Share your experiences of preparing for and owning an EV

  • 16 February 2020
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It would be interesting to hear people’s actual experiences of getting EV ready and whether it went as expected.
For example
Where did yo go to get your charging point fitted?
Did you get a grant?
Were there any snags? (supply upgrades, siting etc)
How much didn’t cost? (or how much did you end up paying for the charger)
How did it affect your insurance ( car and/or home) if so was it more than you expected?
What tariff research did you do?
Did you do the research before or after you decided to go EV?
Did you research charging points?
Has it gone well or worse than anticipated in any respects?
Is there anything you’d do differently if you started again?
All input very welcome...I thought the basics might be useful for those considering changing to an EV, add anything you like to the discussion.

10 replies

Userlevel 6
Hi @woz great thread.
As most people around here will know, I have been looking at EVs and smart tariffs for some time and have spent many an hour researching the various options.

It started with charging points being installed at work. We only have 2 of them (with 2 chargers each) and only a couple of people that work here currently have PHEVs. At the moment, i don't think we're charging for them either so it would have been a bargain to charge here.
I then had a look at what PHEVs were available and found out pretty quickly that the majority were out of my price range (for a family-sized SUV like the Sportage I'm currently driving). Charging points looked fairly easy to install and get funding for - a quick google and I discovered you can get one installed for about £200 with the government grant so that wasn't too bad.

Then I looked at smart tariffs. Unfortunately Pure haven't got to that point yet and I didn't think that charging it on 13p/kWh would be very efficient so would have to change supplier to benefit.

Weighing it all up and considering I test drove the Hyundai Kona Hybrid and loved it - I went with that one. It's self-charging so no PHEV and will be on that for 2-3 years when hopefully the market will have moved on and price will have come down (with everyone wanting to get off ICEs by 2035) and I can look again at fully electric vehicles and there will be more incentive to get one.

In the meantime, because of the investigation I've done into electricity pricing I have decided to make the move to Agile Octo and make use of the smart meter I had installed. Considering that I've had an annex built for my in laws and they have electric heating only, it just doesn't make sense for everything to be charged at the same rate.

I would love to stay with / come back to Pure when they figure out what they're going to do with Smart Tariffs.
Experience so far not great.

The first issue is getting a home changing point installed.

Some companies say we need an isolation switch installed between the meter and the consumer unit.
The supplier of electricity has to fit a switch if required.
Some electricity suppliers do this for free, some charge.
I am waiting for Pure Planet to let me know what they do. I think they have a fee to install.
Some Changing point installers say we need to upgrade the cables from the main fuse to the meter.(Work to be done by the electricity supplier)
Then from the meter (probably via a new isolator)to the consumer unit.

The installers seem consistent that I do not need the fuse or consumer unit breaker upgrading.

Some suppliers of Charging points say they can install with no modifications.
(Maybe I need to retrain at an electrical engineer!)

Chargers are another area of debate.
Different chargers have different capabilities - specifically V2G (vehicle to Grid) and Solar compatability.
Reviews of Charging points differ - the apps seem to be areas of concern with reliability issues.
I am unable to make a comment as I have no experience of using them.

So now two weeks since ordering an EV.
Still unclear which Charging point to install.
Still not clear if I need to have the cables changed, switch installed.

Probably finish up using a 13amp socket in the short term.
LeedsGreen;50189:
Experience so far not great.

The first issue is getting a home changing point installed.

Some companies say we need an isolation switch installed between the meter and the consumer unit.
The supplier of electricity has to fit a switch if required.
Some electricity suppliers do this for free, some charge.
I am waiting for Pure Planet to let me know what they do. I think they have a fee to install.
Some Changing point installers say we need to upgrade the cables from the main fuse to the meter.(Work to be done by the electricity supplier)
Then from the meter (probably via a new isolator)to the consumer unit.

The installers seem consistent that I do not need the fuse or consumer unit breaker upgrading.

Some suppliers of Charging points say they can install with no modifications.
(Maybe I need to retrain at an electrical engineer!)

Chargers are another area of debate.
Different chargers have different capabilities - specifically V2G (vehicle to Grid) and Solar compatability.
Reviews of Charging points differ - the apps seem to be areas of concern with reliability issues.
I am unable to make a comment as I have no experience of using them.

So now two weeks since ordering an EV.
Still unclear which Charging point to install.
Still not clear if I need to have the cables changed, switch installed.

Probably finish up using a 13amp socket in the short term.


Hi @LeedsGreen
I feel your pain. It's a v complex array of options for first time EV owners (and something we'd like to find out more about in our EV pilot).
I had to arrange the charger before my Leaf arrived. There was a lot of going back and forth between the charger installers, by energy supplier, and my DNO.
Leaving aside all the different options as to the type of charger to get. I had to send photos of my meter and fuseboard to my charger installers. They said it looked like I'd need an extra fuseboard and isolation switch added, plus the amp increased, but came out anyway, to confirm it.
The DNO had to do the amp increase, and PP had to upgrade meter tails and fit the isoltation switch.
This FAQ has more info (about cost)
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I bought a 2nd hand Leaf 30kWh in Dec 18 with 17k miles on the clock. I've now done 34k.

I was going to get a charge point installed but as the run of the cable would have been quite long and tortuous it was going to be expensive.
The car only has a 3.3kW onboard charger so it would be slightly better than charging off a 13 amp socket (this is limited to 10amps by the box on the charging lead) but its 2.3 kW vs 3.3kW. As we had just had the house wired relatively recently I had socket fairly close. and went for an extension lead. I bought a 16amp rated lead with a built in RCD and its been fine from industrial extensions leads
I use between 50% and 80% of my battery charge on a daily basis.
Plugging in overnight will charge the car up to full no problem so the slight advantage for me of a charge point isn't really worth the effort.
​​​​​​​If I were to buy another ev I would get one with a faster on board charger and get a charge point fitted.
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Morning all,

Haven't really been able to drive my new Kona Hybrid with being stuck in the house for the past 3 weeks but I am glad that I went for a self-charger right now as the comments above confirm my belief that for most, the infrastructure just isn't ready yet to cope with a massive uptake of EVs.

I absolutely love my Kona Hybrid, though. It's much more fun to look at and drive than my big and boring black Kia Sportage (got the red Kona which is lovely)

The hybrid kicks in when poodling around town at sub 30mph speeds but it also uses the battery to boost the power output when accelerating hard on the motorway etc. MPG being reported by the car is only slightly higher than the Sportage but the petrol cost seems to be much lower. The tank is probably smaller but the cost of refilling is half that of the Sportage and lasts about the same amount of time (or did do, when I was actually going somewhere).

The gizmos and entertainment screen is very nice - big 10" screen with everything you need at your fingertips and some nice features like reverse parking camera, keyless entry and wireless phone charging without the premium price (like the Kia Niro was asking).

I think I'll definitely look to replace with a full electric when this deal is up in 3 years but I'm confident I made the right decision for me this year. Especially considering my electricity usage has already shot through the roof with the electric heating in the annex and the recent purchase of a hot tub. When more smart meters are installed and better smart tariffs come out, I'll look again.
Still waiting for delivery of new Kona EV.
Very please to see @MrSmart has had a delivery from Hyundai.
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On a positive note the home charging point was installed just prior to the start of Shielding.
Very good tidy job, not sure anybody has vacuumed my garage floor before!!

I have asked Pure Planet to instal an isolator switch and replace the old meters with smart meters.
That seems to be on hold (understandably) for a few weeks.
I have owned 3 EVs so far. 1 Kona Premium SE, and 2 Kia e-Niros. Over a year of EV ownership. I was a first day reservation holder for the Tesla Model 3, but lack of hatchback, high price, rear wheel drive, and lack of rear passenger comfort, 11.8m turning circle, and width of the car put me off, especially when the e-Niro was announced.

I did extensive research on home charging. I wanted a British built, smart charger, with a good app, long tethered cable. I had ChargedEV install their Smart Plus.. No issues at all, apart from having to replace my metal garden hose tap with a plastic one. The fitters were very good. Excellent company to deal with.


The I loved the Kona EV, but it was a little too small, too noisy, and too jittery a ride for my family. The e-Niro is more refined and spacious for a family, its quieter too. I am a member of the Kia e-Niro UK Interest FB group, where there is loads of useful info on EVs, and also the Kia e-Niro. Going EV is fantastic. I would not go back to ICE age poisonous lack of technology.

- - - Updated - - -

the benefit of waiting, is you of course get a car with the Bluelink app, and slightly longer range. I hope the still dont fit the noisy tyres. If they do then Cross climates are meant to be better and quieter. I still miss my Kona SE Premium. The front seats are so comfortable.
+1 for the ChargedEV 7kw smart charger. We bought a 24kw 2015 Leaf back in April last year. At that time we had 2 cars that did 26 & 21 MPG respectively, so as you can imagine the Leaf made a big difference to our monthly fuel costs!

We have a grade 2 listed property, so were quite concerned about the home charger install. In the end it was very simple, and it is a great bit of tech that is controlled remotely through an app. Very reliable charging and no issues thus far. We did qualify for the grant as we used an OLEV approved installer and are lucky enough to have a driveway to install it on. All in all I think it set us back about £250.

As for the tariff, Pure Planet were recommended by the EV specialist we bought from, www.drive-green.co.uk/‎ in Bristol, who I can highly recommend if you live in the area.

Owning an EV has changed our lives, and not just financially. It is a different driving experience and way of motoring. By November last year we were champing at the bit to change the other gas guzzler, and needing a longer range vehicle if we were to own 2 EVs, we thought we would need to wait a few years for prices and second hand market to stabilise. So, we went for a second hand Mitsibushi Outlander Phev, another great vehicle. It gets us to work and back on a charge (just) and allows longer journeys at the weekend. The home charger is servicing both vehicles just fine, and we dont find it too much trouble to balance charging them both during the week.

On insurance, no increased costs, probably a decrease for the Leaf if anything.

Good luck, you wont look back!
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hi Dorsetsi
I don't know what you were driving before you changed but I got a quote for an EV (a leaf) and the insurance was much more than I'm paying now. I guess it depends on the power output of your previous vehicles, if they were only doing 21 and 26 mpg they presumably were quite a high insurance group as were quite powerful.
I agree with you, anyone looking to change vehicle should be looking at an EV, the problem is that the resale values of IC vehicles are dropping so if you own a half decent (but fairly bog standard) car that does 40+mpg, the sums and eco overheads aren't quite so clear cut unless you do a fair amount of mileage.
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I’ve recently become an EV user and joined the Pure Planet EV Pilot scheme and thought I’d share my experiences so far:

Background
I appreciate that things may be a very different from some of the others on here. I work for the NHS and have been very fortunate to be able to take advantage of the NHS vehicle leasing scheme.
The leasing scheme includes all maintenance and insurance at a very preferential rate paid for by salary sacrifice. Currently there are also extra incentives to lease a pure electric vehicle, making something that would otherwise be way out of my price range surprisingly affordable.
I also had the option to add the installation of a Pod Point 7kW home charger in to the monthly payments also at a subsidised price.

The Charger
I opted to have to Pod Point installed in my garage as I wanted it out of the way - having it mounted on the external wall would have been awkward as my side access is fairly narrow.
Pod Point gave me the option of either a unit with a fixed charging cable or a socket to use my own cable. I opted for the 2nd option installing with a view that if my partner were to acquire an electric or plug in hybrid car that required a different plug then we’d be covered.
They also asked for photos and a description of where the unit was to be installed including measurements etc prior to the installation.-all very easy and straight forwards using their online form.

There were some problems with the installation of the Pod Point: for some reason the engineer couldn’t get the unit to broadcast a Wi-Fi network to set up the smart features of the charger despite trying several different boards. I have had to arrange for them to return at a later date to install a pre-flashed board. However, the unit is able to charge the car, I’m just lacking the extra features that can record how many kwh have been transferred to the car and when etc.
We have a fairly modern house (built 2001) The Pod Point is wired straight in to the meter via an isolation switch and not connected to my consumer unit in the house.
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The engineer was friendly and everything was installed neatly and where I’d asked for it be.


I’ve had to employ my DIY skills to come up with a solution to get the charging cable for the car to go in to the garage with the door shut and not pinch or damage the cable. My solution was to cut a slot in the door frame. To prevent water, leaves and wildlife entering, I then fitted some electrical brush plates that you would normally use to tidy up where you would have a cable exiting a wall for TVs etc.


(painting the woodwork is on my to do list!)

The Car
The car is an Audi E-Tron Quattro 50 Technik (base model most base spec)

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