Upgrade electric vehicle charger

3 Jul 2006
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United Kingdom
Back in 2014 I bought a plugin hybrid vehicle which charged at a maximum rate of 10amp. I had a home charger installed which consists of a dedicated cable from the consumer unit, fed by a 16amp rcd. The cable then feeds directly to the outside wall where it terminates in a junction box which then connects to the charger unit which delivers a maximum 16amps or 3.5kw.

At the time of installation, I dont think there were any electrical regulations specific to EV chargers.

I am now purchasing a full Electric vehicle which will charge at 3.5kw/16amp, or 7kw/32amp. So with my present charger, it will charge at the maximum 3.5kw. Although of course this will take longer to charge than a 7kw charger.

I understand that in 2018 the regs were updated and included specific rules for EV chargers. From reading various forums i think that an earth rod and an isolation switch may be necessary.

I'm wondering therefore if I should be considering having the installation upgraded to current regs, in which case it would be a 32amp charger, or is it safe and legal to continue using the current outdated installation?
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For a new charger, an earth rod may be required depending on the earthing system in your property. However (a) the regs are not law and (b) there is no requirement to update an existing installation when the regs change.

So it's up to you - if you want to upgrade to a different charger then the new regs will apply, or you can continue to use your existing charger, if suitable, with no changes required. Of course, there is an argument to be made that if a new installation would require an earth rod, then it might be advisable to install one even if you are not changing anything else. This is not a requirement but I'm sure there are those who will argue that you should do it anyway.

PS: what's your current PIH (mine's an Ampera) and what are you getting?
I had an Ampera for six years. Excellent car. Would have bought another one if they had carried on making them. I changed to an ice car for a a few months whilst I waited for all the new EV's to appear, but of course most of the better ones are ridiculously expensive and / or have long delivery times. I placed an reservation for the MG ZSEV but after finding out more about it, decided to cancel. In the end I decided on the new model Hyundai Ioniq which I should receive next week.

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