On Mar 30 2022 / by Wyoming Paul

The future of parking: Installing EV chargers

Here are our top tips for installing and managing EV chargers

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Uptake of electric vehicles is surging around the world, with five million passenger EVs sold globally by March 2019 and sales gathering increasing momentum. Both New Zealand and Australia have ambitious EV targets, and in 2018 both countries experienced their highest EV sales to date. If you haven’t already installed EV charging stations at your car park, this is a great time to future-proof your space and consider how to manage their use.

But where to start? Parkable has partnered with EV Power in China to provide connected EV chargers for parkers, and we’ve learnt a lot about the workings of EV chargers in the process. Here are our top tips for installing and managing them:

When is the best time to install EV chargers?

The ideal time to install EV chargers is during a car park renovation or construction. However, existing car parks can also install chargers.

Where in the car park should chargers be stationed?

  • EV chargers are weather-proof, so they can be installed indoors or outside.
  • If possible, station EV chargers against the wall, as this is more cost-effective than on a pedestal. The shorter the distance between charger and switchboard, the better.
  • Station chargers in areas with less foot traffic, so the cables don’t cause a hazard to pedestrians.
  • The most efficient placement is centred between two parking bays, so two cars can use the charger at once.

What’s the best way to roll out charger infrastructure?

For a new car park, Ecotricity recommends installing cabling for between 20% and 50% of your parking bays, then installing one or two chargers and increasing the number as demand grows. With the cabling already in place, increasing your number of chargers is easy, and you only increase your installation costs when demand requires it.

What type of EV charger should I install? Fast or slow?

It’s best to consider a mix of slow (7 kW) and fast (22 kW) EV chargers, taking into account the electrical capabilities of your car park. A 22kW charger should be installed close to a transformer that can handle 50kW easily (the typical residential property can only handle 14kW).

  • 7 kW chargers spread the charge load over a longer time period, and as charging takes 6-12 hours with these chargers there is no need for people to swap parking bays after charging. They are also far more cost-effective.
  • However, a small number of 22 kW chargers can be useful for those who do a lot of driving during the day and need to charge quickly, such as sales reps or delivery fleets. The cost of a 22kW charger, including installation, is approximately NZ$2,000, so it also depends on demand at your car park.

How should I manage the use of chargers?

Once EV chargers are in place, one of the problems that facilities managers confront is how to manage the use of those chargers. This includes management of payments, length of stay in charger bays, availability, and ensuring that only EVs are parking in that space - a problem also faced by EV drivers and Auckland Council. Parkable for Business provides a complete management service, including:

  • Showing users charger availability in real time
  • Allowing people to pay for charging via their phone
  • Alerting people when their car is fully charged
  • Preventing non-EVs from parking in charging bays through IoT bay barriers

To find out more about managing EV chargers through connected technology, contact us here.