button.

The app becomes chargeable after 3 years via a subscription. Apparently this is to cover the GSM sim cost and ongoing support. I haven’t seen a cost confirmed yet but I was told it won’t be significant and they guarantee that if you don’t save money by smart charging you won’t pay. Therefore I guess if you were on a flat rate tariff there would be no charge.

What are your concerns about the GSM connection? I believe the SIM can use multiple networks. Certainly mine has been fine and just works.

Hope that helps? Hopefully a Podpoint user will be along to tell you about their charger soon.
Thanks for the details. My primary concern with the GSM connection is that the unit will need to be connected to some nebulous network somewhere, or phone home regularly. This in turn means I'd need an account with the company to control my own device. I work in cyber security and don't like my devices connecting to the internet without my control or say-so, or having to rely on a third party to use a product I've purchased. Perhaps a more relatable problem is exactly what you describe: the box becomes "dumb" after 3 years unless a subscription fee is paid. In contrast, with a Pod Point that connects via WiFi, I can control exactly what it sends/receives over the internet (ideally nothing except updates). The other smart features aren't really interesting to me so if they started to charge for updates, etc. I'd just disconnect it.

I've had a look at the car's schedule system in more detail and it does look like timed charging will work fine even with a dumb charger, and it's relatively easy to override if using an AC charger away from home. This nullifies one of Rolec EV's plus points, however there is another: a 3-pin socket can be added to the Rolec EV HomeSmart via a module, which sounds handy. I've seen it mentioned here a few times although I can't see anywhere to buy it currently.

I have a quote from my local Rolec EV installer (£750), but will need to wait a few days for a quote from my local Pod Point installer. Obviously any differences here might sway the decision too!
 

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That’s very expensive for the standard Rolec install. I have been quoted £450 but that includes the longer 10m lead.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
That’s very expensive for the standard Rolec install. I have been quoted £450 but that includes the longer 10m lead.
It's not a standard install. My house has a weird layout where our parking space is beyond the back garden, whereas our fuse box is at the front of the house. So it requires a lot of cabling, external cable shielding, and routing through my kitchen and living room.
 

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I work in cyber security
In which case presumably you would rather it connected through a hard wired ethernet connection that WiFi? If so look at the ChargedEV Smart+ offering.
I have a PodPoint and it is excellent even if without the "smart" features.
Chargepoints do more than "over the air" updates - they send data about usage back to their home server. Generally if you don't want this you can just turn off the connection most of the time if you are willing to forgo the updates, but with a GSM or WiFi equipped device you risk the device being hijacked. Even with a hard wired ethernet device of course you are risking someone disconnecting that and having access to your network ........
 

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That’s very expensive for the standard Rolec install. I have been quoted £450 but that includes the longer 10m lead.
I think mine was £495 after the grant including an earth spike and a slightly longer hidden cable run, so £450 sounds about right.

how are you finding the 10m tether? I’ve ordered this one too. Does it wrap around the unit ok?
I don't wrap it round tightly, more drape it round a few times. The cables are quite stiff and the charger surprisingly small so I don't like to stress the cable by wrapping it tightly. I had my charger installed on the side of my house so it's not in full view. If it was on the front of the house I may want to wind the cable more tidily.

The 10m tether was the main reason I went for Rolec over Podpoint. Rolec charged (I think) £60 to substitute the 5m tethered cable with a 10m one. Podpoint wanted to supply an additional 10m cable as well as the 5m one at (again I think) £250-300 extra.

This nullifies one of Rolec EV's plus points, however there is another: a 3-pin socket can be added to the Rolec EV HomeSmart via a module, which sounds handy. I've seen it mentioned here a few times although I can't see anywhere to buy it currently.
I've never seen an add on module for the Homesmart EV. Rolec do have a variety of chargers and sockets which use the same design of casing though. This for example:
128490


Perhaps this is what the other posters were referring to?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
In which case presumably you would rather it connected through a hard wired ethernet connection that WiFi? If so look at the ChargedEV Smart+ offering.

I have a PodPoint and it is excellent even if without the "smart" features.

Chargepoints do more than "over the air" updates - they send data about usage back to their home server. Generally if you don't want this you can just turn off the connection most of the time if you are willing to forgo the updates, but with a GSM or WiFi equipped device you risk the device being hijacked. Even with a hard wired ethernet device of course you are risking someone disconnecting that and having access to your network ........
In this case a hard-wired connection is more trouble than it's worth, given the Pod Point won't be attached to the house, plus as you say having an Ethernet cable available outside the house is probably a worse idea than WiFi.

I suppose in the end it depends on how much I care about the smart features. I could probably use thing without ever installing an app and be happy, so maybe it doesn't matter that much which one I get.

I've never seen an add on module for the Homesmart EV. Rolec do have a variety of chargers and sockets which use the same design of casing though. This for example: View attachment 128490

Perhaps this is what the other posters were referring to?
Yes you can buy the model with a built-in socket, but this is not eligible for the OLEV grant because it isn't smart. This thread details someone installing the 13A socket module into a Rolec EV charger but maybe this isn't an option on the HomeSmart, I'm not sure. All of these charging point companies have poor websites from what I've seen and it's hard to find information like this.
 

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I have the Pod Point, it is pretty dumb. It has been reliable but it does nothing other than report use back to base which you can view on the app. There is no ability to set timers, choose tarifs, check progress etc.

If I can't mod the Podpoint (see separate thread) then I may get it swapped for a Rolec.
 

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My recent experience of Rolec customer service has been dreadful, but I'm prepared to give them a final chance to rectify matters before taking legal action.
 

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My advice would be to get an electrician in to quote for the installation of a dumb charger, free issued by you, and let the car do the charge scheduling.

That way you are fully in charge of the security
 

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Discussion Starter #17
My advice would be to get an electrician in to quote for the installation of a dumb charger, free issued by you, and let the car do the charge scheduling.

That way you are fully in charge of the security
Dumb chargers aren't covered by the OLEV grant. It'd be cheaper to get a smart box and just not set it up.
 

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With a dumb charger you get to fully spec the installation rather than taking whatever the national charging company throw at you. There are some very good low cost chargers available that aren't eligible for the grant so you save on that too.
 

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With a dumb charger you get to fully spec the installation rather than taking whatever the national charging company throw at you. There are some very good low cost chargers available that aren't eligible for the grant so you save on that too.
You COULD purchase a dumb Rolec unit and then fit a Wi-Fi switch and App to control from your phone ?.
Then get a local spark to do the wiring ?.
Worth considering both options with regards to cost I guess.
Some people just don’t want a smart charger, period.
 

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I installed a Rolec charge smart point and over 3 weeks very disappointed due to its poor 2g connectivity dropping out and ending up with an uncharged van loosing work in the proces. installed a shark fin but it’s happening just as often even after the up grade and being told signal strength is ok. Ev.energy soft ware say its Rolec’s hard ware issues and visa versa Rolec them selves havent phoned me back as promised and that was Thursday . I am an electrician and customers would certainly have me black listed with assorts of reviews if I installed it I believe. So even I feel it’s now best if I make it dumber than it is at present and set the timer on the van instead. I am sure they can use a better 2g provider if they wanted to over my issues. pod point all the way
 
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