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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,

I'm about to embark on the electric adventure soon with a Nissan Leaf via the My Electric Avenue social trial and I'm interested to hear which companies people would recommend to install a free charging point, and/or which charge points are best.

I'm likely to add the 6.6kw charge option to the Leaf as I plan to make longer trips once or twice a month (125 miles each way) and don't want to rely soley on rapid charge availability. So, it would seem logical to request a 32A charger at home to take advantage of the faster charging if the premium charged is sensible.

The info sent with the trial directs me to Chargemaster/Polar/BritishGas or Pod point. Based on what I've seen and read over the last few months I don't want to give my business (valuable OLEV grant) to Chargemaster. I'd seen the Rolec units described as being decent quality, but Chargemaster & Polar seem to fit their own.
  • Any thoughts on Pod point?
  • Any other good companies offering this service? If it makes a difference, I'm near Bristol.
and finally, if I go for the 6.6kW charger I get supplied a type 2 lead so...
  • Go for the convenience of a fitted J1772 plug, or take a socketed unit to plug in to with my own cable?
  • Would it be easy/economical to change the plug in future?
Thanks,
Paul
 

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Hi Paul

Good news on the LEAF and I agree with you re the 6.6kw charger which is excellent.

With the car you'll get a Type 2 cable. I'd suggest that you look around for an EVSE too which will get you up and running from a 13A plug.

Regards chargers - I went with Chargemaster in September last year and they were excellent then. They offered me a socketed connection which IMO is slightly less ugly than the gun version. It does mean that when I get home I have to lug the cable out of the boot though.

I met someone a few weeks back who went for British Gas. They only offered the gun version and then installed it too far from the drive to reach!
 

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I used PodPoint.

The unit is nice with the circular shape being good for storage of the cable and shallow in profile. It was installed by a local company who used three people and took five hours for a simple install that I could have done in an hour. Talk about milking the grant.

PodPoint have always been fast and courteous to respond to enquiries but the promised online monitoring of my consumption still has not appeared, it is some 18 months late. I called and was sent a record of my usage but it is so complex and fragmented that it is impossible to analyse.

Overall not a bad experience.
 

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@PaulMorris you asked about 'ethics' which IMO is a difficult concept for some suppliers of electric car charging infrastructure.

My suggestion is that you use a ZCW installer because they are small companies involved for the 'right' reasons. @Cara Naden can give you a list :)
 

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I got mine from Briatish Gas. BG install units from POLAR/Chargemaster.

I had good service from them and I was happy with the installation but in hindsight I now wish I had used an installer that installed Rolec units. I am not impressed with Chargemaster and the way they are introducing charging (see other threads here :) ) and I don't want to support them in any way.

I would follow @Kevin Sharpe s advice and use a ZCW approved installer.
 

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@PaulMorris you asked about 'ethics' which IMO is a difficult concept for some suppliers of electric car charging infrastructure.

My suggestion is that you use a ZCW installer because they are small companies involved for the 'right' reasons. @Cara Naden can give you a list :)

Yes Kevin

"Ethics" is always a difficult area. I'm reviewing my decision to bank with an "ethical" bank since discovering that there is little difference in their activities and the rest
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for all the responses! Yes, ethics are a difficult one and often in conflict. In my simplistic and relatively uninformed view I didn't want to support a company that is blatantly profiteering as some might say chargemaster are.

Neutral on pod point, but their product looks overcomplicated and proprietary. I'll try the ZCW list to try and find a little guy to give the business to.

32A seems a no brainer but any opinions on plug vs socket?

Like the idea of flexibility for the future but worried about inconvenience in the present.
 

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32A seems a no brainer but any opinions on plug vs socket?

Like the idea of flexibility for the future but worried about inconvenience in the present.
I've used a Type 2 socket for 3.5 years and never had a problem. The greatest advantage IMO is the ability to charge any EV that arrives at the house regardless of the connector it has in the car.

Theoretically any tethered Charging Station can have it's connector changed but I don't know what the reality of that will be in the future and we might just end up throwing away the old units :(
 

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I find the convenience of a tethered cable overrides for me the capability to charge other EVs.

It is very much a personal choice :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I find the convenience of a tethered cable overrides for me the capability to charge other EVs.

It is very much a personal choice :)
Exactly, there's no right answer here is there? As it's going to be installed outside I think the annoyance of coiling & bagging up a dirty & often wet cable to store in the boot every morning & repeating in the evening sounds like a PITA.

Naive logic says I'll have the Leaf for at least 18 months, maybe longer. The spurious high price of these units may have eroded by then if I need to replace for a type 2 plug which feels like it will emerge as winner in the European standard wars, unless we're all on CCS plugs.
 

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Personal choice - I decided to go for Type 2 socketed a year ago in case/when I changed EVs, knowing that the EU standard for "fast" charging was going down the type 2 route, so having such a socket meant the best compatability for any future vehicle as well as visitors. I don't really find wrapping up & slinging in boot takes long, I guess I've got used to the process!
 

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Hi Paul

Good question. I have never measured it as long enough it has always been. At a guess 5m.

Regards the gun or socketed option then as you will have seen from Kevin & Paul's comments both are the right option:

The upside as I see it on socketed is that it offers more flexibility and future proofing. It is also slightly less ugly and also gives any local oiks one less thing to put their hands on.

The downside is that when you get home you're lugging the cable out of the boot and plugging in. It pretty much means therefore that the cable hardly ever lives in the nice, neat bag, it gets dirty and is one more thing to transport muck into the boot.

All the above given I, like Kevin went for socketed.
 

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I'm getting a prototype coiled cabled from Phoenix next Friday that with a socket would be a great option.
I will also post an image on here plus approximate pricing when I get confirmation.
 
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