Energeasy Drive - types of charge points

Types
Of charge points


Commercial workplaces, public sector buildings & car parks

There are many types of electric vehicle charging points (EVCP) available, whether they are for a commercial workplace, a public building, or a public area such as a town car park.  These include single and dual socket charge points, wall and ground mounted units and units powered by either a single or a 3 phase power supply.

The type of charge points you install will depend of five key factors:

  1. The location of the charge points and the power supply available
  2. The speed of charge you need to offer people, based on how the charge point will be used.
  3. How you want to control access to the charge points.
  4. What reporting requirements you have especially in the case of Benefit in Kind (BIK)
  5. If you want to charge people to use the charge point, or offer its use for free.

Every commercial charge point installation has its own opportunities and challenges, with considerations such as the proximity of your employee/customer car park to your power supply and how easy it is to control access to the car park, so only your employees/customers can use the charge point.

Another point to bear in mind in regards to whether you chose a unit that sends data communications or not is whether a charge point is “future proof”. Electric Vehicles are constantly changing in respects of their set-up and the connectivity to electric vehicle charge points, these changes may potentially cause a problem in the future unless you or the manufacturer are able to communicate directly with the charge point to upgrade firmware etc.

There is a value to the data that a smart charging unit can provide and offer in the case of updates etc going forward!

To find out which charge point may be best suited to your commercial sector, with Energeasy Drive you can identify which charging solution is the best for your property .

 

 1) Location

Generally people look to install a charge point as close as possible to its power source. This would be ideal if you have a car parking space next to an external wall, as a wall mountedcharge point could be installed next to it.

However, the installation may be best suited to a ground mounted pedestal away from the building itself, which would require ground works by laying a supply cable underground to the charge point in your car park. This would be discussed and confirmed with your Energeasy Drive installer, after they have reviewed access to the power supply, installation costs and specific site requirements.

2) Speed of charge based on how the EVCP will be used

EVCPs have different options for charging times . How your employees, guests or customers use your charge points will determine if you need to fit one that is capable of charging slowly, fast, very fast or even a rapid charger that can charge a vehicle within 30 minutes! 

For example, a hotel which allows its guests to charge their vehicle overnight could offer a slow charge EVCP, as the typical charging time would be 6 hours. In contrast, a gym where most people spend two hours on average would require as a minimum a fast (3 hour) or a very fast (1 hour) EVCP. These typical charge times are based on the time taken to fully recharge the vehicle. In practice, many people visiting say their local gym or restaurant may only require a partial charge, to help replenish the electricity they have used travelling to your premises

  3)   Access control & payment

There are various options for electric vehicle charging points (EVCP) (download a printable version here) which include:

Free to use

  • Any person who has a compatible charging lead will be able to plug into a charging socket and be able to charge their electric vehicle.
  • These are commonly used in areas such as staff/visitor car parks, where access is already controlled by a barrier, swipe card etc and therefore the charge point does not any access controls. They are also used in public places, where the use of the EVCP is intended to be provided for free.

Keyswitch

  • To use the EVCP, a person will need to be in possession of a specific key.
  • These are commonly used in areas where a simple access control solution is required. For example, a staff car park on a business park, where the company who installed the EVCP only gives a key to its employees who own an electric vehicle.


Token or coin mechanism

  • A timed amount of charge can be set on the EVCP per token, or by the value of coins put into it.  For example, £2 in coins could be set to last for 1 hour or 2 hours etc.
  • An ideal situation for a token application is a hotel, gym or restaurant, where there is a requirement for the person who wants to charge their vehicle to go to reception/a counter to request a token. This allows the company to control access to the EVCP and gives them the option to allow their guests/customers to have a token for free. The company then has the option to charge a member of the public for the token, who is not a hotel guest or customer.
  • coin operated application is ideal for a company who want to receive some funds to cover some or all of the cost of the electricity used to charge a vehicle.


RFID card or smart phone app on an internal company network

  • People can be required to authenticate their access to the EVCP via a RFID card, a fob or smart phone App, to allow a charging to take place.
  • This application is used generally where an organisation not only wants to control access, but  also wants to identify who is using the EVCPs, when, where and for how long.  This is ideal for an organisation that has either single or multiple sites and wants to be able to cross charge employees, in order to deduct the electricity cost the employee’s monthly salary. In addition, the information gathered can be used for other reporting purposes, for example Benefit In Kind, compliance with ESOS and CSR reporting requirements.

To locate your nearest Energeasy Drive installer and request a survey of your property, plus a quote, click here . Or you can request a call from up to three Energeasy Drive installers nearest to you.

External networks

What is an external network?

There are numerous 3 rd party networks in the UK and abroad that provide publicly accessible EVCPs, where the driver needs to provide proof that they are a member of that network to use the EVCP. It’s a bit like different mobile phone networks, where your SIM card gives you access to make calls using Vodaphone or O 2 etc.

Examples of EVCP network operators include BMWi ChargeNow, ChargeMaster Polar Network, CYC Charge-Your-Car, Source London and many others. Drivers pay an annual membership fee to be able to charge their vehicle at particular EVCPs, which could be for free, or at a rate determined by the EVCP network.

Remember, you may also need to purchase a lead to charge your vehicle for when you are on the go, as not all electric vehicles come supplied with one.

How do you pay to use external network charge point?

RFID Card or Smart Phone App

  • Members of each network will typically get access to the charge point using a pre-paid network membership RFID card. In some cases other networks will allow you to use their EVCPs and will use your membership card details to cross bill you accordingly.
  • The network scheme owner will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the units (e.g. BMWi ChargeNow) and the site owner (e.g. a business or local authority) will generally pay for the cost of the EVCP itself and its installation. A commission is then paid by the charge point network operator to the site owner, who paid for the EVCPs to be installed. The value of commission will depend on the cost that is charged to the users of the EVCP.
  • Unfortunately, there are multiple networks and not all networks will allow you to use another network’s EVCPs.  However, there are some schemes which do and will save you having to be a member of multiple schemes.


Bank card access / Pay As You Go

  • This will allow anyone to use an EVCP that is able to pay to charge their vehicle via a credit/debit card. This capability is sometimes made available by network owned EVCPs, to members of the public who do not belong to the network who owns the charge point.
  • This technology is already in use today. For example, railway station vending machines, car park tickets, and motorway toll booths all allow you to pay by credit/debit card, or via an app or text message on your mobile phone.

Do you need to be member of a network?

Depending on your electric vehicle driving habits, you may be able to satisfy your charging requirements between say your home, workplace and any public charge points you use regularly (e.g. at your local supermarket). If however your driving takes you longer distances and to places you do not often visit, then becoming a member of a network may be advisable.

Domestic houses

There are a number of ways to charge your vehicle at home, which are referred to as “ modes ” by charge point and vehicle manufacturers.

Tethered lead (Mode 3)

  This type of charge point comes with a lead that is attached to the charge point and which cannot be removed.
  The vehicle inlet end of the lead must  have the correct type of connector to suit your chosen electric vehicle.
  Find out which connector you need and select your EVCP, using the Energeasy  drive product selector .
  Your Energeasy Drive installer will also be able to advise you.

Electric vehicle charging socket (Mode 3)

Instead of a domestic charge point having a tethered lead, you can install a charge point with a standard 7 pin electric vehicle charging socket, which can be used by all electric vehicles. This means that if any friends/family come to visit who also have an electric vehicle, they will be able to charge up.

You will need to buy this lead, but it will be the same lead that you will require to charge your vehicle when you are out and about.  The vehicle inlet end of the lead must have the correct type of connector that fits your chosen electric vehicle.  Find out which connector you need and select your EVCP, using the Energeasy drive product selector , then you can purchase a charging lead .

Domestic charging lead (Mode 2)

A 13 amp charging lead which is usually (but not always) supplied with your new electric vehicle, which delivers only the slowest speed of charge. It can be plugged into a standard household 13 amp socket (e.g. in your garage), or into a specially fitted exterior 13 amp socket in a location that is more convenient for charging your vehicle. Please note that these sockets are not eligible for OLEV grant funding .

The vehicle inlet end of the lead must have the correct type of connector that fits your chosen electric vehicle.  Find out which connector you need and select your EVCP, using the Energeasy drive product selector , then you can purchase a charging lead .

To locate your nearest OLEV authorised Energeasy Drive installer click here , or you can request a call from up to three Energeasy Drive installers nearest to you, in order to obtain a range of advice about fitting your charge point and a competitive quote.

How do you locate charge points along your driving route?

If you are a member of a network , you will be able locate their EVCPs via their website or mobile phone app. Some networks are able to link to a satellite navigation system. For example, BMWi ChargeNow shows real time information based on your route and distance to the EVCP.

Other third party websites and apps collate information about all EVCPs available and plot them on a map for you. You can locate various EVCPs with Energeasy Drive’s partner, Chargemap .

Typically both network and third party websites/apps will show for each EVCP:

  • Type - e.g. coin operated, network owned, ability to pay by credit/debit card.
  • Speed of charge the EVCP is capable of.
  • Cost to charge.
  • If it is currently in use.