EV Infrastructure Best Practices Explained For Confused Fleet Managers

1 month ago by Mark Kane 13

Ensto Chago charge point

Ensto, one of the many charging infrastructure manufacturers in Europe, came up with an idea on how to explain infrastructure best practices for some apparently pretty confused fleet managers in the UK.

We don’t doubt that for most of the fleet managers choosing a charging station, the whole situation causes quite the headache.  Not many managers even know all the plug-in options available, let alone their charging requirements, or their fleets individual needs.

Opel Ampera-e

When it comes to power level, Ensto shoots right for the top, and advises future-proofed 22 kW three-phase services, which is considered the best mid-grade/L2 solution for most of Europe.

22 kW AC station is able to provide up to 7.3 kW per phase.

Having 22 kW AC means that all EVs can use the full capacity of their on-board chargers (except of course for some Renault ZOEs with 43 kW capabilities).

“Ensto Chago recently identified inconsistent quality of the vehicle charging experience is impacting on UK fleet’s engagement with electric cars. Combine this with the ambiguity that still surrounds the industry, including an array of acronyms and terminology, fleets are being left confused as to what infrastructure they need to support their business needs.”

James O’Neill, UK Director, Ensto Chago said:

“While we’re already a veteran in the field of EV charging, it’s good to remember the industry is still relatively young,”.

“Many fleet managers have an ever-growing list of responsibilities, in addition to company vehicles, including HR, procurement or purchasing. With the on-going backlash against diesel cars, fleets are having to consider adding EVs and PHEVs to their choice lists, and are having to address the added pressure of charging infrastructures, data and security issues.”

Here is set of explanations and advices:

Opel Ampera-e – DC charging (CCS Combo)

“To help demystify EV charging, Ensto Chago has detailed the best things to consider when opting to use a Fast (AC) EV Charging infrastructure:

Power ratings – New EV and hybrid vehicles are able to charge at much quicker speeds from AC charging, (now up to 43 kW), so we would always recommend installing three-phase 22kW charging points when possible – though the majority of installs in the UK are currently single-phase.

Securing your fleet – Careless security design can leave your EV charger vulnerable to information attacks, including identity theft and unwanted data consumption directly from the posts. However, EV charging becomes vulnerable only if the conditions allow it so, but there are three ways to significantly increase EV charging security:

  • Ensure everything stays private – businesses need a personal SIM-card to receive a secure IP address where two-way communication between the EV charger and back-end systems stays secure via a Virtual Private Network (VPN), enabling a secure connection between the station and the server.
  • Should the SIM-card be misplaced, ensure the charger operators have access to freeze the SIM-card immediately, and remotely, at the user’s request.
  • Charge points should be designed with Open Charge Point Protocol (OCCP), the global open standard for EV charging equipment, so it responds only to specific back-end systems to eliminate the chance of misuse.

Operational (OPEX) Costs – Look to position EV chargers where there is already an established electricity connection as this will result in lower operating costs for the host. Studies have proven this will save as much as 80% of a charging points whole-life cycle costs. 

Usage case – Are the charging points for a private or public network? Public networks will need to feed into a front-end online interface allowing drivers to locate, view real-time availability and potentially pay for charging over their smart phones. 

Smart charging – Smart charging solutions help EVs communicate with the power grid and manage the flow and cost of electricity. Vehicle to grid (V2G) technologies enable the infrastructure to respond to grid signals, enhancing the efficiency of charge system during peak load times.

Future Proofing – Charging points should have built-in functionalities to remotely update software and firmware through back-end programs. This leads to higher performance across the network and charging uptimes of nearly 99% to give EV drivers peace of mind.

Dynamic Load Management – For businesses with limited power capacity, dynamic load management constantly monitors and allocates the electrical feed across your charging points, automatically altering the charging parameters for each station as it is in use, based on the power output available. By using the optimal charging power, you minimise charging costs to help cut down on operational expenditure. Ensto Chago’s range of smart electric vehicle charge points now also qualify for workplace and private grant support by OLEV (Office for Low Emission Vehicles).

Network Reporting and Data Analytics – It is important to access usage reporting and data analytics from charging infrastructures so businesses can assess the behaviour of EV drivers and understand the demand for EV charging to enable an upgrade and adding of additional charging infrastructure.”

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13 responses to "EV Infrastructure Best Practices Explained For Confused Fleet Managers"

  1. Bacardi says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if all vehicles had:

    “built-in functionalities to remotely update software and firmware through back-end programs”?

  2. unlucky says:

    Given the costs as a fleet manager I’d probably make my employee chargers 7.3kW instead. In a normal 8 hour day they could replace the charge they used to get home and back to work. Heck, most could do it in 4 hours and move their car at lunch to make room for more.

    In exchange you could use the savings to power more spots.

    1. Peter says:

      Agree totally but even 3,7 KW will do if you are at work for 8 hours.

  3. HVACman says:

    Sounds like “Supercharger management 101- Euro-style”.

    With the world’s largest fleet of EV’s patrolling the world, Tesla has had to address all these issues with their Supercharger infrastructure network, and has done it well. Dynamic Load Management is standard procedure at their multi-charger stations to keep as many users as possible charging at optimal levels.

    We can only hope Chargepoint, EVGo, etc. will also follow these best practices as they ramp up their CCS infrastructure for the new wave of DCFC-equipped long-range EV’s rolling out onto America’s highways.

    1. Pacojuarez says:

      Renault-Nissan has the largest fleet. I prefer Tesla too, but let’s publish facts to maintain credebility.

  4. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “When it comes to power level, Ensto shoots right for the top, and advises future-proofed 22 kW three-phase services…”

    Why do Level 2 chargers need to be “future proofed”? L2 charging doesn’t need to have the power amped up. The things they should be concentrating on are making the chargers robust enough that they won’t break down frequently, and designing them for easy service when they do. They might also want to consider replacing copper wiring with aluminum wherever possible, to discourage copper thieves.

    The only way to really “future proof” an L2 charger would be to use whatever charging format is eventually going to become the true EV charging standard. Right now I’d say CCS has the best shot at that, but my crystal ball doesn’t work any better than anyone else’s.

    1. unlucky says:

      Regular-power L2 chargers in Europe often have a socket. You bring your own charge cord. So the aluminum thing doesn’t apply. 22kW ones I think have an attached cord like in the US.

      But otherwise I think you make a lot of good points. You want availability (lots of them). You want robustness (which also increases practical availability).

      1. GSP says:

        I am pretty sure that 22 kW 3-phase EVSEs do not need a cord and plug like in the U.S. However, 43 kW 3-phase EVSEs are required to have a cord and plug.

        1. Martin Winlow says:

          If you mean a *tethered* ‘cord’, then you are correct.

  5. Seth says:

    In NL about 90% of public chargepoints are 3 phase 11kW. This caused by the tarif of 3x25A grid tarif being 230 euros a year vs 930 euro for the 3x35A grid connection.

    And with the rather mundane 35 cents/kWh tarif it’s almost impossible to recuperate. You do find 22kW sockets, but these are mostly located on the 50kW CCS/Chademo combo chargers as these already have a beefier grid connection.

  6. notting says:

    “Having 22 kW AC means that all EVs can use the full capacity of their on-board chargers (except of course for some Renault ZOEs with 43 kW capabilities).”
    Definitely wrong. There’re many vehicles that aren’t able to charge with >=11kW (3.6kW/phase) via Typ2 but can be charged faster e.g. via CCS (IIRC e.g. Leaf, E-Golf and i3).

    notting

    1. Jay Cole says:

      “Having 22 kW AC means that all EVs can use the full capacity of their on-board chargers (except of course for some Renault ZOEs with 43 kW capabilities).”

      …talking L2, not DCFC

  7. Martin Winlow says:

    This ‘adviser’ is living in la-la land. The most popular commercial EV in the UK is the Nissan E-NV200 and that has a CHAdeMO (maybe) and a 7kw J1772 (max) connector. Why on Earth would any fleet operator whose vehicles only do up to 50 miles or so a day want to buy 22kW 3 phase EVSEs for them? It would cost 10 times as much than some simple 7kW points. Unfortunately, this sort of government-backed mumbo-jumbo is all the rage here in the UK and epitomised by the complete waste of taxpayers money being spent on the over-subsidised (and largely completely unnecessary) Mode 2 private EVSE purchase scheme run by OLEV. Most EV owners would get by simply charging from a standard (if weatherised) mains socket at 10A (240VAC – ie 2.4kW). This is enough to put about 24kWh of energy back into an EV ‘over night’ equating to a good 70 miles+ of ‘real world’ range. The UK average daily milage for a car is less than 30 miles. With every Mode 2 installation netting the installer over £1000, it’s just ‘jobs for the boys’. For the same money HMG could have installed a comprehensive and effective rapid charge infrastructure that would not only support long distance drivers (including fleet vehicles) but also allow those who have no way of charging at home to own an EV.

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