New to the EV world - what should I know?

Just took a step in joining the EV world by taking advantage of a black friday deal. :see_no_evil:

In a couple of weeks I should have a new shiny red MG5 EV being delivered. :crossed_fingers:

Kind of a boring estate car, but it ticks all the boxes for the family. The petrol car is on its last legs so I don’t feel bad about the swap and selling it.

Part of it with free insurance and cashback, is a free charger and install, which is the Smart PRO EV charger. When I looked into them this coincidentally seemed to be decent and probably would have had installed anyway.

I think the next thing to work out is charging out and about. The longest common journey for me is 130 miles total, the WLTP is 250 (Im reading that as 200 real world) so on a nearly full charge it shouldn’t sweat it tbh. Still I don’t want to be figuring it out on that journey where it dips below 50% charge and haven’t got to the destination yet.

Are there any tips of wisdom from EV peeps to share?

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I have looked into EV a bit and I too would go for the car you’ve selected. As I understand it there are now many more charging points than there are petrol [and diesel] pumps. Plenty of apps. to show where nearest one to you is located. Zap Map is a good starting point. R-

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I’ve grabbed Zap-Map and have also got both PodPoint and GeniePoint apps which appear to run my town.

I’ve entered all my details, as far as I can see I pull up, connect cable, open app and click charge on the point I’m connected to.

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To go with the 7kWh charger, get a smart electricity tariff and set the charger to charge the car only when electric is at the cheapest time-slot(s) - this is the biggest positive change you can make.

People get confused with what to set on a timer or to a max charge - is it the car? Is it the smart charger? Is it both? Set the car to charge to max charge, no timer and only use the smart charger to control when charges happen - hopefully sync’ed to the smart tariff for cheaper charging.
The car’s integrated timer/max-charge settings can be used when the charger supplying it is ‘dumb’ (always on)

Have a look at the Tronity service/app (https://www.tronity.io/?lang=en). This works really well with some cars and not so well with others. I can only record & analyse charging info (no trip info - so overall it’s not great for me but the charging data alone is very good) I’m not sure what data is available from the MG5’s cloud though.
EDIT: Just had a look at the Tronity supported vehicles and the MG range isn’t on the list, so it looks like it can’t be used unfortunately.

Carry a towel in a bag in the boot, to towel down a wet cable (when out and about and you’re using the cable supplied with the car)

Zap Map, as mentioned above, is a great planning tool for irregular journeys.
Get used to the phrase ‘ICED’. It’s not when the chargers are ‘very cold’, it’s when the charger is unavailable because some plonker has parked their Internal Combustion Engine vehicle in the space.

Smile when you pass petrol stations.

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I’ve actually gone from an EV back to petrol. The lease was finally up on my EV (Nissan Leaf) and I started doing many more journeys in excess of the range (allegedly 160 miles but more like 120-130, even in summer) when I retired.

When I first got the Leaf it was easy to find an available charging point but the last 6 months or so I found myself having to queue more often than not.

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Like it. R-

Yeah just had a look before your edit and it doesn’t have MG :upside_down_face:

It looks like it’s compatible with this though which looks similar.

I’m not sure what to do re home electricity. I was on Green which was super cheap until they folded just before gas prices went nuts.

I’m currently on EON (Sainsbury’s) which is 19.73p/kWh

It’s a two year fixed but can leave at any point.

EON does a Next Drive tariff (unavailable atm) at 4p nightly, OVO looks to be 5p

Looks like my town has free 7kW at supermarkets and the retail park.

Also Tesco and Morrisons do a 50kW but looks a bit pricer.

Genie looks a ripoff in comparison.

Did you need to get an isolation switch fitted on your electrics btw?

I’ve looked at mine and I have a single cable into a 100A fuse, into the meter and then that’s straight to the house fuse box. I have another fuse box in the garage too.

I’m just trying to figure out how they’ll add it in. Pull the main fuse?

:thinking:

In your case, if the cable connecting the house consumer unit to the garage consumer unit is rated at 40 amps or more (and has a 40amp breaker in the house consumer unit), then you could install the charger in the garage by adding a 40amp breaker into the garage consumer unit and wiring the charger, using 40amp cable, to the 40 amp breaker. The 100amp fuse at the input stage is adequate for car-charging using single -phase 7kWh chargers.

My situation is a little different:

At the mo, I have an Ohme (portable) smart charger with a 32-amp Commando plug on the other end - https://store.ohme-ev.com/shop/ohme0402gb001-ohme-go-commando-to-type-2-uk-5?purchase=cable#attr= I didn’t pay the current price for it…

This allows it to be used as a 32amp/7kWh charger like any domestic single-phase charger. The plan is to get the 60amp house fuse upgraded to 100amp, have a 40amp breaker fitted and 40amp cabling from the house consumer unit to a switched (interlocking) 32amp commando socket on the exterior house wall.

Until then…

I have a 13-amp 3-pin plug to 16amp commando socket converter cable AND a 16amp commando plug to 32amp commando socket converter cable, which both connect together and then into the Ohme’s 32amp Commando plug. The Ohme is set, by Ohme at my request, to only pull 10amps. So I’m basically using the Ohme and all the converter sections to connect to a domestic 13amp exterior plug temporarily when charging at home. I then unhook the whole thing and throw it into the Ohme bag in the car. This selection allows me to charge anywhere at 10 amps, with either a domestic 3-pin socket (someone’s house), a 16-pin Commando socket (campsites) or a 32amp Commando socket (industrial). Although slowly - it’s basically acting as an elaborate granny-charger at 2.3kWh

It won’t be until I get the 32amp Commando hardware installed at home, when I’ll then up the Ohme’s charging amps to 32 to make it a 7kWh charger. So quicker charging.

But I’m in no rush to jump. Work has just upgraded from 4 7kWh chargers and installed 8x 3-phase 22kWh chargers which can be used for free. So the Ohme set-up really is for emergencies only now.

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When I had a look earlier on the fuse board for ‘garage supply’ it just had a single pole breaker with 20A rated

The actual cable running out to the garage looks a bit weedy.

Inside the garage is this mess. Light bulb and switch, double three pin socket and a motion sensor light on the outside.

One thing to remember is that the dedicated spaces are EV charging spaces not EV parking spaces.

It’s annoying when someone parks an ICE vehicle in a charging spot, but even more so when someone’s car is left sat there fully charged and blocking the charger for everyone else.

Planning is key if doing long journeys. Have a charging point planned if exceeding the car’s range, but also have a plan B and possibly C in case the charger you had in mine is out of service/busy/blocked.

Don’t be disheartened if you get the vehicle in a few weeks and the range is less than you expected. Again, like mobile phones the batteries in EVs don’t last as long in cold weather. The good news is by starting off in winter you see the worst, so things can only get better when the weather improves.

It’s usually recommended to keep charge between 20% and 80%. Like mobile phones and laptops, it’s not good for them to run them down low or keep them above 80 too often. That’s not to say you can’t charge to 100, but do it if you need the range rather than always trying to have a full battery.

Understand the charging capabilities of your car. Many people complain on Zap Map that the charger is faulty or slow, when in fact it’s because their car can’t charge at the maximum rate the charger they were using can provide.

More importantly, enjoy the new car. Like anything it’s a new technology and there’ll be terms you’re not familiar with. Don’t panic, just roll with it and ask questions if you’re unsure.

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That garage cabling is only for 13amp (max) use and shouldn’t be used to feed an EV charger. That single/double breaker slot consumer unit looks to be feeding both lighting and sockets from the same breaker. While there’s no issue here if the wiring and accessories are compliant, I’d be very dubious about plugging an EV granny-charger into those 13amp sockets and leaving it for hours on end.

I’d recommend keeping the intended power connections for an EV charger as dedicated connections.

To get a 40amp rated wire to the garage to feed the car charger (which runs at 32amp/7kWh) would likely mean an extra 40amp breaker in the house consumer unit, with a 40amp cable connected to it which runs out to the garage and connects to the charger directly - bypassing all of the existing garage wiring entirely, to be safe. I’m not sure of the length of cable needed and cable runs involved to do this though.

It may be worth thinking of placing the charger on an outside wall of the house if possible. Located as close as possible to where the consumer unit is positioned. This will keep the material cost and installation costs down due to less wire needed. Usually, a paid-EV-charger-install provides 10m of regulatory cable. Additional length means more cost.

Always get the professionals/qualified in to do this kind of work too. It’s a dangerous area. Good to know the charger you’re getting has a PEN fault detector too - that’s what creates the potential hidden killer - when a supply phase you are on, or not, changes beyond your control but you have no idea about it:

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That all sounds good advice.

Yeah it looks like they’ll need to run a new beefier cable from the house to garage just for the charger. It’s all included so I’ll get them to do it how I want it.

It’s only about 5m, and the garage side would be ideal. They should I think be able to run it over and under the loose pebbles and it’ll look fine.

I don’t have any say in their choice of engineers, but the company they use look to be ok. Yeah the Smart Pro looks rather ace.

I’ve just completed a very detailed form where I’ve just had to submit loads of photos and drawings, and details for them to claim the EVHS on my behalf. So hopefully no issues🤞

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On a tangent, it’s worth thinking what family and friends have charge points installed. I don’t have a drive, but can actually manage just with family charge points most weeks, bunging them the cost of a charge.

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We’re actually the first in both my and my wife’s families to go EV. We can get to nearly everyone and back as long as we set off with more than 60% charge. We do have fam in York which would mean one rapid charge before returning, although we’d probably be visiting there for a good six hours to make it worth it. Probably wouldn’t do that much if we used some three-pin action but every lil helps.

We do have local friends that have a Model 3 that would be absolutely fine with charging. They are fully into the whole solar panels, home battery, heat pump etc the guy’s job is an electrical engineer working with EV tech so I he’s done a lot of the work himself. The battery storage is pretty cool, I only understood about 2% of it. Looks to be a decent job to have these days!

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Great choice. I don’t have a much advice beyond what others have already said.

I think one thing I always try to remember when it comes to doing those slightly longer trips is to avoid just charging when the battery starts getting low. Instead you should think about stopping about half way to the destination to ‘top up’, then half way back to ‘top up’ again. This has a bunch of benefits;

  • Half way to a destination far away is highly likely to be on a motorway, making it much easier to find a charger rather than searching in a town or city.
  • Its a lot less stressful trying to find a charger when you’re at 30%-50% charge rather than when you’re below 30%
  • little and often means you’re not actually having to wait around for all that long. 2x45 minute stops, once on the way and once on the way back is more convenient than one 2 hour stop.
  • charging before you reach your destination means you’ll have plenty of charge to explore the destination.
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Are there any particular preferences of providers when it comes to public chargers?

I’ve just found out a mile away I have 8 bay all 125kW CCS provided by InstaVolt. Looks to be dedicated parking from the main carpark and has a Costas :sweat_smile:

Looks to be 40p a kWh, but should be pretty quick if I ever need to have a full charge in rush.

If I’ve got my maths right, 40p per kWh is quite a lot.

The calculation is usually “End SoC - Starting SoC * battery size / 100 = kWh delivered”
Using the MG5’s useable 57.7kWh battery size and let’s say you are charging from 20% to 80% using the 125kWh CCS charger (which of note will likely only supply up to the 100kWh max available to the MG5) at 40p per kWh:

  • (80% - 20%)*57.7/100 = 34.62 kWh needed @ £0.40 per kWh = a total cost of £13.85 - and if the charger delivers a constant 100kWh then it’ll take (34.62 / (100kWh / 60mins)) = about 21 mins to do it

Of course if you start with a higher starting SoC (State of Charge) then the resulting cost will be lower, as you’ll be charging for less time with the same ending target of 80% SoC. For example, if you started at 40% charge, with a target of 80% charge, the cost would be:

  • (80% - 40%)*57.7/100 = 23.08 kWh needed @ £0.40 per kWh = a total cost of £9.23 - and if the charger delivers a constant 100kWh then it’ll take (23.08 / (100kWh / 60mins)) = about 14 mins to do it

And just to check for the limits, let’s say you charge from 1% :scream: to 100%, then the results are:

  • (100% - 1%)*57.7/100 = 57.12 kWh needed @ £0.40 per kWh = a total cost of £22.85 - and if the charger delivers a constant 100kWh then it’ll take (57.12 / (100kWh / 60mins)) = about 35 mins to do it

*Times are calculated, but not accurate. Chargers don’t always deliver a constant kWh rate, especially load-sharing ones where other vehicles are plugged in and charging.

Yeah the maths I think are correct and the 100kWh would only be the peak.

The official times above quote 40 minutes to 80% seem fine to me.

I’ll probably always be starting from 20%+ rather than stress about getting down to the last few percent. And those rapid will only really be on a long long journey where I know I would run out of range on the return.

I’m taking the 250 range with a pinch of salt and calling that 200 miles. So if it’s over 100 miles then I’ll plan one in.

My home rate is 19.73p. I know the Next Drive was doing 4p nightly.

From looking at public charger most appear to be 20-30p and some charge a small connection fee like 50p-£1.

The 40p InstaVolt seems to common.

Okay seems like that’s why. From a quick Google they appear to be one of the most expensive.

All InstaVolt chargers cost just £0.40 per kWh to use. There’s no connection fee and no monthly membership fee. Pay only for what you use.

Vs

Between midnight and 4am you’ll only pay 4p per kWh