A couple of interesting points in what is to me a positive review, the first is about the charging lead could not be a retractable because of the risk of overheating when coiled, is it the same for the provided lead, should it be totally uncoiled from the control unit when charging.
The second point was the lack of Bluetooth audio, which I am sure a few of the subscribers to this forum will also agree to the comments.
However a few niggles aside my Ampera is one of the best toys I have had and cannot find enough excuses to "nip out" in it
I spoke to Trevor at Vauxhall regarding the lead on the charging unit and it should be fully unwound at all times when plugged in.
If it is dirty when wrapping it up, it helps by holding a cloth around the lead to keep your hand clean which also helps to clean the cable as it goes onto the reel. I have left a cloth in the stowage slot for this purpose. I did read this somewhere, mabe this site, I apologise if I've cribbed this from one of yourselves.
I wondered about the coiled up advice as I suspected it related to the original specification of 16 amps for the charging units as used in the USA.
However I did some calculations ....
The I squared R losses for a a conductor of the length of the charge lead I calculate at 15 watts at 10A and 36 watts at 16A assuming an ambient temperature of 25 deg C (although I cannot identify the specific cable type on my calculator, this is fairly close). The coiled up effect means the heat is concentrated in a single spot and raises the temperature of the cable increasing its inefficiency resulting in yet more less and heat generation it is therefore standard advice for any lead carrying a heavy load.
You can see that , assuming a max operating temperature of 70deg C at an ambient temp of 30deg C (ie: a hot summers day) and in direct sunlight with 36 watts concentrated in a small area the cable temperature could move towards its maximum operating temperature. 15 watts would probably not be a problem but there is clearly good reason for the advice.
It is generally accepted that we should not charge any EV using a cable coiled up. I accept that at lower powers it might not be a problem but if we never do it then there can be no misunderstanding or mistake.
I keep mine in the boot already unwound. It is a real pain winding it on and off the holder and to be honest, if you are using it everyday anyway is it good for the cable, let alone our patience, to wind it onto the holder daily.
My feeling on this is that in my opinion the cable supplied with the car should really only be used when charging away from home and that a permanent and fixed charging cable, such as the Vauxhall Home Charging Pod, should be used for regular day-to-day charging.
The Vauxhall charging pod is not so expensive. It is way cheaper than the early versions of home pods and at around £400 (plus about £100 fitting) I think it is a reasonable price for something used daily and making charging so much easier and simpler. I get home, hit the button on the door and plug in and be in the house inside 20 seconds! Same when leaving... get to car, unplug, plug into holster on wall, get in car and go. No faffing around with the cable.
When wet and windy it is an absolute lifesaver and I wouldn't own and electric car without a dedicated and fixed home charging pod. Simple as that.
I can't see why it couldn't be retractable either.
There is a lot of work going on, particularly in the USA, to both reduce size of the EVSE and reduce price! They are mainly open source style projects so I am not going to be leaping to buy if they do start to market but it is great that they are doing this work. Hopefully, if they succeed then it will put pressure on the manufacturers to develop smaller and cheaper charging stations and EVSEs.
I suspect that Ian ([email protected]) will get a few more emails from forum members. Hopefully it will be 'balanced' feedback and not just moans about the lack of 7 digit post code support (don't worry, they have already covered the lack of Bluetooth audio)!