Garages and workshops are also looking into being able to repair and service EVs. If there’s to be a huge shift to electric cars, dealers – be they large retail groups or smaller independent traders – will need to be up to speed on how to service them.
One thing is for sure: the businesses that service our cars will need to start preparing now for the electric revolution. Here’s how they can begin to upgrade their workplaces.
A capacity check is step one. If a business is looking to accommodate greater numbers of EVs, it is important to ensure there is the cabling and infrastructure in place.
Businesses can ask a local electrician to ensure that there is sufficient capacity on site above maximum demand. This is usually either very cheap or even free to undertake. Alternatively, there are companies that can carry out a site survey to produce a turnkey solution. The supply must not have any diversity (a supply calculation) in order to have sufficient power to charge the cars.
If a site is found to have an insufficient supply, there are a few options to consider. It may be necessary to ring-fence power for the EV charging points, in which case a charging point supplier can install a charging point where the power is ring-fenced before it goes to the existing distribution board. Alternatively, a lower-powered charging point that requires less power can be installed.
Where a business has low power supply capacity, it may need to look at investing in an upgrade to its incoming power supply to have the best charging result. One option is to take advice about a supply upgrade from the distribution network operator (DNO). The price for this type of upgrade varies from minimal to quite expensive, depending on how much work the DNO needs to do to get the additional supply into the property. With some luck, the mains cable in the street will pass by the building, meaning minimal infrastructure work.
Garages worrying about major upgrades to substations needn’t be concerned, as these would not typically be required for a standard commercial installation. Not only are they an expensive undertaking, requiring major network upgrades, but they’re also not normally the responsibility of the business owner.
Load management is another potential solution to ensure businesses are ready for the move to EVs, allowing chargers to use only up to a maximum level of energy to help avoid power failures.