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Commercial Charging Technology to be aware of

Management and tracking of charge point usage

Most systems which come with intelligent technology also come with smart features which allow you track and manage the usage of your charge points. You can even end charging session remotely. By requiring apps or RFID cards to access the charger you can track how much charge your staff or visitors are using. This is useful for managing the costs of fueling your staff cars, but also allows you to charge staff or visitors who are charging their private cars if you wish to do so.

Load management

Load management provides a solution to having multiple charge points on a limited power supply. It works on the principle of charging vehicles at the maximum rate possible without exceeding total capacity. When several charge points are being used the system will reduce the rate each vehicle is charging at as to not exceed the capacity. The system benefits businesses who have a range of charging requirements where they may need quick 15 minute charges for individual vehicles during the day but also lengthy charges for multiple vehicles overnight. Load management is a great way to control your charging without having to make expensive upgrades to your electric supply

Example: Imagine you have an electrical capacity of 22kWh and a bank of six 7kWh chargers. When up to three vehicles are plugged in they will charge at 7kWhs as you won’t exceed your total capacity.

If a fourth, fifth or sixth vehicle is plugged in the vehicles can’t continue to charge at 7kWh as they’ll exceed the 22kWh limit. Instead, the load management system will reduce the charging rate for each vehicle.

If there were four vehicles connected the charging rate would reduce to 5kWh. If six vehicles were connected it would reduce to 3kWh.

In each case the vehicles can continue to charge, without exceeding the 22kWh capacity.

Infrastructure for future charging

Some charge point installers provide a service where they install the infrastructure for future charge points when installing your original order. They will passively wire into other parking bays or other areas of your facility to make it easier if you decide to install more charge points in the future. As charging demands increase, you are able to add more charge points with minimal disruption at minimal cost. It is worth considering investing in your future, if you have a large site or large parking facilities

Energy storage

Rather than drawing power straight from the grid to the vehicle, this technology allows power to be drawn from the grid and stored for later use. It helps businesses as they can call on the extra power from the storage when charging requirements exceed their electrical capacity. It is another solution which can help prevent expensive upgrades to your electrical supply. You can draw energy for storage overnight when rates are cheaper to help keep charging costs down. It also helps prevent against interruption to charging from power cuts. Energy storage technology is not widely available or widely used at the moment, but it may be the future of workplace charging.

Factors to consider when choosing your charge points

What vehicles will be using them

What charging speed are your vehicles capable of? Not all vehicles are compatible with all charging speeds. Consider the charging capabilities of your fleet or company vehicles before investing.

Demand for the chargers

How many vehicles will need access to them on a day to day basis? If they are in high demand consider investing in more unites or faster chargers to cope with the demand.

Time spent on the car park

How long do vehicles sit on the car park for? If you’ve got staff and customers regularly popping in and out, faster chargers may be needed for essential charging. If your staff spend most of the day in the office you’ll be able to use slower chargers

Electricity supply

Your electricity supply will limit your options. You’ll need to check your electric capacity before making any decisions on what charge points suit your business.

Available space

How much space do you have to install chargers? If you’ve got the space you could consider several lower speed chargers to cope with your charging demands. If you’re tight on space consider investing in a couple of higher speed chargers instead.

Daily mileage of your workers

How many miles do your workers cover daily? Wether this is on the commute or doing jobs for your business, if your workers are covering lots of miles you may have to consider installing higher speed chargers to make sure they’re covered.

Access requirements

If you want to limit access to certain chargers consider using the charge point’s app or RFID card. They will also help you track and manage usage

How much do they cost

The two costs of installing a workplace charger are cost of the unit itself and the installation process.

It is difficult to give exact pricing as it can vary depending on each situation. We’ve provided some rough prices as a guide below:

Slow 3kWh and Fast 7kWh

These chargers cost around £1000-2000 to fully install.

Fast 22kWh

Depending on the variant they can cost between £2000-5000 to fully install.

Rapid 50kWh and Ultra-rapid 100+ kWh

These rapid chargers can cost up to £35,000 depending on the work required to fully install them.

Purchase options

Outright purchase

You can outright purchase a charge point outright from any reputable provider

Lease

Some providers allow you to minimise your upfront costs and pay for the charge point through leasing over a number of years

The Office for Low Emissions Vehicles provides support for businesses looking to invest in charging facilities through the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). If you’d like to find out more about the WCS please click here…

Workplace Charging Scheme

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