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Electric vehicle home charging points

Electric vehicle home charging points
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Updated on 26/05/22 by Jess_OVO

 

Our EV Everywhere bundle has now been replaced by OVO Drive. Check out the deals we offer on Smart EV chargers, some of which may also allow you to access our exclusive charging rate with the Anytime add-on.

 

 

There appears to be several EV drivers on this forum which is fantastic! So I thought, why don’t we start creating topics to help new OVO/EV drivers find out what the best or most used apps are, which charging point is good for them and more.

I thought I would start with Home charging points. If anyone wishes to add additional information to this. Please go ahead!

Just before I note down a list of Charging points, you need to take these into consideration with the “OLEV Grant”

  • The OLEV Grant, specifically named the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), provides up to £350 off the cost of purchasing & installing a home charging point from 1st April 2020.
  • EV home chargers installed before 1st April 2020 benefit from a higher £500 OLEV grant.
  • It’s available for most electric cars and plug-in hybrid cars, old or new.
  • You can claim one chargepoint per eligible vehicle and up to two eligible vehicles per household.
  • When selecting a charging point. Default power is 3kw and I recommend you spend the extra money upgrading to 7kw to future proof yourself when you purchase a newer EV with bigger battery

 

Ok, so I would recommend the following charging points. I will organise from Low to High in price.

 

Chargemaster - From £344

https://bpchargemaster.com/homecharge

Rolec - From £445

http://www.rolecserv.com/ev-charging

Pod Point - From £449

https://pod-point.com/

ChargedEV - From £549 - BP Chargemaster or £599 Smart+

https://www.chargedev.co.uk/at-home/

Zappi - From £695.00

https://myenergi.com/product/zappi/


26 replies

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What I don’t understand about charge points: supposedly they are all required to be smart now. But which ones are really smart, where can you program charging times, or even connect them to a variable rate tariff? This should really be standard now, but it seems that the software is still not properly developed. 

I know that Zappi, EO and Ohme can do at least some of this, but again it seems to be a patchwork of incomplete solutions. 

 
 
Userlevel 7

What I don’t understand about charge points: supposedly they are all required to be smart now. But which ones are really smart, where can you program charging times, or even connect them to a variable rate tariff? This should really be standard now, but it seems that the software is still not properly developed. 

I know that Zappi, EO and Ohme can do at least some of this, but again it seems to be a patchwork of incomplete solutions. 

 

What about ‘direct-to-car’ smart charging, @MrPuds - have you heard of the trial that’s planned between Kaluza and Fiat? It would allow smart charging no matter what charger you use…….. More info here.  

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I just wrote an enormously long post (tedious on a phone) and just had an error message and lost the bloomin' lot.

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Oh no, @Gingernut49 - I’m so sorry I think that might’ve been my fault. 

 

I’ve just changed your permissions to give you access to the Smart Home Trials private area. The same thing happened to @Blastoise186 earlier this year. Really sorry about that one and is definitely bad timing! 

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Sorry about that @Gingernut49 !

I’ve had that happen quite a few times, since Tim changes my permissions on a fairly regular basis.

The way that the forums work when your permissions get changed is a bit clunky and sometimes a bit too forceful. It shouldn’t happen again though as long as Tim doesn’t fiddle with the settings.

I’ve got some ideas that might help to fix that, which I’ll discuss with Tim.

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I'll write it again in the morning when I'm on my laptop. I'm not like the kids using two thumbs on a mobile but I'm a fast touch-typist on a pc or laptop. 

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I’ve just realised I never did write my reply! I had the Project EV charger installed by ChargedEV in late March and it’s absolutely superb. After having faffed around with the granny charger through my open window between the beginning of December and when it was installed, I decided to upgrade my charger to a tethered one and I’m very glad I did.

I particularly like the fact that it charges overnight when demand is low, even though my tariff doesn’t have a nighttime lower rate. It’s at 100% by morning so that’s great. 

I changed to the EV Everywhere tariff but then I realised that I was actually paying 3p per KwH more than the Better Energy tariff which made no sense at all so I changed back. That started months of nightmare when Ovo managed to delete all my bills. I’m on the Heat Pump trial so that meant I wasn’t able to compare usage and costs from the previous year so that was an absolutely nightmare - fortunately now resolved.

Userlevel 7

Nice one, @Gingernut49 

 

It sounds like an EV charger installation is a pretty painless affair, get it fitted, find a tariff and charging pattern that works for you. If it’s more complicated then that, and you ever wanted to outline this in a Project EV charger review, I’d be happy to help!

 

@Transparent has published a topic guide about his charge installation which is also worth a look:

 

 

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Thank you. I'm thrilled with my car and I'm delighted I went for a tethered charger. 

Userlevel 7
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Don’t raise your expectations too high @Gingernut49 

The Topic I’ve been writing is still based on Granny-lead technology; it’s just that Granny is wearing smart ear-rings :wink:

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I hated the granny charger. It went out of the window next to where I sit between December and March so was bloody freezing and a nightmare to coil it up back into its bag!

Userlevel 7

On the look out for the best deal on an EV home charger?

 

Our content team has recently published this guide to the OLEV grant, which can be used on some of the great chargers, @NinjaGeek mentions in the guide above.

 

Got an extra EV? You could be eligible for another grant to install a second charging point:

 

“It’s also important to note that you aren’t eligible if you’ve claimed the grant before – even when it was known as the Domestic Recharge Scheme. But if you’ve bought an additional EV, you could claim another grant for a second chargepoint. There’s a 2-chargepoint maximum for any household”

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Fortunately I went for the Ovo recommended SmartPro charger which has the Kaluza app with it. Together with my Smart Meter that’s meant I’ve been able to go onto the Drive+Anytime tariff this month so I’m only paying 5p/kWh overnight. Win-win!

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So please clarify @Jess_OVO -

1: Let’s suppose a customer with no EV decided to buy two at the same time, and wanted both to have the OVO SmartPro charger…

How does the Flex Platform handle the charging schedule?

Does it wait until the evening peak is over and then charge both vehicles simultaneously at 32A each?  :scream:

Or does it charge one and then the other in order to not overload the Distribution Grid?

 

2: What happens if the customer already has a Nissan Leaf with a V2G charger, and then buys a second EV with a CCS connector?

If the new vehicle is to have a SmartPro charger, is there a software interlock to prevent the Leaf discharging if the customer tells the SmartPro “charge now!” ?

 

3: What happens if a household has two EVs, but only one has an OVO charger controlled by Flex?

How could Flex ‘know’ whether the other smart-charger is currently charging?

Or would it just go ahead with its own schedule and risk charging both vehicles at the same time?

 

4: Do you think that DNOs are going to approve the installation of a second smart charger at an address without having an ‘approved’ interlock to prevent simultaneous use?

Or will they just be happy to go around replacing 100A service fuses whenever a customer forgets about the two chargers and tries to use the electric shower (45A) at midnight?

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So please clarify @Jess_OVO -

1: Let’s suppose a customer with no EV decided to buy two at the same time, and wanted both to have the OVO SmartPro charger…

How does the Flex Platform handle the charging schedule?

 

Not sure I’m best placed to comment on how Kaluza’s Flex platform would manage multiple EV chargers, @Transparent.

 

This might be one to keep in mind for a future AMA perhaps (fingers crossed we can get that Kaluza expert booked in:fingers_crossed:)

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So can my 4 questions be dangled in front of Kaluza as ‘bait’ please, @Jess_OVO ?

There’s no point in the Government making pronouncements about financial subsidies for two charging points per house if there isn’t the supporting technology to prevent this pranging the Grid!

If Flex doesn’t (yet) support the required level of charger management, then Kaluza should be knocking on BEIS’ door and requesting funding to implement it!

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This might be looking at things on a more macro-level, @Transparent  but I was really interested to hear about how the grid is anticipating the future of EV ownership on The Future of Energy Podcast - The road to clean.

 

Interesting to hear about the behavioral changes they’re suggesting too - Having access to a vehicle rather than private car ownership perhaps? :red_car:

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On all new homes from 2022?

https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/boris-johnson-electric-vehicles-cbi-speech-b1961700.html

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Thanks for linking that one, @Jeffus.

 

I was actually surprised by how few public EV chargers there currently are - less than 26,000 serving the whole UK! Really highlights the current issues our EV members have described especially when heading into sparser EV areas.

 

On that topic - How did you find the charging availability on the Isle of Wight in the end, @juliamc? Better or worse than the picture painted by EV charging apps?

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1: Whyever has HMG made that announcement now… when the only available V2G chargers are CHAdeMO (not CCS connectors)?

BEIS is well aware of the large trial conducted by OVO/Kaluza, and having widespread V2G capability is an essential plank of the UK’s future renewable energy strategy.

Yes, Indra has grant-funding to develop a CCS-compatible V2G charger, but it could still only operate universally when

a: the car manufacturers change their designs to permit it

b: the CCS Consortium ratifies the required ‘standard’, which isn’t going to be until spring 2025

 

2: The major house-builders, like Bovis/Vistry, Wimpy, Redrow etc who use the NHBC, will be able to ignore the directive for those new houses to have EV chargers for the next 5-10 years anyway.

They pre-register land in which they’re interested, even if they don’t yet own it. That stops the clock running on three key bits of legislation:

  • Building Control standards
  • SAP energy-efficiency score criteria
  • NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework). Any local/regional planning requirement can be ignored by the developer because it’s not enshrined in the NPPF.

Guess which sector of the economy is the biggest donor to the current Government?!

 

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On that topic - How did you find the charging availability on the Isle of Wight in the end, @juliamc? Better or worse than the picture painted by EV charging apps?

We’re still in the sunny IoW, back tomorrow. Thankfully we both agreed we’d need to factor in opportunities to charge, so we used the rapid chargers (43kW) at the Wightlink terminals at Portsmouth and Fishbourne. That meant we had 100% battery to begin the holiday.

There are 2 other rapid chargers on the IoW but neither of them work, they’re shown by pink markers on the ZapMap map: a red edge to the marker shows it’s not working. NB there are far more chargers than are shown here but I’ve filtered to only show ones we would consider.

We’re staying in Ventnor and there’s a ‘Fast’ charger nearby (7kW) but although it seems to be ok now it appeared to be out of service when we walked past it a few days ago. However we had top-up charges at Ryde and again at Freshwater, both at 7kW so a few hours each time, but both while we went off doing holiday type stuff.

The lowest the battery has got to is 55% which would still give us 93 miles, plenty for here though not quite enough to get us home.

So, in short, take @Jequinlan ’s advice and plan ahead. Also be in agreement about the fact that an EV needs charging and it’s going to take some time. Don’t believe that the ZapMap negative comments are necessarily current, and leave an up-to-date positive comment on there when you have a successful charge, so other people know things are going well.

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Glad i could help!

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2: The major house-builders, like Bovis/Vistry, Wimpy, Redrow etc who use the NHBC, will be able to ignore the directive for those new houses to have EV chargers for the next 5-10 years anyway.

They pre-register land in which they’re interested, even if they don’t yet own it.

 

This is what the government says about the transition:

Following the publication of this document, the Government will lay the required regulations in Parliament in 2021. The Government has decided that there will then be an adjustment period of no less than 6 months from the date of the laying of the regulations in parliament and the regulations coming into force, during which properties which have their initial/ building notices or full plans deposited will not be legally required to meet the new regulations. Properties that have their initial/ building notices or full plans submitted in this period must begin building work by no later than 12 months after the coming into force date, otherwise the new regulations will need to be met.

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While forcing house builders to fit chargers is a good thing we're risking creating two tiers of car ownership. Those who have a parking space and a charger will enjoy cheap motoring, powered by off peak or solar electricity. Those who don't will pay through the nose at public chargers.

 

And don't get me started on the numerous different charger networks, each of which require a different app and have different charging structures depending on charging rate membership or the colour of your car.

 

Before worrying about home chargers the govt should set regulations for the public charging network. Anyone should be able to use any charger for the same price as the next person, using any mechanism for contactless payment (card, phone etc). There should be no apps and no membership.

 

Rant over ☺️

After only collecting our new first electric car at the weekend we are regretting our purchase.

After not getting through to our electric company for 5 days and finally getting through paid for the electric home point then finding out after everyone is purchased that we cannot have our home charger unless we have electric bonding in our house. Has anyone else had this problem? Is it easy to arrange? 

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