The 5 most common questions asked when installing EV chargers

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The Government’s Road to Zero strategy includes the challenging goal that all new cars and vans should be ‘effectively zero emission’ by 2030. There are numerous modelling scenarios around the adoption of Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the higher forecast suggest over 3 million EVs on the roads by the end of 2030.

These EVs all need somewhere to charge. If you own a site in a prime location, you may be considering offering EV charging as a revenue stream. The likelihood is that you have a million questions. We offer answers to the five most commonly asked below.

1. What rating of Electric Vehicle charger should you offer?

As of March 2021, there are 4,154 rapid charging devices across 2,766 locations in the UK. When considering what rating of charger is most suited to your location, the key determinant is how long the driver is expecting to stay. If you are a destination where the driver may stop for an hour, for example to grab a meal or drink, you will probably be considering 50KW chargers.

If you are ideally located along a major travel route, such as near a motorway or A road, your driver may want to get back on the road in a hurry and you will want to opt for 150kW+ chargers.

You can always offer a mix.

2. How much load is available locally?

You will need to ask the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) where the electrical load you require is available on their network. They will want to assess not only the load availability, but also whether the network can cope with the harmonic emissions of your proposed EV chargers.

If your requested load will require large reinforcement works on the network, it may come at a big price. It is a good idea to ask the DNO the maximum amount of load which is available on the local network and see whether that is sufficient without incurring any reinforcement costs.

At Rock Power Connections, we are happy to have these discussions with the DNOs on your behalf.

3. Do you want a phased approach to installation?

If you want to install a limited number of chargers initially but keep your options open for future additions within the next couple of years, you will want to design your initial electrical infrastructure for easy future additions.

For example, let’s say you initially want to install 2 x 50kW chargers, but plan to add another two every year for the next three years, as demand for EV charging increases. This would eventually be a hub of eight 50kW chargers, requiring around 440kVA of power.

In the initial phase, you would secure the load from the DNO, install a 500kVA substation and an LV panel which can give individual ways for each of the chargers. You could install two EV chargers, plus the ducting to the future locations.

In subsequent phases, you would just need to construct the bases for the EV chargers and use the existing ducting to install the cabling. It prevents widespread excavation and reinstatement.

4. Do you want the capex investment or is your site suited to a chargepoint operator?

There are different models of EV charging ownership. There are many chargepoint operators throughout the UK and, if you have a prime location, they may be willing to fund the installation of the electrical infrastructure and EV chargers.

Alternatively, you may want to fund the installation yourself as an investment benefitting from the future revenue of EV charges.

5. How much will it cost?

An easy question to ask, yet the answer depends upon how many chargers you want to install. It is a simple and quick process for us to produce a ballpark quotation for your site. We do this for free, at no-obligation and we’ll happily chat through your options. We just need very basic information from you such as your site location.

If you are considering whether to opt for a capex project or whether the chargepoint operator solution is best for you, we can also introduce you to chargepoint operators.

To hear more about the basics of EV charging infrastructure, watch our video here.

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