The market for destination chargers is about to boom. Whether you are a car park, out of town shopping centre, hotel, or any destination with a car park, now is the time to start thinking about destination EV charging solutions.
With the government bringing forward the plan to remove the sale of petrol and diesel cars and vans to 2030, it’s hard to avoid news stories about the rapidly growing electric car market and the infrastructure that needs to be in place for adequate charging.
Critical to this, is the introduction of charging points at destinations. The question is, when should the charge points be installed, how many should be installed, which chargers should be used, and how can the car park owners charge people to use them.
When should you install an EV charge point at your destination?
As soon as possible would be sensible. The availability of charge points is going to become essential in the coming years and it is time to start planning ahead. At present, an EV owner will look favourably on retailers, hotels, and any public business that supply charging facilities. However, in the not too distant future, EV charging facilities will be expected.
At the very least, destination car parks and retailers need to be considering how they are going to implement EV charging and prepare for more EV’s on the road. It may also be worth offering charging facilities as soon as possible if there could be additional business benefits such as increasing browsing time in a shop or longer stays in your cafe while the car charges.
For some businesses, the time to start offering EV charge points is now. Hotels have to consider that needing a hotel room usually means the guest has travelled some distance. Similarly, an attraction or large shopping centre that people travel to should have EV chargers available. Any destination that expects visitors to have travelled should be installing EV chargers now and planning for further EV charge points to be installed.
How many EV charge points should you install?
The main question here is not how many charge points does your destination need today, but how many charge points will you need over the coming years. Future proofing your business is an essential part of the destination charging plan. By considering EV charging infrastructure in the early stages, you can have charge points already in place as electric vehicles become commonplace. And, as demand grows, you can easily grow the existing infrastructure.
It is recommended that a site survey is carried out to determine whether sufficient electricity capacity exists on the premises, or new supplies are required. This survey will inform the site design so that an appropriate EV charging solution is installed, that works for your individual requirements now, and has the capacity grow over time as EV’s become the norm. The last thing you want is to have to repeat work because you did not plan for increased demand of your destination EV chargers.
How fast should destination chargers operate?
The charging speed of the charge points you install should be determined by the typical time a visitor will spend at your destination. Charging for an overnight visitor at a hotel would not require as fast charging as a charger for a retail business or tourist attraction. A mixture of different charge point types are available for different destination uses:
Slow chargers (3 kW) typically charge an EV from zero to full in around 8 to 12 hours. Due to the length of time it takes to charge, slow chargers primary usage will be where the vehicle is parked for an extended period of time. For most destinations this would not be suitable as it is rare an EV will be parked at the premises for this length of time.
Fast chargers (7-22 kW) charge at about twice the speed of slow chargers. Therefore, a full charge takes about 4 to 8 hours. An example use case would be a hotel, or a theme park where people would be expected to stay a few hours without moving their car. The fast chargers are the most common for destination charging.
Rapid chargers can charge up to 80% of an EV battery in just half an hour. The amount of power required is much larger. The rapid charge points are usually found at large service stations and come in two kinds: Rapid AC chargers (43 kW) and Rapid DC chargers (50 kW). They would be ideal for most destinations if affordable.
How does the user pay EV for charging?
Charging payment processing can come in different forms, a flat rate fee, tokens, or easy to use apps. As the EV industry evolves there may become a preferred way to pay, so it is important to have a flexible solution. Look for an EV charging solution that provides compatibility with OCPP – open charge point protocol.
Also evaluate the quality of the back office software, which can provide you with charge point data, ranging from usage levels, session length, tariffs etc. Read-only data in dashboard form should be available to access at any time and you should be able to create bespoke reports tailored to your needs. Partnering with an installer who offers a full turnkey destination charging solution can also assist businesses with data analysis and forward planning.
Where to find unbiased expert charging advice?
Clarke EV will help put you – and your requirements – in the driving seat to ensure that your destination charging solution is tailored to you based on our experience, expertise, and our independent approach to which technology products and solution suits you best.
Let’s have a chat on 0800 170 0276 or request a callback.