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UK Charger and installation cost. Where to start??

Kevratters

Member
Oct 28, 2020
14
1
Dorset
Hello,
sorry if I’m bringing up something that’s already been discussed. If so, could someone point me in the right direction.

I’m awaiting delivery of my M3LR. I’ve yet to install or purchase a wall charger. I’d like a powerful home charging solution.

After searching online it seems to be very expensive to have a company supply and install one of these even with OLEV.

Can anyone give me a recommendation for the cheapest option.

location - Southampton UK.

Kev
 
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Js1977

Member
Aug 13, 2020
401
194
Dorset
I can highly recommend Compare home EV chargers | Smart Home Charge. Very easy process, they sorted out the OLEV grant side of things, and the installation is neat and tidy.

This is who I also used. Wallbox was £568 all in (OLEV) including delivery of the charger (it gets sent to you prior to the install) and an extra £28 for the 40A RCBO and enclosure that was needed for my install.
 

Durzel

Active Member
Jul 17, 2019
3,725
2,717
Bath, UK
Charge point costs vary, depending on features and aesthetics etc. You can pay over £1k+ or maybe £300 or so.

What I learnt quite quickly is that you might as well forget about you “saving” the equivalent in OLEV grant money. Installers that are familiar with it, and know that you need to use them to claim it, are liable to inflate the total cost of the job so that they are the ones that benefit from it, not you.

If I was doing it again I’d get a quote from a trusted local sparky to see just how much of that OLEV grant subsidy the “qualified” installers are creaming off the top. Installing charge points isn’t rocket science and in some cases installation instructions can be sourced from the manufacturer.
 
People talk about using a "Commando socket" and then plugging in the Tesla charger that comes with the car. That might be the cheapest solution? Though maybe that's just for cars parked inside a garage?

I've installed a IP67 32amp commando on the front of my house pending delivery of my M3, I've bought the "Blue Adapter" for the UMC.
 
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Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
I put together a basic materials cost for some cheaper charge point installations here: Basic charge point costs

Worth noting that any outlet installed for the purpose of charging a vehicle, whether an EVSE charge point, or just some other outlet to use with an EVSE unit, like a commando outlet, must be installed in compliance with BS7671:2018, specifically the provisions in Section 722. Also, in England and Wales (not sure about NI) this would normally be notifiable work under Part P of the building regs, so either needs a building regs application or needs to be done by a competent person that is a member of one of the Part P accreditation bodies, who can lodge the Part P chit.

Perhaps worth also noting that chargers are not normally installed at domestic premises at all, as they require a hefty DC power supply unit. The units normally installed at domestic premises are just charge points, that supply AC mains at the same voltage as comes in on the supply. There's no charging circuitry installed in a charge point, just a contactor to run the power on and off. The charger(s) are inside the car (under the rear seat of the Model 3) and they convert the incoming AC main power to DC to charge the battery pack.

I agree with the comment earlier about the prices being inflated because of the OLEV grant. This seems to be commonplace with anything that's grant funded, though.
 
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Adopado

Active Member
Aug 19, 2019
4,573
3,441
Scotland
It’s a shame the M3 can only charge at 11KW on AC.

Which is the same as newer Model S and X. I suppose there are so few domestic properties with 3 phase they decided to use the lower rate. Mind you 11kW is still a useful improvement over 7kW though clearly you guys with the bigger battery packs would be well served by the full rate 22kW.
 

Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
Off-topic:

Using the "site:" option in a search engine seems the best way to find things here. For example, typing this into a search engine:

Code:
basic charge point site:https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/forums/the-uk-and-ireland.114/

returns the thread I started about the material costs involved in installing some budget charge point options. The key bit is to use this exact text after any search terms, to find things in this sub-section of the forum:

Code:
site:https://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/forums/the-uk-and-ireland.114/


This works on pretty much any forum, and usually returns better results than that from most forum built in search functions. The specific URL after the "site:" part can be anything, so to search the whole of this forum, rather than just the UK and Ireland bit, use this:

Code:
site:https://teslamotorsclub.com/
 

akenham

M3 LR AWD+ 2020
Sep 19, 2020
78
86
East Anglia, UK
One thing to also mention is cost vs. convenience.

The electrical work to support the head unit was approximately the same whatever I chose.

A permanently tethered cable seemed like the right choice (outside parking; removes need to get cables in and or leave them behind; car plugged in 100% of the time to take advantage of cheap rate electricity as required).

Personally, I really like and value the one-handed operation of the tesla button on the charge cable - one-handed plugging and unplugging every time I use the car has become a no-bother habit as a result. Very minor inconvenience avoided, but it's a minimum twice per day minor inconvenience.
 
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twlr

Member
Oct 1, 2020
182
104
Woking
Completely agree with @akenham above. There's the convenience of having a tethered charger, the convenience for smart functionality with the charger and being able to charge at cheaper / freer times (I've got the Ohme charger and Octopus Agile), but, for me at least, it's an investment in my property knowing that the government are supposedly banning the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030.
 

shuhockey

Member
Dec 2, 2019
70
46
UK
Its also worth considering just using a 3-pin plug socket. This will depend though on the number of miles you do each week and how regularly you drive or park somewhere with free (currently) charging. We've been using 3-pin since march and it has been fine (4500 miles though so not that many) mostly very short trips during the week and longer trips on a weekend. I've been testing out using the timings for Octupus Go and I can get almost 10% a night in those 4 hours. If I'm going on a long trip usually I know about it, so can just charge over the day before or on the trip. The council also offers 2 free chargers in the town (When I say town I mean Sheffield, and that is right just two working chargers offered by the council!!)
£1000 for a charger, buys you about 20,000kwh at 5p/kwh enough for about 75,000 miles (265wh/mile). So I'm currently not in a rush to get a charger.
 

Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
Personally, I really like and value the one-handed operation of the tesla button on the charge cable - one-handed plugging and unplugging every time I use the car has become a no-bother habit as a result. Very minor inconvenience avoided, but it's a minimum twice per day minor inconvenience.

Me too, and for those that have a non-Tesla charge point it is possible to retrofit a button to a Type 2 connector, either using a fairly cheap kit (fiddly to install, but works OK) or using a replacement cable with a rather better implementation of the Tesla button. I've fitted all three options that EV ChargeKing offer, and the replacement tethered cable one is the best IMHO, as it's a good quality cable and easy to retrofit to most charge points. The options from them (I have no connection other than as a customer) are:

The basic DIY button kit: Tesla retrofit button kit - evChargeking

The kit that contains a connector shell, and a better button: Tesla mini connector kit - evChargeking

And a pigtail lead with the button already installed in the connector:Unique Tesla charging cables - evChargeking

The latter kit also allows a longer cable to be fitted, as they offer any length you want, up to 12m.

These kits allow the OLEV grant to be claimed, and still have the Tesla button function, at least until such time as Tesla make an OLEV approved charge point. TBH, if not bothered about the OLEV grant I'd go for the Tesla Wall Connector every time, as it's better quality than pretty much any other home charge point, even if it doesn't have smart functionality.
 
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Js1977

Member
Aug 13, 2020
401
194
Dorset
Might also be worth thinking out of the box a bit. Have a look at this place since you will get broader information on this subject and EV's themselves Speak EV - Electric Car Forums.

As mentioned and I dare say drifting off topic here, depending on what mileage you do, the 3 pin might just suffice. However, even if it does, consider where your outside socket is. The plug on the tesla granny charger wong allow you to close the lid on the external socket. I would not advise a "normal" extension lead to get around this and ideally you won't want to be packing it all up at the end of each session specially if its raining etc. Been there done that and its not a very good experience. If you park in the garage or shelter its probably more bearable.

Cheapest and as good as a "proper charger" will be the commando as mentioned but as also mentioned this is not the correct way to go about it (disclaimer)

My advice is bite the bullet and get a "proper" smart one and tethered that you can tell it what time to charge the car if you have a cheap over night tariff. Yes you can program the car to charge at these times as well but every time you go charging elsewhere, you have to tell it to start charging every time. IMHO the whole point besides saving the environment is to make your life easy, comfortable and economic. Dont be tight :)
 
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Glan gluaisne

Active Member
Supporting Member
Sep 11, 2019
2,782
2,912
UK
Never, ever, use an outdoor outlet for car charging, especially overnight, without the lid close down tight, as they are not weatherproof unless the lid is latched shut. The outdoor outlets of the type that have a cover that will not close over the plug are OK for use in dry weather, but are intended for short duration appliances, like mowers, hedge trimmers etc, so are not suitable for being left unattended.

If the outdoor outlet is a single gang, non-switched, one, like the BG Storm series, or if it is a 2 gang switched unit of the same type, then the lid will latch down just fine over the larger plug fitted to the Tesla UMC. If the outlet is a switched single gang unit then the lid won't close over the larger plug, plus there is a chance that the plug won't even sit fully home in the socket, so this type isn't safe to use. I posted some photos in this post that show the problem with the switched single gang outlet: Thickness of charging cable and that also shows that the non-switched version is fine.
 

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