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

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)

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."