How do I find the right charge point for my situation?
Finding the right charge point for your needs is a complicated issue. There are many factors to consider.
To start with, are you thinking about things in the present tense or are you thinking about future proofing. We are moving towards a world where using renewable energy may be a key consideration around the home – so does connecting a charge point to PV solar panels make sense now, or build in that provision for the near future? Zappi, from Myenergi, is a leading brand when it comes to connecting charge points with the broader renewables picture.
If you’re thinking about the future and what is known as bi-directional charging – on other words the electric from the car is discharged back into the property, then a product like Wallbox might be a good choice.
Number of charge points. If you are installing a charge point at home because you have taken ownership of an EV, then as long as you have your own driveway then you qualify for the Homecharge scheme. That means you will receive a £350 government grant towards your install costs. But these government grants only apply if you use an OLEV (Office of Low Emission Vehicles) approved installer – so check for that.
You could also be having another electric vehicle shortly. Although there’s no extra grant to claim, it could be more cost-effective and less hassle to install a second charge point. Two charge points would probably suffice for extra family members and staying visitors.
How important Is the style of the charge point?
Charge point designs and styles vary enormously. Some charge points are functional, like Rolec, and others are more aesthetically pleasing, like Wallbox. So, it’s a unit on a wall or a feature of the property, which blends neatly in. What about where the charge point will be located?Does it need to be more secure to prevent potential abuse? Some brands have more secure versions, like Rolec.
The next thing to consider is what is the purpose of the charge point? Is it just to charge a vehicle – or to make an income stream. Charge points can be set up that you the owner sets the charging tariff. This is especially valuable in the hospitality and tourism sector. A customer can pay for charging through the phone on a Pay As You Go basis.
In simple terms, it would probably cost around £5 to charge a vehicle, but the customer would pay between £10 – £15 for the service.
Presumably you would like a fast charger. Most brands come with 7.2kW and 22kW options, depending on whether you have single phase or 3 phase supply. A 7.2kW unit would tend to charge a vehicle in 3-4 hours. If you have a 3-phase supply then that reduces the charging time down to 1-2 hours.
Methods of paying for the charge point could be another consideration and might affect your selection. Rather than the standard one-off payment, could you charge point be leased?
This would mean a regular monthly charge, but that payment schedule could appeal as vehicle volumes are likely to ramp up quickly in the coming years. Recent industry research carried out for SSEN reports that currently the volume of pure electric vehicles on Island roads accounts for 0.24% of all vehicles.
By 2032, the scientific projection is that 48% of all vehicles on Island roads will be electric. See the graph below for historical data.
Finally, are you looking to install charge points to service a range of vehicles, or you are looking to provide a community service. Consider installing a rapid charger. These can charge a vehicle in around 15-20 minutes. Customers will pay for this convenience.
With high vehicle volumes coming this way in the coming years, any rapid charger investor – with the charge point in a decent location – should get a good return on investment.
In conclusion, there are many considerations around finding the most suitable charge point. But help is at hand.