PHEV Charging

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PHEV Charging

Post by jerrytaff » Fri Oct 19, 2018 8:11 pm

I've had my ex-demo PHEV for a few days now, but as it isn't new, the Kia dealership couldn't arrange the home charge point for me. Actually they told me that as of last week, Kia won't subsidise the home charge point for new purchases either.

So far, I've been charging using the so called "granny cable". It charges at 10A and takes about 4 hours from zero charge to full, which, quite honestly has not been an issue so far. I'm not sure, however, why Kia suggest that cable should be reserved for emergency use and I've got to decide whether or not to continue with it or whether to arrange a home charge point. It would only get the charge time down to about 2.5 Hrs anyway

I'm looking to this forum for advice as to which device, if any, to go for, and also, whether any of you have been stung for additional installation costs; if so for what.

Some minor work is likely to be required to upgrade the consumer unit / add a satellite unit with RCD. Different suppliers are likely to have different ideas as to what needs to be done. I'd also want the wiring to run under the floor from the cupboard under the stairs to the outside.
If I was doing the work myself the cost would be negligible, but I'd lose the £250 Government grant, and still need to pay someone to certificate the work.
2018 PHEV 3 in Gravity Blue :D
Previous DS (formerly Citroen) DS5 Prestige BlueHDi S/S Auto 2.0, Jaguar X type 2.0 S Diesel

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by Fred_Bristol » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:37 pm

I don't have a Kia Niro PHEV (we did consider it) but we have used "Granny Cable" charging with a Renault Zoe (3 years) and a 2018 Nissan Leaf (6 months) and in neither case has there been any evidence of problems. Apart from the longer charge time the claimed disadvantage - not proven by me - is that 10 A / 2.3 kW charging is less efficient due to losses in the charge controller. I have never found any evidence of the 13A socket, the plug, or the supply cable overheating, and it certainly doesn't overheat the battery.

So, if you can live with the extra charge time it seems likely that any extra cost in electricity due to lower efficiency will be offset by the saving in cost of the extra charge point installation.

I would add, however, that in addition to having a 7 kW charge point we rarely use, we are surrounded by medium and fast chargers, so, should we be in hurry, there are alternatives.

Hope you find a satisfactory solution.

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by Akula » Sat Oct 20, 2018 5:41 pm

Be aware someone on here , or the other Kia UK forum , had a cable melt on them so i wouldnt leave it unattended , especially at night.

I got a Rolec tethered 7.2kw charger fitted recently , all i had to pay basically was £50 (this was for the tethered one, if i had got the standard one that plugs in at either end it wouldve been completely free.

I got the ULEV grant of £500 , and because im in Scotland , i was able to get another grant of £300 from the Scottish Energy Saving Trust. I had to pay the £300 initially before installation and got the money back although this does take up to 3 weeks.

All in £850 , and as mentioned i paid £50 of that.

I may be making assumptions based on your name but Wales may have something similar , where you could get full funding for a charge point.

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by AndyD » Sat Oct 20, 2018 10:03 pm

My experience in 6 months of PHEV ownership: I use the 10A cable every couple of days to charge the car, sometimes overnight. I do use a short (about 2m) 13A rated extension cable into a socket in my garage, with the 'KIA' cable running outside. Though I was concerned to begin with, I checked the 13A plug and extension cable etc several times during the first few charges to satisfy myself that it was not getting hot. The cheapest 'dedicated' charging system I could find still costs £150+ net, and it is difficult to justify to save a little time in my case.
If you have concerns, install a dedicated charge point, especially in Scotland..... ;)
UK PHEV in White Pearl.

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by jerrytaff » Sun Oct 21, 2018 1:43 am

Thanks Guys,

As I'm not based in Scotland (or Wales), I think I shall continue using the standard 13A socket for now, and review the decision if I find the charge time to be impractical, The standard cable reaches a socket in my garage when the car is parked in the drive, so I don't have to worry about extension cables - I think the main concern is that most are not rated for continuous use at 10A, especially if left coiled. Another issue (but not for me) is that their household wiring, especially where embedded in walls may get hot, reducing the life of the insulation; or if it is very old wiring, causing it to fail altogether. A new 60A cable from the consumer unit to a wall charger would greatly increase the safety margin.

On a slightly different tack..... When I first received the car I was getting warnings that the battery was completely out of charge, and when I plugged it in, the display told me that the charging would take 4 hrs. Tonight I did the return trip from Watford to Camden, using EV most of the journey, just using the Hybrid mode for short periods when on the M1. I covered 39.1 miles, using just a splash of petrol, (average 186 MPG) and arriving home about 0.8 miles after the display went down to an EV range of 1 mile. I expected the battery to be as good as discharged, and that it would take the same 4 hours to recharge it. However, when I plugged it in, the display said that the charge was 23% and that the charging time would be only 3 hours and 5 minutes.

Now, I understand that the life of Li Ion batteries is shortened if they are completely discharged, and that in the HEV the charge is maintained in a small window around half full. so, it seems to me, that the plug-in reduces the EV range to zero and disables that mode when the battery still has a healthy charge remaining. Can anyone confirm that for me? If that is the case, how might it have got into such a state of discharge before I received it from the Kia Dealer?
2018 PHEV 3 in Gravity Blue :D
Previous DS (formerly Citroen) DS5 Prestige BlueHDi S/S Auto 2.0, Jaguar X type 2.0 S Diesel

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by Topicalcat » Sun Oct 21, 2018 7:05 pm

I have now had a rolec 7.2kw charger installed, cost £204 net of subsidy.I had previously used the granny cable for about 3 weeks, that is when I can not charge for free whilst out and about. The other advantage with slow charging with the granny lead is that if you have solar PV you can on a sunny day get charge for free.

For traveling and when I go to France and to cover every situation I have bought at a reasonable price a 16amp 10 metre cable with round plugs as used on caravan sites to connect to the granny lead. At one end I can plug in either a UK 13amp plug or a continental plug. If I was on a caravan site I could use the caravan hook up socket. A 16 amp cable should be plenty adequate with a max 10amps current draw. Bought this from Go Camping, worth a look if you have one locally.

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by jerrytaff » Mon Oct 22, 2018 10:22 am

Thanks for the suggestions Topicalcat. I have solar panels. Today is a bright sunny day, I don't need to use my car this morning....but I put it on charge overnight without thinking , so I paid unnecessarily for the electricity. I've got to get used to the forward thinking required.
2018 PHEV 3 in Gravity Blue :D
Previous DS (formerly Citroen) DS5 Prestige BlueHDi S/S Auto 2.0, Jaguar X type 2.0 S Diesel

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by Brianh » Thu Oct 25, 2018 8:05 am

With regard to the battery understanding is that in EV mode the electric motor is the primary drive with petrol engine for assistance and once the battery is down to around 15% (0 EV miles) it switches to HEV mode where the petrol engine is primary with battery for assistance. if you show the battery monitor on the display (bit distracting when driving so beware) you'll see that the battery varies between 10-15% in HEV mode, charging as you brake/coast but rarely if ever going above the 15% in HEV mode. I've been on a week long holiday with my PHEV and used it in HEV mode for the whole time as the EV miles ran out very early on the trip and the battery remained in that 10-15% window the whole time until I got back home and re-charged.

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by MerlinXL » Thu Oct 25, 2018 3:01 pm

To those worried about the charge currant rather than charge time, I recommend changing the charge rate using the black square button on the back of the display unit.

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Re: PHEV Charging

Post by camiano » Tue Nov 27, 2018 10:46 pm

I'm still waiting for my new Kia Niro PHEV to be delivered but that's a different story (5 months wait so far!!). Previous to this I had a BMW 330e PHEV on a two year company car lease. As part of this I had the opportunity to have a £500 Government subsidy towards having a charge point installed but I never did. Here's why.
I got a quote from a local (franchised) charge point installer. I don't want to charge my car on the drive, but where I park it - in my garage. As my garage is detached from the house (at a distance of about 10 metres from the main consumer unit) completely new wiring, fuse box, etc, would be required. This would cost me an additional £1000 as well as the £500 grant. Also suspect I was paying the " owns a BMW and lives in large house" premium. By my calculation a £1000, at the minimum 30mpg and max £6 a gallon, would be 5,000 miles. And remember the electricity is not free although its about a quarter the price of petrol. However I only intended to do 16,000 miles in the two years. I could also also charge the car for free at work, the local supermarket, and in various municipal carparks. All places I went to a lot anyway.
BMW handbook advised the "granny charger should only be used for occasional charging but I used, when required, for the 2 years, plugging into a socket in the garage which presumably ran on a long spur from the main house fuse box. No overheating but it did trip the Earth Leakage every few months. I actually found on a day-to-day basis the work/supermarket charger gave me all I needed and I used very little petrol.
Finally - I was never quite convinced that the Type 2 plug arrangement would be the de-facto standard an didn't want to be stuck with a system I couldn't use on my next EV.

I am now considering getting a charge point installed for the new Niro (when it comes - 5 months waiting so far!) and as I intend to keep it, or another EV for 3-4 years this now starts to make economic sense. I have also heard that some installers would be happy for me to run a SAC (Steel armoured cable) the 10 or so metres distance from consumer unit to the garage, provided it is agreed and left for them to connect at both ends and install the necessary separate consumer unit and charge point. This (and the fact I no longer have the rich-git BMW) may halve the cost.

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