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Smart Pro / Pod Point requirements and replacing with TWC

Mustard K

Member
Oct 7, 2020
58
14
Manchester
Hey all - after ordering my car via salary sacrifice, I've been around the houses over charge points.

I'd settled on a spark and the kit to be used, but was informed that as part of the terms of my SS agreement i'd get a free charger installed. After speaking with the company that would facilitate this, they realised that my property wouldn't fall under the OLEV grant and that it was a non standard installation (30+ metre garden length) the costs that they were quoting were astronomical (£400 for the armoured cable alone!).

I then reverted to getting it done by my original spark and have since ordered and received a Tesla Wall Connector. This week I got a call from the leasing company saying that we do qualify for a free charger and that the fitting company would be in touch - they have since changed their tune, and have said that the first 15m of cable is included, and anything over that is £7 per metre.

They are offering a Pod Point or a Smart Pro, I think it will be unlikely that they will fit the TWC i have bought.

My question is do you think its worth getting one of these fitted, and potentially then getting the TWC fitted afterwards in place of that? I guess the type of RCD they fit and earth rod are the only concerns doing this?
 

Mustard K

Member
Oct 7, 2020
58
14
Manchester
Scratch the above - just had another call from the installation company to tell me that it is £750 to get it installed, due to the fact that they cant claim the OLEV grant and non standard install.

I'll revert to getting the TWC fitted by my spark in January.
 

pghstochaj

Member
Nov 3, 2020
44
16
U.K.
You need to understand that unless the Tesla connector has changed, it needs an earth rod and a type B RCD (this is not a B-curve RCBO, be very careful on this!). The Tesla connector is a fairly basic device. A type B RCD is still quite rare and takes a lot of space in your consumer unit/needs an external box, and is quite expensive compared to a type A RCD. You need to make sure that your electrician knows this. If they are not commonly working on EV chargers then they might not be sufficiently experienced. The Podpoint for example can use a Type A RCD as it has its own inbuilt DC monitoring system (which is what is missing on a Type A RCD vs. a Type B RCD).

The earth rod is not too expensive but devices like the podpoint can generally re-use your house earthing system.
 

SpareHeadOne

Member
Oct 27, 2020
267
161
UK
After speaking with the company that would facilitate this, they realised that my property wouldn't fall under the OLEV grant and that it was a non standard installation (30+ metre garden length) the costs that they were quoting were astronomical (£400 for the armoured cable alone!).

That would be right, many (many) years ago I worked at a company that built industrial electrical equipment so they used to buy 16A and 32A cable in bulk (plus others). Even back then it was about £1/metre for the 16A, so it's not unreasonable to be quoted that kind of money for the length of cable you need.

It was very handy if I needed a short length for something at home, though, they had a bin of off-cuts or end of reel bits you could just help yourself from.
 

Glan gluaisne

Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,706
UK
Rather than faff around trying to find a safe location for an earth electrode (surprisingly difficult with some houses) I think I'd always now opt to just fit one of the open PEN protection units. They usually have an enclosure that will also take a Type B RCD, so overall they aren't that much larger.

If opting for an earth electrode, then it needs to be fairly close to where the car is parked when charging, and also needs to be a safe distance away from any incoming services, like underground electricity or phone cables and water or gas pipes. That safe distance is dependent on an assessment of the electrical influence, so things like position and rod length can affect it. There is also an issue with things like outside taps that may be nearby, if they are earth bonded to the main house PME earth, then there is a minimum separation distance between two different earthing systems that needs to be complied with, enough to ensure someone couldn't touch both at once, so around 2m or so.

As for cable cost, the most expensive supplier I know of sells 3 core 6mm² SWA for £3.20/m, including VAT. Last 50m reel I bought cost about £2.40/m. £7.00/m is reasonable if that includes the labour for fixing it, I guess.
 
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Whoflungdung

Member
Oct 30, 2020
42
20
St Ives, Cornwall, UK
We had a quote for a Pod point charger which was cheaper but I really like the look of the TWC so opted that route.

Our installation from our electrician consists of Henley block at incoming that supplies our garage consumer unit with a Type A 63a rcd unit - 40a MCB supplies the Garo unit which incorporates the OPen and DC protection that meets 18th regs

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Then the TWC is fed from the Garo unit had no issues with the installation and was tested by the installer and signed off.
 

simonh

Member
Sep 21, 2020
61
36
Leeds, UK
I also have the TWC with the Garo Type B + PME detection. It's a nice simple route for an electrician to fit without faffing around :) Garo unit cost me 263+VAT so you need to factor that into any costing.
 

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