WHAT EV CHARGERS ARE BEST FOR YOUR COMMERCIAL FLEET?
July 8, 2020
Thinking of switching your fleet to electric? The Electric Vehicle (EV) chargers you choose will be an important part of a successful switch-over.
Here we cover our top three points to consider.
FAST VS RAPID CHARGERS?
EV chargers have different power ratings (kW) meaning, very simply, that some will charge your EV faster than others. ‘Slow’ and ‘fast’ EV chargers use AC and range between 3kW and 22kW. ‘Rapid’ chargers use DC and are typically 50kW, 150kW, 175kW or 350kW models.
There are a couple of key points to consider. Firstly, how fast do you need your EVs to charge?
If your EVs will be low mileage, they may only need one charge a week. Slow or fast chargers (3kW, 7kW, 11kW or 22kW) would be sufficient for overnight charging.
If your EVs are in constant use and need to be readily available, you may opt for rapid chargers (rated over 50kW each) which can charge a vehicle in around 30 to 60 minutes.
Secondly, how fast are the EVs actually capable of charging? An EV will only charge at the rate that its battery can take.
For example, a Nissan Leaf can charge at up to 6.6kW AC or 50kW DC. This means that, regardless of whether you connected it to a 7kW, 11kW or 22kW EV charger, it would still only charge at a rate of 6.6kW. If your entire fleet was only one or two models of EVs, your choice of EV chargers should be optimised to their batteries’ charging capabilities.
TYPE OF SOCKET
There are various phrases – ‘sockets’, ‘connectors’, ‘chargeheads’, ‘inlets’ – which all relate to how an EV connects to a charger to actually charge. It would be far too idealistic for each EV manufacturer to use the same technology, so different vehicles use different connector types (essentially the plug heads).
The main connectors include CHAdeMO, CCS (Combined Charging Standard), Type 1, Type 2 and commando connectors.
This explains is why EV chargers for public use have multiple cables – they have different connectors so different EVs can use them. It also means two EVs can charge at the same time, using different cables, although the charge each receives will be downgraded.
You will want to match your fleet with the correct connector on the EV charger. If you want multiple vehicles to charge simultaneously from the same chargepoint, it will be important to ensure that the connector types can be used.
WANT TO GENERATE REVENUE?
Alongside charging your commercial fleet, you may also want to allow employees, visitors or even the general public to use your chargers.
Most EV chargepoints now have sophisticated software that can be easily manipulated to allow different charging tariffs for different customer groups. Payment can be taken by card or via an app, whilst still allowing ‘free’ charging for your commercial fleet.
You can also ensure priority is given to the charging rate of your fleet by specifying priority chargepoints within load management software. This means priority would be given to the rate your fleet charged over a non-fleet vehicle.
OLEV offer a grant for EV chargers through the Workplace Charging Scheme (read more here), but be aware this cannot be claimed if you also want to allow non-employees to charge.
HOW CAN ROCK POWER CONNECTIONS HELP?
If you are considering installing EV charging points at your workplace, speak to us for a free, no-obligation advice and quotation. We can discuss your options and give you an indication of the costs and whether you would need an electricity upgrade.
As an ICP, we are accredited to design an install a new electrical supply. We are NICEIC accredited and can offer a full installation service from grid to EV chargers.
Our Quick EV Guide is also available to download here to give you further information about installing EV Chargers.
For more information or to request a free, no obligation, competitive quote for the installation of EV charging points, please email Emma email@example.com, call 01905 456384 or click hereto submit your enquiry.