Installing EV charger

Discussion in 'Electricians' Talk' started by Marine boy, Jul 20, 2021 at 8:04 AM.

  1. Marine boy

    Marine boy Member

    I’m just looking for some advice on the feasibility of installing an EV charger and how it might be done.
    I live in a Victorian house in the middle of a town. My car is parked in my back yard so that is where the charger needs to be. The front garden is small and I have no intention of paving it over to park my car there instead.

    The fuse box is at the front of the house in the porch. It is an old Wylex which I modified when I moved in 20 years ago by fitting plug in MCBs. I have had no problems at all with it but I realise that if I was to install a charger I would need a new CU. My question really is how easy would it be to locate the charger in the back yard? The fuse box is 15 metres from the point in the yard where the charger could go. The house has suspended wooden floors so presumably a cable could go sub floor. Would the voltage drop over that distance be too great?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    Is the kitchen floor also suspended wood? You first need to decide what charger you will use, how fast do you want to charge the car, how many cars. The basic arrangement will be a SWA cable from the supply to the charge point, the factors mentioned above will determine the cable size.
     
  3. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    Might also be worth checking the supplier fuse. It can be upgraded free of charge to 100A in most cases.
     
  4. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    Look carefully at your supply. You will have issues if it is “looped” to or from other properties.
    A new CU is not strictly necessary for an EV charger as a separate compliant RCBO is often supplied just for the Charger. Mind you, a new CU might be a good idea, given the ancient nature of your fuse board.
    The charger may require an earth electrode too…

    To take advantage of the government’s EV grant you need to use a registered EV geezer. I suggest you use one of these, given the nature of your questions.
     
  5. Bob Rathbone

    Bob Rathbone Screwfix Select

    You beat me to it Bazza. It's a Victorian property, probably with a very old service cable, lead sheath paper insulation with an equivalent 10mm 2 copper conductor on a TNS supply. These old supplies were installed for lighting and small power, never intended for electric showers and certainly not EV charging or whole house electric heating. Our asker may even need a complete new service, dig up the pavement outside and all of the associated costs, beware.
     
  6. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    How does that work in terms of cost - UKPN states that 80A or 100A upgrade is free of charge.

    The current breed of chargers like Zappi don't require earth rods.
     
  7. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    Nobody can tell except the DNO. The OP needs to talk to the DNO to determine if the supply can support the additional load. As I say, some supplies need substantial work.

    Some do, some don’t.
    This needs the installer to assess.
     
  8. Marine boy

    Marine boy Member

     
  9. Marine boy

    Marine boy Member

    Thanks all for your advice. It’s a lot more complicated than I thought. The kitchen floor is concrete, so the SWA would go under the floor from porch to hall to dining room and through the wall. Given all the issues and potential for substantial cost, I think I’ll be sticking with internal combustion for some time to come!
     
  10. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    @Marine boy (and others)

    Below is link to the form that must be submitted to the DNO before embarking on installing an EV heat pumps etc.
    There is room for installing without notification to the DNO but (as you will see from the form) there are very few installations that comply without DNO involvement/ permission.

    Just think, the DNOs will need to process ( and engineer) the needs of the entire country in less than 15years if we are to achieve the end of the internal combustion engine. The smart meter roll out bears testament to the success of these initiatives.

    Enjoy! https://www.energynetworks.org/assets/images/Resource library/Single-Electric-Vehicle-Charge-Point-and-Heat-Pump-Installation-Application-Form.doc
     
  11. Marine boy

    Marine boy Member

    Thanks Bazza, very helpful
     
  12. Kas228

    Kas228 Active Member

    This one property just goes to show the problems that lie ahead. So, how do the government propose to sort the whole country out in such a short time span and who is going to pay. May be a good time to become an electrician, you may be in demand soon. And this is for a house what about all those folk who live in low and high rise flats, how the hell will they sort that out.
     
  13. Bazza

    Bazza Screwfix Select

    Easy, drive your car to Tesco and plug in to the charge point there. Leave it there overnight, walk back the 4 miles in the pouring rain in the morning to drive the 3 miles to work. Hang on a minute, there’s a snag in this plan.

    Note: my local Tesco has a 2-hour maximum wait time in their car park. :D:D:D
     
    Mrboomal likes this.
  14. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    It is getting better - the Kia EV6 and Hyundai equivalent have 300 mile range and 80pc charge in less than 20 minutes. Charging infrastructure to follow... but that is happening too.

    For me being able to charge at home is a big advantage due to my own location. Appreciate it's different in a flats scenario.
     
    pppmacca43 likes this.
  15. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    They won't.
     
  16. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Well-Known Member

    Same, had an electric car a couple of months now and wouldn’t go back. So easy to plug in at home or when out shopping etc, and i don’t have to go miles out of my way for a petrol station as most of the ones round here have closed over the years. Drives smoothly and no engine noise, love that it’s automatic too, hadn’t driven one before this.
     
  17. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    At the moment, and for the near future, EVs are essentially an option only for high disposable income homeowners with a dedicated parking space for charging. TOC(total cost of ownership) arguments are only comparable with the purchase and running costs of a new vehicle, an option not available to the less well off who rely on the second hand market to afford a car.
    So if EV adoption is to become a universal option two things are needed. 1) Provision of charging points for the nearly 40% of the housing stock that is not in owner occupation and 2) a developed second hand market in EVs.

    The current grants, tax breaks and LEZ exemptions may be good a simulating the emerging market but are not sustainable in the long term.

    It is the model that promotes the ownership of personal transport that will need change over the next few decades.

    For me I won't be rushing down to get my new EVan at only £43,000 from my local dealer. Which is TEN times what I paid for a two year old diesel van four years ago!
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021 at 11:59 AM
  18. pppmacca43

    pppmacca43 Well-Known Member

    I lease my car, and the price works out about the same taking into account fuel prices and the fact the insurance is cheaper. We charge it overnight as we are on a special ev tariff where electricity is 5p per kWh (I think) so costs hardly anything to charge.
    I agree tho that for many they just aren’t feasible at the moment, and until prices come down and the infrastructure is improved they won’t be an option.
     
  19. Jimbo

    Jimbo Screwfix Select

    Vehicle ownership is always a lottery which is I suppose why leasing is so popular - I've had used cars that have cost me far more in the end than new cars. Serves me right for buying a used Citroen I suppose.

    But we surely need mainstream new market before a well developed used market can exist, though I'd not looked at it that way previously maybe that's why the grants are so important in the first place. On the other hand, truly self-driving autonomous vehicles could entirely change the dynamic again and maybe they are not as far away as it might seem.
     
  20. Comlec

    Comlec Screwfix Select

    These are a very long way off for widespread use in the UK. I have one simple test for an one - drive down the Devon lanes in summer!
    The holy-grail of autonomous vehicles is to eliminate the jobs of professional drivers (truck, busses, delivery vans and taxis)- there lies the big savings for the modern day mill owners.

    As alternative to the hype pumped out by the silicon valley PR machines you might want to check out The problem with driverless cars | Christian Wolmar
     

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