Government has legislated that all new residential buildings, non-residential, and mixed-use buildings are required to have provisions for electric vehicle (EV) charging? This can either mean that EV chargepoints must be installed or cable routes must be provided for the associated parking spaces.
The exact number of chargepoints that are required by law depends on:
The number of dwellings served by the associated parking spaces; or
Whether the associated parking spaces are under a covered car park
The total number of parking spaces
The average connection cost
However, it's generally a minimum of either (a) the number of associated parking spaces or (b) the number of dwellings. This also doesn't apply to just new builds but also dwellings resulting from material change of use or major renovations where there are parking spaces involved.
Apart from government legislation, there are a few reasons you should be looking into what chargepoints you include in your new builds' parking spaces.
Your residents/users will thank you
Yes they all serve the same function but given the right (or wrong) chargepoint, the experience of your residents/users and even the ease of installation for your M&E contractors could be positively (or negatively) affected, therefore the overall costs.
So what exactly should you be looking for in a residential chargepoint?
Speed & Supply Capacity
Certain questions you may be asking (or should be asking!): What do your residents/users need? How does it fit into the supply loading? Will there be sufficient capacity to install the chargepoints that you need? In general, unless you are an in-transit location (e.g. motorways), we always recommend 7kW as the maximum and minimum speed for EV chargepoints. This would fit perfectly with single-use properties and residential complexes.
Perfect balance of speed and cost
It provides drivers with fast enough of a charge and takes a single-phase of your supply which means both the hardware cost and installation costs & time are much lower than faster speeds.
Unlike many who try to push 22kW or 11kW speeds which are more expensive than 7kW, they are, on the whole, unnecessary as it would not only eat up the existing capacity on the supply but also be incompatible with the majority of vehicles on the road. Most vehicles are only able to accept 7kW, 3.7kW, and sometimes 11kW AC charging.
Meeting capacity limits
A 7kW chargepoint takes up 32A. In a domestic setting, an incoming supply would usually be 60A or 100A. This means that a 60A fuse would usually need upgrading; this is likely not an issue for new builds but is important to know that having a three-phase device would be impossible as each domestic build is likely to only come with single-phase.
Ease of Use
EV chargepoints are often accessed via an RFID card or an app and some are even plug-and-play. However, with new regulations, all chargepoints in new builds must be smart. In general, it would be good to provide users with a range of access options. However, you should stay away from Bluetooth-only apps as that indicates that the user may not be able to monitor their charging status.
Here's a list of what an easy-to-use residential chargepoint should contain:
App or RFID controlled
Ethernet (recommended for stability) or WIFI connected
Tethered (cable attached) for users' convenience
Screen to view charging status or any potential errors
An LED indicator for a quick glance on device status
Chargepoint management software
As a developer and/or management of a residential complex with a communal parking space, having software that manages your chargepoint remotely is incredibly important. With a cloud management software, you can:
Remotely diagnose your chargepoints, in the event of any malfunction; saving you time and money
Individually set charging costs (and parking costs, if applicable) for your chargepoints
Track energy usage
Additionally, with VoltShare's HH2 market-leading chargepoint solution (pictured below), you can:
Push advertisements onto chargepoints to provide an additional revenue stream
Co-brand the chargepoints to have your company's branding visible to your users
Ease of installation
One of the biggest worry for M&E contractors, is the ease of installation. An inexpensive chargepoint may turn out to be more expensive overall if it requires more materials or labour to install. One of the biggest factor you should be considering as a standard for the chargepoints is whether it requires any additional earthing. This is a government regulation according to BS7671 regulation 722.411.4.1 method (iii). If the unit does not have in-built O-PEN fault detection, then you would need additional earthing rods or an external device that prevents any electrical shocks which would add significant costs to each install.
Here are some of the main factors you should consider:
Connection point between the supply and the unit should be external; this reduces installation time tremendously as engineers would not need to dismantle chargepoints to access internal wiring.
In-built O-PEN fault detection/protection according to BS7671 regulation 722.411.4.1 method (iii).
In-built DC +6mA leakage protection; this means the consumer unit does not require a Type B RCD which are generally more expensive to supply.
An external port for ethernet cable
According to government, all chargepoints sold to domestic customers must adhere to the smart charge regulation. It basically means, there must be functionalities such as:
Default off-peak charging
Ability to access chargepoint in case of internet disconnection
Communication protocol OCPP 1.6J (minimum)
These functionalities are often achieved using an app and internet connection so, finding one that allows you ease of connection via an ethernet cable is preferred.
We can advise you
If you're looking to install chargepoints at your new build, we provide an individual, bespoke advice package for all your new builds from providing a complete analysis of what chargepoints you may need and the supply requirements surrounding that to liaising with your M&E contractors.
Our chargepoints are Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) certified and comply with current regulations, and more.
VoltShare are an EV charging technology provider for the hospitality industry that simplifies management, payments collection, and technology integration. We empower small to large-sized venues to futureproof themselves, while ensuring they remain resource-efficient and profitable.
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