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Dear All

Sorry if this is the same question that is asked every day...

We get an electric car on Friday and I have done absolutely no prep - it was an unexpected change of car when ours developed a problem and I'm just pleased to be able to change to something less guilt inducing as I drive it than the petrol car.

We have a Pod Point charger on order via the car dealer so not sure how long that will take - my hope is the powerpoint in the garage will be reachable to charge via a standard plug for now. Am I right in thinking extension leads are an absolute no?

I've downloaded Zap Map - it looks like there are some Pod Point chargers in the local car parks if I need them, so I will download the Pod Point App (with its terrible ratings on the App store - is it really that bad?).

What am I missing - I'd really appreciate any hints, tips and reassurance please

Thank you
 

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... my hope is the powerpoint in the garage will be reachable to charge via a standard plug for now.
Hi, welcome, and hope the EV experience all goes smoothly for you.

The answer to that question is 'depends', as some vehicles are supplied without a 3-pin charger. I believe manufacturers are generally trying to move people away from charging from standard sockets due to the risk of overheating with sockets not in a fit state to output the relatively large amount of power over extended periods of time.
 

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Extensions can be used, but every extra connection is a possible source of overheating problems, so are not recommended unless unavoidable. Which may be the case here. See Toughleads for good quality extensions, do not use the cheapo ones that are often only rated 10A for a few minutes. Any extension should be fulled uncoiled, fine for it to be a jumble on the ground as plenty of ventilation to keep it cool.

If your "granny" 13A-plug EVSE can be set to different current values, choose the lowest current that will get you enough charge in. So for an overnight fillup choose 6A if possible, or 8A next, or 10A as the least desirable rate. Not all EVSEs can be adjusted, some will always offer the standard 10A to the car. The car can use what it likes, up to the limiting value offered by the EVSE.

The car itself may have a "low-rate" charging option, my ID.3 did. Selecting that reduced the charge rate to 6A. 6A is the lowest any charging will happen at, and is the "safest" rate as least likely to overheat any "dodgy" connections & so cause major problems perhaps.

Once you've plugged in, check the plugs & sockets for signs of overheating, say after 10 mins, again after 30 mins. And last thing before going to sleep. You do not want a fire in your gge. Plugs are allowed to get slightly warm, but should not feel hot.

Above all be cautious! Check, and double check. I've toasted at least 2 sockets charging on a granny.
 

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Extension leads are best avoided, usually the granny lead is at least 3m long, so it may reach without issue
Relax, I’m sure you’ll quickly adjust & everything will be fine, enjoy the drive
What are you getting?
 

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- my hope is the powerpoint in the garage will be reachable to charge via a standard plug for now. Am I right in thinking extension leads are an absolute no?
You may need to get the socket replaced. If it is at all worn it may overheat.

3pin EVSEs 'granny chargers' have temperature sensors in the plug. They will slow down or stop a charge if the plug starts to overheat. Extension leads, even good ones, do not have this and are a fire hazard.
 

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o I will download the Pod Point App (with its terrible ratings on the App store - is it really that bad?).
It used to be completely worthless. The current version works for me, but it is slow to load. I have a recent phone running Android 11 which helps.





What am I missing - I'd really appreciate any hints, tips and reassurance please
Driving an EV is not the same a petrol car. Most of the time charge it overnight and don't worry about topping up during the day.

No cost chargers are often in use. Don't expect to be able to recharge for free, or use one that is free.

The 10 year old rapid chargers at the motorway services are unreliable. There is a replacement program underway. If you plan any long journeys in the next month, check the GridServe thread for details. A few months from now the remaining ancient DBT/CEV chargers will be gone and we can stop talking about them.

(Map of the updated Gridserv chargers is here --> The GRIDSERVE Electric Highway | Live Map The old ones are still powered on but may or may not manage to charge your car)
 

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As above, extensions are best avoided, but chosen carefully they can be perfectly OK for occasional use, along with an outlet in good condition. A standard 13 A plug has a maximum continuous rating of 10 A, and 10 A is the current that pretty much every granny lead defaults to. If the outlet is in good condition this presents a very low risk of there being any problem, and even using a good quality extension lead, one designed to operate at 10 A continuously, like these from Toughleads, that are designed for EV charging: Electric vehicle leads things should be fine. Just check it from time to time to make sure that the plug doesn't feel too warm.
 

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Ioniq
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We don't use our granny charger very often but when we do it is almost always with an extension lead; 3m (5m? Can't remember...) of thick cable doesn't really go very far when you're trying not to stretch it or cause a trip hazard and the chances are the nearest socket is not positioned all that conveniently.

If you have to use an extension lead get a good quality outdoor one with a high current rating, don't coil it up so it has space to cool down, and especially the first few times you use it keep an eye on it to make sure nothing is getting too hot.
 

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What am I missing - I'd really appreciate any hints, tips and reassurance please
Contactless payment and RFID cards / fobs are more reliable than phone apps. Pod Point killed off cards. Many others offer both cards and an app.




 

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Hyundai Ioniq 28
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There really are a lot of doom n gloom stories out there about the use of both 13 amp EVSE's and also extension cables. They are well-intentioned tales because they can cause problems in rare instances. Usually not related to the cables themselves but more caused by the state of the house mains and its fittings that are used to supply the power. If the house wiring is up to standard and the 13 amp socket is in good condition then plugging a new 3 pin plug and cable in there should not cause any issues. There are many drivers who have used them exclusively for years. The advice to check regularly and if possible avoid an overnight charge is sound. Warm is OK. Hot is not.

Many manufacturers advise against the use of extension cables for obvious self-protection reasons but in practice, if the cable is rated to carry the current the only extra issue to watch for is that it's another place where heating can occur. And if that is checked along with the main socket/plug it will be fine.

As to PodPoint I have used their wall EVSE for some time and find the app works well at home as long as the wifi signal is OK. I rarely use street chargers but it has worked fine there as well.

The main thing is not to stress too much over using the granny charger at home. After all, if they were really as dangerous as some people claim then the OEM would not supply them and there would be no market out there for them. But just don't use the old reel extension that you bought to plug a radio into on the patio. This needs a heavy duty unit.
 

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Kia e-Niro 4 MY20, Zoe Z.E.50 GT Line
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Genuinely nothing to be scared of. We switched to an EV (e-Niro) last year and have now swapped our second car for a Zoe.

For a good couple of months we were charging using the "granny" charger from an external 13A socket using a toughleads extension cable. No problems at all. Genuine risk does exist if the socket is old and or crap, or the extension lead is poor quality and not up to the job. It's simply a matter of time. Because charging a car at 10A takes a really long time, it will be plugged in for hours, drawing up to 10A continuously.

Right now, depending on where you'll be driving, public chargers are a mess of apps. That is slowly improving but the advice is always to play ahead for long journeys, know where you're going to stop for a charge and make sure you have the necessary apps/rfid card setup ready. Have at least one, possibly two of three backup plans as well. This sounds far worse than it is. Usually my first choice is working and available.

There will almost certainly be a rapid charger near by that you can use to quickly charge up the car. The podpoints Fast charge points at supermarkets tend to be 7kW and free. Usually there's a two hour max stay in the car park. This is the equivalent of what you'll have with your podpoint at home, so two hours is going to give you about 50 miles.

<edited, removed ref to zapmap as you've already got it :) >
 

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If you are really worried you could try watching some YouTube videos on the subject.

Search 'fully charged maddie goes electric' on YT, there are videos covering various aspects of EV ownership from a 'noobs' point of view, charging in particular.

They are a bit simplistic to more experienced EV drivers (she does present CBBC and CBeebies shows :)) but very informative if you are just starting out.
 

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I'd really second looking at "Maddie Goes Electric" on YouTube. My wife bought her first EV in March, and of all the things she read and watched beforehand, that series she found to be far and away the most helpful. The great thing about it is that she illustrates real-world experiences of someone completely new to EVs, in a way that my wife found easy to understand.

My wife's now done long trips in her Zoe, decided she prefers Instavolt chargers to Geniepoint ones and is a dab hand at route planning and using Zap Map to select a plan A, B and C for charging on any trip. For someone that was very nervous about switching to an EV, I have to say that I am surprised just how easily she's got to grips with it, despite being very nervous about the whole idea before she got the car.
 

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As above, extensions are best avoided, but chosen carefully they can be perfectly OK for occasional use, along with an outlet in good condition. A standard 13 A plug has a maximum continuous rating of 10 A, and 10 A is the current that pretty much every granny lead defaults to. If the outlet is in good condition this presents a very low risk of there being any problem, and even using a good quality extension lead, one designed to operate at 10 A continuously, like these from Toughleads, that are designed for EV charging: Electric vehicle leads things should be fine. Just check it from time to time to make sure that the plug doesn't feel too warm.

I second this. I bought this 13A extension lead from Amazon thinking it was rugged enough and found that the socket became warm and the cover was not big enough to close over the chunky charger plug, so it was returned and replaced with a Toughleads Granny Charger with inline RCD and this does not get warm at all. link

If you ever need to feed the extension through a letterbox, one of these 16A connectors is quite useful, or get Toughleads to add one, as they make leads to order.
 

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Thanks All so much help and information, I will go through everything properly tonight but its great to have so much insight and reassurance.

Maddie goes electric sounds like exactly my level so will start there
What car is it out of interest?
 

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Kona64
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Hopefully you've mastered the difference in charge rates ( speeds, not costs) and worked out via the zapmap investigations what's around you. It can be quite nice to use a rapid and combine with shopping/errands then come back in 30mins or so to find your car is 3/4s or fuller . Depending on your car and weekly bimbling around that could last you a while.
You may want to visit a rapid solo so the next time with partner/passengers you can come over all "this is easy isn't it "

you did mention podpoints nearby, again check exactly what , there's some "fast" ones that require you to prod the app within 15mins to keep the car charging, and at some Tescos they have 2 flavours of freebies, again car dependant on how much you can benefit.
 

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I've been charging using my granny on an quality extension lead, as said check the plug 10mins 30mins then 2 hours if only warm then should be OK. Lots of Tesco's have free chargers (the 7Kw you have to pay for the 50Kw) I've loaded the Podpoint app on my ancient phone (Android 6) and it works fine. You need to claim your free charge on the app else it stops after 15 mins, just be aware of any parking restrictions.
 

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MG5
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Welcome to the EV club.
I used my granny charger for about a month before I got a wall charger.
Just make sure the extension lead is as short as possible and in a good clean socket.
Like others have said just keep an eye on it for the first few days to see if it gets warm.
I use the Pod point app and have not had any issues.
Enjoy.
 

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You’re still going to encounter all kinds of issues with public charging regardless of whether you have a Podpoint at home.

Have you considered a hybrid?
 
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