UK Power Networks and the Electrical Contractors Association (ECA) have released a guide to the connections process for installers interested in moving into the growing electric vehicle (EV) market.
The network operator estimates that only a small proportion of electricians in its patch, across London, the South East and East of England, are currently trained to install chargers for customers. Latest figures show around 4,500 registered installers operate in the area, with as many as 2.7 million EVs forecasted by 2028.
In light of this, the new guide aims to demystify the process for potential new installers so they can begin connecting chargers. The document features quick access to a range of useful information, including installation processes, technical considerations, earthing arrangements, and inspection requirements.
The guide also takes installers through the nine different type of electricity supplies that can be used for EV charge points on UK Power Networks’ network, including help on how to install ‘vehicle to grid’ (V2G) chargers, which release car battery energy into the local grid. It also features details on regulations, permissions, and safety rules helping installers stay safe and compliant at work.
In addition, the guide includes extra resources for ECA’s 2,700 Members, which range from SME electrical firms to nationwide engineering contractors and building services firms that employ thousands of professionals on major UK projects.
“Millions of electric cars will be connecting to our networks in the next decade. To reach Net Zero emissions by 2050, we’re going to keep working with industry bodies like the ECA and the thousands of installers in our areas to keep making Net Zero a reality,” said Ian Cameron, Head of Customer Services and Innovation at UK Power Networks.
There are already over 740,000 plug-in vehicles registered in the UK – comprising around 395,000 battery-electric and 350,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles – with the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans set to end by 2030. According to UK Power Networks, its distribution area is currently at the forefront of the switch, with an estimated 29% of all electric vehicles charging from its grid.
Indeed, despite the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2021 saw the largest-ever annual increase in the number of plug-in registrations, which grew by 74% on 2020. Last year saw 130,000 additional plug-in vehicles sold compared with the number in 2020.
“With the rapidly rising demand for EV charging points, it is vital we don’t take short cuts to ensure safe installation. This guide will help professional electricians pivot their business to new opportunities and play their part in the drive to Net Zero,” said Luke Osbourne, ECA’s Energy & Emerging Technologies Solutions Advisor.