For the love of tea, I need a charge point!

At my old house, I had a home charging point fitted by British Gas (back in the days when you could get one for free just by mentioning that you were interested in EVs). This has been extremely useful – quickly plugging in when I get back from work, and unplugging in the morning has meant that I always leave the house with a full charge.

However, my new house doesn’t have a charge point fitted yet, so I need a new charging solution.

For the past week, the solution has involved opening the kitchen window, and plugging the 3-pin EVSE cable in. The problems with this are:

  1. The window won’t close (due to the cable), so it’s like a big cat flap inviting burglers to take a look
  2. The charge rate on a 3-pin cable is 10A, which means it can take a lot longer to charge the vehicle (up to 12 hours from empty)
  3. I have to unplug the kettle in order to plug in the car (socket nearest to the kitchen window)… therefore it severely limits my tea-drinking habit.

Clearly, this situation cannot continue for long. I can sort of live with the slower charge time, and the area where I live has very low crime figures… but the restriction on hot beverages is untenable. I’m sure, dear reader, that you can sympathise with me on this!

The government has cut back on the home charger grant, so you now need to pay towards the installation. It’s still heavily subsidised, but OLEV will only pay up to 70% of the cost, so typically it can cost the homeowner around £200-300+ for a fully fitted charge point.

abl_sursum_emh1_2So I have looked into the various options for charge point supplier (Chargemaster, Rolec, PodPoint, etc), and found a local company who install chargers (as well as Solar PV, Heat Pumps etc). They are called The Phoenix Works, and the unit they fit is by a German manufacturer called ABL.

The charger itself is a 32Amp Type-2 socket, which can recharge a LEAF/e-NV200 (with the 6.6kW charger option) in as little as 4 hours. It’s also compatible with the standard LEAF/e-NV200 with the 3kW charger, but due to the lower rated on-board charger, it will take 8 hours. I decided to go for the 32 Amp charge point, as it means that I will always have the best charge rate available, regardless of whether I replace my vehicle in the future.

The installation date is set for Friday 28th August – I’ll report back once it is fitted, and share some pictures showing the work done.


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