With the increasing popularity and adoption of electric vehicles (EVs), the demand for commercial EV charging infrastructure has grown exponentially. According to Zap Map, 23% of cars sold this year were plug-in or hybrid vehicles, with a growth of 20% in EV registrations over the past two years. Businesses and organisations are recognising the importance of providing convenient and accessible charging solutions for their customers, employees, and community, however, installing an effective and reliable EV charging infrastructure requires careful planning and consideration. In this article, we explore the best practices for installing commercial EV charging infrastructure to ensure optimal functionality and customer satisfaction.
EV Charging infrastructure refers to the network of charge points and associated equipment that enables the charging of EVs. It includes various components and elements that work together to facilitate the charging process such as hardware, software, electrical components, and support systems. Elements include the EV charge points, power supply, wiring, circuit breakers, network connectivity, load management systems and relevant software that manages payments and access systems.
EV charge points and their infrastructure involves electrical work and connecting to a power supply. There are therefore various safety elements that are involved with installing commercial EV charging solutions and therefore it is important to follow best practices to ensure full safety for users and compliance. As well as safety issues, infrastructure th
at is not installed properly or to best practices can result in future faults, improper use and damage, inefficiencies, limited scalability and unhappy customers.
There are various best practices to follow when it comes to installing EV charging infrastructure to ensure a safe EV charging solution that is efficient and provides a good experience for EV drivers.
First of all, it’s advised to choose a professional, OZEV-approved EV charge point installer to carry out the commercial EV charging infrastructure installation. It is not advised for businesses to carry out the installation themselves, as it involves working with the national grid and other electrical work. A qualified electrical engineer trained in EV charging infrastructure should carry out the work.
Before the installation takes place, it is crucial to conduct a thorough site survey. This should be carried out by your appointed installer and will include factors such as available space, electrical capaci
ty, proximity to parking areas, and potential future expansion. Evaluating these aspects will help an installer recommend to a business the most suitable locations for their charge points and make informed decisions regarding equipment and infrastructure requirements.
There are various EV charge points on the market, but it is crucial to choose ones that meet the needs of prospective EV drivers. The charge points should be suited for their intended use, such as public, rapid or workplace charging and be from reputable manufacturers that offer reliable performance, user-friendly interfaces, and robust safety features. Your installer will be able to advise on the type of charger as well as the manufacturer.
Assessing the electrical capacity of a site is an essential part of installing EV charging infrastructure. This will most likely be carried out by your chosen installer during the initial site survey and helps determine if the existing electrical infrastructure can support the additional load of EV charge points without any overload issues.
Load management solutions help distribute available power among multiple EV charge points, preventing grid overloads and ensuring efficient energy usage. These solutions comprise intelligent algorithms that prioritise vehicle charging based on factors such as demand, charging session duration, and available electrical capacity. By implementing load management systems, businesses can optimise charging infrastructure utilisation while minimising the risk of power disruptions.
When installing commercial EV charging infrastructure it’s best practice to think long-term and plan for future scalability. The demand for EV charge points will only increase and therefore to future-proof a business, it’s encouraged to consider the future demand as well of that currently. It may be that a site only requires two EV charge points now, but what about in five years?
Future demand should therefore be considered and the necessary infrastructure work carried out during the initial installation to ensure that installing additional charge points is a simple task and that the power supply can handle the additional load. It also ensures an aesthetic install down the line, as there will be no need for additional cabling or groundwork since it has already been completed.
Providing clear signage will enhance user experience, facilitate easy navigation and prevent improper use or damage to infrastructure. It’s good practice to install visible and informative signs directing users to charge points, parking spaces designated for EVs, and any specific instructions or restrictions. Additionally, implementing digital signage or smartphone applications that provide real-time information on charge point availability and status, helps enable drivers to plan their charging sessions effectively.
When installing commercial EV charging infrastructure, it is important to ensure accessibility and compliance with local regulations and standards. For example, making sure EV charge points can be easily accessed and creating designated parking spaces for EVs that are accessible to all users, regardless of physical abilities.
In addition, compliance with safety standards such as proper grounding, weatherproofing, and adherence to electrical codes is essential to ensure the safety of both users and the charging infrastructure.
Regular maintenance is essential for the longevity and performance of commercial EV charging infrastructure. It is, therefore, best practice to establish a comprehensive maintenance plan when the installation takes place, that includes periodic inspections, equipment testing, and software updates.
When issues are promptly addressed, it minimises downtime and provides reliable charging services to EV drivers. Your professional installer should be able to assist with this and offer an ongoing maintenance package that ensures efficient and timely support.
The installation of commercial EV charging infrastructure requires careful planning and evaluation. For an effective and efficient EV charge point system that’s tailored to the needs of a specific commercial site, best practices surrounding installation should be followed. By conducting a site assessment, selecting the right charging stations, assessing electrical capacity, implementing load management solutions, providing clear signage, ensuring accessibility, and implementing a maintenance plan, businesses can create a reliable and user-friendly EV charging infrastructure that’s future-proofed.
At eFaraday, we provide OZEV-approved commercial EV charging infrastructure installation across the UK. All work is carried out by our expert team of qualified EV engineers and is always tailored to the needs and requirements of every site.
If you’re interested in installing EV charging infrastructure, would like to book a site survey or just want to know more, get in touch with the team today.
Call us on 0330 002 1154 or fill out our online form.
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