Pod Point Solo 3 Charger Review
Currently, one of the leading brands for chargers at home, the pod point solo 3 was released in November 2021 as an upgrade to the original.
Unlike some which you may wish to avoid, this isn’t one of them! We put the solo only slightly behind the Optimus in our rankings.
We’ll show you why this newer sleeker design with a number of upgrades is worth adding to your list of potential purchases.
Let’s not hang about any longer..
Pros & Cons
- Solid Construction
- Aesthetically Pleasing
- Untethered or tethered version
- Track your costs on the app
- Tidy installation
- Quite expensive
- Customer service can be delayed
What Is A Pod Point
The Pod Point Solo 3 is a home charger made with a brand new design boasting a polycarbonate case and oval shape design which is much more pleasing to the eye than the original model.
With the Solo 3 you can schedule different points in the day for your vehicle to start its charging experience and it’s available tethered and untethered. The shape of the charging point allows you to wrap the cable round for convenience and the light grey colour of the pod boasts well with most backgrounds.
It’s no lie that we all want our home chargers to look good when sitting on our walls, luckily for you, the pod point solo 3 has taken that into consideration and is by far and away one of the most stylish home electric car chargers on the market.
Made with a polycarbonate case, this material is far more durable than the previous model’s ABS case. The new case is difficult to crack or tear and is more than equipped to deal with all weather conditions.
Our team discovered through using this product that it is slightly smaller than the original solo smart charger but we’ll get into that later in the dimensions. Depending on whether you want a tethered unit or untethered will also determine the size and shape of the pod point solo 3 you get.
The tethered solo 3 is significantly slimmer than the untethered version due to not having a built-in charge port which would widen the overall case its stored in. In fact the tethered is only 112mm thick meaning it doesnt stick out too much on your wall.
It also boasts a very handy shape which allows you to wrap the cable around the body and not worry about installing a wall hook to hang it on. The tethered model does come with a holster as standard practice.
Some people may want a few extra colours, but the grey and black colour scheme contrast eachother well and blend nicely with most homes. There is a small light on the front which goes a variety of colours depending on the status of the charging point.
As a whole, we like the Pod Point Solo 3 more than the original, its slim, pleasing on the eye and does everything you need without too much fuss.
There is no need for an earthing rod with the Solo 3 as it has been designed with built in earthing. If a fault is detected, don’t worry as the device becomes double insulated and isolates the car from the supply and earth. This is due to the Protective Multiple Earth system it has built in it (PME) which is activated when a fault is detected.
If you need an entrance for the cable, the pod has plenty of options including the left, bottom, right or via the rear. The access through the rear is the easiest and smoothest for completion.
Within the point home charger, it also has a vehicle protection system which is 6mA DC and an RCD/RCBO’S which are type A are only needed at the source.
If you lift the polycarbonate shell off, you will see a new circuit board and wiring configuration which takes up a lot less room than the previous model. It’s easy for wiring up and is a lot tidier when making any fixes.
We aren’t qualified electricians so we are shortening the workflow with these bullet points but these are just a few of the steps an electrician taks when installing pod point chargers:
- Identify where you want the charger placed
- Install the back plate
- Run the cable
- Create a circuit
- Connect all the wires
- Put the front case on
- Connect it
- Safety tests
- Demonstration on how it works
- Wifi password to connect to Solo 3
Charging Speed & Experience
The point home charger has three different charging speeds, these are:
- 7kW – 32A single phase supply
- 3.6kW – 16A supply
- 22kW – 3-phase supply
We know that might not mean much to you, it didn’t t us when we first bought our electric car. Hopefully, this breakdown is easier to understand:
- 3.6kW – 14 miles of travel per hour
- 7kW – 24 miles of travel per hour
- 22kW – 60 miles of travel per hour
The most common is 7kW as people use this to charge there electric cars overnight and have sufficient mileage in the morning.
Based on our firsthand experience, one of the big benefits of this stylish charger is that it’s a smart charger. This allows you to plan and schedule charging sessions at different parts of the day to fit your lifestyle.
If you don’t feel like using the scheduled sessions, you can just access it when it’s in standby mode and plug the cable into your car. This will start a charging session as normal.
However, if you do have an active scheduled session and you go to charge it before then, it may not work as there is a limit on charging between times. Charge scheduling is handy but it does dictate when you charge, rather than just plugging in when you please.
The beauty of a schedule is that it works around your life, so when you get in from work or just before you go to bed you can set it to charge. No matter what day of the week it is or the time of the day, you can plan to charge your electric car whenever you feel like it. It doesn’t have a boost button either which overrides the schedule if you want to plug it in and charge, so be aware of that when planning your charges.
Due to the oval shape of the charger, the cable doesnt stand out and wraps conveniently around it, meaning its much more appealing on the eye than a wall hook. The tethered solo 3 has two cables, the 4.8m which is Type 1 and the 7.5m which is the Type 2.
With the fitting and structure of the station, it’s extremely durable and you’ll have no issue with flimsiness.
As a whole, the charging experience is good and easy to follow, there are a few aspects that could have been addressed in the design and construction to make it slightly better but nothing drastic, it’s still a very solid purchase.
The solo 3 works by connecting to your home wi fi and it requires a stable network connection for all features to work. If this doesnt work for you, you can use the plug-and-play device which you activate via the vehicle or app.
During the installation, your electrician will ask for your wi fi password and then they will connect the pod up. The customer will have to download the pod point app and create an account in order to access all the features like scheduling, pricing and data.
Once you have the account downloaded on your smartphone, the solo 3 will then be linked so it’s nice and easy to access. If you want to simply charge your electric vehicle without an account for schedules, just use the plug-and-play device.
However, if you do have an account and want to sync it with your charger, have a look at the bottom of the charger, there is a sticker with a PSL number. Just enter this on your account and you’ll be connected.
If you decide to buy from a third party to save some money on installation and other bits, you’ll have to reach out to Pod Point customer service for them to set you an account up on their end. This is because whatever email you purchase the pod with, is then directly linked to that EV charger so they will need to know this information in order to set you one up. It doesn’t take long and we found the pod point support team to be very helpful.
Dimensions & Specifications
- Brand – Pod Point
- Sockets – 1
- Colour – Grey/Black
- Wifi – Yes
- Wattage – 7kW
- Voltage – 230v
- Depth – 150mm
- Diameter – 360mm
Pod Point App
The pod point app is one of the better aspects of this charger in comparison to others. It has mixed reviews online and like any product, its not going to please everybody with some stating it had missing features. But for us, it was simple to use and allowed for easy scheduling when planning charges.
It all depends on how much you want to use the app, you can schedule a charge and not look at it again or you can track prices, tariffs and other bits and pieces if you want to keep on top of things. It all comes down to personal preference.
Stats & Data
The app does allow you to track key data such as how much you spend when charging at home and in public charging sessions. They are split into two so you can clearly see what your spending when at home or on the road.
If you have a scheduled charging session, you can also track the cost of that through adding the tariffs kWh price to the app for different times. There is also no way of setting a price cap on the app for kWh so it only starts charging when the cheapest price becomes available.
If you do need to use a public charging point just hop on the app and it displays all the pod point public charging stations where you can charge up. Just click on any of the circles on the map and it will give you the address and directions to that charger.
The point has a small LED light on the front of the oval cover that indicates what status the charger is in at that moment. Below we will show you what each of the status lights mean so you can look out for them in the future:
- Red light solid/flashing – technical fault
- Flashing yellow – scheduled & waiting to charge
- Solid yellow – charging paused and charger is balancing current
- Solid white – no wifi connection
- Flashing blue/pink – syncing with pod point solo 3
- Solid blue – standby mode
- Flashing green – battery is full or charger is waiting to start
- Solid green – charging
Pod Point Problems & Benefits
In this section, we address the problems and drawbacks of this product what it does well and how we think it can be improved moving forward. We base these opinions from when we trialled the product.
First off, the design and structure of the charger are excellent, it hides in plain sight, is stylish and is very well built ensuring you don’t have some flimsy addition to the side of your home. It constantly gets excellent reviews in its feedback on charging performance and ease of which use with the scheduling and app.
In terms of drawbacks, we found the lack of extra features to fall short of other EV chargers. For example, the app is easy to use but could be expanded further with more detail and features, whilst there’s no power or boost button to override the schedules if you want to just start charging. There is also no lock/holiday mode on the app to prevent people accessing it.
Difference Between Solo & Solo 3
Just like a new phone, Pod Point solo 3 has added new features to the Solo 3 to make it better than the original. These include:
- Modern design which makes it considerably smaller
- Polycarbonate outer shell which is more durable
- Status light moved to the top to make it easier to see
- Has all the features of the original model
Much of the new features are to reduce size and appearance, and a lot of the configuration inside is much the same as the original Solo.
Is It Solar Compatible
Yes, the pod point solo 3 can integrate with most solar systems meaning you can charge your electric car for free if you have solar panels installed on the roof of your home.
It’s worth remembering that it all depends on how much energy your panels create which will in turn dictate how fast your electric cars charge.
How To Reset A Pod Point Charger?
To reset a pod point solo 3 you have to check the status light, if it’s red when charging the pod probably needs a reset. Do this by turning it off at the breaker for at least 10 minutes. Make sure the car is not connected and this should reset the point and allow you to set up the wifi again.
How Much Does A Pod Point Cost?
The pod point cost £699 from their website. This is the starting price for their home charger and goes up from there.
How Does A Pod Point Work?
Pod Point works by downloading the app, plugging the cable into the vehicle first then the charger. Next, find the charger in the app, select the one you want and then it will start charging. When finished, unplug the charging cable from the car first, then the chargepoint.
That’s a wrap! We hope you enjoyed our review of the Pod Point Solo 3 and it gave you a better understanding of what to expect.
Drawing from our experience, we personally think it’s one of the better chargers on the market in terms of practicality, efficiency and reliability in charging. But there is room for improvements which some of the other models have already implemented.
We would give the installation pod point a 7/10 overall which is still very good. It performs well, is easy to manage and you can also charge nationwide with the vast pod point network.
For all of our charger reviews, head back to our main page.