If you’re contemplating EV charger installation at your business premises there are several considerations to work through. We’ve given a brief guide as to what’s involved.
In this article
Start by booking a site survey
Once you’ve got a fair idea of what you are looking for, you should contact a reputable charge point operator (such as Mer) to request a site visit before taking any further action.
The operator will be able to:
Give guidance on the right hardware and charger speeds for your specific needs
Identify ideal charge locations
Find out if any capacity upgrades or ground work are required
Discuss requirements for load balancing
Give you a quote for units and installation
Your site’s electrical capacity
In order to provide you with an accurate quote, an operator will need to assess your site’s maximum electrical capacity and the space capacity (the difference between actual load used and the maximum available). Your site may need a load balancer to support additional electrical load.
Choosing your charging unit speed
The number and type of EVs using your charging infrastructure will impact the number and type of charge points needed.
Depending on power levels, your business will be able to install fast chargers 7.4kW up to 22kW or rapid/ultra rapid chargers up to 350kW. And yes, fast and rapid chargers will mean a quicker charge time, but they will also increase the electrical load.
It should also be considered that the number of vehicles being charged is closely linked to downtime – so specific business needs may mean you regularly have a large number of EVs charging for a long time all at once, meaning you will need more charge points – but they won’t necessarily need to be rapid/ultra-rapid chargers.
Charge points for employees, guests and customers
If your charge points will be used by employees, guests and customers, you may not always know the EV model types. Instead, you may need to focus on estimating usage based on what you do know or can find out – i.e. no. of employees with EVs, current customer and guest footfall and estimations of how many of those may use EVs.
The operator visiting you, will be able to advise on the best speed of charger(s) to accommodate most vehicle models. And at Mer, we tend to recommend starting off with a few chargers in this instance and assessing usage before expanding.
The impact of location on electric car charger installation costs
Your final EV charger installation costs will be heavily influenced by the distance between the charging station and the meter cupboard in your business premises. So location is very important.
The ground surface will also play a part – if complex digging is required costs will be higher.
And the length of cable needed underground will also impact the price.
Selecting the right hardware
To work out what type of charging hardware you need, you’ll need to know the answer to the following questions:
Where will your EV chargers be installed – outside or in a sheltered car park?
Will you need the chargers to be pole mounted or wall mounted?
Do you require tethered (with a cable) or untethered (without a cable) EV chargers?
Tethered vs untethered
The advantage of choosing a tethered EV charger is that your employees won’t have to provide their own charging cable, especially now that many car manufacturers are moving to a type 2 cable. However, having untethered cables allows for more flexibility for those EVs with a different cable type.
You will be able to get further advice on hardware during your site visit.
Other potential costs & considerations
If you want to clearly mark out your charge stations, you may want to consider signage.
In most cases, you won’t need planning permission to install charge points on your business premises. But you may do if the installation is:
Near a highway
In a listed building over 1.6m in height (for ground mounted units)
More than 0.2 cubic meters in volume (for wall mounted units).
Speak to your local council to ensure you have the right permissions.
Making the right choices during installation
It may come as a surprise, but the majority of the costs connected to EV chargers are often related to the day-to-day operating expenses, not the capital outlay. Keep an eye on the aspects below in the early stages of getting set-up and it will help you keep your ongoing costs low.
High installation costs: given that relatively new technology is in use, it’s important to choose experience over initial savings when it comes to installation. Some businesses have found themselves having to fund multiple site visits due to the use of inexperienced electricians. At Mer, we take care of you throughout the journey, from consultation to installation. We can guarantee a high level of customer service, and experienced installers.
Electricity connection costs: think carefully when it comes to installing your charge points. Are you able to select locations where a new charger can be installed and make use of an existing connection? The costs of setting up a new electricity connection can be steep.
Load balancing if you opt for multiple charge points, it’s possible the network will be planned for maximum load, which you will rarely need. Load balancing, provided by suppliers such as Mer, will prevent overloading of the electrical connection and help to lower connection fees and peak tariffs.
Electric car charging points for businesses
There are a lot of aspects to take into consideration when it comes to EV charger installation at business sites. However, understanding more about the process and the impact of your choices, will help you make smarter decisions throughout and you’ll see the benefits long-term.
Contact us to find out more about our EV chargers for businesses including hardware and installation costs.
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