Electric Vehicle Ready Homes

With recent announcements to significantly increase the number of homes built in the UK, and additional funding available to boost the uptake of electric vehicles (EVs), should residential developers be looking at how they provide EV charging points on new builds?

This is the call to action by award winning UK based EV charge point manufacturer Rolec Services, a company which has supplied over 75,000 charging points so far.

Rachel Fendyke, Rolec EV’s Sales Engineer, commented:

“Residential developers’ approaches to providing EV charging points varies widely across the country. Some see the provision of EV charging points to be an additional cost which adds little value to homes, while others view it as an essential part of the electrical installation.”

“There are several charging ‘modes’ the electric vehicle industry refers to – for residential properties this is Mode 2 and Mode 3.”

“Mode 2 provides electric vehicle charging via a 13amp standard socket, Mode 3 provides electric vehicle charging via a charging point which incorporates a communication module. This enables the EV and charging unit to communicate to optimise the charge time, and to initiate/complete the charging session. In addition, the socket rating of the charging unit may be either 16amps or 32amps, as some vehicles charge at 16amps and some at 32amps.”

“As with any reasonably new technology, developers, planners and manufacturers need to work together to provide a solution which will meet the needs of all. It is likely that Building Regulations will be revised to include the requirement to provide a dedicated circuit for an EV charging point. This is a great move forward and will ensure that the installations are carried out in accordance with the current edition of the IEE Wiring Regulations, BS7671 Section 722.”

“The current situation, whereby a dedicated radial circuit is not always installed, can lead to electric vehicles being plugged into ring main circuits which are already serving a number of other appliances. As the EV will draw the maximum current available (10amps on a 13amp socket) for prolonged periods of time, this can cause problems. This not only has the potential to lead to nuisance tripping, but could also lead to a potential fire risk. Residential developers should be aware of such risks and mitigate them wherever possible.

“For little additional cost a dedicated circuit could be installed during construction, terminating at a suitable socket outlet. As it is also necessary to ensure the circuit supplying the EV charging socket has RCD protection, the configuration of the consumer unit will need considering. With this in mind, a solution would be a socket with built in RCD protection.”

Kieron Alsop, Managing Director of Rolec EV, commented:

“This is why we believe our WallPod: EV Ready has its place in today’s market. Not only does it have built-in earth fault and overcurrent protection, it is IP65 rated, flame retardant and corrosion resistant. In addition to this, it can be easily upgraded to a Mode 3 charging unit by installing an upgrade kit.”

In conclusion, residential developers need to consider the provision of EV charging units in all new homes as the take-up of electric vehicles continues to rise.

Rachel commented:

“Although it would be ideal to have a 32amp Mode 3 EV charging point installed in every new home built, this is not the direction the construction industry is currently taking. The best solution moving forwards would be, where possible, to install a cable with a current carrying capacity of 32amps, protected by a device rated at 16amps, connected to a product such as the Rolec WallPod: EV Ready.”

“This would provide the infrastructure to install a Mode 3, 32amp charging point at a later date. If the existing calculated household load does not afford the provision of a 32amp circuit for future use, then a 16amp rated cable, protective device and WallPod: EV Ready or equivalent should be considered.”

For more information about EV charging points contact Rolec EV on 01205 724754, email r.fendyke(Replace this parenthesis with the @ sign)rolecserv.co.uk or go to www.rolecserv.com