about-us.png

FAQ

The Answers You Need

WHY ARE EV’S BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

According to Transport and Environment.org studies: “In Europe electric cars emit, on average almost three times less carbon emissions than equivalent petrol or diesel cars”. Also every year electricity generation gets cleaner thanks to more renewable power coming online. That means every year electric cars become cleaner too and the clean air benefit ratio between EV’s and petrol/diesel cars gets greater.


Every car incurs some sort of carbon and environmental cost during the manufacturing process. This will vary and depend on the manufacturer, of course, and many are investing in more sustainable methods of production.


Once the car is on the road, though, electric vehicles are far better (3 times) for air quality and the environment. Around 40% of the UK’s energy is produced by renewables and the country is on target to stop producing power from coal plants by 2025.


While electric cars are already more sustainable and better for air quality compared to petrol or diesel, they will actually become progressively cleaner as the country shifts towards renewable energy sources, whereas a traditional internal combustion engine car cannot do this once it rolls off the production line.


Even if the electricity to power EVs were from “dirty” sources, it is still a far more efficient and environmentally friendly way of moving a vehicle from A to B. Beyond that, the zero emissions from the vehicle itself is a big positive for air quality in our towns and cities.


Air Quality impact:

Below is an editorial comment from cleantechnica.com, that sums this up very well.

“One crazy thing about us humans is that we’ll put up with all kinds of nonsense if we’re used to it. This apparently even includes premature death, premature death that we could avoid if we simply had a little foresight and concern for our collective good. A recent World Health Organization (WHO) report found that air pollution causes 3 million premature deaths a year worldwide. This includes various types of air pollution, but it’s obvious that air pollution from gasoline and diesel vehicles is a huge culprit here.

“Air pollution from road transport costs OECD countries approximately $1 trillion a year in negative health effects (cancer, premature death, asthma, heart attacks, etc.),” as I noted in another article. $1 trillion ain’t pocket change — and there’s suffering that goes along with it.

Let’s be frank: If a terrorist organization was causing 3 million deaths a year or $1 trillion a year in health damage, you’d be flippin’ your xxxxx’ xxxx about it. You, your neighbour, your neighbour’s dog, even your neighbour’s little yellow fish — the world would be up in arms and media networks would be in full crisis mode.

Ah, but it’s not terrorists — it’s just us, and the air pollution we create. Mmkay, move along now.

It’s not just about the people, though — it’s also about the animals. We’ve initiated the world’s 5th mass extinction, and it’s only going to heat up if we don’t electrify transport, use clean electricity, stop deforestation, and stop mindlessly treating horns and bones as medicine.”

WHY SHOULD I HAVE A DEDICATED EV CHARGER AT MY HOME?

It's possible to charge your electric car with the 3-pin plug charger cable supplied with the vehicle, but it's very slow and offers fewer options than a dedicated home charge point. The reasons to choose a dedicated EV charger installed are:


Convenience

Most EV owners (80%+) charge overnight with a dedicated Ev charger, which means they wake up to a fully charged vehicle every morning. Think about it more like your smartphone - rather than waiting for the battery to run empty before you charge, it is charged regularly quite often at night while you sleep. Electric vehicles are used in a similar way.


In fact if this becomes your habit, you will save time because you will no longer need to drive to a petrol station, queue for a pump, fill it up and pay – your fully charged EV is ready for you every morning.


Speed of charge

A 2.3kW 3-pin plug typically takes more than 20 hours to fully charge an EV, while an 7kW home charging device will comfortably charge the average electric vehicle overnight (usually fully within eight hours).


Cost

A dedicated smart 7kW charger will if set to come on at low tariff time (typically between 11pm and 7am) will fully charge your EV at the lowest cost per kW. Saving you over time much more than the smart charger cost when compared to a 3 pin plug home charger that comes as standard with most EV’s. See the link below to a Home charging tool calculator. https://www.goultralow.com/home-charging-tool/

Safety

Charging an electric car requires a high and consistent electric current over a long period of time. It is generally considered that a standard electrical socket is not suitable for such a prolonged period of use and overheating of the socket may occur.


Plug-in EVs are the future

There is no doubt that plug-in electric vehicles are the future of motoring in Europe. By starting the process of installing an EV charge point today, you will be able to enjoy faster, safer charging now.

CAN I OVER LOAD MY ELECTRICAL SYSTEM?

Yes, is the short answer. Typically, a home would have provided by the power provider a 63Amp system. Therefore, that is the maximum load allowed. If exceeded the system will trip. Therefore this needs to be considered when considering your EV Charger installation. Where there is a likely hood of that happening due to the premises have several high Amp demand devices (such as Electrical Shower, EV Charger and some very high-end ovens), a means to load balance the system would be needed.  To prevent power source tripping. This can be dealt with typically by installing a Priority Device.

WHAT IS A PRIORITY DEVICE AND WHY MIGHT I NEED ONE?

A priority device may be needed when you want to install a 32A charger and already have a high load in your home, for example; electric showers. Installing a priority device prevents your electrical system from being overloaded at any one time.

If your EV is charging, and the shower turns on, the EV halts charging until the shower switches off.

If you have an electric pump shower heated via gas boiler, you are unlikely to need a priority device.


Plug-in EVs are the future

There is no doubt that plug-in electric vehicles are the future of motoring in Europe. By starting the process of installing an EV charge point today, you will be able to enjoy faster, safer charging now.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO CHARGE AN ELECTRIC CAR?

Generally speaking, the higher the power output of the charger, the faster the car will charge – for example, a typical 7kW charger for the home is about three times faster than a three-pin plug and will charge the car from 0-90% in anything from five to 10 hours depending on the vehicle. For example, if you have a EV with a 64kW battery and it has 15% battery left when you plug it in at night it would take just under 8 hours to get to fully charged.

HOW MUCH WILL IT COST TO CHARGE MY EV?

Not much and you will save significantly compared to the cost of petrol or diesel fuel. In addition, there are a number of specialist electric energy tariffs which can save you even more money (night rate for example). 


The average cost to charge an electric car at home if on low tariff (night rate for example).


Night Rate charging:
Take the size of the EV battery (kW) x electricity rate (pence per kWh) x number of kilometres per kW for example if your EV has a 64kW battery and you are on a low tariff night rate it could be 64 x 9 cent* = €5.76 for a total charge from Zero. If the 64kW example car does an average of 400 Kilometres per full charge its under 1.5 cent a Kilometre! This example should be adjusted to match the different tariffs in each country.


This will give you the cost of a full charge, although it will be very rare that you will need to charge from zero to full - most of the time you will just need to "top up" the battery to give you enough range for the next day or two.


Compare this to your petrol or diesel costs per kilometre, typically 3 times as much.


See  https://www.goultralow.com/journey-cost-savings-calculator/


(*night rate charge in Ireland)

DO ELECTRIC CARS HAVE ENOUGH RANGE FOR ME?

Most daily commutes are under 50 kilometres, which is comfortably within the range of most electric cars. In addition, most EV drivers charge their car overnight so they wake up to full range every morning.


Despite the low number of kilometres most people drive each day, many newer electric vehicles can offer driving ranges of more than 400 kilometres (as in the 64Kw EV used as the example in this FAQ).

ARE ELECTRIC CARS MORE EXPENSIVE TO BUY / OWN?

Electric vehicles do carry a higher price tag compared to their petrol or diesel equivalents, when the headline list price is only considered. The logical way to compare is to consider Total Cost of Ownership (Buy price Plus running costs) over a 4 year period which is a time frame of many attractive PCP and lease offers. EV owners find the much lower running costs more than offset the headline list price over that period. The more Kilometres driven the sooner EV’s close that gap and become more costs effective over their lease period.

For those with company cars there is no Benefit in Kind (BIK), a big saving!.

WHAT ARE THE TYPICAL RUNNING COSTS FOR AN ELECTRIC VEHICLE?

Maintenance and running costs for electric vehicles are much lower than a petrol or diesel equivalent. The cost to charge an EV is less costly than filling a car with petrol or diesel (and of course is none polluting!), but they also have fewer moving parts which means lower servicing costs and not as many things to wear or fail. 


For instance, electric cars do not need oil or filter changes and the regenerative braking system on EVs mean that the brakes wear much more slowly too. 

OTHER THAN HOME WHERE CAN I CHARGE MY EV?

The number of electric car charge points in the all European countries is rapidly increasing. In fact, the number of EV charger points outnumbers the amount of petrol/diesel fuel stations. Not only are governments and large utilities installing many more public accessible Charge Points many private company’s are now providing Workplace chargers for their staff.  However, charging your EV at home is by far the most convenient and cost effective method of keeping your range topped up.


Charging at Home:

Charging at Home is the most convenient and cost-effective way of charging your electric car. See FAQ -  Why should I have a dedicated EV charger at my home?


Charging at work: 

Many employers are taking advantage of the Government Work Place Charging grants and installing EV charging points as a staff benefit and to aid the uptake of EV's / plug-in hybrids. This enhances the employers ECO credentials and helps meet their zero emissions targets.

Charging at public locations: 

Public charge points at large supermarkets are often free to use for customers for the duration of your stay. Some EV / plug-in hybrid cars have built in maps, which allow you to find the nearest  public charging point. There are also companies such as Zap-Map, which will guide you to the right location in order to charge your EV / plug-in hybrid.

Rapid charging your EV / plug-in hybrid: 

Rapid charging points, which can be found at locations such as service stations, are rapidly increasing throughout all European countries. Rapid charging is generally more expensive and is used by drivers on longer journeys to quickly top up.

WHAT IS FAST CHARGING?

Fast charging refers to any vehicles or chargers that are capable of charging from 7kW to 22kW. The 7kW can fully charge the typical Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) in around eight hours, depending on the size of the battery. While the 22kW fast chargers are quicker, they require a 3-phase connection which are not usually found in domestic properties.

WHAT IS RAPID CHARGING?

Rapid charging refers to vehicles or chargers that are capable of charging from 43kW to 150kW. They are not available in domestic properties and are usually located at service stations, cities, and supermarkets, rapid chargers at fuel stations are expected to become commonplace.


There are two types – AC or DC [Alternating or Direct Current]. Rapid AC chargers are rated at 43 kW, while most Rapid DC units are at least 50kW. Both will charge the majority of EVs to 80% in around 30 minutes (depending on battery capacity). However, 120kW and 150kW rapid charging units are becoming more common also.


Rapid AC chargers use a tethered Type 2 connector, and Rapid DC chargers are fitted with a CCS, CHAdeMO or Tesla Type 2 connections.

WHAT IS A SMART EV CHARGER?

The UK Government is leading the way to ensure that EV charging points are Smart. As per the government definitions published on 14 December 2018, this means charge points must be able to be remotely accessed, and capable of receiving, interpreting and reacting to a signal.


Smart EV chargers can also reduce high peaks of electricity demands, minimising the charging of electric vehicles at peak electricity times, thus keeping costs down for consumers by encouraging off-peak charging.


All UK government funded home charge points (OLEV Grant) for EV's must use innovative ‘Smart’ technology from July 2019, to help fulfil the commitment to Zero emissions.


All iAcharger’s for Home and Workplace installations come as standard with “intelligent access”. We believe in providing the best future proofed charging solutions on the market.

WHAT IS A STANDARD iAcharger INSTALLATION?

Up to now, specialist installers in the Electric Car Charging industry have created their own guidelines as to what constitutes a standard installation. We have purposely structured our standard installation package similarly so that you can easily compare our prices.

Our standard Install includes:

  • The fitting of the iAcharger on a brick or plaster wall (or other suitable permanent structure).

  • Routing of the cable through one drilled hole in a wall up to 500mm (20 inches) thick (where needed). More if needed at additional cost.

  • Up to 10m of approved cabling, run and neatly clipped to the wall between the distribution board and the EV charge point up to a height of 1.8m.

  • All electrical connections at the origin of the supply and EV charge point.

  • Installation of a RCBO Type A (1P+N 6kA C-40A 30mA) in distribution board.

  • Up to 4m (14 feet) of plastic conduit or trunking to conceal the interior wiring.

  • Electrical testing and the completion certification.

  • Demonstration of the EV charge point functions and mobile phone App (if applicable).

  • If your need to load balance your system with a Priority Device this would be additional cost - see the FAQ on ‘Can I Overload My Electrical System’

 

Not included in a standard installation:

  • An earth rod in soft ground (some types of installation require an earth electrode to be fitted to comply with the new wiring regulations BS7671 - introduced in January 2019).

  • Lifting and/or replacement of carpets and floor boards.

  • Additional metal clad consumer board 

  • Installing cabling in roof and ceiling voids without a draw cord being installed.

  • Trenching or civil works for the installation of cabling

 

Limitations to installation:

  • Entering restricted areas such as ceilings or roof voids, if deemed unsafe to do so.

  • Working in adverse weather conditions such as heavy persistent rain.

  • Installing the cable above 1.8m or suspended between buildings via a overhead system.

  • Installing a charge point where it may become damaged by passing vehicles and general usage of the property.

  • The charge point must be installed in a location that does not allow the lead to be run off the properties boundary or create a tripping hazard.

 

Installation warranty:

  • All installation works and electrical materials supplied are guaranteed for a period of 12 months (T&C’s apply).

HOW DOES THE iAcharger HANDLE PEN FAULTS (PME FAULT PROTECTION)?

If a PEN fault occurs the iAcharger will trigger the control switch inside the iAcharger electronics to disconnect the Earth wire input, the Live wire output and Neutral wire output. The iAcharger electronics have self-checking functions and therefore will re-start when the fault is corrected. See Diagram below:

WHAT TYPE OF PLUGS DO EV's USE?

Type 1 plug

The type 1 plug is a single-phase plug which allows for charging power levels of up to 7.4 kW (220/240 V, 32 A). The standard is mainly used in car models from Asian and is rare in Europe, which is why there are very few public type 1 charging stations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Type 2 plug

The triple-phase plug’s main area of distribution is Europe, and is considered to be the standard model. In private homes, charging power levels of up to 7.4kW are common (1Phase electric connections), while charging power levels of up to 22 kW (400 V, 63 A, AC 3 Phase electric connections) can be used at public charging stations. Most public charging stations are equipped with a type 2 socket. All mode 3 charging cables can be used with this, and electric cars can be charged with both type 1 and type 2 plugs. All mode 3 cables on the sides of charging stations have so-called Mennekes plugs (type 2).

Combination Plugs (Combined Charging System, or CCS)

The CCS plug is an enhanced version of the type 2 plug, with two additional power contacts for the purposes of quick charging, and supports AC and DC charging power levels (alternating and direct current charging power levels) of up to 170 kW. In practice, the value is usually around 50 kW.

 

 

 

CHAdeMO plug

This quick charging system was developed in Japan, and allows for charging capacities up to 50 kW at the appropriate public charging stations. The following manufacturers offer electric cars which are compatible with the CHAdeMO plug: Citroën, Honda, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot, Subaru, Tesla (with adaptor) and Toyota.

 

 

Tesla Supercharger

For its supercharger, Tesla uses a modified version of the type 2 Mennekes plug. This allows for the Model S to recharge to 80% within 30 minutes. Tesla offers charging to its customers for free. To date it has not been possible for other makes of car to be charged with Tesla superchargers.