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Charging location issue at home with garage

Hello,

I'm expecting to collect my M3 LR (UK) in March with a 22 plate, very excited but I still have issues with the charging setup at home (UK).

I own a semi-detached house (no driveway, area marked in red in the attachment, two-car parking space) that has an open barn (wooden) garage at the back of the house (a bit far). There is no electricity setup in the garage. I sometimes park my car on the street in front of the house like my neighbours but the local council doesn't allow laying the EV charging cable over the pavement as per guidelines by Kent County Council. My consumer unit is at the front of the house.

Please bear with me, I'll try to explain my problematic situation here and any advice will be much appreciated. A point to note is that I'll be looking to move to a new place next year so don't want to spend a lot on the charging setup.

So, in order to achieve the electricity set up in my garage and charging for EV, I have tried the following:
  1. Contacted local DNO - GTC to provide electricity feed to my garage. (Can get OLEV grant)
  2. Park at the front of my house on the street with cable over the pavement during nighttime. (Cannot get OLEV grant, no driveway)
  3. Park at the back of my & neighbour's backyard temporarily for charging where a charging option (3 pin/commando/EV charger) is installed in my garden. (Cannot get OLEV grant, no driveway)
1. Reply from DNO - GTC
This was an ideal option for me as it will simplify my life of parking the car and charging it without any hassle.

GTC said that they can provide a new electricity feed from the back of the garage as they have their mainline as described in the attachment with the purple colour. But after an initial assessment, they said that the meter box cannot be installed as the garage is not built with brick and as it is wooden, it is a risk. ("There is an increased risk of the meter/cable being struck from behind with a nail or a screw-on a thin (comparatively to brick) wooden structure, particularly when the garage faces a public space.")

I have asked GTC to arrange a call with their engineer (Mon/Tues) so that I can understand this clearly.
1) How will meter box location be an issue if it is installed inside the garage and not outside?
2) If I can build a brick wall inside the garage for them to install the meter box.

Alternative option by GTC:
Plus, they have given another option that they can install a free-standing kiosk (which can be a bit expensive), it will be similar to the one in the attachment. But I'm not sure where will they install it - inside the garage, outside of my private land, etc. (any idea?)

I have not yet received any quote from GTC so far, there will be some digging work as well along with the energy supplier to set up the meter and electrician to set up the new consumer unit, plug/EV charger, etc.

2. Park in front of my house on the street

With no personal driveway (no OLEV grant), if I park in front of the house with access to a charging option (3 pin plug/commando/EV charger) at the front of my house, there is a risk involved as stated by the KCC website of laying the cable over the pavement. My street is not busy at all, a lot quieter during the night but I'm scared about the legal issues that may occur due to any accident.

3. Park at the back of the backyard temporarily for charging & then move the vehicle back to the garage

This is my fallback plan if nothing else works. My current neighbour is fine with me temporarily parking my car at the back of our backyard and using the charging cable to charge my car ensuring that no backyard gates are blocked. I thought if I go with this option, probably I can go for the commando socket which will charge my car fast as compared to a 3 pin plug. Then I don't have to park my car for long at the back. Also, my neighbour has sold the house a few days back so I'll have a new neighbour soon. But if the cost of getting the commando and an EV charger (e.g. Tesla Gen 2/3) is close, then probably I can just go for the EV charger.

For the commando/EV charger set up in the backyard (my consumer unit is at the front of the house):
  1. Does the 32 amp cable for commando or the cable for the EV charger need to come from the consumer unit directly? OR Can the cable be extended from the rear of the house itself? I'm asking these questions to identify the need for the cable length, the cable length will add to the cost.
  2. As such the purpose of this 32 amp commando is to charge the EV vehicle, what is the requirement for RCD and pen fault protection?
  3. Is there any restriction that a commando socket & EV charger can only be installed on brick walls vs a wooden fence? As I have a wooden fence in the backyard and if I park my car close to the backyard, the socket/charger needs to be close (as much as possible) to the backyard gate.

I know that there are services like super-charging, zap map, etc. to find the nearby chargers but I'm looking for the home solution first and these will be fallback options anyway.

Any advice for a solution will be much appreciated.

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muster39

Member
Nov 13, 2021
48
29
UK
I have a free standing EV charger at the edge of the garden mounted on a wooden post (all professionally installed). I got my builder to dig a trench and put in the armoured cable and refill it, then the electrician connected the cable to the consumer unit and the charger. Beforehand the utility company had to increase the fuse to 100amp but that was free. The addition of an EV charger may well increase the value or saleability of the house.
 
Ah you have one of those new builds that’s a nightmare for EV charging due to parking away from the property.

Honestly, I’d not bother with an EV until you have moved and make sure you buy somewhere that’s not got a bad parking set up for EV charging. The amount you’d spend getting a proper charging set up in place could be used to accelerate your plans to move which is imminent anyway. Just hope who ever buys it doesn’t realise it’s a bit of a nightmare too.
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,801
1,604
mid wales
Two obvious options come to mind if your DNO would co-operate.
Clad the outside of the garage in the area of attachment with a sheet of insulation and steel so nails etc could not be used.
Build a simple breeze block or brick pillar inside the garage high enough for the new units to be mounted. The weight loading will be so low that no new footing required.
 
Having thought about it the better option would be to avoid the second supply altogether as I would think you’d have to pay a second standing charge at 25p/day or £90/year which will only go up.

Presumably you own 1/3 of that tarmac area but have a right of access to all of it and a partly responsible for the upkeep of all of it?

The best solution would be for all 3 owners to agree for a trench to be dug along the back of the fence and a cable dropped into it from all 3 houses, that’s then trenches into the back of the car port and the cable pops out in all 3 spaces and a stand along charge point on a post is installed.

I get that all 3 are not going to want an EV all at once but they’ll all need a charging point eventually. Not all of the charge points need to be commissioned but the infrastructure is the key bit. To me that seems like the most sensible and cheapest solution and the feeds can be taken off each house and there is no need for any additional supplied to be put in.
 
I have a free standing EV charger at the edge of the garden mounted on a wooden post (all professionally installed). I got my builder to dig a trench and put in the armoured cable and refill it, then the electrician connected the cable to the consumer unit and the charger. Beforehand the utility company had to increase the fuse to 100amp but that was free. The addition of an EV charger may well increase the value or saleability of the house.
Hi @muster39, thanks for sharing about your setup. Can you please share some pics of your charging set up - the wooden post with the mounted charger? Is the consumer unit close to your garden?

I have a 100 amp fuse already but the consumer unit is at the front of the house. If I choose to install the charger in the backyard for fewer footsteps reasons, then an electrician has quoted £520 plus VAT for ~ 40m of cable from the consumer unit to the rear fence job. And the charger will be additional depending on the option I choose.
 
Ah you have one of those new builds that’s a nightmare for EV charging due to parking away from the property.

Honestly, I’d not bother with an EV until you have moved and make sure you buy somewhere that’s not got a bad parking set up for EV charging. The amount you’d spend getting a proper charging set up in place could be used to accelerate your plans to move which is imminent anyway. Just hope who ever buys it doesn’t realise it’s a bit of a nightmare too.
Hi @qwickshot,

Yeah, it is one of those new builds, it is such a shame that it was built in 2015 and doesn't have any electricity setup in the garage. I'll probably plan to move by end of next year or so. Selling the houses in my area isn't an issue, my neighbour has just sold their house and many are on the market already. But yeah good point, buyers will likely be interested in the EV setup as well. If I can arrange something suitable with not a lot amount, it will add something to the sale as well, probably. 🤞
 
Two obvious options come to mind if your DNO would co-operate.
Clad the outside of the garage in the area of attachment with a sheet of insulation and steel so nails etc could not be used.
Build a simple breeze block or brick pillar inside the garage high enough for the new units to be mounted. The weight loading will be so low that no new footing required.
Hi @pgkevet,

Thanks for your idea, I'll mention this to the GTC engineer. I'm expecting to talk to their engineer on Monday/Tuesday depending on their availability. But does this option means that I'll need to get rid of the wooden rear part of the fence? OR - Will the order be like following at the back of the garage - Insulation & steel layer -> wooden back of the garage -> brick pillar inside the garage for the meter box?
 
Hi @qwickshot,

Yeah, it is one of those new builds, it is such a shame that it was built in 2015 and doesn't have any electricity setup in the garage. I'll probably plan to move by end of next year or so. Selling the houses in my area isn't an issue, my neighbour has just sold their house and many are on the market already. But yeah good point, buyers will likely be interested in the EV setup as well. If I can arrange something suitable with not a lot amount, it will add something to the sale as well, probably. 🤞
Hopefully, there are loads of those houses by me, I ignored loads of them because of the parking/EV issues when we bought in 2019. It wasn’t even on my wife’s radar back then but I’m sure lots of people will be doing so even more now.

I posted an alternative option just as you replied, probably not the easiest as you plan to move and your other neighbour is moving but I think it would be the best solution all round.
 
Having thought about it the better option would be to avoid the second supply altogether as I would think you’d have to pay a second standing charge at 25p/day or £90/year which will only go up.

Presumably you own 1/3 of that tarmac area but have a right of access to all of it and a partly responsible for the upkeep of all of it?

The best solution would be for all 3 owners to agree for a trench to be dug along the back of the fence and a cable dropped into it from all 3 houses, that’s then trenches into the back of the car port and the cable pops out in all 3 spaces and a stand along charge point on a post is installed.

I get that all 3 are not going to want an EV all at once but they’ll all need a charging point eventually. Not all of the charge points need to be commissioned but the infrastructure is the key bit. To me that seems like the most sensible and cheapest solution and the feeds can be taken off each house and there is no need for any additional supplied to be put in.
I asked my neighbours first about trenching the cable option, upon the conversion both neighbours were fine with the idea of just me trenching the cable towards the garage. One neighbour even said that he will plan to buy an EV in the future. But the other neighbour who has just sold the house, searched a few posts online and pointed out that there will be some legal work involved if a neighbour's cable is going through their private property. So, I thought of not pursuing the trenching the cable option, I know it can be cheaper but involved legal work for all of the three house owners. So that it is not an issue for anyone of us when we sell the house.
 
Perhaps it might be cheaper to rent a neighbour's charger with a website such as co-charger. Or you can swap your parking position with another neighbour and sacrifice the OLEV grant?
Hi @prabhu
I have tried co-charger, there is no one in my area. The other parking spaces have the same issue, there is no electricity setup in any open barn garages in my estate area, unfortunately! And many garages are not close the houses, at far distance from the consumer units.
 
I asked my neighbours first about trenching the cable option, upon the conversion both neighbours were fine with the idea of just me trenching the cable towards the garage. One neighbour even said that he will plan to buy an EV in the future. But the other neighbour who has just sold the house, searched a few posts online and pointed out that there will be some legal work involved if a neighbour's cable is going through their private property. So, I thought of not pursuing the trenching the cable option, I know it can be cheaper but involved legal work for all of the three house owners. So that it is not an issue for anyone of us when we sell the house.
I doubt any legal work would be as expensive as you think but option B which is move now and don’t worry about it might be even easier!
 
Yeah, it is one of those new builds, it is such a shame that it was built in 2015 and doesn't have any electricity setup in the garage.
Try not to be too regretful - "electricity in the garage" might still not have cut it. We fought to have "lights and sockets" installed to our 2019 new build knowing we'd eventually have an EV. Unfortunately after speaking to some installers, it now turns out the supply isn't good enough for a charger so is needing to be upgraded anyway.

Definitely in agreement though - any recently build house should have ideally come with a charger, or at minimum the correct infrastructure for one.
 
Hi @prabhu
I have tried co-charger, there is no one in my area. The other parking spaces have the same issue, there is no electricity setup in any open barn garages in my estate area, unfortunately! And many garages are not close the houses, at far distance from the consumer units.
You need one of those portable battery technologies to arrive. Till then find a public charger and use a subscription such as bonnet.
 

pgkevet

Active Member
Jul 1, 2019
1,801
1,604
mid wales
Hi @pgkevet,

Thanks for your idea, I'll mention this to the GTC engineer. I'm expecting to talk to their engineer on Monday/Tuesday depending on their availability. But does this option means that I'll need to get rid of the wooden rear part of the fence? OR - Will the order be like following at the back of the garage - Insulation & steel layer -> wooden back of the garage -> brick pillar inside the garage for the meter box?
Steel, plastic, wood back of garage and mount inside to that (on another board if back of garage not sound enough - could bolt all the way through). The issue there may be changing the look of the fence. Brick pillar inside should be fine on it's own without the need to add external cladding - it protects the installation just as if the garage had a back wall.
 

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