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Home charging advice.

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by Scafwell, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. Scafwell

    Scafwell New Member

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    My Tesla account tells me that my P85D is "in transit" and due at Gatwick late August, so now's the time to sort out the home charging arrangements.

    I live near West Malling in Kent (roughly equidistant from the Bluewater & Detling SC's), so I'm asking if anyone relatively locally has experience of a decent company for fitting a home charger and what type of charger is emerging as the owner's favourite. I understand the grant has now been removed for home fitting, so I wonder if anyone could give be a price target to aim for too. I am loosely considering a charger for work too and I wonder if this would be a similar type to the home charger or there's a different requirement for workplace chargers.

    I did think about relying solely upon the relatively local SC's, but a friend of mine (who runs a fleet of Tesla's) said the time spent waiting at the SC's would outweigh the cost of the home charger (I have Economy 7 off peak at home). Unsurprisingly, my wife is a weekly (often more) visitor to Bluewater, so it crossed my mind to car swap with her for SC charging. However, when I popped into the Bluewater car park to have a look where the SC's are, I realised that the cost of yearly wheel refurbs as she bumped up and down the concrete guiding strips would cost more that the home charger! I had a loaned LR Defender once, and she kerbed that even though I think it was on 85 profile tyres:eek:.

    Finally, what are peoples thoughts on getting the CHAdeMO adapter. Do they work OK?

    Any feedback would be useful.

    Many thanks in advance:smile:
     
  2. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    A quick rundown:

    Historically a government grant has meant that you could get a Type 2 home charge point installed for free. The grant has recently reduced so that now you need to part-pay for it, but it's still a pretty good deal. The mainstream installers will want a contribution of £200 and the high quality ones will want £300, to fit you a single phase 32A charge point.

    I'd choose a decent company given what you just spent on the car.

    I highly recommend The Phoenix Works - they're based in the Midlands but install nationwide. As far as I know they're the only UK installer fitting "ABL" branded points (German manufacturer) which are really lovely units. Rolec also do a decent charge point and will suggest a local installer for you. Chargemaster are the biggest UK installer but their points are not as good, their installers are of variable quality (mine was a complete cowboy) and generally few people have much good to say about them.

    The points come in tethered and untethered varieties. Tethered ones come with an attached cable with a Type 2 plug on the end and are super-convenient if the cable is long enough to reach the charge port and if you never charge other types of EV (some of which need differenct connectors). Untethered is more flexible because you can plug other EVs into it, and because you can buy a much longer cable to use with it if you need to.

    Above all else you should go the extra mile to make your home charging as convenient and effortless as possible - the great benefit of EV charging is that it happens at home while you sleep, so you will be plugging and unplugging every single day. Make it really easy for yourself to do this :)

    People who try to save money by going to local superchargers are IMO crazy - half an hour at an SC gets you perhaps 50kWh of energy which is worth £3 at Economy 7 rates. So you're effectively paying yourself £6 per hour - less than the national minimum wage - to go sit at a supercharger.

    Today I would choose CHAdeMO adaptor (£350) over Dual Chargers (£1500 dealer fit option) for sure, but if you've already ordered dual chargers then the benefit is not so clear cut. In theory the CHAdeMO adaptor will go up to about 45kW but in practice the chargers installed at all UK motorway service stations aren't up to the job so have been limited to 25kW with the Model S.

    Either way there's no hurry on the CHAdeMO adaptor; see how you get on with the car for the first few months (and see how quickly the supercharger network expands) and then decide in future. It costs the same amount whether you order it with the car or afterwards.
     
  3. gdavison

    gdavison Member

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    Adding to Matts comments, if you ever are planning a "largish" trip there is an option of renting a CHAdeMO adaptor or possibly even borrowing one from a fellow owner
     
  4. arg

    arg Member

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    Agreed with the above, but an additional benefit to the CHAdeMO: many motorway service areas have a pair of chargepoints, one AC+CHAdeMO, one CCS+CHAdeMO. So if you don't have the CHAdeMO adapter you have access to only half the resources.

    I've already had two experiences at these sites: once, there was a Renault Zoe charging on the AC, and another Zoe queueing (so I would have been 3rd), but I was straight in to the CCS+CHAdeMO unit that wasn't being used . The other time, the AC+CHAdeMO was faulty, but the CCS+CHAdeMO was working, so I was able to charge where I would have been out of luck with no adapter.
     
  5. Rluner

    Rluner Member

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    #5 Rluner, Jul 6, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
    With respect to the previous posters I have to disagree with you, no offence meant.

    I live in the NW of England and I have duel chargers; and I have to say it's been worth every penny for me and my family, in time saved over a single charger, especially traveling to and in and around Scotland.

    I also dont want want to carry extra adapters in my boot or frunk. Eg CHADeMO hence duel chargers work for me and my wife, if not for others. [even for over a thousand pound saving.]

    For the record I feel duel chargers should be free on this level of car, in fact quad chargers should be free. I think the Zoe has a 43 kW AC charger as standard, what a joke we don't when you consider the price of both the cars vs the cost to the manufacturer to fit as standard.

    If however you are mainly travelling in the south of the country then the SC network is excellent and neither CHADeMO or duel chargers may be needed. Depending on your driving locations ofc.
     
  6. martinwinlow

    martinwinlow Member

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    #6 martinwinlow, Jul 7, 2015
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2015
    Duel chargers, eh!? Is that with pistols or swords?

    Something else to think about is if you plan on driving your MS on the continent, especially France and Spain, or, indeed, Ireland. Certainly in France there are lots of CHAdeMo chargers and a small but growing population of SuCs. In Spain there is only 1 SuC so far but enough (barely) CHAdeMO chargers to get to most popular spots. Ireland has a veritable plethora of CHAdeMOs and no SuCs. In any of these (and more) countries an adaptor would be de rigueur.

    Incidentally, the Chameleon charger in the Zoe is (allegedly) causing all sorts of issues:- with chargers and within itself and I gather they are not going to be used again or if they are it will be at a much reduced power. MW
     
  7. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    The Renault Zoe "chameleon" charger is a pretty nasty bit of kit - it's integrated with the motor windings and drive inverter which means that a power surge on the mains can take out the entire drivetrain, it's really inefficient at charging at low speeds and from single phase sources, and it emits high frequency noise (both in the form of EMI back down the mains cable, and in the form of an audible screaming sound). Some owners report that when their Zoe is charging their microwave oven / plasma TV / induction hob in their home actually scream in sympathy with it. Renault are replacing their 43kW charger this year with a new model that only does 22kW. Tesla would never use such a "hacky" design.
     
  8. arg

    arg Member

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    Interesting. Certainly the pro-CHAdeMO argument ignores the fact that there are at least some 22kW AC-only chargepoints, where dual chargers double your speed and the CHAdeMO adapter can't be used. Obviously the ideal would be to have both...

    However, in England at least 22kW AC points seem very thin on the ground, mostly either at private industrial locations or for 'destination charging' where single charger speeds would often be good enough. Have you in fact found that they are much more common in Scotland? I had noticed that there seem to be a lot of them in Northern Ireland.

    If you are unhappy with the space taken by a CHAdeMO adapter, then you'd surely be even more unhappy with the space taken by an additional two chargers? The 2nd one goes in otherwise-unused space under the seat, but after that the hypothetical quad charger would have to eat up usable space somewhere. There's also the efficiency impact of the extra weight, and the maintenance cost of having more stuff to go wrong.

    There's always a trade-off between AC charging with charging equipment in the car vs. DC charging that puts the equipment in the roadside cabinet. On a pure cost basis, it's better to have it in the car where there are more chargepoints than cars; better to have it in the chargepoint where the chargepoint gets shared between lots of cars. So, given that you need a chargepoint at home which is (typically) only going to be used by one car, it makes sense to put that minimal level of charging capability in the car and it can then be used with cheaply installed low-power chargepoints elsewhere. At the other end of the scale, the cost of installing the power supply to 100kW+ chargepoints is so high that they only make economic sense if used by several cars a day - and so are naturally DC. So the question really is where the cross-over comes between cheaply-installed low power and expensive high power. It's hard to draw real conclusions from what has been installed so far, since the car manufacturers spec their cars to suit what they guess will be the installed base of chargepoints, while people installing chargepoints are influenced by the available cars as well as their actual installation cost.

    Hence we've seen the likes of Nissan fitting only 3kW chargers to their base models, and misguided chargepoint providers fitting 13A sockets to match; there seems to be consensus that this is too slow to be useful and a move to 7kW as the minimum for public charging. At the other end, only Renault went as far as 44kW, and there don't seem to be any 44kW AC that aren't combined with CHAdeMO/CCS - 44kW seems to be too much for anybody to find 'spare' in an existing electrical installation and so be able to install such a chargepoint cheaply.

    So the remaining point to be settled is whether there is enough demand for 22kW to make it worth installing chargepoints for it and hence making it worthwhile to pay for dual chargers (even if Tesla were to offer them bundled, there would need to be enough benefit to the users for Tesla to bother).


    Actually they did - and then ditched it! For early Roadsters, Tesla licensed AC Propulsion's 'Reductive charging' patent which seems very similar to the Renault scheme (though ACP claim to have solved the EMC issues that Renault are suffering from). I'm not entirely sure why Tesla dropped it from later Roadsters - I think one problem was earth leakage tripping RCDs, and also that once you had solved all the problems of integrating drivetrain and charger the cost/weight savings aren't as great as the idea would seem to offer in theory.
     
  9. Rluner

    Rluner Member

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    Thanks for the info, I feel a little better now.
     
  10. ohcomeon

    ohcomeon Member

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    I bought my Model S from Gatwick too. They suggested Pod Point and it works well for me.

    Occasionally I drive to Bluewater and stick it in the SC there as it gives me access to the best parking spaces while I'm shopping. If I know I'm going to Bluewater I won't charge up for a couple of days so I arrive with the battery as low as possible.

    I've used Clackett Lane (clockwise) once and that worked well charging at 68 miles per hour. However, I understand the motorway chargers aren't that reliable (I tried to top off in Cobham after Bluewater a couple of weeks ago and the units were down).

    Btw I know West Malling very well. I used to live in Larkfield and went to school in East Malling! Small world.
     
  11. smac

    smac Active Member

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    I hope you are under the average dwell time of 3 hours at Bluewater whilst the car is on charge and you are away shopping ;)
     
  12. ohcomeon

    ohcomeon Member

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    Usually. But once Apple's inefficient shop made me go over that time, although there were no other cars parked there so I didn't worry too much.
     
  13. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    The etiquette for use of superchargers is pretty clear. They're for charging, not parking.

    From Supercharging | Tesla Motors :

    2015-07-09_08h08_56.png
     
  14. ohcomeon

    ohcomeon Member

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    which is why I get my battery as low as possible prior to going to shopping centre with a supercharger and make frequent trips back to the car to make sure I'm not blocking a stall for somebody in more need. Wish others in bluewater were so considerate.
     
  15. mgboyes

    mgboyes Member

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    The rules say "move your vehicle so other Model S owners can charge" not "move your vehicle if other Model S owners are waiting".

    I'm not saying the rules are right, or that having a Bluewater SC is a sensible idea; but they are what they are, and they say that you need to move when your car finishes charging.
     
  16. ohcomeon

    ohcomeon Member

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    Well I've been caught out once and received no complaints.
     
  17. Rluner

    Rluner Member

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    I've just read a tweet on this same subject. The simple rule is ABC. Always Be Charging If your car is charging then it's fine to be there. Once it's not, move off.
     
  18. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    Hey Matt, thanks very much - this is super useful advice. I'm getting my Model S delivered late October and had just started looking at the home power install so this is great. I'm going to need an external power point in the front drive and the Chargemaster external point (importanly with a lock, which I want) was my planned option; this will make me seriously review this decision (I've not placed an install order with anyone yet). Cheers
     
  19. arg

    arg Member

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    Really?

    Maybe you have some unusual situation that I haven't thought of, but the lock normally prevents someone who is brazen enough to park on your driveway stealing from you at the rate of about £1/hour (or 30p/hour if they do it at night). If it was me, I'd be more worried about someone blocking my driveway than the small amount of juice they were stealing. You can always turn off the breaker indoors if you are away for a while and want to be sure noone will use your chargepoint.

    Stealing the cable is probably a more real concern.
     
  20. Amanmahal

    Amanmahal Member

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    Yeah, that's a fair point on the lock actually, probably not essential.

    One other question on the OLEV stuff; I'm moving house but for various reasons the move date has been delayed until early 2016. I briefly thought about just using superchargers for 6 months (I live near Heathrow / West Drayton SCs) but think I'll just get the home charger install done on the current house as there is a possibility of further delay to our house move.

    If I were to get the home charger install done now, would I be eligible for the OLEV subsidy again at my new property once I've moved house in 6-9 months?

    Also, I'm buying this as a company car (I'm self employed) rather than a personal purchase as the tax breaks are pretty huge... but does buying it as a company impact a home charger OLEV subsidy? Tesla have included a voucher for a Tesla subsidy of £700 x2 for charger installers too; I was wondering why these were included but I'm now wondering if this is because I'm notionally buying the Model S as a corporate purchase?

    Appreciate any thoughts on this.

    - As a side point, despite not having my Model S yet, it's been really awesome reading the boards and being a part of the Tesla community; thanks to everyone that is actively posting for all the great stuff on here.

    Regards,
    Aman

    - - - Updated - - -

    This is a worry actually. As I'm moving and it goes on the front of the house, I'm planning on just getting a socket wall mounted rather than a tethered charger. I had been worrying about what would happen if someone comes in the middle of the night and just unplugs the cable...!
     

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