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2021 BMW iX3 Premier Pro / 2018 BMW 225 M Sport ProXE
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all, newbie here, I've just traded my 225xe upto an iX3, now the 225xe (10kwh) is much quicker/easier to charge using my granny charger through the window, across to the lamp post (at about 7ft high) and down to the car beneath the lamp post.

I have a disabled bay outside so luckily have dedicated bay, and speaking to a local installer (not bothered with any grants)

I was thinking of installing the charger inside, and using a commando through the front wall (fortunately the mains and front wall are next to each other), all the mains and electrical boxes are in a cabinet in the front room right by the front wall, so that should be fine, I was thinking of doing something similar running the cable out the wall, and up to 7ft or so and across the about 3ft path to the lamp post and down to the car. Now I know this won't be 'approved' but been doing it for 3 years for the 225xe without issue or complaint. I only do it when the car needs charging etc (so when was working in the office every evening till morning) but less so since WFH. The other option is an anti trip cover across the pathway, to the car on the floor (I know some people have done this in places)

I've attempted to speak to council about this over the years, with them initially saying they were going to trial lamp post installs, then they said that they aren't doing that, and will have chargers in the village parking, now nothing. I've been in touch again, I don't even mind paying to have the path dug, tunneled and protected cable run laying, but can't seem to get anyone to agree to anything.

Anyone got any other ideas or possibilities?

Thanks all
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh also... Best energy supplier for charging rates, currently on economy 7, no smart meter, but don't mind switching if it's all worth it.
 

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Oh also... Best energy supplier for charging rates, currently on economy 7, no smart meter, but don't mind switching if it's all worth it.
Hope you get your charging situation sorted, I would just carry on with what your doing but if you get to low, just top up on a rapid to 70% 80% if you need more than the current situation can provide you. And then plug in when you get home for the rest of your charge.

I use Octupus and fine then cheaper than most at the minute.I used to be on a tracker Tracker tariff but have recently move to a smart meter and gone onto the go tariff. If you do switch to the use my referral and we both get £50 credit.

share.octopus.energy/hill-okapi-953

Other than what your doing the only other option is move house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Moving house is a rather large hammer for a problem that all the councils need to sort at some point, they can't keep putting it off😊
 

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Moving house is a rather large hammer for a problem that all the councils need to sort at some point, they can't keep putting it off😊
That’s the problem , are they ever going to do it. 😂
 

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I think the council will take a very dim view if you start digging up the pavement so your current option seems to be your best option. I'm not sure where the commando plug fits into the equation? It's not really clear on the total distance involved or what type of charger you are proposing to use. In your situation I would fit a fast charger inside but get the installer to drill a small hole the diameter of the charge cable through the wall from inside to outside. Then disconnect the cable from the charger (the big fat cable complete with the Type 2 plug) thread it through the hole in the wall and reconnect. Now you have the charger inside and the Type 2 plug outside so you can just use it as you have with the PEVSE (Portable Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment aka granny charger. Now there are couple of things that may thwart you with this set up.

The first is the length of the cable between the charger and the Type 2 plug, the usual length of cable is around 5 meters but its easy to get this replaced with a longer lead, I have one with an 8 meter lead but 10 meters is doable, speak to someone like EVbitzs about replacing the cable.

The second is what are you going to do with the 8 or 9 meters of cable that will be lying at the front of your house, thats easily sorted, you can get some nice garden hose storage hangers, I've been using this one recently for keepint the air hose tidy in the workshop GARDEN HOSE PIPE HANGER WALL MOUNTED CABLE STORAGE SHED HOSE HOLDER REEL METAL | eBay but there are many more similar types you can buy, you could even think outside of the box and just screw an old small wheel rim to the outside of the house and wrap the cable round that. Both my chargers are inside so I have fitted a Type 2 dummy socket/holster to the outside of the house/workshop where the Type 2 connector can be stowed when not in use, you can pick them up for around a tenner off Ebay Type 2 EV Charging Cable Holster | Wall Mounted Dummy Socket - Plug Dock | eBay .

For the lamp post I would look at securing some sort of bracket at a suitable height so the cable could be quickly hung over it at a height where the average person can't reach it.

I have assumed that you have a car with a Type 2 connector but you could do the same with a Type 1 connector.

Technically there is no reason why a surface mount Type 2 socket couldn't be fitted to the outside of your hose, its a lot more involved and would need specialist gear (hydraulic crimpers to install) then with a type 2 socket on the outside of your house the world would be your lobster.

Anything is possible, you just need to find the solution that works best for you while complying with the regulations as close as possible, in my experience if you present a solution to someone from the council that is slightly different they will say no because they usually don't understand so you may have to show some persistence.
 

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Unfortunately you can't use a Commando to extend a charge lead, as it doesn't have the Control Pilot signalling conductor, plus, any fixed socket for charging will also need a Proximity Pilot terminal, to signal back to the charge point that a cable is plugged in and its current rating. You can fit a non-tethered charge point outside, though, and then run a long Type 2 to Type 2 charge lead, as that will have the correct proximity and control pilot connections at either end.

If fitting a Type 2 socket outside the house , as you need to detect the Proximity Pilot, and tethered charge points won't have that connection available in the cable, usually (although I've seen one cable that had two pilot conductors, with the PP just left unused).

Bets bet would be to fit a discreet non-tethered charge point outside. Something like an EO Mini is barely any larger than the fixed socket, so would be no more obtrusive than a fixed socket alone mounted on a suitable small enclosure (and a fixed socket would need to be on an enclosure, to seal the terminations).
 

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Unfortunately you can't use a Commando to extend a charge lead, as it doesn't have the Control Pilot signalling conductor, plus, any fixed socket for charging will also need a Proximity Pilot terminal, to signal back to the charge point that a cable is plugged in and its current rating. You can fit a non-tethered charge point outside, though, and then run a long Type 2 to Type 2 charge lead, as that will have the correct proximity and control pilot connections at either end.

If fitting a Type 2 socket outside the house , as you need to detect the Proximity Pilot, and tethered charge points won't have that connection available in the cable, usually (although I've seen one cable that had two pilot conductors, with the PP just left unused).

Bets bet would be to fit a discreet non-tethered charge point outside. Something like an EO Mini is barely any larger than the fixed socket, so would be no more obtrusive than a fixed socket alone mounted on a suitable small enclosure (and a fixed socket would need to be on an enclosure, to seal the terminations).
You can buy the right cable from EVbitz 😉

I connected the 7kW charger I bought off EBay with a commando plug, its the only thing that fits our 3 phase sockets:)
 

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Sorry, I bought some cable from there, same Chinese crap that knotted itself up and went squidgy as used in the old Rolec cable I had that failed. Once bitten and all that. That length of cable is still sat coiled up here under my bench, although I'll never use it.

The bottom line is that you cannot connect the output from a charge point to a car with a Commando lead. A single phase Commando only has three pins, and you need five, the normal L, N and PE, plus the PP conductor to go back to the charge point to confirm a suitably rated cable has been plugged in, plus the CP conductor for the handshake signalling.

If you fit a fixed Type 2 socket, it has to have the latch solenoid/motor functional to be safe. That means running the latch/solenoid conductors back to the charge point as well. As the latch solenoid/motor pokes up at the top rear of the connector the enclosure for the fixed socket ends up being about the same size as something like an EO Mini. The total cost of the whole lot is also a lot more than just fitting a small non-tethered charge point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Yeah sorry I probably muddled messages there, I was thinking charger inside, and the type 2 through the wall or ideally an external mounted type 2 socket so can just plug the standard lead in. The other option with the commando was have a 32a commando, and a mount bracket on the wall outside, so I can plug in an ohme or similar 32a 7.6kwh, clip it to the bracket on the wall for safety and run the cable over. I'll grab a pick when I wander out to show the distances, but the commando would need to be a (less than) 1meter run as the outside wall is the wall the power cabinet is on, and the run to the car only needs to be as long as the standard 3m 3pin charger cable, as that currently runs out the high window on the same wall over to the lamp post and down to car.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
congratulations for your purchase, we now want a car review!
As soon as I pick it up may do a vloggy style video showing the car and the (ongoing) hassles of sorting charging. Perhaps with that others can learn from my mistakes / lessons
 

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If installing a commando, then it needs to be wired to a connection box that has open PEN fault protection and DC earth leakage protection. Not hard to do, something like a Viridian connection unit will do this, costs around £250, plus labour and the cost of the interlocked commando and wiring etc.

If fitting an externally mounted Type 2 fixed socket, then that needs to have the solenoid/motor latch connected back to the charge point, as well as the CP and PP conductors and the L, N and PE conductors, so it gets a bit messy, as it would mean hacking into the indoor non-tethered charge point to get the required conductors out, and the Type 2 socket would need to be mounted to an enclosure, anyway. I doubt that the end result would be much smaller or more discreet than one of the small non-tethered charge points TBH. It would also almost certainly void the warranty on the hacked charge point used to supply the new fixed socket.
 

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Yeah sorry I probably muddled messages there, I was thinking charger inside, and the type 2 through the wall or ideally an external mounted type 2 socket so can just plug the standard lead in. The other option with the commando was have a 32a commando, and a mount bracket on the wall outside, so I can plug in an ohme or similar 32a 7.6kwh, clip it to the bracket on the wall for safety and run the cable over. I'll grab a pick when I wander out to show the distances, but the commando would need to be a (less than) 1meter run as the outside wall is the wall the power cabinet is on, and the run to the car only needs to be as long as the standard 3m 3pin charger cable, as that currently runs out the high window on the same wall over to the lamp post and down to car.
Is there a particular reason for wanting the charger inside? You will save yourself a lot of pain if you go the 'standard' route and have the charger outside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The reason for inside, is my outside wall is directly onto the pathway, so if it 'overhangs' much more than the window sill I might get snippy coucil/neighbours, although both of them are on good talking relationship. Just to the right of the image is a walkway through under the houses to the back garden, so that might be an option, but probably not ideal as not a very wide walkway.

The edge of the path where the car is parked is literally to the right of this picture, the walkway is about 3ft/1m wide, so doesn't have to go far.

It just annoys me how the government wants us all electric in the next few years or so, but councils are too slow to drag their heels about allowing infra. I've even told them I'll pay for whatever work needs doing by approved engineers, I think of it as similar to dropped kerbs, should be able to apply for permission to mod the pathway to make it safe and sensible to do.
Window Building Brickwork Brick Road surface
 

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The snag is that a Type 2 socket is practically the same depth as one of the smaller non-tethered charge points, I doubt there's more than an inch in it. Even an interlocked commando isn't that much shallower. Also, a Type 2 or commando connector may well stick out too far when plugged in.

One option might be a slimline charge point that has the socket on the side, perhaps. Project EV do a non-tethered unit with the socket on the side, which means that it wouldn't poke out so far. I've just looked, and their unit is 144.5mm deep, and with the socket on the side it wouldn't project out any further with the lead plugged in.

The EO Mini is smaller, only projects 95mm from the wall, but has the socket on the front, so with the connector plugged in it's going to stick out a great deal more than that, perhaps around 250 to 300mm. Might be able to install it on an L bracket, perhaps, to turn the connector around, that way it would only project out about 125mm, even with the connector plugged in. Might look a bit odd, though.

Another option might be to set a cabinet into the wall, a bit like a small meter box, and fit the charge point in that. A bit more work, but it might get around the problem of having something that sticks out. There are relatively small semi-inset wall mount cabinets that might do the job, and give just that bit of extra depth needed to keep things far enough in to prevent them being an obstruction. One like this might do the job. It's not intended for being inset into a wall, but I can't see any obvious reason why it couldn't be. A charge point could be installed inside it, perhaps a tethered one, so the lead could be coiled up and stowed in with it, keeping it neat and secure when not in use. A small notch cut into the bottom should allow the cable to come out with the door closed: IP65 Rated Electric Meter Box
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
That sounds like a decent idea, and because it's the front wall is actually a double brick wall. I'll have a chat with the sparky when he comes to do the survey etc?

Thanks, hadn't thought about that!

The other thing I was thinking was to install the charge point like the EO Mini upside down, so the Curve of the type 2 goes up, and have a hook above it that the cable can clip into and go over to the lap post onto another clip and down to the car, like I say, annoying as it's only a short run. If I can sway the council to allow me to use a cable protector over the pavement I could technically install the box insode the front door, cut a cable hole bottom inside corner of the front door and run it over from there. I'll see what the council come back with
 

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The other thing I was thinking was to install the charge point like the EO Mini upside down, so the Curve of the type 2 goes up, and have a hook above it that the cable can clip into and go over to the lap post onto another clip and down to the car, like I say, annoying as it's only a short run. If I can sway the council to allow me to use a cable protector over the pavement I could technically install the box insode the front door, cut a cable hole bottom inside corner of the front door and run it over from there. I'll see what the council come back with
Check very carrefully pług intended for this type of use as mine has water drain holes at the bottom, which, in your case, would become water collecting holes.
 

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That sounds like a decent idea, and because it's the front wall is actually a double brick wall. I'll have a chat with the sparky when he comes to do the survey etc?

Thanks, hadn't thought about that!
Shouldn't be hard to chase out a hole and set a box back into it, much the same as retrofitting an inset meter box, but a bit less work as it's smaller. Need to check the dimensions carefully, though, so your chosen charge point and cable will fit into the box OK.

The other thing I was thinking was to install the charge point like the EO Mini upside down, so the Curve of the type 2 goes up, and have a hook above it that the cable can clip into and go over to the lap post onto another clip and down to the car, like I say, annoying as it's only a short run. If I can sway the council to allow me to use a cable protector over the pavement I could technically install the box insode the front door, cut a cable hole bottom inside corner of the front door and run it over from there. I'll see what the council come back with
As above, you cannot do this, as both the charge point and the cable will be designed with drain holes at the base, so they have to be the right way up in order to remain weatherproof. These things aren't watertight, they are designed to keep the worst of the water out, but let any that does get in drain out through the bottom.

A cat flap in the door might be an easy way to get the cable in and out, if you fit a charge point indoors. It wouldn't look out of place, and would be sealed when not in use. It would also be big enough to pass a connector through easily.
 
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