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Switching to an Electric Vehicle (EV) is a great decision, which in the coming years, won’t be much of a choice.
As the UK prepares itself for the 2030 ban on new petrol and diesel car sales, more and more people are shifting to EVs. In September 2022, 1 in 10 new car sales in the country was an EV, and that says enough about the changing trend.
Before you make the switch from petrol cars to EVs, you need to familiarise yourself with how electric cars work, how they can be charged using EV charge points, and the EV charge point requirements for homes and commercial properties in the UK:
When it comes to switching to EVs, one of the biggest concerns for EV owners is determining when and how to charge their electric cars. Compared to filling up fuel tanks from the thousands of petrol stations all over the country, charging an EV requires a bit more planning.
Like any chargeable device, both electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles need to be charged using an EV charger to keep their battery full.
EV charging refers to the process of using an EV charger to deliver electricity to the EV’s battery in order to charge it. EV chargers can be as simple as a home three-pin plug to a dedicated EV charger with smart features.
Simply put, an EV charger pulls electric current from the grid (or a solar battery) and transfers it to the electric vehicle via a plug or connector. This electricity is stored in the EV in a large battery that powers the car’s motor.
EVs can be charged at home, at the workplace, or at a public charging station. To charge an EV, the EV charger’s connector is attached to the EV’s inlet using a charging cable. The cable can either be tethered or untethered.
Tethered means that the charger has a fixed charging lead attached to it that plugs straight into the car. An untethered system, on the other hand, has no charging cable attached to it.
Other than the cable type, EV charge points are primarily categorised based on their rate of power which reflects the speed at which the EV is charged.
The most common types of EV chargers, based on their charging speeds, are:
Home EV charging is an important point to consider whether you already own an EV or are planning to get one. Having an EV charge point at home can add to the convenience of owning an EV and make the charging process much easier.
You won’t have to drive to a public EV charging station and wait in line for your turn. Having a personal EV charge point at home can allow you to charge your electric car at the time that best suits you, typically overnight.
You can also choose the ideal time for charging, such as when the energy tariffs are low, making home EV chargers more economical than public stations.
What’s even better is that you can use free electricity at home by generating renewable energy. You have the option to be more environment-friendly by not only driving a zero-emission electric vehicle but also charging it using clean and green solar or wind energy.
Commercial properties such as businesses must look into installing EV chargers because, after home EV charging, workplace charging is considered the best secondary option for charging electric cars.
They are an important facility for employees and visitors and a convenient way for them to charge their EVs while they are parked there during the day.
The ability for EV owners to charge their electric cars at work reduces range anxiety as they know that they can easily charge their electric cars at work. It encourages EV purchasing by making EV charge points more accessible.
Other than that, it may attract new talent and help retain existing ones since, due to the massive shift to EVs in recent years, most employees will most likely look for recruiters who have a charging facility on their premises.
Workplace EV charge points also contribute to the business’s CSR and help build its image as being socially and environmentally responsible.
The EV market continues to see rapid growth in the coming years as the UK plans on phasing out petrol and diesel cars and banning their sales for new ones by 2030.
Keeping that in mind, the government has introduced ‘Part S – Infrastructure for charging electric vehicles’ to the Building Regulations 2010. According to the new requirements that came into effect in June 2022, EV charge points are to be installed in the following places if the specified circumstances are met:
This new requirement for EV chargers for home and commercial use, which came into force in June 2022, has the main purpose of increasing the number of residential and commercial EV charge points in the UK. Based on these, it is expected that around 145,000 EV charge points will be installed every year in England.
Since they include all new properties, developers will have to keep these requirements in mind when designing them. They will also have to pay attention to metering the electricity supply separately, as well as the repair and maintenance requirements and the payment method used on commercial EV charge points.
Although using EVs is the better choice in terms of environment-friendliness, the increase in the number of EVs on the roads is putting a burden on the power grid and meeting the electricity demand is becoming a challenge for countries all over the world.
To deal with this issue, the UK government is looking at smart EV charging as a way to optimise energy use and manage the EV charging load.
Smart EV chargers enable connectivity between the charger and the user and allow you to control and manage the charging process in a much more efficient manner.
They exchange information and generate insights that allow the user to make informed decisions for the best charge times. A smart EV charger is also capable of monitoring changes in the load on the electrical circuit and automatically adjusting the charging process to prevent overloading.
The UK has introduced smart charging regulations which state that, as of 30th June 2022, all home and workplace EV chargers must support a certain level of smart functionality and meet a certain set of requirements.
Smart EV chargers offer a wide range of benefits and unlock several advantages for EV drivers as well as grid operators by allowing better management. They benefit the system at large and allow for better integration with renewable energy sources such as solar panels and wind turbines.
If you already own an EV charger and had it installed before 30th June 2022, you can continue to use it as the smart charging regulations apply only to EV chargers installed after the aforementioned date. However, if you upgrade your EV charger or install a new one, the requirements will be applicable to you.
When it comes to installing EV charge points, you need to keep in mind the installation requirements to make sure you meet all the regulations.
According to the revised EV charge point requirements mentioned above, home EV chargers must be installed in all homes with dedicated off-street parking. This makes the driveway or garage the ideal location for installing the charger where it can easily connect to the mains electricity.
For wall-mounted EV charge points, permission is not needed in areas used for off-street parking, provided that certain conditions are met. However, in some cases, taking planning permission is required, which is why it is best to check with your local authority before installing the system.
For commercial and public charging stations, permission may be required for installation, such as when it involves making significant changes to the building and its surrounding area.
The EV charger cannot be installed within 2.5 metres of a sim touch, which refers to any metal object connected to the electrical supply, such as a light with a metal casing or a streetlamp.
The installation process also comes with its set of technical requirements and must meet electrical safety standards laid out in Building Regulations P. They include things such as the exterior casing of the outlet not exceeding 0.2 cubic metres in size, the upstand (if any) being a maximum of 1.6 metres, and only one upstand allowed for each parking space.
In addition to that, the charge point must be installed close to where the EV will be parked, allowing the cable to reach it without being a tripping hazard. In the UK, the minimum recommended distance between the EV and the EV charger is 1.5 metres.
In reference to the length of the charging cable, it is usually 4 to 10 metres long, although the recommended length is 7.5 metres. When choosing the correct length for your charging cable, just make sure it is suitable and is able to reach from the EV charger to the EV with ease.
Some of the electrical safety standards that all EV charge point installations must follow include:
Choosing the right EV charger for your home or commercial property and navigating through all the requirements and regulations can be a bit tricky. For this reason, it is best to seek professional advice and have someone guide you along the way so that switching to EVs becomes even easier.
At Calder Electrical, we can install and maintain EV chargers for domestic and commercial premises in line with the current regulations and can offer a government incentive to reduce installation costs.
We are authorised and registered OZEV installers and our charge points come with a 3-year warranty.
If you own an EV or are planning to buy one, you will want to maximise recharge times and efficiency by installing an OZEV-approved charger in your home. Our team can visit you and survey your house to help determine your needs and requirements.
There are various chargers currently on the market and it can be a little confusing to choose the best one for your home. We will take out the hassle and provide you with the most suitable and affordable option, ranging from the standard systems to the smart ones that are becoming increasingly popular.
Similarly, if you have a business that is looking to help employees or customers/clients charge their EVs at the workplace, you may contact us right away.
We offer all kinds of different options to choose from such as wall-mounted to freestanding pedestal units, and from fast charging to rapid charging units.
Depending on the size and demand of the premises, our experts will help assess the best solution for your business’s needs.
We can also offer a PAYG (Pay-as-you-go) charging system and token-fed chargers with features focused on both the user and operator. This is something a lot of businesses are looking at currently as the market for EVs and chargers increases year after year.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for a quick consultation with our leading industry experts and more information on EV charge point requirements for home and commercial purposes.
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001