POD POINT SOLO 3

£798

(Fully Installed)

WWC OVERALL RATING

TRUST PILOT RATING

4.3/5

BEST FEATURES

  • Available with built-in cable or plug-in
  • Fleet expensing capability

Socket Type:

Type 2

Power:

7.4kW

Charger Type:

Both Tethered and Untethered

Pros

  • Affordable, high quality unit with two-week installation lead time
  • Available with built-in cable or detachable plug-in
  • Cable can be neatly wrapped around unit
  • Fleet expensing capability
  • Five-year warranty

Cons

  • No solar integration
  • No kWh price cap setting, only charges when the cheapest price is available
Overview

The Pod Point Solo 3 is a chunky, well-made unit, that may not be the most attractive on the market, but it does come with some distinct advantages. Firstly, Pod Point, as a company, is massive so you can enjoy decent customer service and a no-hassle fitting service that has a relatively short lead time. Expect to get your unit fitted within two weeks of your initial purchase. Secondly, this is a robust, no-nonsense unit that does all the simple things well, but it does have a few omissions that might lead you elsewhere.

It’s a fairly large unit but the oval design means that you can wrap your cable around the unit tidily. It’s got a five-year warranty and, if you order direct from Pod Point’s website, you can get it installed in two weeks so it’s a no-faff proposition. Keylock is available on both universal and tethered units and prevents third parties using the charger without the key. The app also gives you access to the Pod Point public charging network.
The Solo 3 also has Auto Power Balancing that adjusts the rate of charge to avoid overloading your electrical supply when your home is using a lot of energy. The charging will return to the fastest rate automatically, once more power is available. The Solo 3 has in-built PEN protection so there’s no need to install an additional earth rod. There’s 3.6kW, 7kW and 22kW (three phase) chargers in the range, but the standard 7kW version will be enough for the vast majority of households.

The app is clear, basic and easy to understand. You can schedule charging, see energy usage, charge history and track costs. It allows you to make informed decisions on when to charge, by viewing a forecast of your local carbon intensity, provided by National Grid.
The Solo 3 is ‘solar compatible’ and what this means is that when you are charging the car, the charger will charge at the normal speed of 7kW. This uses power from the grid and solar power from your panels, if available. Essentially, your car will charge using the grid whenever you decide to charge it and, if you have solar panels, some of that solar panel energy will be used. However, there’s no ‘control’ over it.

The Solo 3, is not ‘solar integrated’, however. With integration you usually get ‘smarter’ functionality where, for example, you can set the car to ‘solar-only mode’ using energy solely from your panels. With full integration you can schedule charge overnight as normal, but it will charge outside of the schedule if solar is available. If solar integration is your priority, then the Solo 3 may not be for you.

The app does make life easy for you, however. It will take into account your dual rate tariff, when tracking energy usage and costs and will also notify you of any important information such as over-the-air software updates. Another useful feature is the ability to export itemised reports to your email account. When starting out it will automatically revert to an overnight charging schedule on weekdays and there is a ‘Charge Now’ feature that will override scheduled charging.

Yes. With full installation it’s very competitive against rivals that have similar functionality and capabilities. It’ll give you affordable charge rates with EDF’s Go Electric tariff and its recently launched Pod Point EV Exclusive tariff that gives new Solo 3 customers access to one of the UK’s cheapest EV tariffs at 7p per kWh.
It’s short on dynamic tariff functionality (where it will select the cheapest off-peak electricity prices with, for example, the Intelligent Octopus tariff), but the company is at pains to stress that it has concentrated on reliability, build quality, a simple-to-use-but-basic user journey on the app. You can buy a Solo 3 with a built-in cable or plug-in version (tethered or untethered) and, if you have a company vehicle, the app has fleet expensing, which means you’re able to send charging sessions to your Fleet Manager if your company is set up on Pod Point’s Fleet Management Service. Basically, it takes out all the faff of calculating your charging usage to your company.

  • Choice of Universal (untethered) or Tethered unit (£50 more)
  • Pre-installation guidance on model choice and location
  • Installation in as little as 2 hours
  • Access to Pod Point’s public charging network with the app
  • WiFi enabled with over-the-air software updates to get new features and allow Pod Point’s support team to perform remote diagnostics
  • Load balancing that monitors your home’s electrical consumption to ensure it never exceeds a safe level (3.6kW and 7kW chargers)
  • Power rating 2.5-22kW – AC
  • Dimensions 330mm 290mm 112 (167mm Socketed)
  • Weight Socket – 3.5kg Tethered – 6kg
  • Charging connectors -1 Type 1 (SAE J1772) 2 Type 2 (IEC 62196-2)
  • IP rating – 1 Type 1 (SAE J1772) 2 Type 2 (IEC 62196-2)
  • Operating temperature – -25°C to 50°C
  • Protections – 6mA DC Leakage, Over current, PME and failed earth protection.
  • Feature updates – Yes, via WiFi
  • Software updates – Yes, via WiFI
  • WiFi – WEP, WPA, WPA2 or Open Wi-Fi
  • Connection security – Secure data encryption HTTPS with SHA-256 has algorithm
  • Standards Compliance – LVD 2014/35/EU EMCD 2014/30/EU BS EN 61851-1:2019 EN61000-3 and -2 CE Certified BS7671: 2018

VERDICT

This is a good, solid device with an app that you don’t need to be a technology geek to work out. It’s worth going for if you need to differentiate between company charging and personal charging though. Installation should be painless and considering all its plus points it does represent good value for money.

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