5 major mistakes to avoid when deciding to install charging stations in a car park

13 Apr 2021

Choosing the right charging solutions to be installed in your parking lot is no easy task. Between the number of brands and the depth of the range available, it is easy to get lost in the charging world. But it is also necessary to look beyond the product specification sheet and consider the other elements that can guide you in your choice. This is not always easy, but it would be a shame to ignore it.

Whether you are a parking manager in the public or private sector, we have listed here 5 major mistakes to avoid when dealing with the electrification of your car parks.

Sizing without taking usage into account.

There is often a belief that by equipping yourself with fast charging stations which require a greater level of power, it will be easier to meet all the demands of EV users. Depending on the type of car park, this may be true. But to be sure, it is important to go into detail and take into consideration the usage. Indeed, in a company car park where employees stay parked for 8 hours a day in the same place, the usage will be different from a public paid car park where the average parking time is about 2 hours. The needs will therefore not be the same. Less powerful charging infrastructures may be more suitable if parking is relatively long and regular.

When possible, it is also advised to focus on the type of vehicle that visits your car park. Do the vast majority of vehicles accept fast charging? Or do these vehicles benefit from slow charging instead? If not, you could end up with a fleet of charging stations that is not optimised for the number of vehicles using it.

Mistaking the power available in your car park

Installing charging infrastructures requires a connection to your electrical network. Let us take the example of a company that installs 10 22kW charging stations. For 10 vehicles arriving at the same time, this represents a peak consumption equivalent to 220kW. Of course, there are many solutions to alleviate this problem, such as smart charging techniques, but these techniques also impact the performance of your service and the user satisfaction. It is therefore important to know, ideally at the beginning of the project, the power you wish to allocate to your charging infrastructure’s installation and to have a good estimate of the number of vehicles in your car park so as not to make a mistake.

Estimating the cost of installing your charging infrastructure based solely on their price

To calculate the cost of installing a fleet of charging stations, it is important to consider all the events which will be used in their installation; where is your nearest connection point? Will trenches need to be dug? Do you need to increase your flat rate with your energy supplier?

These are all questions that need to be answered beforehand and which can make your project vary by as much as double.

Neglecting the subsidies provided for the installation of charging infrastructure

Today governments support the electrification of the territory and provide subsidies to organisations who wish to install charging infrastructures in car parks open to the public, but also private! This is notably the case with the French “ADVENIR” programme, which can finance up to 60% of your installation costs.

Neglecting billing options

Depending on your strategy, you may not consider billing the charging service in your parking spaces today. This is indeed a common practice in some car parks. However, if you want to make a return on your investment, it may be worthwhile to consider the possible revenues that could be generated by billing the service. Many mobility operators exist and can help you implement this policy and integrate you into their network. The result; visibility for your site, better use of your equipment and ultimately a possible return on investment. Also, find out about the billing functions of the various terminals you have in mind.