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What Makes a Good Location for Public Sector EV Charging?

The availability of public EV charging infrastructure will be a cornerstone of the transition to EVs, and public sector bodies play a crucial role in building out of a strong network.

Enabling an NHS Trust To Lead On Fleet Electrification


The question, though, is where should local authorities build these EV charging networks? In this blog, Sam Illsley, Head of Public Sector Sales at Mer, explains: 

  • Why a strong public charging network is so important, 
  • What makes a good location for an EV charging hub, 
  • How a charge point operator can support public sector bodies with identifying these sites.  

Why is public charging so important?

Local authorities and public sector bodies are continuing to invest in electric vehicle (EV) charging hubs, as collectively they aim to provide 300,000 charge points by 2030. This infrastructure is going to be vital to public adoption of EVs, as many households do not have a drive or garage where they can install their own domestic charger. Therefore, these drivers will be reliant on the publicly accessible charging network. 

However, it is not simply a case of “if you build it, they will come”. Public charging hubs need to be convenient, user-friendly, and above all, accessible. Choosing your sites carefully will ensure the infrastructure you are installing does not become obsolete, and drivers instead feel empowered to take up EV driving due to having a convenient location to charge at. 

Never has the real estate adage of “location, location, location” been truer. 

Location, location, electrification 

What makes a good location for an EV charging hub?

The first thing to consider is: who is the charging hub for? If you want to optimise its usage, make sure it supports the EV driving population in that specific area. For example, will it also be used by electric van drivers? If so, make sure that at least some bays are the right orientation and size to accommodate light commercial vehicles – they can be considerably bigger than cars. 

Secondly, think about saturation – find out whether EV adoption is high in the surrounding area, meaning there should be significant demand for this hub. More importantly, is it in a convenient location for users? Typically, this will be a destination location, such as local leisure or retail amenities. In both cases, people will often leave their EVs parked for hours at a time while they enjoy some shopping, eating out, or a trip to the gym. The exception to this rule is DC fast charging – in this instance the user profile is more likely a driver needing to “refuel” quickly, so they want a pit stop conveniently located on, or very close to, motorways and major roads, with preferable amenities of a restroom, opportunity to buy a cup of coffee, and free parking. 

Thirdly, think about the practicalities, such as whether the local grid connection has the capacity to support multiple EV charging stations. Some areas have little or no spare capacity, meaning that you would have to pay for and wait a considerable time for grid reinforcement, or invest in energy storage systems in order to make the site viable. 

Other logistical considerations include whether the site is accessible to all users and if it is suitable for use as a charging hub. For example, is it in an area prone to flooding, as this would be a serious safety issue.  

Furthermore, plan for the future. Does the site offer room for expansion as EV adoption gathers pace? This could encompass three factors: is there room for more fast chargers, is there capacity for rapid chargers, and can we introduce bays for truck charging if required? 


What are the main priorities for identifying a charging hub location? 

If we were to summarise all the points we’ve discussed so far, it would boil down to this: take a user-centric approach meaning it is human- and vehicle-oriented. Choose suitable locations where you know there will be demand for EV charging, where EV charging is convenient, and where drivers are therefore most likely to utilise the infrastructure.  


Is there support available for identifying the right sites?

Look for an experienced charge point operator who can help you answer all the questions we have covered above. Mer offers a comprehensive service which starts with working with you to properly plan your infrastructure. Our experts can help you decide on the right mix of chargers at the right locations, ensuring that you don’t end up with stranded chargers that are underutilised.  

Mer has a proven track record in delivering local area and site analysis, providing public sector bodies with recommendations on both the best locations and the best EV charging hardware. As part of the process, we create a site design explaining the electrical infrastructure, including the substation and feeder pillar connections, plus precise charger locations right down to the bollards and bay markings. 

Where can I find out more about how to properly locate EV charging hubs?

Mer is hosting a free webinar on 28th November for public sector bodies who are interested in learning more about public sector EV charging infrastructure. Register your interest, and you will receive an email in due time with more information on how to access the webinar, and specific details on what topics it will cover. When you register to attend, you will also receive our free e-guide created specifically for public sector bodies who are looking to roll-out a successful EV charging network. 

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