The installation of charging piles can be divided into two main steps. The first step is to apply for the installation of new energy meters, and the second step is to install charging piles. These two steps are handled by different people and are not directly related to each other. The charging pile I used is a 7KW charging pile presented by BYD. It is installed for free and includes a 30-meter wire. However, the installer did not allow the use of outlet strip leads, and the original lighting wires were thinner, so I had to reapply for a meter and redraw the wires.
The first step is how to apply for a meter. You can use your mobile phone to download the online APP, open it and click “Online Business Hall”, then select “New Installation”, and then select a personal charging station to connect to the power. Next, select your service area, down to the township or street office. Upload relevant materials (parking space trial certificate, property certificate, ID card, electric vehicle ownership certificate) as required to complete the application. You can also prepare, like me, your ID card, property owner’s proof of parking space usage rights (property owners are generally unwilling to issue proof of consent, but you can negotiate to issue a certificate of use, which is equally valid), real estate certificate and car purchase materials, and then go to the local power supply station to apply . Applying for an electric meter is free, there is no need to pay any fees, and there is no need to go to the power company to apply.
After receiving the application materials, staff from the power company will visit the installation site within a week. Generally speaking, newly applied independent meters will be installed in the meter room. However, this may lead to a significant increase in the cost of subsequent installation of charging piles (40 yuan per meter beyond the free portion, which is really distressing). When contacting the power company, try to use your communication skills and try to install the meter closer to the parking space and garage. After installing the meter, be sure to apply for peak and off-peak electricity prices.
The second step is to contact the new energy manufacturer to install charging piles. Once the first step of meter installation is completed, you are 80% of the way through the process. Before installing the charging pile, communicate with the installation unit. You can buy the cable yourself and conduct the lead from the meter to the parking space. However, for safety reasons, there can only be one wire between the meter and the charging pile, so you are responsible for all wires. When inquiring, a 36-meter cable costs about 13 yuan/meter (according to my inquiry results, there is no guarantee that it will not be cheated), and a cable with a length of 95 meters costs about 1,200 yuan. Purchasing these cables from the installation master costs 5020 = 1000 yuan. Therefore, there is no way to save money on this part.
If you buy the cables yourself and find a construction worker to route them, plus the construction personnel’s fees, etc., it is estimated that it will cost at least about 1,500 yuan. Due to time constraints, I did not find a construction worker and inquire about the price, so I had no choice but to abandon the wiring method myself and have all the wiring done by the installation unit instead.
If it is convenient, car owners can calculate in advance and solve this part by themselves, which can save hundreds of dollars. And this is the most beneficial to the charging pile installation masters, and they are happy to do it this way.
Protection box: If the charging pile is installed in an outdoor open area, or strangers can approach the charging pile, be sure to purchase a protective box, because BYD’s charging pile only needs to be inserted with a gun to start charging, and there is no function such as swiping a card to withdraw power. If there is no protective box, other people may use your charging station to charge.
It is recommended to buy a protective box online, which costs about 200 yuan. If you buy it from the construction unit, the price will be 350 yuan. In addition, if you need anything from the construction unit, please communicate in advance, otherwise you will need to pay the first cost of the door-to-door service starting from the second door-to-door service.
When installing the charging pile protection box, grounding is necessary because it must be grounded together with the charging pile. Someone in the next car circle mentioned the need for a ground cable, but I didn’t use this. This ground cable is not expensive, you can prepare it. In the following installation steps I will explain how I did the grounding.
If there are no facilities for hanging stakes next to the parking space, you will need to purchase a post. I did not use uprights, I suggest you decide where to buy after comparing prices online. The price of the construction unit is approximately 350 yuan/unit.
The next step is to make an appointment to install the charging pile at your home.
You can only make reservations through the “BYD Auto” WeChat applet. In Service-Private Pile Installation, fill in and submit relevant information according to the prompts, and the installation company will contact you.
Then, wait for BYD’s professional masters to carry out the formal construction. Official construction will begin at the scheduled time.
Here again, if you need to purchase protective boxes, columns or other items from the installation company, please contact them in advance to ensure that you bring all the required items at one time. Otherwise, each additional trip will cost you extra money.
Charging pile installation masters work on a fixed salary, and the construction process is a standardized operation. Each step needs to be photographed and uploaded, and all wires must be passed through pipes and cannot be exposed. All exposed parts of wires must be covered with heat shrink tubing and marked with wire numbers. Components such as bolts also need to be marked. Therefore, there is basically no corner-cutting and the installation process is very reliable. In addition, the cables used are marked with lengths so you can cut them as needed. See picture 2-6.
During the installation process, the shorter the line, the easier the installation master’s work will be. And this part of the cost is not included in their salary, so they will consider it from your perspective and try to use the shortest route. When installing, please pay attention to the height of the charging protection box to avoid hitting it when opening the car door. On initial installation, I set it too low, luckily I caught it in time and asked for it to be raised a little higher.
The final effect after the installation is completed is as shown in the figure.
A. If a longer cable is cut during the wiring process, you can ask the installer to reduce the cost of the corresponding length.
B. If a wiring box has been installed in the line (as shown in the picture), there is no need to use casing. In charging, the cost of cable protection sleeve can be calculated according to the actual length used (this part is not too important, the length exceeding 30 meters can be communicated and calculated according to the length that does not exceed).
C. Regarding the grounding bar issue, you can choose not to install it. I used the ground lead of the air switch directly and connected it to the protective ground that comes with the protective box.
D. Most charging protection boxes are mounted on the wall, with the wires running downward from the top. However, the wiring opening is usually opened at the bottom. You can communicate with the installation master and ask for opening from the top (as shown in the picture above) and directly entering the protective box, which can save one meter of length.
Room for improvement and solutions
a. The charging protection box has a left-hand door opening, but the charging port is on the other side. This causes the rear of the vehicle to be under the charging protection box after parking, making it impossible to enter and exit the door freely. This is what I am most dissatisfied with. It is recommended to consider designing the charging port to better match the position of the car door to improve user convenience.
b. The cord length of the charging gun is only 3 meters, which is indeed a bit short. If economic conditions permit, it is recommended to upgrade to a 7-meter-long charging gun, priced at 550 yuan. (After the warranty period is over, you can consider replacing it yourself if necessary)
c. The charging gun cannot be inserted into the original position in the protective box, and it is necessary to rethink how to properly hang the charging gun and cables. This problem can be solved later, and you can consider looking for other racks or brackets to ensure that the charging gun and cables are neatly placed.
Room for improvement: I originally planned to install a socket in the protective box, but the installer expressed concern that problems might occur and the company did not allow such modifications. Therefore, I plan to do the modding myself in the future. My idea is to connect the power from the air switch and install a socket to increase the functionality of the charging case.