Electric vehicle (EV) charge-points are becoming a familiar sight in streets and car parks across the UK, to support the growing electric vehicle network.
There are three main categories of electric vehicle (EV) charge-point:
- Slow for home charging (typically 16amp, 3.6KW or 7KW).
- Fast for destination charging (typically 3phase, 32amp 7, 11 or 22KW).
- Rapid for en-route charging (AC or DC, 63amp to 125amp, 43KW to 120KW and higher).
Commercial requirements for either staff or customer use are likely to be for fast chargers, where users will be parked for some time or just need to top-up their car before their onward journey. Currently, rapid charging is most commonly found at motorway services or close to main roads – but petrol stations are also starting to deploy rapid charger stations, and it won’t be long before they are positioned elsewhere too.
With electric vehicle (EV) chargers currently being ‘retrofitted’ into position, much of the cost of deployment comes in the associated civil engineering works for foundations and to get power to the charge-points. When installing solar carports at the same time, this civil engineering is shared and therefore more cost-effective. EV charge-points can be mounted on solar carport frames rather than being free-standing with their own foundations, and future provision can be made for further deployment as demand for electric car charging increases too.
How to choose a charge-point manufacturer:
It's a growing market and it’s not a surprise to see a number of options on the market. Here we outline the top installation considerations:
1. When choosing a solar charge-point manufacturer it is important to understand current requirements for the site and assess possible future expansion. To get technical, at a dedicated 32 amps per phase per socket, there will be a limit to how many charge-points can be connected to a supply if they do not have load management capability. This is often a key point of discussion in our consultation stage.
2. Consider how you would like your charge-points to be operated and paid for, and whether you would like data collection for billing, free vend or a pay as you go solution. For high footfall, public access sites we may be able to offer free installation and maintenance of charge-points with the costs recouped through the sale of electricity to charge-point users.
3. Aesthetics are a key consideration too. It might be a surprise to learn that charge-points can often be designed and branded to specific customer requirements depending on the numbers required.