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Is my electricity supply big enough?
Your electric car charger is a pretty powerful device using up to 32A of Current / 7Kw of Power (7000 Watts). That’s equivalent to 4 kettles, 10 washing machines or 60 LCD TVs. Even more important is the fact that your car charger is going to be in use for several hours at a time, whereas your kettle is only on for a few minutes at a time.
This means that it’s very important that the equipment that supplies the electricity to your home is capable of dealing with your property’s new electricity demand – this is known as ‘Maximum Demand’.
Most homes in the U.K. have either a 60Amp, 80Amp or 100Amp main fuse and, if the Maximum Demand after the install of the car charger is likely to be higher than 60Amps (even if you have a 100Amp main fuse), then we need permission from your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) before we can install your car charger. Sometimes this requires your DNO to upgrade the main fuse and associated cabling before your car charger can be installed. Depending on the exact work required by your DNO and which DNO covers your location there can be a small charge for this.
If it is likely that you will exceed a 60Amp Maximum Demand then we find that often the best option is to install a charger which has a ‘Load Balancing’ feature included. These models constantly monitor the total amount of electricity your property is using at any given time and will adjust the power the car charger is using if it is in danger of exceeding your property’s supply capacity. Chargers such as the Zappi v2 and the PodPoint Solo have this feature so are good options if you have a lot of high powered devices in your home.
What if I have a second EV – can I charge both at the same time?
The simple answer to this is no. This is because two 32Amp (7kw) charge points will likely exceed your property’s main fuse capacity. However, some charger models can balance charging between themselves when more than one is installed. Of course this would mean that the power for each charger would be halved if both were in use.
You can not charge two EVs from one chargepoint simultaneously.
How long is the tethered lead and will it reach my car?
The standard lead length for most tethered chargers is just over 5.5m. This is normally sufficient to reach the car from the charge point without having to awkwardly manoeuvre the charging cable. Remember that you’ll want the cable to run along the ground so remember to include some slack for that if you’re measuring.
Some models can be ordered with longer tethered leads if the car is going to be parked further away from the charge point. The Anderson A2 and the Rolec WallPod:EV HomeSmart are both available with a 10m long tethered lead.
Will it work with Octopus Agile pricing?
Octopus Agile pricing is a smart way of making sure you get the cheapest possible charge for your car. It works by looking at the wholesale electricity price for the next day which is published in 30 minute time periods and choosing the best time slots for your car to reach the charge level you set. If you want to take advantage of this you are best off choosing the Ohme Intelligent Wall Charger which is designed for this tariff.
Alternatively, if you own a Tesla then you can use use any home charger you wish and use the EV.Energy App to schedule your charging (the EV.Energy app instructs the Tesla when to schedule its charge.
What price will I pay for my charger and installation?
We’re really proud to offer what we believe to be the best value home charge point installation available and we’ll match any like-for-like quote. The standard installation costs including the OLEV grant for £350 can be found on our Choose your Charger page. We include all certification and parts required for your install in the advertised price. The exceptions to this are where we need to install a MATT:E device or when we need to split your incoming supply to provision a new mini consumer unit. Please see here for our full Ts & Cs.
How fast will it charge my car?
As a general rule a 7kw home charge point will add 30 miles of range per hour. This means that most customers can fully charge their car overnight ready for the next day. It’s worth remembering that it is the charger within the car that controls the rate of charge and it will often alter the speed of charge at the start and end of a charging cycle to keep the battery in good condition.
Can I lock it to stop people stealing my electricity?
Nearly every model of home charger can be locked via the accompanying smartphone App. If you are away from home for an extended period of time then some customers choose to turn off their charger at the main switch to prevent unauthorised use.
How will the power cable be routed?
Good question. We use cable which is 18mm in diameter (think garden hose and you won’t be far off) and this cable needs to run from your Consumer Unit or sometimes your meter cupboard to the charger. We normally find that it is neatest if the cable is routed outside as quickly as possible in order to minimise the amount of cable that can be seen inside the house. Once outside the cable is clipped every 30cm, normally along the base of the external wall, until it reaches the charger. For some installs we can route the cable so that it goes straight in the back of the charger with no external cabling visible.
If your property has a cellar or a suspended floor then it is often possible to route the cable this way to minimise the amount of cable on show. Some of the trickier installs are where extensions have been built and the consumer unit has not been moved – this means that the consumer unit is a long way from the nearest external wall and, in the absence of a suitable void in the floor, the cable has to be routed internally.
Which is the best charger for me?
It depends! We’ve had a go at answering this question here.
Can I just get a commando socket?
Yes a 32Amp commando socket is a cost effective way of getting a charger installed at home. You can then use an adaptor or even the Ohme Smart Cable to charge your car. Just remember that the earthing arrangements and circuit design should be the same as if you were installing a dedicated charging point.