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Why Do You Need an EV Charging Site Survey and What’s Involved?

A site survey is vital if you want a hassle-free, cost-effective installation of EV charging points.

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In this article, Mer’s Lead Electrical Design Engineer Cameron Galloway answers some of the most frequently asked questions about site surveys for workplaces.

Why Do I Need a Site Survey for My EV Charge Points?

Site surveys help to ensure that installations run smoothly, on time, and on budget. They also help you to better plan for future infrastructure as you add more EVs to your fleet. In some cases, they can determine whether you even have the available capacity on site to power your EV chargers in addition to your existing energy requirements. 

Do You Offer Online Surveys Instead?

We offer online surveys for home charge point installations and for single charger requirements for a business. In these instances, we’ll send you a link and you simply answer a few straightforward questions. This is about identifying the location of your distribution board, cable runs, and incoming electricity supply, as well as pinpointing precisely where you want the charger to be located.  

For organisations wanting more than one charge point, we need to visit the site as there are simply too many variables, making it impossible to do it properly online. 

How Long Does a Workplace EV Charging Site Survey Take?

Most surveys are quick, we recommend leaving a one-hour window. Of course, it depends on the size and complexity of the site as well as how many workplace EV chargers you want. A simple site might only take 30 minutes while a more complex one could take 90. But an hour is a good yardstick. 

We make an appointment at a day and time convenient to you...and ask that a qualified person is there to help make the process as quick and painless as possible.

What Happens During a Workplace Charge Point Installation Site Survey?

The site survey is to give us a more accurate picture of your premises and to gather vital information we need. We make an appointment at a day and time convenient to you and ask that a qualified person – usually the site electrician or facilities manager – is there to help make the process as quick and painless as possible. We take a tour of the site together. 

What Information Are You Looking for in a Workplace Site Survey?

Primarily, we are there to gain a deeper understanding of the electrical infrastructure and the proposed locations of the chargers. We are looking for answers to questions such as, will it require new distribution boards? Do we need to install a cable tray for the cable runs? Do we need to do any civil work such as ducting or concrete bases for the charge posts?  

It’s also vital that we understand how and when you intend to use the chargers. For example, is it a return-to-base operation where your fleet vehicles will charge at night when there are virtually no other power demands? Or is it workplace chargers for staff that will be used during the day when you are already at peak demand? 

Do You Need Any Information From Us in Advance?

Yes, there is some key data that is useful to us. Before we get to the site, we will have information about how many chargers are required, what type of chargers they are such as fast or rapid, and what vehicles they will be charging – is it cars, or vans and trucks which have bigger batteries? 

On top of that, the three pieces of key information are:

This is how much power you have to work with.

This is the maximum amount of power your site uses.

This is an electrical installation condition report. This document shows us what is going on in the building in terms of cable sizes, Miniature Circuit Breaker (MCBs), etc.

What Are the Benefits of a Site Survey for My Organisation?

The biggest benefit is the accuracy of the quotation. We can give you an accurate quote because we understand exactly what the job entails, so we are not making any assumptions about cable lengths, or the number of civil works needed.  

If you are a company with multiple depots or premises, often each one will be slightly different to the last. A site survey ensures that you get a bespoke package that is tailored to each site. Installation costs can vary significantly, and a site survey will clearly explain why this is the case. 

Also, you would be surprised at how many sites we visit where the client has big plans for EVs only to find out that they do not have enough power available to meet their goals. There are ways around this, but we need to know of these issues in advance – and more importantly, so do you! 

The other benefit of a site survey is that we can properly advise you about futureproofing. For example, you might be installing five workplace charge points now but know that you will need another 15 in two years’ time. In these cases, it can be more cost effective to only do the groundworks once, so we put in all the infrastructure you need now for 20 chargers, rather than you paying twice for civil works. 

It is about giving you a solid business case, with complete clarity on costs, to take to your board of directors or senior management team. 

How Do I Book a Site Survey?

Whether you are a workplace looking to install your first charging points, or are expanding on your existing infrastructure, talk to our friendly experts.  

Call us on 03300 562 562 or complete a contact form, for more information.

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