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The location of electric vehicle (EV) charging points is key to the successful take up of electric vehicles and use of charging points. There are various and often conflicting criteria to consider when deciding where to site an EV charging point. This blog by Loyd Davies of ElectrAssure offers expert advice about what’s involved with choosing a good location.

ElectrAssure carries out surveys for commercial EV charging points and then goes on to specify and install a large proportion of these – well over 100 so far.

We often visit sites to carry out a survey where the proposed location proves not to be viable.

This blog will help you to find the ideal location. The key criteria are usually:

  1. Cost
  2. Safety
  3. Access
  4. Compatibility
  5. Electrical capacity
  6. Communications
  7. Disruption
  8. Installer

The factors that affect these criteria are as follows:

  1. Cost

EV Charging Point. What type of charge point would be best for you? Wall mounted standard 16 amp or fast 32 amp charge points are the least expensive but there are fewer options available. Post mounted fast chargers are more expensive but provide more options. Rapid chargers will charge an EV in 15 minutes but are the most expensive to buy and to install.

Cabling is much simpler and cheaper with wall mounted units as the cable can be clipped to the wall . Post mounted and rapid chargers usually require trenching so are more expensive to install and cable.

Distance. The costs of the trenching and supply cable rise exponentially with the distance from the supply. The cable size has to increase with longer cable runs and a longer trench has to be excavated.

Surface. What is the surface to be trenched through? Soft soil or grass is the cheapest and easiest but there may then be landscaping costs. Paving or block work are the next easiest but there may be concrete below the paving! The most difficult and expensive are concrete and tarmac.

 

  1. Safety

Existing Installation. Is the existing installation safe? Has it been inspected recently and any remedial works carried out?

Charging Cables. Could the EV charging cables connecting the vehicle to the charger be a trip hazard?

Supply Cables. Can the supply cables be buried to a safe depth (~600mm) or safely clipped to a wall or similar?

Earthing. Is there suitable soft ground close to the EV charging point to install an earth spike?

Shock Protection. Is there a metal structure located close to the proposed site? If so more costly shock protection arrangements may have to be made.

 

  1. Access

Target users. Do your target users have easy access to the EV charging points?

Restrictions. Are there height or security restrictions that will restrict access to the proposed site?

Electric Vehicle. Can the EV charging point be used at the times required. Is it an exclusive EV parking bay or are other drivers likely to block the space?

 

  1. Compatibility

Charging options for your vehicle. What type of charger is required? Check compatibility with the UK Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment Association.

 

  1. Electrical Capacity

Main Supply. Is an adequate supply available or will a new main supply be required? Is there available capacity?

Sub-main Supply. Is there a sub-main supply located close to the EV charging point location? Typical supply required by EV charging points (which can have one or two outlets) are as follows:

Standard – 13-16 amps per outlet

Fast –  32 amps single or three-phase per outlet

Rapid AC – 63 amps 3 phase per outlet

Rapid DC – AC input 80 amps 3 phase

 

  1. Communications

3G, GPRS network coverage.  Will your charging point form part of a charging network such as Source East or Source London? If so the charging point will normally be fitted with a SIM card and will require a good quality mobile phone signal.

Datacomms. Will the charging point be connected to the building network for control, monitoring or metering? If so a wireless connection or data cabling will be required.

 

  1. Disruption

Conflict. Will there be disruption to your business, the highway, footpath or cycle lanes during installation. Is this allowed? Are permits required?

Contention. Will there be contention for parking bays (see also 2 above)?

 

  1. Installer

Qualifications and Approval. Is the installer qualified to install EV charging points? ElectrAssure engineers have had City & Guild 2919 Level 3 qualifications in ‘Domestic, Commercial and Industrial Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation since it was first introduced in May 2013. ElectrAssure is also NICEIC and Safecontractor approved.

Experience. Does the installer have experience of installing the EV charging equipment you need? Can they help you to understand your requirements and the specific regulations for installing EV charge points? ElectrAssure has installed well over 100 sites including all types of chargers. We have frequently been asked to correct installations carried out by inexperienced contractors.

ElectrAssure is recognised as an industry expert in the installation of each type of EV Charging Points. It offers a specialist service to install, maintain and support your EV Charging Points. See more details here.

For information and advice about your charging infrastructure and funding talk to the team at EValu8.

Posted with kind permission of author Loyd Davies, ElectrAssure Ltd.

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