The complexities of on-street EV charging
At Delta-EE, we see three main segments of EV charging: home charging, workplace charging and public charging. Recent Delta-EE research finds home charging remains the most predominant segment and as electric vehicles grow in popularity it has become increasingly obvious not everyone has off-street parking where they can charge their EV.
That’s where on-street parking comes in. Within the UK and Germany, only 4-5% of respondents said they used public on-street charging. That number is even lower in France a only 1-2%. In the Netherlands, however, it is a substantial 16%.
Most people with electric vehicles have off-street parking and are not representative of the wider population. To encourage higher levels of EV adoption, better on-street charging infrastructure is needed.
Alex Lewis-Jones, EV Research Manager, says, “People are trailing cables across the pavement to get to their cars in London. It is a major safety concern for public authorities to make sure this is not the future of EV adoption.”
This level of infrastructure, however, is not without its challenges. Alex says, “The chargepoint would be controlled by a municipality or local authority, but do they know how install a chargepoint? Do they have the resources? Which team takes control of the chargepoint?
“Secondly, do we have the capacity in our local networks, or do we need to dig up the roads and install brand new cables?
“And finally, can we get it to work for the customer? It’s convenient if the customer can park in their driveway and the chargepoint only ever used by them is available. But if the chargepoint is down the road or in the next street, will it be available? Will it cost the right amount of money?”
For local authorities looking for the right model for them, it can be overwhelming. Delta-EE categorises this innovation in three ways:
- New building and infrastructure which fits into the existing environment, so it works for all stakeholders
- Retrofitting into existing infrastructure: there’s already electrical infrastructure in the roads, so does furniture exist, such as lampposts, which can be adapted to include new chargepoints?
- Providing the Charging as a service model. The infrastructure may not be installed near the customer, but the charging may be brought to them via, for example, a van bringing batteries to your home, or a chauffeur driving your EV to a public chargepoint and returning the car when it’s fully charged.
To find out more about these innovations and the complexities of on-street charging, listen to our recent Talking New Energy podcast episode, EV Charging: How to solve the on-street challenge?