Making the transition from fossil fuel-powered motoring to electric transportation is something that more and more people are considering. This is not least because of the reduced energy cost per mile even before wider environmental considerations are taken into account. This is the case with both all-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids, or PHEVs as they tend to be called. However, there is something of a stumbling block in the UK with going electric. In short, this is the availability of electric vehicle (EV) chargers – or, rather, the lack of them.
Let’s face it, we have probably all pulled off at a motorway service station in the last few years to see cars and vans refuelling with relative ease at the pumps while electric car owners have to wait patiently for a charging station to become available. The good news is that – for longer journeys, at least – more and more investment is going into public EV charging infrastructure. That’s a good thing to know since by 2030, the UK is on target to cease all fossil fuel car production entirely. Yes, filling stations are still going to be needed for years after that but more electric charging units are going to become the norm in the coming years.
Nevertheless, this doesn’t help people who want to charge their cars with electricity today even if the situation is improving somewhat. Furthermore, if your business‘s premises or home doesn’t happen to be conveniently located close to a major charging hub, then it doesn’t really matter if there is more publicly available charging infrastructure available. Who wants to drive a 50-mile round trip just so they can top up their PHEV or get their all-electric above the 80 per cent recharge threshold?
Fortunately, there is a solution. Simply put, this is to have your own electrifying installation and enjoy exclusive use of your own home EV charging equipment. What’s more, this doesn’t simply mean that you’ll be able to run your car without worrying about running out of juice but you can even benefit from government subsidies for having your own charger installed, as well.
According to Go Electrix, a firm that installs EV charging equipment all over London and Essex with NICEIC-accredited electrical engineers, grant funding is available for new charger installations in both residential and commercial settings. The government’s OZEV scheme is a little complex so applying for funding means you won’t just need a qualifying vehicle but time and patience to fill out the forms.
That’s why installers like Go Electrix will often carry out this administrative exercise on behalf of their clients, thereby making it a more hassle-free experience. Please bear in mind that even with a relatively modest 7kW charging unit installed at your home, you could get hundreds of pounds wiped off the cost thanks to this scheme. For commercial installations, the potential grant funding on offer is even greater.
Note, too, that having EV charging equipment installed on your property will not mean it starts to resemble a petrol station. Far from it, in fact. Why? Because if you take a look at some of the designs on offer from the leading EV charging equipment manufacturers in the UK right now, their products look aesthetically pleasing. Whether you want a wall-mounted unit – known in the industry as a wallbox – or would prefer a floor-standing charger that can be accessed from both sides and potentially charge two or more electric vehicles at once, the current generation of chargers would look equally as at home were they to be installed at a Grade II listed property as they would at a new-build set of offices in the heart of the city.
It is important to go to experienced electrical installers when you want your own EV charging unit(s), however. Whether you’re after a single charger for your family plug-in hybrid run-around or you are a fleet manager with dozens of electrically powered delivery vans to consider, installing EV chargers efficiently and safely requires a degree of professional expertise. Not all electricians will be up to fitting a 22kW unit that connects to a three-phase electrical supply, for example.
Equally, you won’t want to choose a three-phase system only to later find out that your property is only wired up to cope with a one-phase charger. In many cases, simply taking a photo of your property’s fuse box – or distribution board, if you have one – will be enough for an experienced installer to determine which sort of EV charger installation you should opt for.
Furthermore, in London especially – but this is true of other high-density urban environments, too – many people believe that they won’t be able to benefit from greener, emission-free, more sustainable electric motoring if they rent their property. Emphatically, this is not the case, however. Whether you rent your business premises from a commercial landlord or live in a high-rise flat with shared parking facilities underneath or outside, electric car ownership can be very practical.
Of course, there are certain considerations to take into account if you don’t own your property outright including whether or not the landlord will give permission for this sort of installation. That said, shared EV chargers on industrial estates and blocks of flats are becoming increasingly common sights these days.
Note, too, that every EV charger installation is unique. By its very nature, all sorts of factors need to be taken into account when planning a new installation. This includes what the current charging needs are and what they might become in a few years. There again, knowing where to position chargers so that they can be used most conveniently is something that is certainly worth seeking a professional opinion over. In the end, turning to experienced and expert installers tends to pay dividends with EV charging equipment.
Whether it’s obtaining the full grant entitlement you may be able to claim or discussing whether tethered or untethered chargers would be best in your particular circumstances, Go Electrix is at your service. Why not chat with them today to find out more about their installation services?