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Home and Work (3-Phase) Charging Options (in UK)

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by WannabeOwner, Nov 5, 2015.

  1. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    United Kingdom
    Newbie question, not even been for a test drive yet (although that is on the cards)

    We have a driveway but no garage. We normally park on the side of the drive furthest from the house (plant pots / tubs along the house wall, and part of the house sticks out which makes parking against the wall inconvenient). On the plus side the Mains enters the house, and meter / distribution board, is on / just inside the wall at the front of the house.

    Are wall-charging units waterproof and for external installation?

    I won't want to trail a cable across the drive, am I going to be better off setting up a charging point where we do park, rather than trying to figure out how to park against the wall? Or would I be better off figuring out how to park against the wall, close to the distribution board location?

    I can see us adding more EVs in future, and no doubt we will have EV visitors. Should I be installing something generic, rather than Tesla specific? Or some-and-some perhaps? (whilst I have got a Sparky on site and digging up the drive! whatever)

    At work we have 3-phase power. Is it reasonably?! cost effective to install a 3-phase charging point there? There are marked parking bays at work, seems reasonable to create an EV charging infrastructure, but again not sure all employees will be driving Teslas :wink:

    Grants still available / worthwhile? If they are running out / time limited that could impact my buying decision (I am burdened with 3x VWs in the family with contracts still to run, but when I get dishonestly shafted by a company they blacklisted, for my lifetime at least, so I will be looking to bail-out on the contracts hence wanting to balance early exit penalties with any time-critical discounts)

    Thanks :)
     
  2. arg

    arg Member

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    #2 arg, Nov 5, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
    Yes, in most cases. Arguably, using the Telsa UMC plugged into a commando socket is less weatherproof than a proper type2 EVSE.

    You can also get purpose-designed 'post' style chargepoints to install where there's no wall convenient. Ones offered as 'commercial' are hugely expensive (with access control stuff you don't want), but there are some reasonable price ones out there now - Rolec do one around the £500 mark (compared to their wall-mount at £350 or so).

    Parking to suit the charging will save you money, but IMO spending a bit more to get a truly convenient charging solution is money well spent. Plugging in every night should be a 10-second thing you do as a matter of course, not something that makes you struggle and curse your cheapskate installation.

    The right choice depends how much weight you put on the convenience of having the right plug waiting for you rather than having to fetch something out of the boot (I rate this hugely important, others may disagree), and how much you care about having a button on the plug to open your chargeport rather than having to reach in your pocket and use the keyfob.

    Your options are:

    1. Standard chargepoint with captive type2 cable. Relatively cheap (on OLEV grant scheme). Charges most types of EV, but not those with type1 socket (Leaf, Volt/Ampera). Convenient and secure. Doesn't have a button on the connector to unlock the chargeport- you will need to use your keyfob.
    2. Standard chargepoint with type2 socket. Charges any EV. To get same convenience as option 1 you need to buy a spare cable and leave it plugged into the unit. When instaled on the OLEV grant, you don't get any credit for not having the captive cable, so it ends up costing a bit more this way. Can have button for opening the chargeport if you buy third-party cable with button on it, but normally not.
    3. Tesla wall connector. Not yet available, but when it arrives is expected to be equivalent to a type2 tethered point (option 1 above) except that it will have the 'tesla button' on it.
    4. Commando socket to use with the Tesla UMC. I really hate this option, but it has been made artificially cheap by Tesla subsidising installs. It's only really cheap if you use the UMC that comes 'free' with the car - if you want to keep that one in the car and buy another to leave permanently plugged in at home, it becomes an expensive option. Apparently, the whole reason Tesla are subsidising this is that Elon Musk considers it important that you have a Tesla button on your cables. Subsidy may go away when the wall connector arrives.

    Yes. If you are installing without a grant, the hardware for 3-phase is little more than for single phase (though the overall cost will depend how easily you can actually access your 3-phase supply: difference in overall cost could be £100 or £1000 depending on whether there's a suitable 3-phase DB nearby, length of cable run etc.).

    Note that 3-phase will only give you a 50% increase (from 7kW to 11kW) if your Model S has single charger - need to spend extra on the 2nd charger to get the full 22kW that a 3-phase chargepoint can provide.

    There aren't any generally-available grants for workplace charging (there have been some local schemes or other special cases).

    The OLEV grant for a simple home chargepoint is still just about worthwhile, though it has decreased in amount as the equipment has got cheaper to the point where IMO it's no longer a huge benefit. Getting the OLEV grant requires that you have an extra smartmeter (either separate or built in to the chargepoint) because they require you to report usage statistics for 3 years. The extra cost of doing that compared to a vanilla installation is now an increasingly large proportion of the actual grant money, so if you want something different/extra it may be almost as cheap outside the grant scheme with no rules to stop you getting exactly what you want and no 3-year contract.

    The Tesla Commando voucher I mentioned above - I really hate it, but it is free money.... Getting a commando installed and then replacing the actual socket with a proper chargepoint later is one possible scheme.
     
  3. WannabeOwner

    WannabeOwner Member

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    Very helpful, thank you for taking the time to make your detailed reply.

    Not sure a string of stainless steel charging points along the edge of my lawn is the look I was wanting :rolleyes:

    We've got space in front of the house, so I'll aim to site the charging point(s) discretely, and taking into account you excellent 10-second-rule advice.

    I agree. Although no telling if our next EV will also be a Tesla ... ("My other car is a Tesla too" bumper stickers available?!)

    I read?? that there are a series of small-ish adaptors that would fit on the end of a standard cable to change to various different options. So could I have a regular cable, with Tesla converter-end, plugged in and ready-to-use - but easy to change for visitors / different future choice? Clearly not as elegant as a bespoke Tesla cable-with-button. I should also consider my intended retention time for the car. Annual mileage is 30K and normally we would swap out after 3 years (for reliability etc.), but looks like that may not be necessary for an EV to the same extent, so lets say 6-7 years so we swap out to have some warranty to pass to new owner; amortising cost of Sparky's work over that period is pretty trivial, which suggests bespoke Tesla solution is fine (with maybe, whilst I'm at it, an additional any-EV socket for visitors)

    I think we might be in luck there. 3-Phase is on edge of building nearest car park, and there is a duct under the access lane to where the parking bays are. Thanks.

    I've read of 2nd charger, but I've read of lots of things ... Clearly I need some means of detailing everything I might consider, and what I actually choose ... this is a big worry for me, moving to new tech and therefore the lack of knowledge / experience, to make sure that I make good & informed decisions.

    Is the 2nd charger a purchase-time decision? Come to think of it I didn't see any Extras on the Tesla "get a quote" page, so I must have missed something - or the only ones shown were critical purchase-time-only options and everything else is an Accessory.

    Is there a "Newbies should consider all these points/options" thread somewhere? Sorry, the learning curve is steep - I only learnt what ICE was a couple of days ago, and today I picked up "The ICE age is over" which I am itching to use ... but I don't think I know anyone who would undertsand it :crying:

    Locally very keen on (or even "requiring") facilities for Bikes any all sorts, so they might be EV-keen too. So its a least worth me checking.
     
  4. arg

    arg Member

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    Not quite. The way you support other EVs is with a type2 socket - you then expect them to be carrying a cable with type2 plug on one end and plug to suit their vehicle at the other end (which they will need to carry anyhow for access to public charging). However, the proportion of cars using type2 is increasing and this may be less of an issue.

    The 'smallish adapters' you are thinking of are probably for the Tesla UMC. This only has a type2 at the car end, but has small adaptors for various kinds of "standard" mains outlet at the other end, so solving a different problem. For UK use, the 13A plug adapter is very useful; a 16A blue commando (caravan hookups) would probably be useful but Tesla don't make one, while the 32A blue commando is sometimes useful for locations that put a socket for EV charging before the type2 was invented.

    You have it right - everything not on the design studio screen is an accessory, not part of the car that you order (though note the tyres and interior options at the very top of the design studio that are easily missed at first look).

    2nd charger _used_ to be a purchase time decision; later it became an accessory (albeit one that has to be fitted at the service centre.

    For most people, the CHAdeMO adapter to access fast public charging is much more useful and much cheaper than the 2nd charger - the vast majority of public charging locations are either 7kW (2nd charger no benefit), or dual AC/DC units where you could get 22kW with the 2nd charger, but can get 38kW with the CHAdeMO adapter instead.

    Hence 2nd charger really only adds value for people with access to a private 3-phase chargepoint AND who have a need to charge that quickly. Single charger is fast enough for overnight charging, and only DC charging (Supercharger or CHAdeMO) is fast enough for 'while you wait' charging on the road. Dual charger does have benefit if you do a large amount of local driving - pop back to the office over lunch and then out again in the afternoon, or if you have a monster commute and then plan to come home on a friday night, charge while you pack the car, and depart again for a weekend away (and in that example have 3-phase at home).

    There has been a (UK-focussed) attempt to collect such info at Teslapedia | Everything you ever wanted to know about Tesla vehicles though it's currently rather poorly indexed.
     
  5. jimseven

    jimseven New Member

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    Jul 14, 2015
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    3
    Location:
    London, UK
    My 85D should be delivered around the end of the month, so I'm sorting out charging at my work place. We have tonnes of power there - so a three phase 22kw capable charger is definitely possible. Has anyone on here put on in? Any recommendations? Is it difficult to connect to tethered chargers like the Rolec one?

    (The wait for this car has very nearly killed me - and it's only getting worse the closer I get)
     

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