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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Moderator comment - information in this post superseded by post Basic charge point costs

There's been debate about the cheapest way to install a charge point, if not able to take advantage of the OLEV grant (or just if you don't want a smart charge point). I thought I'd try and cost the materials, excluding labour, for a few options. To allow a fair comparison I've assumed a 10m cable run from the incoming supply point to the charge point location, and assumed that SWA cable will be required (it may or may not, depends on the location). All options assume that the incoming supply to the house is TN (either TN-C-S (PME) or TN-S). If the house has a TT supply (only usually applies to older, rural, properties now) then the prices will be different. All options assume that charging at 32 A is required.

Option 1 is to charge using the Tesla supplied UMC, together with the optional 32 A Commando adapter lead, connected to a 32 A interlocked Commando outlet. Protection is via a 40 A Type B RCD, with a 40 A MCB for over-current protection, with an earth electrode being installed close to the vehicle charging point location. Total cost of all materials, including the Tesla 32 A Commando adapter needed, is ~£310

Option 2 is as above, but using an O-PEN device, rather than an earth electrode. Total cost of all materials ~£390

Option 3 uses the cheapest non-tethered charge point I could find, the Qubev unit, that has a Type 2 outlet, plus variable charge current via a switch on the side. This avoids having to use the UMC supplied with the car, plus the Commando adapter lead, and can be used with the Type 2 lead supplied with the car. If this is installed with an earth electrode etc, as per Option 1 above (essentially just swapping the interlocked Commando for the Qubev charge point) then the total cost of all materials comes to ~£459

Option 4 is the same as Option 3, but uses the version of the Qubev that has 18th Ed Amdt 1 protection, so avoids the need to use a Type B RCD. Total cost of materials comes to ~£426

Option 5 is the same as Option 4, but uses an O-PEN device instead of using an earth rod. Total cost of materials comes to ~£506

Best price for a 40 A Type B RCD I can find is £114 inc VAT, from here: Type B RCD / RCCB 40A for EV Charge Point Installations. 2 pole, single phase, 30ma. 40 Amp

The same supplier offers a metal enclosure, fitted with this RCD, together with both a 40 A and 6 A MCB, for £179, which is perhaps £20 more than the cost of the individual parts, but looks to be a neat enough option.

All the prices above include the cost of Henley blocks, a metre of tails, cable glands, cleats, short lengths of additional CPC, etc.

Overall, the cheapest option is to install a 32 A interlocked Commando, although that option means using the UMC supplied with the car, plus the optional 32 A Commando adapter, all the time. This has the advantage of having a "Tesla button" on the connector, but the disadvantage that the UMC will need to be supported on something, as it can't safely hang from it's lead for long periods, I think.

If I was on a tight budget, I'd be inclined to go for Option 4 above. It has the advantages of being fairly neat, having switched charge power levels and not needing to use the UMC. The additional cost of ~£116 seems worth it to me.

Labour will vary a great deal depending on location and how easy it is to run cables etc. Around here a typical day rate for an electrician is now around £220, plus VAT in most cases. A typical installation shouldn't really take longer than about half a day, although it would be normal to charge more than just half a day's labour, unless the person had another small job to go to for the other half of the day.

Smart charge points, as required in order to claim the OLEV grant, are more expensive, with a total material cost of typically £200 or so higher than the costs above.
 
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Plagued

Member
Apr 9, 2019
227
182
Uk
I do find it frustrating that the requirement for OLEV smart chargers is too basic to actually make a difference long term, so no V2G, and just a basic timing and online system that most cars can manage themselves. I don't believe there's any requirement for them to be remotely managed either so power companies could reduce current to protect the grid. So you may as well just have a "dumb" charger.
A friend just had a quote at £550 (I've seen much higher), for a fairly basic OLEV charger, which add on the £350 OLEV grant and that's £900 which as you've shown above is about double the cost of just fitting a charger.
While it's good, to some degree, to put grant money back into the uk economy. I think the best option would have been to make legislation that all new EV's must support advanced charging options, not the chargers themselves.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
I've been trying to find the cheapest, OLEV compliant, smart charge point and put together the total materials cost based on the criteria above. It's not pretty, but the Project EV EVA 07S seems to be the cheapest OLEV compliant smart charge point, at around £378 inc VAT and delivery, but it has a Type 2 outlet, rather than a tethered cable. Add on ~£134 for all the other materials needed for the installation of this unit brings the total for materials to around £512.

Labour for a straightforward installation shouldn't really cost more than about £200, so that gives a total of about £712. Knock off the £350 OLEV grant and the cost should be around £362.

These are all retail prices, though, and I would expect to see installers getting maybe 20% off the materials, perhaps more in some cases.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Not heard of Qubev before. Very cheap...

I've not been able to find a cheaper one, so far. Looking at the spec they seem OK, and claim to be made in the UK, which is probably a plus point if true. The basic unit at £225 inc VAT looks to be good value, and for anyone that wants to be able to easily adjust the charge current, for example to roughly match solar generation, then the fact that it has switchable power levels would be useful. The package deal price, for the basic charge point, with DC leakage protection, a connection box with 40 A RCBO and an earth electrode, clamp and chamber, seems a reasonable deal, at £345, inc VAT. The only additional cost would be the cable, glands, cleats, Henley blocks and a set of tails, plus the installation labour.
 
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Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
I've found a photo showing the inside of the basic version of this Qubev charge point:

Qubev photo.jpg


It seems that it's a re-badged Viridian EVSE in a box with a contactor. The Viridian controller has been around for years, and can still be purchased from here for £78 inc VAT: Viridian EV EVSE Protocol Controller Tethered

The contactor in the box is about £20, the box is around another £20, plus maybe about £10 for the switch, current set resistors and DIN terminals. The Type 2 socket is probably another £60, so all told they probably aren't making a lot of profit on these units. That internal shot also pretty much confirms that they are UK made, as the Viridian controller is a UK product, I think.

I strongly suspect that the version with DC leakage protection probably uses this version of the Viridian controller, that includes a similar Western Automation sensor to that I've used in my units: EVSE Protocol Controller 2.0 (EPC 2.0)

All told, these look to be pretty good value, for a budget charge point, and definitely a step up from some of the more dubious stuff that seems to come in from the Far East.
 

LongRanger

Active Member
Jan 11, 2020
1,317
1,200
Wales
Those innards look higher quality than some of the Rolec stuff I’ve seen, use of ferrule boots as well is a good sign.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Those innards look higher quality than some of the Rolec stuff I’ve seen, use of ferrule boots as well is a good sign.

That's what I thought, although using Rolec as a benchmark doesn't set a particularly high standard! I have over a dozen photos of burned out Rolec charge points, all the result of cheap and nasty Rolec RCBOs imported from the far east.
 

NewbieT

Active Member
Aug 16, 2019
1,082
738
North West
I do find it frustrating that the requirement for OLEV smart chargers is too basic to actually make a difference long term, so no V2G, and just a basic timing and online system that most cars can manage themselves. I don't believe there's any requirement for them to be remotely managed either so power companies could reduce current to protect the grid. So you may as well just have a "dumb" charger.
A friend just had a quote at £550 (I've seen much higher), for a fairly basic OLEV charger, which add on the £350 OLEV grant and that's £900 which as you've shown above is about double the cost of just fitting a charger.
While it's good, to some degree, to put grant money back into the uk economy. I think the best option would have been to make legislation that all new EV's must support advanced charging options, not the chargers themselves.

The EVHS technical standard does mandate ability for remote control (Section 7). https://assets.publishing.service.g...827/evhs-minimum-technical-specifications.pdf

This useful too:
Electric Insights 002 | National Grid - Part 1 | Pod Point
 

s88ats

Member
Jul 12, 2020
383
192
London
There's been debate about the cheapest way to install a charge point, if not able to take advantage of the OLEV grant (or just if you don't want a smart charge point). I thought I'd try and cost the materials, excluding labour, for a few options. To allow a fair comparison I've assumed a 10m cable run from the incoming supply point to the charge point location, and assumed that SWA cable will be required (it may or may not, depends on the location). All options assume that the incoming supply to the house is TN (either TN-C-S (PME) or TN-S). If the house has a TT supply (only usually applies to older, rural, properties now) then the prices will be different. All options assume that charging at 32 A is required.

Option 1 is to charge using the Tesla supplied UMC, together with the optional 32 A Commando adapter lead, connected to a 32 A interlocked Commando outlet. Protection is via a 40 A Type B RCD, with a 40 A MCB for over-current protection, with an earth electrode being installed close to the vehicle charging point location. Total cost of all materials, including the Tesla 32 A Commando adapter needed, is ~£310

Option 2 is as above, but using an O-PEN device, rather than an earth electrode. Total cost of all materials ~£390

Option 3 uses the cheapest non-tethered charge point I could find, the Qubev unit, that has a Type 2 outlet, plus variable charge current via a switch on the side. This avoids having to use the UMC supplied with the car, plus the Commando adapter lead, and can be used with the Type 2 lead supplied with the car. If this is installed with an earth electrode etc, as per Option 1 above (essentially just swapping the interlocked Commando for the Qubev charge point) then the total cost of all materials comes to ~£459

Option 4 is the same as Option 3, but uses the version of the Qubev that has 18th Ed Amdt 1 protection, so avoids the need to use a Type B RCD. Total cost of materials comes to ~£426

Option 5 is the same as Option 4, but uses an O-PEN device instead of using an earth rod. Total cost of materials comes to ~£506

Best price for a 40 A Type B RCD I can find is £114 inc VAT, from here: Type B RCD / RCCB 40A for EV Charge Point Installations. 2 pole, single phase, 30ma. 40 Amp

The same supplier offers a metal enclosure, fitted with this RCD, together with both a 40 A and 6 A MCB, for £179, which is perhaps £20 more than the cost of the individual parts, but looks to be a neat enough option.

All the prices above include the cost of Henley blocks, a metre of tails, cable glands, cleats, short lengths of additional CPC, etc.

Overall, the cheapest option is to install a 32 A interlocked Commando, although that option means using the UMC supplied with the car, plus the optional 32 A Commando adapter, all the time. This has the advantage of having a "Tesla button" on the connector, but the disadvantage that the UMC will need to be supported on something, as it can't safely hang from it's lead for long periods, I think.

If I was on a tight budget, I'd be inclined to go for Option 4 above. It has the advantages of being fairly neat, having switched charge power levels and not needing to use the UMC. The additional cost of ~£116 seems worth it to me.

Labour will vary a great deal depending on location and how easy it is to run cables etc. Around here a typical day rate for an electrician is now around £220, plus VAT in most cases. A typical installation shouldn't really take longer than about half a day, although it would be normal to charge more than just half a day's labour, unless the person had another small job to go to for the other half of the day.

Smart charge points, as required in order to claim the OLEV grant, are more expensive, with a total material cost of typically £200 or so higher than the costs above.

A very good guide! Perfect for those who are entering the scene without much knowledge. I had to trawl through different threads, forums (and not forgetting the advice from very knowledgable members on here) to figure out what was the best viable option for me.

As I intend on moving and only being able to use the grant once I opted for option 1. I have replaced the UMC for an OHME smart cable instead (£200 for octopus members iirc) which now makes my 'dumb' charger smart (perfect for agile). Even though this pushed my charger costs considerably, I know have a spare cable and won't solely rely on the UMC (which would be the only source of power, even at 3 pin should the charger fail).

Side note; I wasn't able to find the o-pen device on its own and was put off by the cost of >£500 for the whole unit.
 

VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,964
5,458
Surrey, UK
Side note; I wasn't able to find the o-pen device on its own and was put off by the cost of >£500 for the whole unit.

Matt:e Single Phase EV Voltage Monitoring and Protection Unit (SP-EVCP-T) | CEF

The one with RCD protection is also available under the same section. Neither may be a good solution if voltage is on the marginal side. Issues reported on here with them tripping.

If you do for a Matt:e unit, I think the newer ones are quieter - reports of the old ones buzzing.
 
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GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
676
651
UK
Shouldn't this include a conclusion that if you are able to use the OLEV grant this is likely to be cheaper than all these options, including the Commando socket.

You parts for a proper installation of commando £310 + Labour £220 + [email protected]% £106 = £636

If you haven't had one previously and your parking is compliant an installer like PodPoint will charge £559 or Polar £599

I think too many people think they can save money by not getting a proper charge point installed, it's a false economy. The discounted government backed OLEV scheme will give you the most convenient and safest installation nearly every time.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
Which is why, in the first line, I wrote this (my added emphasis):

. . cheapest way to install a charge point, if not able to take advantage of the OLEV grant (or just if you don't want a smart charge point)

Some people aren't able to get the grant, for example if they have already claimed one. Some people (like me) just don't need, or want, an internet connected charge point, so aren't eligible for the grant.

In my case, I've been trying to keep things as simple as possible in recent years, with the least amount of household stuff that relies on an internet connection, or application provided by a third party (that may stop being supported at any time), just because I like reliability, and my experience with connected devices so far (including the Model 3) is that none are that reliable.

In my case, a dumb charge point, controlled by a switch and time switch, does the job reliably and with no need for any external connectivity. I can either choose to charge the car immediately when I plug it in, or choose to charge it at the cheap rate overnight, just by flicking a switch on the box. That way I don't have to worry about storm taking our broadband out (happens every time there's nearby lightning), as long as the power stays on the car will charge when I want it to.
 

davidmc

Active Member
May 20, 2019
1,540
1,638
Leicester
There's been debate about the cheapest way to install a charge point, if not able to take advantage of the OLEV grant (or just if you don't want a smart charge point). I thought I'd try and cost the materials, excluding labour, for a few options. To allow a fair comparison I've assumed a 10m cable run from the incoming supply point to the charge point location, and assumed that SWA cable will be required (it may or may not, depends on the location). All options assume that the incoming supply to the house is TN (either TN-C-S (PME) or TN-S). If the house has a TT supply (only usually applies to older, rural, properties now) then the prices will be different. All options assume that charging at 32 A is required.

Option 1 is to charge using the Tesla supplied UMC, together with the optional 32 A Commando adapter lead, connected to a 32 A interlocked Commando outlet. Protection is via a 40 A Type B RCD, with a 40 A MCB for over-current protection, with an earth electrode being installed close to the vehicle charging point location. Total cost of all materials, including the Tesla 32 A Commando adapter needed, is ~£310

Option 2 is as above, but using an O-PEN device, rather than an earth electrode. Total cost of all materials ~£390

Option 3 uses the cheapest non-tethered charge point I could find, the Qubev unit, that has a Type 2 outlet, plus variable charge current via a switch on the side. This avoids having to use the UMC supplied with the car, plus the Commando adapter lead, and can be used with the Type 2 lead supplied with the car. If this is installed with an earth electrode etc, as per Option 1 above (essentially just swapping the interlocked Commando for the Qubev charge point) then the total cost of all materials comes to ~£459

Option 4 is the same as Option 3, but uses the version of the Qubev that has 18th Ed Amdt 1 protection, so avoids the need to use a Type B RCD. Total cost of materials comes to ~£426

Option 5 is the same as Option 4, but uses an O-PEN device instead of using an earth rod. Total cost of materials comes to ~£506

Best price for a 40 A Type B RCD I can find is £114 inc VAT, from here: Type B RCD / RCCB 40A for EV Charge Point Installations. 2 pole, single phase, 30ma. 40 Amp

The same supplier offers a metal enclosure, fitted with this RCD, together with both a 40 A and 6 A MCB, for £179, which is perhaps £20 more than the cost of the individual parts, but looks to be a neat enough option.

All the prices above include the cost of Henley blocks, a metre of tails, cable glands, cleats, short lengths of additional CPC, etc.

Overall, the cheapest option is to install a 32 A interlocked Commando, although that option means using the UMC supplied with the car, plus the optional 32 A Commando adapter, all the time. This has the advantage of having a "Tesla button" on the connector, but the disadvantage that the UMC will need to be supported on something, as it can't safely hang from it's lead for long periods, I think.

If I was on a tight budget, I'd be inclined to go for Option 4 above. It has the advantages of being fairly neat, having switched charge power levels and not needing to use the UMC. The additional cost of ~£116 seems worth it to me.

Labour will vary a great deal depending on location and how easy it is to run cables etc. Around here a typical day rate for an electrician is now around £220, plus VAT in most cases. A typical installation shouldn't really take longer than about half a day, although it would be normal to charge more than just half a day's labour, unless the person had another small job to go to for the other half of the day.

Smart charge points, as required in order to claim the OLEV grant, are more expensive, with a total material cost of typically £200 or so higher than the costs above.

You have posted this at the right time for me. I am about to have some elec works for a new garden office (I'm building it) and have added to my costs the ability to charge my car either as your Option 1 or 4. I have on street parking and as such i mainly charge at work but would still want a charger at home. The 3pin is a tad slow for weekends if i need to top up, but having a 7kw charger would give me a better option and less time for my cable across the pavement (i do use a rubber cable cover and cones).

My run is only 5m from fuse board and costs for me are below - Materials only costs

Option 1 - £269 (added in the Type B - see note below)
Option 2 - £371

A family friend is a qualified electrician and has happily agreed to price labour only - i will lay all cables etc for him to do the final connections and testing.

@Glan gluaisne - regards Option 1 is a Type B necessary? thought the UMC had DC protection built in? hence why you could use it with commando/3pin sockets.

Regards option1 or 4 - what about this type A? - EV Switchgear - 40amp 30mA 1P+N 2Mod Type A - DC Sensitive (10KA) RCBO
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
I'm afraid a Type B is necessary, as it's the status of the outlet that matters, as that's where the installation terminates. Any outlet that is intended for EV charging has to comply with the regs.

The RCBO linked to is only DC sensitive in the sense that it's a Type A, so able to deal with pulsed DC as well as AC. Unfortunately a leakage fault when charging may well be when the charge point is at State A, which is a steady +12 VDC on the Control Pilot, via a 1 kohm source impedance. This equates to a possible 12 mA of DC leakage to earth if the CP was shorted at the vehicle end under some sort of fault condition, hence the requirement to be able to detect a leakage fault in the presence of DC that may be greater than 6 mA.

The key thing to look for are the symbols on the RCD/RCBO, rather than anything in the description. This chart, lifted from Doepke, shows the symbols for each type at the top:

RCD symbols.jpg
 
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Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
3,793
2,903
Scotland
The 3pin is a tad slow for weekends if i need to top up, but having a 7kw charger would give me a better option and less time for my cable across the pavement (i do use a rubber cable cover and cones).

I would comment that if you want the same level of safety when charging with the UMC and 3 pin plug you would require all the same kit as Option 1. But of course nobody does that ... we just plug into a likely looking standard socket ... often not at home but where we may be putting others at risk as well as ourselves!
 
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GRiLLA

Member
Jul 5, 2020
676
651
UK
In my case, I've been trying to keep things as simple as possible in recent years, with the least amount of household stuff that relies on an internet connection, or application provided by a third party (that may stop being supported at any time), just because I like reliability, and my experience with connected devices so far (including the Model 3) is that none are that reliable.

That's not really how smart chargers work, I've not seen one which 'relies on an internet connection'. My EO Mini Pro acts like a simple dumb charger by default, if I want to use the app to configure it further I can, but frankly it's a bit rubbish. If there's no internet it just works, it would be pretty risky to make one which wouldn't! For Tesla the car is the best option to manage the start and target charge. The smarts are more valuable on our Leaf which will always charge to 100%, the smart stuff lets us keep it to 80% easily.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,708
UK
That's not really how smart chargers work, I've not seen one which 'relies on an internet connection'. My EO Mini Pro acts like a simple dumb charger by default, if I want to use the app to configure it further I can, but frankly it's a bit rubbish. If there's no internet it just works, it would be pretty risky to make one which wouldn't! For Tesla the car is the best option to manage the start and target charge. The smarts are more valuable on our Leaf which will always charge to 100%, the smart stuff lets us keep it to 80% easily.

I've come across a smart charger that didn't default to dumb mode and just allow charging without connectivity, although I did track it down to a set up problem caused by the installer. I've no doubt some can't do without the smart functionality, but for me charging the car falls into the same category as switching our water heating on and off, or switching the washing machine, boiling water tap, etc on and off, it's just easy to have it timed to come on or turn off at fixed times every day.

The built in car timing just doesn't work well with E7, I found, as I had to try and use it until Tesla fixed the bug in the charging software in July. What I need is the option to start a charge at a fixed time, and end a charge at a fixed time, irrespective of the battery state of charge and without preconditioning the car as if it was going to be driven at 07:00. The timed charge settings in the car don't allow this. I could set the charge start time, but if the car hadn't fully charged by the end of the E7 period it would carry on charging at the peak rate. Alternatively I could set the charge end time, but then the car might start to charge before the start of the E7 period and also it would precondition the car for 07:00, when I didn't need it (as it uses departure time as the timer end point).

There's a three position switch on my charge point, off, on and E7, and in the E7 position the charge point turns on just after 00:00 GMT and turns off just before 07:00 GMT, so there's no chance of the car charging during the peak rate period. I personally find it easier to just flick this switch, if I need to, when plugging the car in, than setting either a charge start time or departure time in the car. YMMV, but this simple approach works for me, and also works for my wife. The charge point has been used for three cars now, and has been 100% reliable for around 5 years or so of regular use. There's not even any need to ever set the time switch, as that uses a GPS receiver to keep it pretty accurately set.
 
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