Decoding the craft of Electric Vehicle (EV) charging site selection

This article discusses the challenges and strategies for deploying public EV charging infrastructure in the UK. Despite exponential growth in EV sales, the current number of public chargers falls far short of the projected requirements by 2030. The article emphasises the importance of precise location selection, the type and quantity of chargers, reliable infrastructure, accessibility, competitive positioning, legal considerations, and financial viability.

Jumptech supports the increased rollout of fast and accessible public charging

15 August 2023

The landscape of EV sales is experiencing exponential growth, yet the deployment of Public EV charging infrastructure struggles to keep up. Recent analysis by Dodona Analytics reveals that in the UK, we are far from achieving even 10% of the required public chargers (of all speeds) by 2030, and we’re rapidly approaching the end of 2023. This staggering disparity might lead to eroding confidence among potential EV adopters, both individual consumers and businesses alike. To add to the challenge, predictions indicate that up to 4 out of 10 charging stations might never attain commercial viability, underscoring the importance of a thoughtful planning process. It’s time to abandon a scattergun approach and instead embrace precision and scalability when designing a network of chargers.

Location: Choosing the Perfect Spot

The heart of EV charging site selection lies in choosing the perfect location. The art of colocation entails identifying sites with either short (e.g., fast-food restaurants) or long (e.g., workplaces) dwell times, and ensuring that charging stations synergistically complement the core function of the location. Some sites experience both short and long dwell times, such as hotels catering to diners and overnight guests, necessitating distinct charger types. Crucial aspects when selecting a location include analysing existing traffic patterns and assessing whether people are willing to deviate slightly for charging convenience. The key is to pinpoint accessible, well-connected spots that magnetise EV drivers, boasting clear access and exit points with heightened visibility.

Type of Charger and Quantity: Optimising Charging Efficiency

To optimise charging efficiency, the choice between AC or DC charging hinges on the anticipated dwell time. Deliberations should factor in current demand and, more crucially, future trends. Pinpointing the optimal number of chargers necessitates an in-depth examination of current footfall or traffic, projections for the next five years, and demographic influencers impacting EV adoption.

Infrastructure and Power Supply: Ensuring Reliable Charging

Underlying the obvious is the necessity of an adequate power supply from the grid. Instances of well-known suppliers ceasing EV chargers have already dealt financial blows and eroded consumer trust in brands. To sidestep such pitfalls, a robust analysis of existing electrical infrastructure must underpin the decision-making process, accounting for both present and future charging needs. Proximity to power lines, street layout, and the nearest substation demand careful consideration. Balancing grid infrastructure upgrade costs, charging rates, and user demand is crucial.

Accessibility and Convenience: Putting Users First

Safety and accessibility reign supreme for charging locations. Ensuring well-proportioned parking spaces with appropriate signage is a prerequisite for enabling mobility-challenged users’ seamless access. The charging area should be devoid of any hindrances for individuals with mobility challenges or wheelchair users. Safety protocols must extend to nighttime usage, especially considering vulnerable users. When selecting a charging site, a comprehensive evaluation of the surrounding environment’s lighting and visibility is paramount. Clear and intelligible signage, along with potential surveillance systems, elevate the perceived safety.

Competitive Strategy: Standing Out in the EV Charging Landscape

Building a network in line with a competitive strategy mandates not only exploring uncharted territories but also assessing the presence of existing chargers nearby. Novel charge points should complement the existing ones, offering distinct charging options to cater to diverse user needs. Striking the right balance between coverage and density while considering price competitiveness and customer experience is vital. Beyond safety, elevating location-related customer experience involves offering amenities like Wi-Fi access, nearby restrooms, and comfortable seating areas.

Permits, Regulations, Parking Restrictions: Navigating the Legal Landscape

In addition to colocation and dwell time, navigating local and broader regulations and parking restrictions is a must. Overlooking such considerations could lead to costly errors, like installing an AC charger in an area with limited parking time or in a location slated for future cycle lanes.

Commercial Viability, Including Demand and Pricing: Ensuring Financial Success

The final selection of a site hinges on its commercial viability, both in the short and long term. Sensitivity to competitive pricing in the vicinity is equally vital as ensuring reliable charging solutions for consumers.

In Conclusion…

By painstakingly contemplating these critical factors, anyone seeking to deploy EV chargers or establish a network can make well-informed decisions when selecting charging sites. Trust Jumptech to optimise your EV charging infrastructure, making proactive and reactive maintenance a breeze. With Jumptech, your investment and brand reputation are in secure hands. Embrace the art of EV charging site selection, empowered by data-driven decisions.