Category Archives: Charging

Government Grant for Electric Car Home Charge Point

This is a summary of the UK Government’s scheme for subsidising home charge points for electric cars, known as the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS).

It has been kept relatively simple; if you need detailed guidance you should consult the original document (linked at the bottom).

1. Most plug-in vehicle owners carry out most charging at home.

2. Customers who are the registered keeper or have primary use of an eligible electric vehicle may receive up to 75% (capped at £500, inc VAT) off the total capital costs of the chargepoint and associated installation costs.

3. The key features of the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme are as follows:

  • The grant is a 75% contribution towards the cost of one chargepoint and its
    installation up to a maximum of £500 (including VAT) per household/eligible
    vehicle.
  • Customers must provide evidence of being the primary user of an eligible electric vehicle or have a vehicle on order in order to be able to qualify for the grant.
  • The date of installation must not be more than 4 months ahead of the date
    of delivery or start date of vehicle use.

4. The grant covers up to 75% of the eligible costs of chargepoint installation, the
customer form requires confirmation of who is paying the balance of the
installation costs.

5. The grant for 75% must be claimed against an approved chargepoint and
made on your behalf by a chargepoint installer which has been authorised
by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).

6. You must have off street parking facilities suitable for chargepoint installation (a survey prior to installation should be conducted by your installer). If you do not have off street parking, your Local Authority may be able to help via a central Government grant.

7. The authorised chargepoint installer will claim the 75% (capped at £500) on your behalf. How the remaining cost is to be met should be agreed with your installer prior to installation. In any event, you should satisfy yourself whether you are expected to pay the remaining cost, and if not who will be paying for it, before the installation takes place. The grant will only be paid in arrears (i.e. once installation is complete).

8. No more than 2 chargepoints can be funded at one property irrespective of how many vehicles are registered there.

Source: EVHS – Guidance for Customers: November 2016

Milton Keynes pushes ahead with Go Ultra Low City programme

Electric Vehicle consultancy, Zero Carbon Futures, has been appointed as project manager to Milton Keynes Council to support the delivery of their Go Ultra Low City programme.

The appointment follows the announcement last year that Milton Keynes has been awarded £9 million from the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ Go Ultra Low City Scheme. The funding is to support the city to become a showcase of what can be done to encourage the uptake of Ultra Low Emission Vehicles.

Following a competitive tender process, Zero Carbon Futures has been commissioned to oversee the project’s key strands including the EV Experience Centre, EV charge point infrastructure and innovation as well as work on the Highways to support the programme.

Brian Matthews, Head of Transport Innovation, at Milton Keynes Council, said:

“We had a number of exceptionally strong tender submissions for the project management contract however Zero Carbon Futures’ expertise and knowledge of the industry really stood out. The company will be a critical friend for the project throughout its five years.”

Zero Carbon Futures has been involved in a number of high profile electric vehicle projects such as the Rapid Charge Network, Plugged in Places and My Electric Avenue and has overseen the development of charge point networks across the UK including at motorway service stations. The company has also developed a number of electric vehicle marketing and promotional campaigns to encourage residents and businesses to consider making the switch to electric.

Dr Colin Herron, Managing Director at Zero Carbon Futures, said:

“Milton Keynes put forward an exceptionally strong bid to become a Go Ultra Low City and we are delighted to be working with the Council to support its delivery. This is a significant programme which will make a demonstrable difference to electric vehicle uptake in the City and we hope that our expertise will provide real added value to the Council.”

Read more: Zero Carbon Futures

Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Image: POD Point)

Choosing a Charge Point

When buying an electric car it is nearly always worthwhile to get a dedicated charge point installed at home.

It’s more convenient than an ‘occasional use’ or ‘granny’ (13 Amp) charge cable because you don’t need to reel it up and put it away each time.

Home Charging a Renault ZOE with a Dedicated Charge Point (Image: Charging Solutions)
Charging a Renault ZOE with a Home Charge Point (Image: Charging Solutions)

It will also be significantly faster because a dedicated charge point can provide more power without the risk of overheating. Also some electric cars, such as the Renault ZOE, don’t come with such a cable and buying one yourself can be very expensive (£500+).

The good news is that the installation of domestic charge points is subsidised by the UK government.

There are 3 decisions to be made when selecting the type of charge point for your car:

  • Tethered or Untethered
  • Connector Types
  • Power Level

 

Tethered or Untethered

There is usually the choice of a ‘tethered’ cable (it is fixed to the charge point) or an ‘untethered’ cable (it plugs into and can be removed from the charge point).

Untethered and tethered charge points (Image: Chargemaster)
Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Image: Chargemaster)

Untethered has the advantage of allowing different cables to be connected (for example you can use the same charge point for a Nissan Leaf and a Renault ZOE). However, most people choose tethered because it avoids the inconvenience of connecting a cable whenever you need to charge (usually daily). It also reduces the risk of the cable being stolen.

A charge point with a tethered cable will usually cost more than an untethered one (typically about £50 more) because of the cost of its cable.

Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Image: POD Point)
Untethered and Tethered Charge Points (Images: POD Point)

If you choose untethered you will need to use your own cable to connect to the car; it is the same cable that would be used to connect to a public charging point. It may come free with the car, for example the Renault ZOE or the Nissan Leaf with the 6.6kW charge option come with one. Otherwise you will need to buy one (we can advise you on suppliers).

 

Connector Types

All untethered domestic charge points supplied in the UK come with a Type 2 socket on the charge point, just as all public charge points now have (or at least officially should have) Type 2 sockets. Similarly all charge cables have a Type 2 plug at the charge point end.

If the cable is tethered then you need to tell the installer the type of plug you want at the car end. This will depend on the car:

  • Type 1 socket: Nissan Leaf, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV, Kia Soul EV
  • Type 2 socket: Renault ZOE, BMW i3, VW e-Golf and Hyundai IONIQ

The Type 2 or ‘Mennekes’ connector is the official standard in Europe and should eventually replace the Type 1.

 

Power Level

A dedicated charge point can provide higher powers than a typical occasional use charging cable which will run at 10 Amps, equivalent at 230 Volts to 2.3 kilowatts. The charge will take place at the highest power that both the charge point can provide and the car can use.

There are two common power levels:

  • 16A = 3.5kW: This is the maximum charge level of the Nissan Leaf 3.3kW, the Mitsubishi Outlander and the VW e-Golf.
  • 30A/32A = 7kW: This is the maximum charge level of the Nissan Leaf 6.6kW, BMW i3, Kia Soul EV and Hyundai IONIQ. The standard Renault ZOE can use this level, in fact anything up to 22kW.

The higher power reduces the charge time so a typical EV battery will charge in about 8 hours at 16A but in about 4 hours at 32A.

It may be best to install the highest power charge point you can afford; even if your current car can’t use all the power, the next one almost certainly will be able to.

Simplified EV Charging Infrastructure on its Way

New rules have been put into place by the UK Government that will make access to electric car recharging infrastructure easier for drivers.

As part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill 2017, charge point network operators could be made to provide cross-network access for customers.

Motorway services and large petrol stations could be made to provide EV charging points too, and possibly include hydrogen refuelling stations on site.

With the new bill, the Government has the ability to enforce aspects of electric vehicle recharging or refuelling to be simplified. Among considerations is creating standardised payment systems, whether that be via apps, RFID cards, or credit/debit cards.

Also, the potential is there to standardise recharging/refuelling pricing. Hydrogen is widely charged in £/kg and that is likely to remain with the refuelling infrastructure in its infancy. However, EV charging is often priced at £/kWh or £/minute – potentially confusing users as to costs.

John Hayes, Minister of State for Transport said:

“If we are to accelerate the use of electric vehicles we must take action now and be ready to take more action later.

“I recognise that to encourage more drivers to go electric, the infrastructure needs to become even more widespread than the 11,000 charging points already in place and more straightforward. We are determined to do all we can to make electric vehicles work for everyone and these new laws will help make this a reality.”

Source: Zap-Map

San Francisco plans to require that all new buildings and parking be ‘100% electric vehicle ready’

The city of San Francisco has not been shy to use its building codes to try to accelerate the deployment of sustainable energy. Last year, it required new buildings to have solar panels installed on the roof and this year, it will try to accommodate electric vehicles by using a similar approach.

San Francisco already has one of the highest concentration of electric vehicles in the world and that comes with a more than decent public charging station coverage.

Now they want to make sure people can also have a charger at home more easily, which is why Mayor Edwin M. Lee and Supervisor Katy Tang introduced new legislation to require that all new buildings are ‘100% electric vehicle ready’.

Mayor Lee said about the announcement on Tuesday:

“San Francisco is working towards smart, long-term investments and policies that reduce pollution and make sense economically. We are committed to continuing our leadership on fighting climate change. By improving access to electric charging citywide, San Francisco is accelerating our transition to a clean-energy transportation future.”

They want to require all new parking construction to accommodate EVs with at least 10% of the space and the rest to be “ready” to have chargers installed:

“This 100 percent EV Ready ordinance requires all new residential and commercial buildings to configure 10 percent of parking spaces to be “turnkey ready” for EV charger installation, and an additional 10 percent to be “EV flexible” for potential charging and upgrades. The remaining 80 percent of parking spaces will be “EV capable,” by ensuring conduit is run in the hardest to reach areas of a parking garage to avoid future cost barriers.”

The city expects that this approach will reduce the cost of installing an electric vehicle charger by as much as 75% versus a building/parking that wasn’t designed to be “EV ready”.

It’s a more aggressive approach than the state’s. California building codes now require 3 percent of parking spaces to be designed to serve electric vehicles.

Source: Electrek

Coming to a street near you? You can make a case with your local authority to have an electric car charge point installed on your street

Want an electric car charge point on the street outside your house?

  • On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme available since January 1
  • EV owners must ask their local authorities to apply for chargers on their behalf
  • Scheme will favour areas where no off-street parking is available
  • Councils can apply for multiple plug-ins to cover current and future EV demand
Coming to a street near you? You can make a case with your local authority to have an electric car charge point installed on your street
Coming to a street near you? You can make a case with your local authority to have an electric car charge point installed on your street

The biggest issue strangling the nation’s switch from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles is undoubtedly the lack of infrastructure in the UK. Too few chargers to replenish batteries – especially in inner-city areas where short journeys are best served by zero-emissions electric cars but most people must park their car on the street – have restricted the take-up of pure electric models in Britain.

However, a new £2.5 million ‘On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme’ has been created to allow EV owners to apply to have a plug-in point installed on their street – and perhaps even right outside their house – the only problem is you have to apply through your council.

The scheme offered by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles from January has made £1 million available to fund installations during the current financial year and an additional £1.5 million to cover applications made during 2017/18. Residents who want one of the twin charge points added on their street will have to ask their local authority to take up their case, with funding then allocated on a first-come first-served basis.
Of course, if you (or your local authority) is fortunate enough to secure one of the charge posts, there’s no guarantee it’ll be available for you to take advantage of – any electric-car or plug-in hybrid driver will be able to use it and you’ll have to pay to have access to the supply. So don’t expect to plug your BMW i3 or Nissan Leaf into one overnight every day.

The scheme is aimed at EV owners who have no off-street parking, for example those with on-street resident parking bays – suggesting most accepted applications will be in highly-populated urban areas. However, local authorities can also apply to the scheme to meet future demands, meaning plug-in posts capable of charging two vehicles at once could be erected in your area even if there are currently no electric car owners living on your street.

Poppy Welch, head of Go Ultra Low – a joint government and industry campaign to encourage motorists into zero-emissions vehicles – said:

‘The growing demand for electric vehicles justifies greater on-street charging infrastructure and for EV owners that do not have access to off street charging, this public infrastructure is vital.

‘2016 marked a record year for plug-in registrations with more motorists than ever making the switch to electric. Annual uptake rose 29 per cent and we expect this strong growth to continue, so welcome all investments made in the national charging infrastructure.

‘While Go Ultra Low research shows more than 90 per cent of charging is done at home, there are already more than 11,000 publically accessible charge points around the country, so this growing national network provides a useful additional option to motorists.’

Read more: This is Money

New autonomous vehicle insurance and electric vehicle infrastructure

Self-driving car insurance and electric vehicle charge point measures introduced in Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill.

New insurance rules for self-driving cars and measures to improve provision of electric vehicle charge points will be introduced today (22 February 2017), as part of the Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill.

It is hoped these measures will help the UK to become a world leader in these technologies by breaking down some of the barriers that could limit companies from testing them here.

Measures around insurance for self-driving cars will ensure better protection – a single insurance product for automated vehicles will now be able to cover both the motorist when they are driving, as well as the car when it is in automated mode. This will mean innocent victims involved in a collision with an automated vehicle will have quick and easy access to compensation.

Self-driving vehicles will allow the driver to hand full control and responsibility to the vehicle when technologies are turned on.

The measures follow a consultation by the Department for Transport on the issue of insurance for self-driving cars that closed in September 2016. The Secretary of State will be given the power to classify which vehicles are ‘automated’ and subject to the new insurance requirement.

Chris Grayling, the Transport Secretary, said:

Automated vehicles have the potential to transform our roads in the future and make them even safer and easier to use, as well as promising new mobility for those who cannot drive.

But we must ensure the public is protected in the event of an incident and today we are introducing the framework to allow insurance for these new technologies.

David Williams, Head of Underwriting, at AXA UK, said:

This is a positive step forward that provides clarity to insurers to ensure we design our products appropriately. It keeps protection of the general public at its heart which we hope will encourage early adoption of some really impressive technology.

The vast majority of accidents are caused by human error and we see automated vehicles having a massive impact, reducing the number and severity of accidents. As well as making our roads safer, insurance premiums are based on the cost of claims and therefore we expect substantially reduced premiums to follow.

Other measures set out in the Bill will mean easier access to infrastructure for electric vehicles. They could also ensure the right infrastructure is in place for the growing market for electric vehicles.

Motorway services and large fuel retailers could be made to provide electric charge points and hydrogen refuelling stations under planned new laws.

The measures could also make sure data about the location and availability of charging stations is openly available, and make it easier to use the different networks which are available. They follow a public consultation on measures to improve charging infrastructure.

John Hayes, Minister of State for Transport said:

If we are to accelerate the use of electric vehicles we must take action now and be ready to take more action later. I recognise that to encourage more drivers to go electric, the infrastructure needs to become even more widespread than the 11,000 charging points already in place and more straightforward. We are determined to do all we can to make electric vehicles work for everyone and these new laws will help make this a reality.

Source: Gov.uk

New electric vehicle charging points have been installed at Heathrow Airport under a new partnership between POD Point, manufacturer of the units, and APCOA Parking

Heathrow Airport installs new electric vehicle charging points

New electric vehicle charging points have been installed at Heathrow Airport under a new partnership between POD Point, manufacturer of the units, and APCOA Parking.

The units are available to all drivers of electric vehicles looking to park at the airport.

New electric vehicle charging points have been installed at Heathrow Airport under a new partnership between POD Point, manufacturer of the units, and APCOA Parking
New electric vehicle charging points have been installed at Heathrow Airport under a new partnership between POD Point, manufacturer of the units, and APCOA Parking

“This partnership agreement has the potential to be a game changer for the EV industry in the UK, and not only in volume,” says Erik Fairbairn, CEO of POD Point. “Working with APCOA means access to EV will be granted to a huge section of the population at various touch points in their daily life, as well as putting a measure in place to generate footfall in retail centres and provide added services that encourage customer retention for businesses. Our mission is to have a POD Point everywhere people park for an hour or more and today’s announcement means we are a step closer to making that vision a reality.”

Kim Challis, Regional Managing Director for UK & Ireland, APCOA, adds: “At APCOA we’re passionate about sustainable travel and the future of electric vehicles. I’m proud to be embarking on this exciting new partnership with POD Point. APCOA is the parking provider of choice to hundreds of organisations across the UK and Ireland, and our broad network will open up EV chargers to new motorists and support the wider take-up of electric vehicles.”

Source: Airport Business

Milton Keynes EV Experience Centre

Country’s first electric car showroom to open in Milton Keynes

Chargemaster has won the contract to set up and operate a new EV Experience Centre in Milton Keynes.

This will be the UKs first-ever shopping centre multi-brand showroom. Milton Keynes was awarded £9 million Go Ultra Low Cities funding in January 2016 to encourage the uptake of low emission vehicles and hit the target of 23 per cent of all car sales being electric or plug-in by 2021.

The project is due to launch in spring and will be situated within the city’s premier shopping centre. The ground-breaking new project will help residents understand the true potential of EV ownership.

As well as showcasing the latest EVs and exciting technology, highly trained independent professionals will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions and refer them to relevant local dealerships or partner leasing companies. As an added bonus, Milton Keynes residents and businesses will also be able to test drive a range of vehicles on a short or long-term basis.

Milton Keynes EV Experience Centre
Milton Keynes EV Experience Centre

Brian Matthews, head of Transport Innovation at Milton Keynes, said:

“Our commitment to making Milton Keynes a go-to destination and flagship Go Ultra Low city starts with our residents.

“We’re delighted to be working with Chargemaster on this project, and are confident that the team is best placed to champion the EV sector, considering their knowledge and experience of the industry.”

David Martell, Chargemaster CEO, said:

“Being part of such a high-profile and diverse project is very exciting for Chargemaster.

“The centre will be the first of its kind and we are sure it will pave the way for other cities to follow.

“We are looking forward to welcoming Milton Keynes shoppers and showing them everything that going green has to offer.”

Read more: MiltonKeynes.co.uk

New standardised wireless chargers mean cross-brand and network compatibility

Wireless EV Charging Standard Agreed

The world’s major electric car makers and charging equipment providers have agreed on a standardised specification for wireless EV charging points, allowing companies to develop components going forward that will seamlessly work with each other anywhere.

Although not as exciting on the surface as say a new high-powered rapid charger, the standardisation of wireless car charging is of vital importance to the EV market in the future.

New standardised wireless chargers mean cross-brand and network compatibility
New standardised wireless chargers mean cross-brand and network compatibility

All of the main EV and PHEV manufacturers are planning on incorporating wireless charging into future models, while it is also a crucial element of autonomous EVs that can drive off and charge themselves when not in use.

The new SAE J2954 standard will charge at either 3.7 kW or 7.7 kW in Level 1 or Level 2 respectively. These use current commonly found charging rates, with a Level 3 set-up charging at 11 kW planned for later this year.

The agreements were made at a meeting at Audi HQ in Ingolstadt, Germany, chaired by Jesse Schneider who has worked on the project since 2010.

Mr Schneider said:

“Charging your vehicle should be as simple as parking it and walking away — and wireless charging with SAE J2954™ enables that freedom and convenience to do this automatically. Automakers believe that wireless charging can greatly help to make both electrified and autonomous vehicle mainstream, and they have been active supporters of our standardization efforts.

“Reaching a decision for a common J2954™ RP test station, equipped with circular topology, provides automakers with the technical direction for their wireless charging system design, development and production release plans to meet industry compatibility, interoperability and performance standards. It is a major step forward for the industry.”

Source: Next Green Car