How Electric Vehicle Trends Will Change The Face Of Car Parking
One of the most significant transformations over the next few years will be the growth of electric vehicles (EVs) and the evolution of the technology behind them. This will inevitably have implications for owners and operators of car parks who will need to adapt to the changes and provide the charging facilities motorists demand.
Where Will People Charge EVs?
According to low carbon technology consultants Cenex, 80% of EV charging currently takes place at home, 15% at employer premises and 5% in public car parks. This is estimated to evolve so that 20% of charging will take place in public car parks and 20% at employer premises.
Adding charging capacity to car parks will make life easier for EV owners in densely populated urban areas. Charging your EV while you are at work will be a convenient option for many people.
Where Will the Power Come From?
Workplace and public car park operators have a lot to consider. One big issue is where the power will come from. This question involves the substation supply and the car park’s electrical distribution system. Widespread EV charging wasn’t at the forefront of people’s minds when most existing car parks were designed.
EV charging points take up valuable space – particularly floor-mounted ones. Any spaces reserved for EVs that are not extensively used will lose revenue.
On the other hand, as EV use increases, availability of charging points will influence where people choose to park. New car parks being commissioned must be planned with this in mind.
What Type of EV Charging?
Current charger options include standard/slow, fast, rapid and ultra-rapid. A large number of rapid charging facilities will obviously create a significant electrical load.
Dwell time will be an important consideration. For long dwell times slow charging will be adequate but more charging points will be needed. Short stays will be looking for rapid charging and may need fewer points.
Growing EV use isn’t the only important trend. Autonomous vehicles will come along at some point and will probably use one of the induction charging systems under development. Smart parking systems will also be valued by EV drivers who want to be certain of finding a charging point when they park.
Managing and balancing electrical loads will mean that many car parks incorporate generation and storage facilities. Vehicle to Grid (V2G) systems could also store excess generation in vehicle batteries and feed it back to the grid – making a useful revenue generation option in future for motorists and car park owners.
Planning a new car park has to take all of these factors and possibilities into account. The modular system developed by Osborne and Siderpark is designed to be flexible. EV charging points can easily be accommodated along with PV panels for renewable energy generation.