EV owner Tony Sacker on his home charging unit installation

Hear about home charging installation from someone who’s been there, done that

By TheChargingPoint.com on March 19, 2012 7:10 AM

Tony Sacker is a retired solicitor living in Northwood, a suburb of outer London. When Tony learned that Smart – maker of the tiny Fortwo city car – was looking to run a year-long trial of its new pure-electric smart electric drive (ed), he was very keen to sign up.

“We were given the option of signing up for up to four years, but I didn’t know what I was getting so I signed up to the lease for a year,” explains Tony. “At the end, I loved it so much that I signed up for another couple of years.”

For Tony, the first step to getting on the road to life with an EV involved having his home surveyed by energy provider EDF Energy. “They were extremely well organised,” says Tony. “A preliminary survey was done to establish that the external arrangements would work physically, and internally they made sure that they could get the dedicated cabling out to the car.”

Tony doesn’t have a garage, so EDF engineers installed a wall-mounted charger on an outside wall. The original installation entailed a 13amp socket with a separate charging cable.

At the end of the year-long trial, Tony decided to extend the lease on his smart ed and at the same time, upgrade his charging point. “EDF Energy had developed this new EcoRecharge package and I’m a great gizmo person so I thought I’d go over to the new point. It has the advantage that the cable is permanently attached to it so you don’t have to be running in and out of the house looking for cables and so forth,” says Tony.

The system is weatherproofed, fully-earthed and protected against overload. And one of the features that Tony is particularly pleased with is the monthly usage statement, which tells him how much energy he has used to charge his smart ed, what the cost is and how much less CO2 he produced compared with a typical petrol-engine vehicle.

"People ask me what it costs to run it and I say ‘think of 200mpg’ – an easy translation for people used to a petrol car"

Tony showed TheChargingPoint.com one of his most recent statements, which indicated that he’d spent just £7.59 to charge his car for an entire month. “People ask me what it costs to run it and I say ‘think of 200mpg’, which is an easy translation for people used to driving a petrol car,” explains Tony.

There was also a figure that indicated Tony had saved an estimated 55kgs of carbon for the month and £24.03 in fuel costs compared with a petrol-fuelled car.

Tony is still hugely enthusiastic about his smart ed. He also owns a petrol-powered Volvo V50 for longer trips to visit family, but says that it “spends most of its time in the garage”. The smart ed is the preferred vehicle, and its 80-mile range is more than enough, he says. “I’ve only once been somewhere where I wondered whether I’d get home or not,” says Tony. “And I did and I wasn’t anywhere near being out of charge when I got back.”

Tony does virtually 100% of his charging at home; so on-street public charging isn’t really an issue for him.

“I’m completely taken with the technology and for my use, the smart ed is ideal. I did have petrol smart before this so I'm used to the car’s size. And the electric smart is, frankly, much more pleasant to drive than the petrol one.”

To speak with EDF Energy about EcoRecharge and its dedicated EV tariff Eco20:20, email electricvehicles@edfenergy.com. You can also find out more at www.edfenergy.com/electricvehicles

– Visit section 4: Ben Watts is another EV owner to take advantage of an EDF Energy’s home charging package

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