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Home charging options

Discussion in 'The UK and Ireland' started by sk01, Mar 22, 2016.

  1. sk01

    sk01 Member

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    Picking up my ex-demo 70d on Tuesday, and due to a combination of factors (mainly being out of the country for 2w after ordering and then waiting forever for Tesla to send me the home voucher) I still haven't got my home installation sorted.

    I have a 3pin that I can use for the interim, and am getting a chademo adapter with the car (there are plenty of service stations on the way to work and back) and I don't live 'too' far from a supercharger.

    What options did you guys go with? Due to olev and home installation voucher changes I'm looking at (7kw versions):
    £500 pod point tethered
    £330 rolec tethered
    £300 rolec socketed (+~£150 cable)
    Commando point installation £250+vat = £300 + using the UMC

    I can understand the cost of the olev options as the hardware may be expensive, but the commando point is literally a £20 socket, £20 of cable, £5 for an earth spike and £20 for an RCBO + minimal labour + part P cert, how on earth does that cost £600 (including the tesla voucher)? I just can't bring myself to give these promoted companies £400+ in profit, so have got some leccies coming round to quote for the install of the socket myself.

    I'd appreciate some input on whether the rolec (likely installed by blythe-electrial in west mids area) are ok, or whether to go with podpoint (they look nicer).

    edit: how are these companies with a 'standard' installation? most of the blurb seems to suggest they just trail a cable through the hallway out of the front door and if you want anything else you pay extra for it.
     
  2. Colin Naylor

    Colin Naylor Member

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    Hi there.
    I recently had the same dilemma as you, I selected Podpoint.
    Podpoint were very easy to deal with and very courteous at all times.
    The engineer who fitted my home charger worked with me to find a solution as what appeared to be a dead easy install wasn't. However no drama, we discussed the options and he skilfully fitted and was all done and dusted within a couple of hours.
    Very tidy piece of work and since then there have been no problems at all, with every call for charging working seamlessly.
    Hope this helps. Thanks.
     
  3. sk01

    sk01 Member

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    to give an update, I got a few quotes from both national and local leccies for a commando socket install, interlocked etc, as per tesla instructions (literally showed them the info sheet for installation instructions), all coming out around £300 inc vat for parts, installation, certification with no tesla voucher...so seems these companies are either a) ripping off customers, b) ripping off tesla, c) the voucher is actually non-existant and is for show only...either way not very reassuring.

    my local centre advsied that actually the voucher has been stopped now for new purchases anyway, not sure how accurate this is.

    eventually decided to go through pheonixworks for an ABL tethered as not that much difference in price and more 'useable' with less annoyance than a commando socket.
     
  4. Scoobycity

    Scoobycity Member

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    Norwich UK
    Thankfully I've got 3 phase at my office so have asked for the fastest possible charging speed and a Securicharge wall pod.
     

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  5. Scoobycity

    Scoobycity Member

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    Me and my business partner pick ours up Tuesday as well. Where are you getting yours?
     
    • Like x 1
  6. Justin50

    Justin50 New Member

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    Newark, UK
    I ordered mine in November and picked up 2 weeks ago. I do 35-40k a year, so mostly charge out there. But to get to meeting via a Supercharger point means I need to home charge or sit for an hour somewhere rather than sit at home. I opted for the Commando 32A - 22 rmph. Got a voucher without much trouble, and got a quote for approximately the £500. I reasoned that it's probably built into the Tesla cost somewhere, but did get them to divide it up so I could get some vat back.
    I really like it, but I do find my mileage just beyond comfortable on a daily basis, unless you drive at 55
    ...need more Superchargers, especially I the East Midlands And Up North
     
  7. StephanG

    StephanG New Member

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    I would go for a tethered Rolec, got mine for 18 months no problems so far
     
  8. sk01

    sk01 Member

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    scooby - got mine from birmingham today. delighted with it! far more torque than my old Boxster S and more practical than my audi A6 :)
     
  9. noobey

    noobey Member

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    I'm trying to book this in now, but pod point aren't getting back to me. Not too impressed with them.
    Because I don't live in a great area, I'm going to go for a 7kwh commando to avoid it attracting attention and kids playing with it when Im out.
    I also decided against untethered because, as unlikely as it sounds, I don't want someone just pulling up and charging on my driveway whilst im away.

    Has anyone got any recommended commando installers?
     
  10. sk01

    sk01 Member

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    any local electrician can install it. i had a few quotes as above for around £300 inc labour, materials, certification. btw you can get units that lock.
     
  11. noobey

    noobey Member

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    nice, thanks!
    Re- locking units, totally, but they still attract attention and I dont plan on charging at home unless an emergency as I have a supercharger next to the office.
    Would electricians accept the £300 Tesla voucher?
     
  12. sk01

    sk01 Member

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    No only the companies tesla list. It's basically 300 with it or 300 without - see my rant above.
     
  13. tfboy

    tfboy Gimme the Caaaaaar!

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    Regarding security, why not just have the breaker for the charging point inside the house / garage? That way you turn off the power going to it. Or does the pod point not like that?
     
  14. noobey

    noobey Member

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    Roger that, thank you sir!

    That was my original plan, but Pod Point advised that the cost would be nearly double to do this. I was prepared to go with that, but they haven't replied to me for nearly two weeks of trying to book it in. I appreciate they may be closed for easter, but with no out of office replies, it's a bit frustrating.

    On the whole, this feels like a giant scam in a way.
    It feels like electrical installers have grossly marked up the price of these installs, due to the grants and vouchers. It's shocking that no one is regulating this.
    Reminds me of all the IT consultants that offered stand by support for the millennium bug!
     
  15. tfboy

    tfboy Gimme the Caaaaaar!

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    Whaaat? I'd expect maybe a £30-50 increase for the parts and an extra 10 minutes to do it, but seriously? I see what you mean by the scam feeling!
     
  16. noobey

    noobey Member

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    I know, I was just as shocked. They never formalised the quote, but honestly, I'm just shocked.
     
  17. arg

    arg Member

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    I suspect this may have been the difference between an OLEV-assisted install and an un-subsidised install.

    The conditions of the OLEV grant require you to report all charging activity to them for 3 years - which is done either by a modem inside the chargepoint itself (ones designed specifically for the purpose), or by an external 'smart meter' to do the same job with a standard chargepoint. Some installers are interpreting this as "you must leave the power switched on all the time".

    IMO this is nonsense - if you aren't using the chargepoint, then there's no usage to be reported back to OLEV so no need to have it powered on (I certainly left mine powered off for the several months between installation of the chargepoint and delivery of the car). Also, the quality of the reporting seems to be so poor even if you do leave it powered on that the whole exercise seems futile.

    Any chargepoint is required to be on a separate circuit, so will always have its own breaker back in the consumer unit, hence you don't actually need a separate isolator to be able to turn it off (albeit a separate switch would be nice and should cost very little extra as you say).

    On the other hand, in most cases I think this isn't actually something worth bothering about. At worst, they are stealing from you at the rate of 70p/hour - I'd be much more concerned about people squatting/parking on my driveway than the financial loss. I happen to live next to a hospital where we suffer from people parking on the streets here to avoid the hospital carpark charges (much more than 70p/hr!), but I've never had anybody with the cheek to park on my drive.
     
  18. noobey

    noobey Member

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    Thanks for the reply.
    I wasn't aware of the reporting requirement, but even then I'm still confused at the pricing of it.

    I too live near to not only a doctors surgery but, also a busy high road AND a primary school. All of which have chargeable or no parking at all.
    My life consists of coming home to find my 2 car driveway completely blocked all the time....... different topic I know!

    I agree that the likeliness of someone using the commando is not probable and even then, you're right it's cheap.
    I think, the thought of it happening bothers me more. And in my area these things seem to all happen.

    Let me exemplify why this situation is so confusing to a novice like me.......
    When you buy a Tesla, they send you this Pod Point link to install a charger, which has a commando listed at £0. (free)
    POD Point Solo Ordering Tool
    Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 14.21.32.png
    But then on the Pod point website, they say commando's can cost £5k!
    Charging your Tesla Model S | POD Point
    Screen Shot 2016-04-05 at 14.21.18.png
     
  19. arg

    arg Member

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    Yes, promotional material like that really isn't very helpful - especially that bullet point containing two completely unrelated issues: commando installs are not eligible for the grant (true) and installs in general (commando or EVSE) could possibly be up to £5000 (pick any figure you like) if it involved hundreds of metres of buried cable and/or digging up a road and/or a vandal-proof device at the far end of it.

    The grant-aided installs are restricted to particular models of charging equipment, require the reporting equipment, and limit the value of the grant, but outside that installers usually quote a fixed price for a standard install but then 'at cost' for anything extra that's required (long cables, underground, no space in the consumer unit etc.). So the only explanation I could come up with for your isolator switch doubling the price was if they considered it to be ineligible for the grant. The grant is capped at £500, but since it costs money to do the data collection and paperwork, the net benefit of the grant is probably around £300. Since the grant is only available via a limited number of approved installers, and they consequently have to cover a large area and so incur extra travel costs, the advantage compared to having the work done by a competent local electrician can be less than that.

    I am a strong advocate of installing a proper chargepoint ("EVSE") rather than the blue commando socket. The difference in cost is about £300 - exactly the same wiring regulations and requirements apply in both cases if the blue socket is for EV charging, so it's simply the difference in cost between the commando socket (made in millions) and the EVSE (marginally more complex, but made only in thousands). Hence for charging a Tesla, the commando socket is only cheaper (even with the Tesla voucher) if you are prepared to use the UMC supplied "free" with the car - requiring you to either leave the UMC hanging from the socket (theft risk, and you don't have it with you for use out on the road) or roll it up and take it with you every day. Furthermore, using the UMC like that means all your eggs are in one basket - if your UMC fails, you've got no backup means of charging, while with a dedicated EVSE, if that fails you can always use your UMC with a 13A socket for emergency charging.

    The other half of my objection to commando sockets is that it is spending money on the wrong infrastructure. While most of us early adopters either have a technical background or are prepared to do some learning, for the mass market charging needs to be simple. Charging from a properly installed EVSE is straightforward and safe - the plug can only be used for one purpose, the available current is determined automatically, and you can simply plug in knowing that it's an EV charging facility. While charging from standard sockets is not necessarily unsafe - if installed specifically for EV charging, it can be equally safe - but it takes some considerable skill and knowledge to be sure of identifying a random socket (13A or commando) as being suitable and the level of safety that it offers. So by installing commando sockets we are making things more complicated - this commando socket is completely safe for regular use, that one is not too bad to use occasionally but has small risks associated, that other one should never be used. I like to make the comparison to using a jerry can of petrol - yes you can fuel your car that way adequately safely if you do it carefully, but it's not what we want when everybody is doing it.
     
  20. noobey

    noobey Member

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    oh man! Now you've swayed me!
    So for the most part, I doubt I'll rarely even use home charging.
    As I mentioned I have a supercharger near the office, i only wanted it in case of emergencies.

    However, having said this, your logic makes sense.
    I think my objective was to make use of the available voucher/grants but minimising costs, as the Tesla was in essence a car over my budget.

    I genuinely appreciate the insightful feedback and help on this forum.

    Thanks guys!
     

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