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Using a non-Tesla charger

TM3PTN

Member
Sep 8, 2019
203
95
Bolton
Hi guys,

Trying to look for the thread that discussed the various charging networks and the use of adapters etc. but can't find it :(

Can somebody point me in the right direction?

There are so many different charging networks around that it is hard to keep up with what you need for each and whether you need a specific adapter, specific charge card, if they're free or they charge per KwH/minute/mile.

As always, any help is greatly appreciated.

Really confusing!
 

TM3PTN

Member
Sep 8, 2019
203
95
Bolton
It's a confusing, often expensive, frustrating mess. Put more simply - a clusterfuck. Try to stick to home/supercharger charging or destination charging.
Love this! :D
I'm going to hold off from having a home charger installed for now as i'm planning on having some significant renovation work in the near future, so until then I will have to settle for 3-pin plug and the odd visit to a supercharger to top up.
 

Yev000

Active Member
May 3, 2019
1,334
909
Knaphill
I'm going to hold off from having a home charger installed for now as i'm planning on having some significant renovation work in the near future

Just get a commando socket put in, same as a wall charger, except you have to use your UMC. I'm sure a sparky can do it for a small fee
 

TM3PTN

Member
Sep 8, 2019
203
95
Bolton
Just get a commando socket put in, same as a wall charger, except you have to use your UMC. I'm sure a sparky can do it for a small fee
Great shout. We have our consumer unit in the garage so it wouldn't be a big job either!

One to definitely consider if it means i don't have to faff around with various other charging networks :confused:
 

NorfolkMustard

Active Member
Apr 18, 2019
2,209
2,182
M3P w/FSD
I've thought about signing up for an emergency/stand-by network ( probably Polar ) but I begrudge paying £8 /month 'insurance' and still get stiffed for (often) parking charges where they're located, and a high probability that the one close to me at the time could be broken or only 7KW A/C anyway. If it's a decent DC charger I still have to pay 20p/KwH on top of the £8/month, compared to tesla supercharger 24p/KwH. If I forego the £8/month I can still use Polar but then pay 40p/KwH for the privilege FAQs - Polar Plus

So, I don't bother, and stick to Superchargers, home charging and a local-to-work tesla destination charger
 

Avendit

Member
Apr 18, 2019
817
535
EDI
Just get a commando socket put in, same as a wall charger, except you have to use your UMC. I'm sure a sparky can do it for a small fee
I vote this. Got a "quote" from a sparky to qualify what I was thinking of doing then DIY'd it for a 16A comando. Charging well, only going a couple of degrees over ambiant, and just made sure that all the parts I bought from screwfix were rated to 20A, except the socket its self. Not sure I would tackle a 32A myself, in addition to knowing the garage supply can't handle that its getting pretty serious!
 

TM3PTN

Member
Sep 8, 2019
203
95
Bolton
I've thought about signing up for an emergency/stand-by network ( probably Polar ) but I begrudge paying £8 /month 'insurance' and still get stiffed for (often) parking charges where they're located, and a high probability that the one close to me at the time could be broken or only 7KW A/C anyway. If it's a decent DC charger I still have to pay 20p/KwH on top of the £8/month, compared to tesla supercharger 24p/KwH. If I forego the £8/month I can still use Polar but then pay 40p/KwH for the privilege FAQs - Polar Plus

So, I don't bother, and stick to Superchargers, home charging and a local-to-work tesla destination charger
Yeah I find it ridiculous that they charge a monthly ‘subscription’ on top of the juice charge. But that’s their model I guess.
The destination chargers near me a mainly reserved for customers at pubs/hotels so not really an option :(
 

TM3PTN

Member
Sep 8, 2019
203
95
Bolton
I vote this. Got a "quote" from a sparky to qualify what I was thinking of doing then DIY'd it for a 16A comando. Charging well, only going a couple of degrees over ambiant, and just made sure that all the parts I bought from screwfix were rated to 20A, except the socket its self. Not sure I would tackle a 32A myself, in addition to knowing the garage supply can't handle that its getting pretty serious!
Fair play! I wouldn’t trust myself with something like that. It would end in one of two ways - either fry all the circuits in the house along with my car, or fry me! o_O Haha
 

Avendit

Member
Apr 18, 2019
817
535
EDI
Fair play! I wouldn’t trust myself with something like that. It would end in one of two ways - either fry all the circuits in the house along with my car, or fry me! o_O Haha
This did involve my first foray into a breaker box as the 16A needed taking off prior to the garage sub distribution box. Interesting, and definitely not for everyone! Does mean its pretty basic protection on the commando, but I figure there are enough electronics in the UMC to protect the car from any problems.
 

Cowpring

Member
Aug 14, 2019
378
200
London, UK
I've done a fair amount of research on this because I can't charge at home, the only way for me to charge is at my office where there are a few charge points nearby. Destination charging isn't a realistic option for me either, most of my driving is to/from central London to a different location almost every time (most of which don't have any chargers near them).

In short - I agree it is a clusterfuck of providers, speeds, prices, charging structures, subscriptions blah blah blah. But there are options once you do the research.

So, although I haven't got my car yet and these methods are un-tested by me, here are the options I've found:

Polar Plus - 3kW/h - 50kW/h - Tethered CCS / Tethered Type 2 / Tethered CHAdeMO

This is hopefully going to be my preferred method of charging - there's two near my office. Although their website says 40p per kWh, I've physically checked the machine near me and it says £0.22 per KWH when using contactless. You get decent speeds too - 50kw/h using the CCS plug tethered to the unit. If you do the maths, it's actually cheaper to pay on contactless than it is to pay their £8 per month fee if you do 2 charges per month or less. But without paying their subscription you don't get access to all their free points (often in car parks etc).

Ubitricity - 3kW/h - 7kW/h - Bare socket, you need your own Type 2 connector
These are type 2 sockets built into lamp posts on residential streets. They have hundreds across the country. Their speeds aren't great - around 7kW/h. But a potential option if you have them installed in your street - you can just leave it plugged in overnight or as long as you want. You can pay for their excessive £200 'smart cable', seems a pointless waste of money when charging a Tesla, or use the type 2 connector that came with your Model 3. There's no idle fees or overstay fees - you just scan the QR code on the lamp post with their app on your phone and it charges you the amount you use. There aren't dedicated spaces for these points though, they are just in the lamp posts so no guarantee you'll be able to park next to the connector, and no way to tell if the space next to the connector is free until you get there. Their rates are not bad - 19p per kWh if you don't have their cable, or 16p per kWh if you do.

Source London - 7kW/h - 22kW/h - I think Type 2 Tethered cable, possibly Type 2 socket too.

This is the most convenient point for me, however, they charge by the minute you draw the power rather than how much you draw and seems like a total rip-off. I would avoid these, they cost 3.6p to 14.3p per minute depending on the subscription you have with them. if you fully charged a Model 3 on some of the tariffs it would cost over £30

Ecotricity - I think about 50kW/h - 100kW/h - Tethered CCS cable I believe
I haven't heard great things about Ecotricity - apparently there are quite a few reports of their chargers not working with the Model 3. Ecotricity offer higher speed rapid chargers and are found on motorways mostly, but they do have a few other slower speed chargers too. They are pretty expensive - 39p per kW/h, however they do have a cheaper rate if you switch your home energy supplier to them as well. They are a 100% green energy supplier too which is good.

Standard 3-Pin - Around 3kW/h - Bare socket, you need the Tesla 3 pin adapter
There are often free 3-pin plug sockets in supermarkets and car parks - slow but you get free electricity.

Tesla Superchargers - 100-150kw/h - These are all being upgraded (or have been upgraded) to CCS tethered.
Naturally the best choice if there's one near you - they work great, aren't excessively expensive and charge quick. Nearest one to me is in Westfield, which isn't close anyway, so doubt i'll use superchargers unless i'm going out of London.


In terms of adapters, in the UK I don't think we need to use any. The Model 3 has a combo CCS/Type 2 port, so you can use both CCS and Type 2 without an adapter, and pretty much all charge points are one of the two. Polar for example have 3 different connection types on tethered cables. Always use the CCS connector if available, it will be the fastest.

Also check ZapMap for locations and usage on EV points across the UK - Map of charging points for electric car drivers in UK: Zap-Map

Anyone feel free to add to the above, based on actual real-life experience or let me know if I have anything wrong. I myself am trying to get the most amount of info together so I can charge my Model 3 in the most efficient and cost effective way.


Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:

Jason71

Active Member
May 8, 2019
2,841
2,720
Shropshire
Does anyone have any experiences with Instavolt? They seem to top satisfaction surveys. Current network is 50KW but they are starting to roll out 125KW. They are contactless. 35p ( could be worse) and for me they are the only nearby fast chargers apart from a supercharger and the only charger I go anywhere near on a regular 130 mile journey I do. I have never seen them mentioned on this forum which in itself is probably a good sign since it means no one is really pissed off with them. :)
 
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curmudgeon

Member
Jul 11, 2019
257
241
Northern Ireland
Does anyone have any experiences with Instavolt? They seem to top satisfaction surveys. Current network is 50KW but they are starting to roll out 125KW. They are contactless. 35p ( could be worse) and for me they are the only nearby fast chargers apart from a supercharger and the only charger I go anywhere near on a regular 130 mile journey I do. I have never seen them mentioned on this forum which in itself is probably a good sign since it means no one is really pissed off with them. :)
Used instavolt once. Excellent. You get what you pay for. CCS rapid charger and easy to use. Usually at banatynes gyms which is not a bad place to have a coffee while you wait.
 
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VanillaAir_UK

Supporting Member
Jun 17, 2019
7,976
5,475
Surrey, UK
Polar Instant?

Some £0 cost chargers but then they state £1.20 min charge? Also min topup seems from comments to be £20.

Is this right? Sounds like it may be a pass on that one, except the network does seem to be quite wide spread, but not so much as polar plus. So maybe ok as the backup.

I also downloaded Podpoint - that doesn't seem so bad from what I can see. There is one particular free charger that I can see us using a few times per year, but its not clear if we can just rock up and charge or need to create an account to handle. Pricing does not seem unreasonable for occasional use - seems to hourly based, not clear if this is pro rata for part hour charges.

I'm not necessary after free charging, but would be nice if I am spending money at their facilities, but want to avoid having a multitude of apps and accounts with cash in just to handle occasional/backup charge. It does seem a right mess atm, and not made any better by all the different terms etc - see hourly pricing above.
 
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TM3PTN

Member
Sep 8, 2019
203
95
Bolton
I've done a fair amount of research on this because I can't charge at home, the only way for me to charge is at my office where there are a few charge points nearby. Destination charging isn't a realistic option for me either, most of my driving is to/from central London to a different location almost every time (most of which don't have any chargers near them).

In short - I agree it is a clusterfuck of providers, speeds, prices, charging structures, subscriptions blah blah blah. But there are options once you do the research.

So, although I haven't got my car yet and these methods are un-tested by me, here are the options I've found:

Polar Plus - 3kW/h - 50kW/h - Tethered CCS / Tethered Type 2 / Tethered CHAdeMO

This is hopefully going to be my preferred method of charging - there's two near my office. Although their website says 40p per kWh, I've physically checked the machine near me and it says £0.22 per KWH when using contactless. You get decent speeds too - 50kw/h using the CCS plug tethered to the unit. If you do the maths, it's actually cheaper to pay on contactless than it is to pay their £8 per month fee if you do 2 charges per month or less. But without paying their subscription you don't get access to all their free points (often in car parks etc).

Ubitricity - 3kW/h - 7kW/h - Bare socket, you need your own Type 2 connector
These are type 2 sockets built into lamp posts on residential streets. They have hundreds across the country. Their speeds aren't great - around 7kW/h. But a potential option if you have them installed in your street - you can just leave it plugged in overnight or as long as you want. You can pay for their excessive £200 'smart cable', seems a pointless waste of money when charging a Tesla, or use the type 2 connector that came with your Model 3. There's no idle fees or overstay fees - you just scan the QR code on the lamp post with their app on your phone and it charges you the amount you use. There aren't dedicated spaces for these points though, they are just in the lamp posts so no guarantee you'll be able to park next to the connector, and no way to tell if the space next to the connector is free until you get there. Their rates are not bad - 19p per kWh if you don't have their cable, or 16p per kWh if you do.

Source London - 7kW/h - 22kW/h - I think Type 2 Tethered cable, possibly Type 2 socket too.

This is the most convenient point for me, however, they charge by the minute you draw the power rather than how much you draw and seems like a total rip-off. I would avoid these, they cost 3.6p to 14.3p per minute depending on the subscription you have with them. if you fully charged a Model 3 on some of the tariffs it would cost over £30

Ecotricity - I think about 50kW/h - 100kW/h - Tethered CCS cable I believe
I haven't heard great things about Ecotricity - apparently there are quite a few reports of their chargers not working with the Model 3. Ecotricity offer higher speed rapid chargers and are found on motorways mostly, but they do have a few other slower speed chargers too. They are pretty expensive - 39p per kW/h, however they do have a cheaper rate if you switch your home energy supplier to them as well. They are a 100% green energy supplier too which is good.

Standard 3-Pin - Around 3kW/h - Bare socket, you need the Tesla 3 pin adapter
There are often free 3-pin plug sockets in supermarkets and car parks - slow but you get free electricity.

Tesla Superchargers - 100-150kw/h - These are all being upgraded (or have been upgraded) to CCS tethered.
Naturally the best choice if there's one near you - they work great, aren't excessively expensive and charge quick. Nearest one to me is in Westfield, which isn't close anyway, so doubt i'll use superchargers unless i'm going out of London.


In terms of adapters, in the UK I don't think we need to use any. The Model 3 has a combo CCS/Type 2 port, so you can use both CCS and Type 2 without an adapter, and pretty much all charge points are one of the two. Polar for example have 3 different connection types on tethered cables. Always use the CCS connector if available, it will be the fastest.

Also check ZapMap for locations and usage on EV points across the UK - Map of charging points for electric car drivers in UK: Zap-Map

Anyone feel free to add to the above, based on actual real-life experience or let me know if I have anything wrong. I myself am trying to get the most amount of info together so I can charge my Model 3 in the most efficient and cost effective way.


Hope that helps!
This is is really useful! Thank you very much :) I’m going to keep a copy of this post for reference.
My car is due over the next few days (nothing formal yet - just advice from customer services).
 

Cowpring

Member
Aug 14, 2019
378
200
London, UK
Polar Instant?

Some £0 cost chargers but then they state £1.20 min charge? Also min topup seems from comments to be £20.

Is this right? Sounds like it may be a pass on that one, except the network does seem to be quite wide spread, but not so much as polar plus. So maybe ok as the backup.

I also downloaded Podpoint - that doesn't seem so bad from what I can see. There is one particular free charger that I can see us using a few times per year, but its not clear if we can just rock up and charge or need to create an account to handle. Pricing does not seem unreasonable for occasional use - seems to hourly based, not clear if this is pro rata for part hour charges.

I'm not necessary after free charging, but would be nice if I am spending money at their facilities, but want to avoid having a multitude of apps and accounts with cash in just to handle occasional/backup charge. It does seem a right mess atm, and not made any better by all the different terms etc - see hourly pricing above.
So thanks for bringing this up - I didn't even know about Polar Instant, and although Polar Instant and Polar Plus use the same chargers, they are different, the differences are:

- Polar Plus is a subscription service, where you get sent an RFID card to use when charging.
- Polar Instant is the pay as you go service, you can only use it through the Polar Instant app.
- Polar Instant is slightly more expensive: 18p per kWh for slow speeds, 25p per kWh for 50kw/h, and 35p per kWh for 150kW/h chargers.
- I believe with Polar Instant you pay a £1.20 connection fee every time you charge.

From what I can tell you can just use contactless on Polar charge points, and it actually seems to be a pretty decent rate of 22p per kWh charging using CCS at 50kW/h. But I will see if this price is actually accurate once I get my car - it's possible that price is for the slower speed of the charger, and for 50kW/h it costs more.
 
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Cowpring

Member
Aug 14, 2019
378
200
London, UK
Yes I belive that's correct, it just chages you as a point of sale at the charging station, you just tap your contactless bank card, Apple Pay, or Android Pay on the contactless pad like you do in a shop and it charges you like a normal payment based on how many kWh you use. You don't need to even have a Polar account setup (and don't need to pay the £8 per month subscription) to use contactless I don't think. But I will be able to check properly when I actually get my car haha.

Also you can use the app without having an account with Polar in any of the above payment methods just to find charge points and see which ones are avalible. You can do this with the ZapMap app too.
 

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