What charging infrastructure do you need for an Electric Vehicle (EV) fleet?

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As commercial organisations feel an increasing pressure to embrace sustainability within their business, more and more are opting to electrify their fleet.

For those making the switch, the replacement of petrol or diesel vehicles isn’t the only thing to consider. An increasing number of commercial organisations are installing Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers at the workplace.

Having onsite charging facilities will enable businesses to recharge their vehicles on a commercial EV tariff as opposed to relying on the more costly public network, when they are en-route.

What do you need to consider when thinking of installing EV chargers?

And what charging infrastructure do you need for a commercial EV fleet?

How much electricity will my workplace chargers use?

To work out how your EV chargers will integrate with your electricity supply, you first need to consider the electrical load that your chargers will require. The amount of electricity used will depend upon:

1. The type of chargers you install

There are three categories of EV charger: Slow, Fast and Rapid. The speed at which they charge is based upon the power output of the charger.

If you need your EVs to charge quickly, you will need rapid chargers. If your fleet will charge overnight, you could install slow chargers.

2. The number of chargers you install

Very simply, the more EV chargers you have installed, the greater your potential electricity use at any one time.

3. The number and timing of vehicle charges

The number of EVs you operate and how often they need to charge will determine your EV charging strategy; effectively the type and number of chargers you need and when they will be used.

EXAMPLE 1: if you operate a fleet of EVs which operate within their range on a daily basis, they could be charged overnight using slow chargers (rated at 3kW, with charging times of 6 to 12 hours). You may need a charger installed for each EV. Say you installed 5 EV chargers, this would be a maximum power output of 15kW.

EXAMPLE 2: If you have a fleet of EVs which exceed their range on a daily basis, they could be charged during the day using rapid chargers (rated at 50kW, charging to 80% within 30 to 60 minutes). You may not need a charger installed for every EV. Say you installed 5 EV chargers, this would be a maximum power output of 250kW. You may have different EV charging strategies for your fleet and employees. For example, you may need rapid chargers to keep your fleet mobile, but some slow or fast chargers (rated at 22kW, charging times of 1 to 2 hours) for your employees’ or visitors’ EVs.

How do EV chargers affect my electricity contract?

Your business premise will already have a power supply agreement in place with the Distribution Network Operator. This states the maximum amount of electricity you can use. Installing EV chargers will increase that maximum so you will need to increase your power supply agreement. Depending upon the amount of additional electricity you need and the available capacity on the local network, that could be a simple paperwork exercise. Or it could involve getting a new connection into your premise for the increased load.

How do I get an electricity supply for my EV chargers?

It depends upon the size of your existing electricity supply.

  • If you have spare load and the EV chargers are within this (for example, slow chargers), you can take a supply directly from your existing distribution board.
  • If the EV chargers require more than your existing load capacity, then you need to upgrade your existing electricity connection or install a new connection. Depending upon the total load you require, this could either be from the Low Voltage (LV) network or the High Voltage (HV) network in which case you would also need a substation.

Who can install my electricity supply and ev chargers?

There is a Workplace Charging Scheme grant in place for EV Charger installation. To claim this, you must use an accredited installer for your EV Chargers.

However, if you need a new or upgraded electricity supply to power your EV chargers, you can use the Distribution Network Operator (DNO) or an Independent Connections Provider (ICP) which is an electrical contractor who has been accredited through the Lloyds National Electricity Register Scheme.

How can rock power connections help you?

At Rock Power Connections, we can provide you with an indicative quotation without any upfront cost. With our experience and engineering knowledge, we successfully manage electrical connections for EV chargers across the UK.

We are happy to liaise with the Distribution Network Operator to obtain a Point of Connection and then design a solution which meets your needs.

We’d be delighted to offer you a free, no obligation, competitive quote for your electrical connection project.

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