Preparing for Your EV Charger Installation

by | Jul 31, 2023 | Guide

As electric vehicles (EVs) continue to gain traction in the UK, more and more businesses are recognizing the need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure at their workplace. Installing EV chargers in commercial settings not only demonstrates a commitment to sustainability but also attracts like-minded eco-conscious customers and employees. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of preparing for an EV charger installation in a commercial setting, helping ensure a smooth and successful transition.

 

Assessing Charging Needs

Before proceeding with any type of  EV charging installation you should evaluate your charging needs. Consider a range of factors such as the number of EVs in your fleet, anticipated demand from customers and employees and how long the users will be dwelling at your site for. This assessment can help you determine the required number of charging points, charging speeds, and the appropriate charging infrastructure. It can be difficult to define this information if you weren’t keeping track before but there are many options out there for people who want to be prepared, including feasibility studies.

 

These studies can contain a wide variety of information and are usually done by a specialist installer like Greendawn. Collecting all available data and then conducting their own research to bring you a report of all of the usage needs recommended chargepoints for now and the future.

 

Conducting Site Surveys

Site surveys are usually a necessity of most EV charging installs, whether remote or in person. For these surveys you should engage a professional electrician or an EV charging installation company. This assessment will evaluate the electrical capacity of your premises, identifies the most suitable locations for charging units, and determines any necessary electrical upgrades. This helps ensure that the installation is plausible with current power and will be compliant with safety regulations and efficient for your specific commercial setting.

Electrical Capacity Upgrades

Based on the site survey you undertake you may find that you will need to upgrade your electrical capacity to accommodate the additional load of EV chargers. If this is the case, you may need to collaborate with a qualified electrician to assess the existing electrical infrastructure and determine if any upgrades or modifications are necessary. These upgrades may include installing higher-capacity distribution boards, dedicated circuits, or upgrading the main electrical supply. This solution may not be cost-effective for some businesses and in those cases, there is luckily a variety of other solutions that may be sufficient. To learn more about alternatives to upgrading your power supply read out blog here.

 

Budgeting and Financial Considerations

Before going ahead with choosing the chargers and starting the process you should consider what your budget is for this installation. You should take account various costs such as equipment, installation, electrical upgrades, permits, and ongoing maintenance. Having a set budget can help your installer define and guide you with your best options. But don’t forget to explore available grants, incentives, and funding options from government schemes to reduce the financial burden. Calculate the return on investment (ROI) based on factors like usage patterns, revenue generation, and the positive impact on your business, with some specialist installers offering ROI analysis as a service to sceptical companies.

Selecting the Right Charging Equipment

After you have completed the site survey and any power alternation you may have to make you will need to choose the appropriate charging equipment. You should already have defined the speed of the chargers in previous steps but now you will have to consider other factors such as connector types, tethered or untethered, functionalities of the charger/s and compatibility. Most commercial settings often benefit from higher-capacity chargers, such as Level 2 or Level 3 rapid chargers, to accommodate multiple vehicles and reduce charging time. If you need any more guidance on choosing the best EV charger for your business check out this blog by Greendawn speaking about just that.

 

Permissions and Permits

You or your installer should always check local regulations and obtain the necessary permissions and permits for the EV charger installation. Consult with your local authorities, council, or planning department to ensure compliance with building codes, zoning requirements, and any specific regulations related to commercial charging infrastructure. Once all the research has been done you or your installer can obtain the required permits to avoid any legal or regulatory complications during the installation process.

 

Coordinating with Utility Companies

If power upgrades are required, you or your installer should coordinate with the relevant utility companies/s to ensure there is adequate availability of power for your EV charging infrastructure. Inform them of your installation plans and discuss any necessary upgrades or adjustments to the electrical grid. Utility companies and installers can provide valuable insights into load management strategies, tariff options, and potential incentives available for commercial EV charging installations, so make sure you speak to them about any concerns or questions you have.

 

Planning for Network Connectivity

Consider network connectivity options for your EV charging infrastructure. Networked charging is essential for businesses who don’t their chargers to be exploited. As without it you wouldn’t be able to enable monitoring, control access, and require payment solutions. Explore options such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi, or cellular connectivity, depending on your location and requirements. Ensure a reliable and secure network connection to facilitate seamless management of your charging infrastructure.

Ongoing Maintenance and Support

Plan for ongoing maintenance and support for your EV charging infrastructure. Engage with a reliable service provider or installer that offers maintenance contracts and support services. Regular inspections, firmware updates, and troubleshooting assistance ensure the optimal performance and longevity of your charging equipment. Inspection and testing should be done at least once every 6 months to ensure there are no issues and the charger is still compliant.

 

Conclusion

Preparing for an EV charger installation in a commercial setting requires careful planning and consideration. Assessing charging needs, conducting site surveys, electrical capacity upgrades, selecting the right charging equipment, obtaining necessary permissions, coordinating with utility companies, planning for network connectivity, budgeting, and ensuring ongoing maintenance are essential steps for a successful installation. EV charger installation can seem like a complicated process but with the right installer and right knowledge it is much simpler process and can be done with relative ease. To find the right installer for your business enquire now.

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