The Rise of Electric Vehicle Charging Point Use
Supporting the government’s plan to ban sales of new petrol and diesel cars by 2035, Boris Johnson has pledged significant investment in Britain's electric vehicle charging network - his vision is that electric vehicle (EV) owners should be no more than 30 miles away from their nearest charge point.
Although there are now more than 30,000 electric vehicle charging points across the UK in over 11,000 locations[i]- that's more public places to charge than petrol stations. An additional three million charging points will need to be installed at commercial and industrial sites by 2040 to meet the government’s climate targets, according to a report from Aurora Energy Research[ii]. With findings from the AA showing eight out of ten drivers[iii] feel the lack of charging points as a stumbling block to buying an electric vehicle, these figures represent significant opportunities for electrical contractors within the residential and commercial markets.
EVCPs opportunities for electricians
With each new EV registration, the demand for EVCPs increases; another domestic point that needs to be installed or a communal charge point to be added in petrol stations, car parks and high streets, workplaces and homes, in cities and remote spots across the country.
According to the RAC Foundation[iv], the estimated annual mileage per car in England was 7,600 in 2018. It’s expected that around 80% of electric car charging will take place at home[v]. The government is offering homeowners a grant towards the cost of installing a home EV charger through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), but the installer must be Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) registered to claim.
While many electric vehicles will be supplied with a home charging cable that can be plugged into a domestic socket, according to Driving Electric, because the maximum power a home socket can draw is 3kW, this means fully charging an electric vehicle such as the 40kWh Nissan Leaf will take at least 13 hours[vi]. A faster option for home charging is using an electric vehicle charging point, which should be fitted by a qualified electrician.
With most charging taking place at home, EV owners will tend only to need to use public charging points on longer journeys, making motorway service stations the most obvious sites along with petrol stations, larger shopping centres and supermarkets. These points will use rapid chargers - the quickest (43 kW+), generally capable of charging cars to 80% in 20-40 minutes.
The third opportunity is in workplaces. The workplace charging scheme (WCS) allows businesses to save up to £10,000 [vii] on the cost of installing EV charging points providing they have sufficient off-street parking and need to be installed by an OLEVaccredited installer.
Charging at work offers employees a convenient alternative to public charging. Workplaces that offer charge point facilities on-site can help to increase the interest, understanding and encourage the adoption of electric vehicles and not only that, with companies being incentivised to reduce their carbon emissions, workplace charging can really help businesses meet their CO2 emissions targets.
Are you ready?
The opportunities for contractors are significant and will continue to grow as 2035 approaches. Competitive advantage can be achieved for those offering EVCP installation; new house developments, hotels, shopping centres, leisure and entertainment venues are just a few examples of possible business opportunities.
If you’re not already familiar with the latest EV charging equipment requirements, you should review the 18th Edition BS7671 Regulation including Amendment 1 published in January 2020.
Before you are able to install EV charge points, you’ll need to become an accredited installer with an EV charging supplier. Training is available from https://www.shop.niceic.com/electric-vehicle-charging-course.
The demand to install EVCPs represents a huge opportunity for skilled, qualified electricians to embrace. Now is the time to embrace this opportunity.