I took delivery of my I-Pace on September 1st and thought it might be worth sharing a couple of issues related to Home Charging. I selected BP Chargemaster to do a 7Kw charger install, sent in all the photos and other required information and the install was booked in the last week of August. Some 5 minutes after arrival the installer told me he could not do the install as I was on a looped supply (commonly referred to as a shared supply) and that I would need to seek approval from the DNO (in this Northern Powergrid) to authorise the install on the existing supply or pay for a new dedicated mains supply to the house. This was quite a shock as I had no idea that the mains on my house was configured in this way. The photos did not show the issue as the main fuse cover was almost tight to the bottom of the electricity wallbox.
Contacted Northen Powergrid who sent out a highly technical 'Customer Questionnaire' which Chargemaster completed on their own paperwork and sent directly to Northern Powergrid. In essence this questionnaire seeks to do a load survey on your home electrical items and what the earthing arrangements are. NP allocated a technical contact to me who I spoke to and then came out to review my infrastructure. He was excellent, down to earth and very knowledgeable. Looped supplies are very common in Yorkshire, I have a cable that comes in from the roadway to a 'cutout', with a second cable going out from the other side of the cutout to the neighbours house. On my side of the cutout it leads to the main 80A fuse (even though the cover is labelled 100A) and then on to the meter. So, the incoming cable needs to be capable of handing 160A (mine plus neighbour) and in my case that was deemed to be the case and I subsequently received an 'Authorisation to Install on Existing' from Northern Powergrid which Chargemaster needed to carry on with the install. This letter specifies a maximum load of 80A, so for others in this thread who are taking feeds to external garages I think it's important that the property's maximum load is not exceeded. I had never thought of mains electricity being 'limited' in this way but of course, it is.
The install was rebooked for yesterday. My charger is installed just inside the garage immediately adjacent to the consumer unit. Now the next surprise was revealed. The installers first task is to install the metre long earth rod in to the garage floor and then check the quality of the provided earth which has to have a reading below a set level (don't know if this is defined in the electrical regs or if it is a Chargemaster determined value that they are happy with). Luckily mine passed with no issues but the quality of the earth will depend on the substrate below the concrete base, shale apparently is likely to be a problem, I have clay which is good). The installer told me that the reason Earth Rods were added to the regs in January this year is that a certain type of fault could result in the car chassis becoming live, not good! He said that even though my charger is inside the garage, the car is sat on the driveway outside and so the earthing requirement still stands. I was led to believe that the only way it can be ignored is if the car is completely in the garage. Be aware that if the earth reading cannot be reached then the installation will have to be aborted. At the end of the process I was issued with a NICEIC Domestic Electrical Installation Certificate which will be important for anyone selling their house later.
Having said all of the above the install is really tidy and very happy with it, first top up charge completed with no issue. There is, however a remaining question. The Jaguar manual says to connect the charge cable to the charger first and then the car, the installer said that their advice from Chargemaster, certainly for the smart charger I had installed, it was car first and then charger. I don't know if it's really important or not but wondered if anyone had any views on this?
I-Pace HSE Santorini Black, Panoramic Roof, Air Suspension, 22” 5066 Wheels