zappi electric car charger review
So what is a zappi ev charger and why am I writing this zappi electric car charger review? Well the answer is simple, I am a happy zappi chappy! (you have to watch the following video to see why)
zappi is a mode 3 charging station for your plug in electric car. Zappi works like any regular charging point but has the much welcomed benefit of having two special eco charging modes.
If you have solar panels or a wind turbine micro generation system together with an electric vehicle then you must consider zappi as a charging solution.
I had been using a 7kW Podpoint Charger which was funded with Government OLEV grant and an allowance from Nissan (Plus £95 of my money).
At the time I bought the Podpoint, zappi was not yet available on the market.
So why now change at my own expense for a zappi?
zappi and solar
With my solar system it is restricted to 5 kW output by Western Power & Distrubtion. My Nissan Leaf chargers at 6.6 Kva which means on a sunny day I still have to draw 1.6 kW from the grid to fast charge my car using the Podpoint.
If I chose to use the charging cable that came with the car it uses much less power, just under 3 kW. Therefore on a sunny day I would be sending 2 kW back to the grid but taking hours to charge the car.
Enter zappi. This smart charger monitors what the solar panels are generating and then adjusts the amount of electricity that goes into the car.
It has three modes:
Fast Charge – the same as the Podpoint, delivers the max the Leaf can take at 6.6kva constantly until fully charged. It draws from both the solar and the grid keeping a constant fast charger.
Eco & Eco +. However if I want to use just free solar energy to charge my car zappi can do that too. I can set the eco mode to use just the power from the solar panels. As the power from the panels fluctuates from clouds etc the zappi adjusts the amount it feeds to the car in real time thus avoiding importing from the grid.
This was the feature I most wanted in a car charger.
I hate selling electric back to the grid for around 0.07p and having to buy it from the grid for 13.74p
The zappi allows me to make maximum use of the solar energy and still charge my car at a decent rate using just my own FREE CLEAN GREEN energy.
zappi ev charger
So how does the zappi fit into your solar or wind generation system? The diagram below explains all from the user manual. They show an eddi in the diagram but it works well with my solar iBoost which heats my hot water tank.
The zappi arrived boxed and ready to install.
The next obstacle was to chose an installer.
For me the choice was simple. Aaron from Westcountry Electrical Ltd had done all the wiring for my garage before the podpoint installation when I had the extension built. He is also an approved Podpoint installer. I had initially thought to have two chargers but in reality I would only ever be charging one vehicle at a time when I do eventually get a second EV.
This made the installation for Aaron somewhat simpler as he had only to swap the Podpoint for the zappi.
However Please see update re Aaron at the end of this post – I no longer recommend him
zappi ev charger on the wall
Once all the circuit testing was complete the front was screwed on we were ready to test on the car for real.
I was lucky that it was a dry sunny day so we were able to test it properly using the solar panels.
Below you see it in eco+ mode drawing 4.8 kW from the solar panels and nothing from the grid and at the time of the picture you see it had added 1.92 kWh to the Leaf.
As I said you can use it as a normal fast charger and as you can see below on fast charge it was drawing 1.7 kW from the grid and the rest from the solar panels to make up the charge rate of 6.5, just below the maximum the Leaf can take from a home charger.
If your are still wondering how it works below is another video from the Fully Charged Show demonstrating exactly how it works.
I could have made a video but the below is better quality and explains it far better than I could.
You can buy one direct from myenergi for £495 plus installation costs
After suffering 6 days of snow from the “beast from the East” and “Storm Emma” I have finally been able to test the zappi properly.
Today we had sunshine and whilst out for most of the mid day period I set the zappi on eco + and left the Nissan Leaf plugged in. You can see from the above graph the blue chart is when the zappi was drawing from the solar panels.
Just after 4pm I returned to the car and found it fully charged.
The zappi had drawn 6.25 kW to fill the car up all of which has come from the solar panels.
This shows me the zappi is doing exactly what I expected and has ensured only green free solar energy has been used to charge my car.
I shall drive around now for the next 100 miles with a warm inner glow knowing I have not paid for it and am not polluting the next generation with toxic fumes!
Another good example of the zappi at work today
A 93% self consumption rate.
15.29 kW delivered to the car by zappi and 100% of it Clean, Green Renewable and Free solar energy
If you have read all the way to here then you are interested in saving money with solar energy for your EV, so please read my review of my Tesla Powerwall II (installed at end of May 2018) and energy supplier BULB for savings like this….
Below is a screen shot from my Bulb account showing the cost of energy during June July & August 2018 using the Zappi with my PV and Tesla Powerwall II – £10, £9, & £13 for electricity and that includes the standing charges!!
Update December 2018
myenergi are about to release a new version of its zappi car charger – take a look below – it looks a nicer design than my version! – what do you think?
zappi electric car charger review – Update Summer 2020
Zappi Charger Problems
Earlier this year I had my first problem with my Zappi. I had changed my car last September to a Hyundai Kona which is able to charge at a slightly higher rate than the Leaf (7.2 kWh). I noticed the rate of charge started to fluctuate rapidly.
myenergi were very helpful and at first thought it a software issue which could be sorted out by an upgrade. I obtained a new hub and loaded the latest software. This did not fix the problem but created more as it threw out all the previous settings between the eddi and the Tesla Powerwall.
I spent a long time on the phone to myenergi trying to re configure the units together.
It was whilst preparing for yet another phone call I took the front off the zappi to establish where the CT clamps were connected and saw this…
The main power lead had overheated and was melting the connector block.
I sent these images off to myenergi who asked me to get the electrician who installed it back to look at it.
I called Aaron from Westcountry Electrical Ltd who came and looked at the unit.
After several calls between him and myenergi they agreed to supply me a new zappi.
It was then my problems started.
Once the new charger had arrived I called Aaron and an appointment was made to fit it.
He failed to show up.
I contacted him again and made another appointment.
He failed to show up.
I made another appointment – guess what?
He failed to show up.
He was now ignoring all phone calls and emails from me.
I contacted myenergi and advised them I would need to get another electrician. I contacted the engineer who fitted my solar panels and Tesla Powerwall. He was no longer working for the same company but agreed to help me out. He came and fitted the zappi and configured the eddi and powerwall and got it all up and working again.
I paid him the £75 installation fee zappi had agreed with Aaron and all was working again.
However myenergi a few weeks later had not paid me the £75. They then explained Aaron had been told to send back the faulty unit to them and they had not received it yet. Sadly I did not know this and had already disposed of the broken unit through our council re cycling site.
I have to say myenergi were very good throughout this process and did refund the £75 and on reflection the fact Aaron abandoned me completely may be an indication he did not want to return the unit for scrutiny by myenergi.
That is the reason why I cannot recommend Aaron Olver and Westcountry Electrical Ltd to fit your electric car charger
September 2023 Update
I thought I would update the review to say I am still a happy zappi owner. I have just changed my mobile phone and down loaded the myenergi app to it. Strangely I could not log in. I contacted myenergi support via email. They pointed out I was running very old firmware and the new new app required the appliances to be updated. I have this theory that if it isn’t broke don’t fix it so have never updated the firmware as all has worked well since 2018!
After updating all the firmware and with help from support I now have it all working again as it should. I noticed one big improvement on my version1 zappi and that is there is now the ability to stop the charge from the zappi itself!
Update October 2023
Big Mistake. If you own a version one V1 Zappi DO NOT update your Eddi and Zappi to V5 of the firmware.
Ever since doing the update to V5 the Zappi has not been working properly. It often cycles between waiting for EV and the charging. It just cycles between the two clicking each time. It will not work in eco mode or eco+ mode. It will still act as a dumb charger in fast mode thankfully.
I thought It might have been that the firmware did not load properly so I downloaded v.5 again. Big mistake! that has now thrown the edddi a wobbly. It now reports grid lost ct fault. I then searched the myenergi website and forums and found this could be cured by resetting the eddi as the master device. Wrong again it did not work.
On the 28/10/2023 I submitted a support ticket to myenergi. All my past experience of their support has been very good.
After several days of no reply I submitted a contact form on their website with my ticket number asking what was happening.
On the 2nd November 2023 I received a reply. “We need to push your eddi back as V5 Firmware is not able to be used with a V1 Zappi“ there was also a link to this article on their website
Which is particularly annoying as I was advised to upgrade to V5 by one of their support staff back in September 2023!
As of today Sunday 5th November there has been no contact since that email on the 2/11/23. Come on myenergi you used to be soo much better than this.
zappi electric car charger review