If you are involved in electrical specifying, it’s only a matter of time before you are going to have to specify electric car chargers as standard on many of your commercial sites.
Whether you are installing a single commercial chargepoint, or a multi-site network, there are a few things you need to consider when choosing a charger brand and model.
We’ve written a 2 minute guide below:
First of all you need to work out which charger type(s) you need. In general if you are providing workplace or leisure charging, you are probably best looking at a 3 phase 16A or 32A universal Type 2 socket, giving power of 11kW or 22kW. For bigger sites or ‘destination charging’ you could also look at 50kW fast chargers.
Then you need to work out what functionality you need:
- is a 'dumb' charger suitable?[A 'dumb' charger is essentially a dedicated car charging socket, without monitoring of kWh supplied, remote stop-start etc.]
- what does the end client need to monitor - 'charger time' or kWh consumption, and, if kWh, does the charging infrastructure include MID approved kWh meters which you can use as a basis for billing?
- what is the upfront cost of installation, not only of the charger, but also any civil works (foundations, cabling etc)?
- what subscription fees are there for monitoring, reporting, charger management (and does the payment gateway take a % of charger earns)?
- how does invoicing and payment settlement work (ideally it should be automated)?
- how are the chargers accessed - key, fob, RFID card, online account? [Some sort of access restriction is important – the end client won't want to find themselves powering the local EV community free of charge…]
- is EV charging likely to put a strain on the grid connection (if so, you may need battery storage, an upgraded grid connection, or restricted use chargers)?
- do the chargers conform to the OCPP (voluntary open charging protocol), allowing drivers to have a single RFID to access all OCPP chargers, thus making it easy for drivers using the chargers?
- do aesthetics matter, do you need dual chargers mounted on a single pole, and can you brand the chargers with your company logo?
- how scalable is the solution and at what cost?
Our favourite is EVBox. EVBox is one of the larger manufacturers of chargepoints, with a strong track-record and 50,000 chargers installed across 1,000 cities.
EVBox chargers offer comprehensive functionality. The company is well ahead of their rivals in their understanding of the practicalities of EV fleet management, leased cars and public charging requirements, and the functionality required to manage a fleet of EV chargers and electric vehicles.
EVBox's software can manage other manufacturer 'smart-chargers'. And the company has fixed back-office subscription fees per charger, which don't take a % of the user's payment revenue.
What's more, EVBox offers the best warranty on the market as far as we are aware.
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If you have a project that you would like some assistance with, please get in touch. Call us on 0118 951 4490, or email email@example.com. Alternatively request a quote here: