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What type of Charge Point suits your Business?

What type of Charge Point suits your Business?

With the new generation of Electric Vehicles (EVs) continuing to shake up the mobility industry, a growing number of UK consumers are making the switch to electric. According to Next Greencar, there are now more than 155,000 plug-in cars on British roads as of May 2018. In fact, Go Ultra Low revealed that one plug-in vehicle is being registered every nine minutes!

But what does that mean for businesses? In this new era of mass-market, consumer-friendly electric vehicles, EV drivers of today will typically expect to “charge up” at home and “top up” at places they spend a lot of their time – work being a prime example. Whilst the decision to accommodate workplace charging ultimately sits with individual businesses, the UK government is increasingly offering incentives to promote EV take-up by making it more affordable to install charging infrastructure. We have already highlighted the numerous benefits for businesses to install charge points in a previous blog, so if you haven’t already checked it out, give it a read.

Once you’ve come to the decision to enable employees and guests to charge EVs onsite, the next question may typically be around which type of charger to install. There are a number of different types of charging points on the market today which can for the most part be categorised into slow, fast and rapid. These range from 3.6kW right up to 150kW so the differences in the tech can be huge, but which type is most appropriate for your workplace?

Types of EV chargers

The three main types of EV charging points available today include slow, fast and rapid:

Slow (anything up to 3.6kW) – this type of charger is the most common for at-home charging and, predictably, takes the longest time to charge an EV.

Advantages:

  • These types of chargers are popular for home charging due to their relatively low demand on site supply and the ability to leave vehicles plugged in overnight
  • Whilst slow charging can be facilitated using a 3-pin plug, charging points are still recommended to increase speed and guarantee safety, whilst being eligible for the OLEV grant
  • Other connectors include Type 1 and Type 2
  • Can be untethered – flexible for use by any driver with their particular cable
  • Cheaper charge rates compared with faster chargers

Disadvantages:

  • Comparatively slow – typically ranging from 6 to 12 hours for an EV to reach full charge
  • Due to long charge times, could generate EV charging queue if installed commercially

Fast (7kW - 22kW) – This is a speedier option for EV charging, with different options available.

Advantages:

  • These are the charging points commonly found in public destinations
  • Faster charge times ranging from approximately 3 to 4 hours (though exactly times are highly dependant on the model and kW in question)
  • Faster charge times means better access to the charging points as EVs won’t be sitting in the charging bays for as long
  • Connecters include Type 1 and Type 2
  • Can be untethered – flexible for use by any driver with their particular cable
  • Relatively low demand on site supply
  • Affordable charging points, eligible for OLEV grants

Disadvantages:

  • Although all EVs will be able to plug into a fast charger, charging speeds may still be limited by a car’s on-board charger. This is being experienced less and less as newer models are being released
  • May still be shorter charge queue depending on how many are installed onsite and depending on demand

Rapid (43kW - 350kW) – Often found at places of quick turnover – motorways and some supermarkets, for example – rapid chargers supply much higher power, at a cost.

Advantages:

  • Fastest way to charge EVs – with charge times of around 30 minutes
  • Charging connectors include Type 2, CHAdeMO and Combined Charging System (CCS)

Disadvantages:

  • Charging points are far more expensive to purchase in the first instance
  • Charging form these charging points is also more expensive
  • With higher power comes larger drain on local grid infrastructure – in many instances the local grid may not be able to handle the power requirements
  • High charging rates can put a strain on car batteries over time, which can result in less range

So which charging point will be right for me?

As EV adoption continues to grow, employees are likely to gravitate towards places they know they can charge up whilst at work. Taking the advantages and disadvantages of these three types of EV charger into consideration, and weighing up the individual considerations of charge point users, fast chargers are likely to be the best option in the vast majority of cases.

NewMotion offers two business packages to help you get started with your charging infrastructure. Follow this link to download our free brochure.