The rise of electric vehicles
Over half a million electric vehicles were delivered globally in 2015, this figure is sure to grow in future years. R&M Lighting has certainly noticed an increase in the demand for the installation of electric vehicle charging points, and only expects this to rise moving forward.
Electric cars are becoming more popular on a domestic level. Gone is the idea of the EV market being dedicated to hippies and eco-warriors with new cars like BMW’s I8 coming to the market. Electric cars are finally becoming “cool” and there are growing incentives for individuals and businesses to own / operate these vehicles. As a result, EV use is on the up.
Beyond domestic usage and electric company cars, increasing numbers of local authorities and businesses are also switching to green fleets. All this additional usage requires an increased subsequent need for electric vehicle charging points. EV charging points range from small domestic car chargers to large commercial EV station installations in public car parks.
The benefits and uses of installing electric vehicle charging points
Car charging facility installations are becoming part of environmental policy strategy for numerous organisations. Whilst helping meet Green Targets, they have the added benefit of EV owners using their facilities over their competitors. All at the same time as charging and parking for free (or a small fee).
Electric vehicle charging stations, also called electric vehicle charging points, EV charging stations, electric car recharging points, car charging points or an EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment). EVSE is the final part of the infrastructure, this supplies electric energy for the recharging of electric vehicles. These include plug-in electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
As plug-in hybrid and electric vehicle ownership are expanding, there is a growing need for a widely distributed publicly accessible electric vehicle charging points network. Some of which will support faster charging at higher voltages and currents than are available from residential EVSEs.
Many electric vehicle charging points are situated on the roadside, provided by electric utility companies or located at retail parks and operated by private companies. Electric vehicle charging points can provide single or multi-car charging points that conform to the variety of electric charging connector standards meaning that they are suited to multiple vehicle types.
Before going into the methodology of car charging station installation, it’s important to understand the benefits of home or workplace electric vehicle charging points. An EV charging station is similar to having a petrol station at home or at work. It’s that convenient, you can just plug in when you get home or to work and simply unplug it when you next leave. No need to wait while it refuels. Modern systems often integrate with a smartphone or tablet app which will let you know when your car has finished charging!
The different types of EV charging points
Beyond make and model the key things to decide are whether you want a wall or ground mounted unit. Wall mounted are generally cheaper but are also more often limited to the smaller electric vehicle charging station installations. An EV charger is available as a standard or fast charge unit.
Whilst there are different chargers on the market that charge at different rates ranging from 30minutes to several hours. It’s also worth noting, individual makes of car will have different charging times too. The speed at which you can charge is largely dictated by the type of supply you have. For the very fastest chargers you will need a 3 phase supply which is more common at commercial premises.
However, 3 phase supply electric vehicle charging points are available in residential areas, normally at additional cost. R&M have a strong supply chain that includes a large network of respected EV charging point manufacturers. We ensure you will always be provided with the right electric vehicle charging points at the right price.
So what does it take to install a charging station?
Well, as you would expect it depends on which one you choose to buy. There are a number of EV models and manufacturers like the long list of car manufacturers making electric vehicles. There are numerous choices of charger on the market, meaning that there is an option for every budget and location. As the market for electric vehicles grows, so will the number of electric vehicle charging points solutions.
Installing an electric vehicle car charging point at your premises is fairly straight forward. The principles remain the same whether the premises are residential or commercial. The key things that are required are a 240v or 415v supply and a suitable location to mount a free standing pedestal unit or a space on a sturdy wall that a wall mounted unit can be fixed to, the rest can be left to the professionals.
A common misconception is that you need a special power supply to plug an electric car into. This is not the case, you could theoretically use a domestic plug and socket. However, the fact that it takes such a long time to charge using this method is the reason that this is not very commonplace. In most instances, you will find dedicated electric vehicle charging points supplied and installed by a professional.
Where can I install electric vehicle charging points?
To carry out your installation, we generally only need the following; vehicular access to the desired location of the charging point (which should be possible if you are intending to leave a car there to charge). Access to an appropriate power supply point and permission to fix or lay suitable containment in between the two, everything else is taken care of by ourselves.
Where the electric vehicle charging points are not immediately next to the power supply (as is often the case), we will need to fix containment to walls and / or lay underground ducting. This is the largest unknown in any EV charging installation as this differs from site to site.
R&M Lighting can provide a budget price based upon a loose spec, or a detailed quotation using a full design brief. However, we generally undertake a site-specific survey to determine your exact requirements and provide a fixed price.
Electric vehicle charging points are most commonly installed in the following locations:
- Leasing & rental car companies
- Private residences
- Office buildings
- Petrol stations
- Hire fleet operators
- Recovery or repair garages
- Motorway services
- Colleges and Universities
- Car parks