On this page
The importance of considered site selection
During strategy development, an overall plan of the quantity, the type and location of change points will have been agreed. The strategy takes account of how the EV network will fit conveniently into residents’ lives and integrate into the local transport strategy. Having secured funding, a more detailed assessment will need to be made of potential charging sites.
The decision processes which will narrow down a long potential list of sites to a more focussed few are crucial to minimising costs, maximising usage and ensuring the long-term usefulness of the sites.
This video explains why site selection is so important:
Choosing the type and location of chargers in your network
EV chargers must be easily accessible, and convenient for residents to use as part of their regular driving routine, for resident satisfaction and to maximise charging revenues. Typically, the average length of parking time at a particular location will initially determine the type of charger that should be installed.
There are three main types of chargers:
3.7kW ‘Slow’ chargers (AC level 1) charge about 15 miles of EV range in an hour and are designed for overnight charging. These are suitable for areas where residents have little or no access to off-street parking (e.g., private driveways) and where vehicles can be plugged in and left overnight.
This video provides an overview of what to consider when choosing to install on-street chargers.
7kW – 22kW ‘Fast’ chargers (AC level 2) are the most common type of charger and provide 30 – 90 miles of EV range per hour of charging. These are best installed where the average parking time is around 2 – 4 hours and typical locations might include
- Residential streets
- Service stations
- Shopping centres
- Multi Storey car parks
- Park and ride facilities
- Schools and higher education campuses
These sites are highly flexible compared with on-street parking because there is more space for the electrical infrastructure, making it easier to install fast and rapid chargers.
Rapid DC chargers provide enough charge for more than 50 miles in one hour and are better placed along major roads or places where people will park for short durations. These chargers require substantially more electricity than other chargers and are more costly.
This video takes you through which locations are best suited to slow, fast and rapid charging respectively.
Once the initial list of potential locations has been shortened, the sites can be examined in detail to determine their logistical viability.
CPO SITE REVIEW
Your charge point partner can use desktop research or cloud-based mapping and analysis tools to find the exact on-street locations where residents are likely to adopt EVs early and predict future charging needs.
There are a number of key factors which will determine how technically or economically feasible a new site will be including:
To future proof the new installations, it is advisable to choose locations where there is room to install multiple charge points and add units in the future. It is for example more cost-effective in terms of groundwork and labour costs to install five charge points alongside each other in one place, rather than in five different locations. The feasibility of doing so is dependent on the available power supply.
2. Electrical supply
Determining the local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) network capacity, the connection process and physical space available, the nearest location of the DNO cables and switchboard, and the local capacity to supply charge points sufficiently can keep installation costs lower and lead times shorter.
3. Parking demographics
When considering the potential use of any site by local residents, it is useful to understand which wards have a high EV uptake, or a low concentration of off-street parking or whether a local business or tourist attraction has requested EV charging and might benefit from the resulting green credentials or additional traffic it would provide.
These factors will help to determine whether sites will be hosted by these organisations or the local council.
4. Convenience and safety of residents
The sites chosen must be safe and convenient for all residents including disabled and wheelchair users. The sites must be accessible 24/7, at no extra cost. The bays should be well lit and covered and preferably close to other amenities such as shops, or public toilets. These factors will influence how frequently the sites are used.
This video explains why and how you should factor safety considerations into your site selection process.
Once the list of potential charging sites has been revised, your COP partner or alternately an external consultant will need to survey the sites. They will calculate the technical feasibility (i.e. connecting the site to the grid), groundwork costs and health and safety.
This typically occurs over two stages:
- Stage One: Feasibility Assessment – A brief visit to check if the sites are viable for EV charging
- Stage Two: Detailed Planning – Qualified planners sent out to do a detailed assessment of the sites
Your CPO partner or external consultant should then be able to advise you on the implications of the IET code of practice, location of available power connections and other electrical equipment, and house frontages, including existing street furniture and trees.
This video outlines the process:
DESIGN AND SAFETY
Once the list of sites is finalised and approved, designing the charging facilities can begin. Engineers will assess each site and the surrounding area for safety and suitability and then draw individual site plans.
The design must balance the safety and convenience for both users (EV drivers) and non-users (other drivers & pedestrians). There will need to be adequate space for EV bays which meets pedestrian safety requirements and are at least 2.5m away from common electrical street furniture such as lampposts, bus stops, parking meters and billboards. And any design should minimise disruption to the surrounding environment. It is also advisable to ask your local residents for their input during this phase.
This video goes into greater detail on designing your charging facilities to meet safety requirements and the needs of your residents:
After planning permission has been achieved the building phase can begin. Together with the charge point installer and the local council a TTROS (Temporary Traffic Regulation Order) can be put in place. The next step is to contact the local DNO (Distribution Network Operator) and agree a point of connection and timeframe.
Each site build will involve the following steps:
- Infrastructure built on the site
- Site connected to power
- Electricity meter installed
- Charging bays get lined
- Signage in the area erected
- Charge point hardware installed
- Testing of the equipment
- Site live
A well-planned site deployment can normally result in a site being built within ten days with minimal disruption to local residents.
Watch this video for more information about building the EV charging sites