Electrical Review spoke with Chris Ward, operations director at Andersen EV, to find out what the future of the EV charging market looks like amidst its rapid expansion.
Over 350,000 UK homes will be fitted with electric vehicle chargers by 2025 as plug-in car uptake surges, according to Andersen, a British manufacturer and installer of high-end residential EV charging points.
By 2025, an expected one million electric vehicles will be registered on UK roads bringing with it a spike in the number of home chargers. Analysis of sales trends by Andersen has found that 362,270 wall boxes could be installed in UK driveways and garages over the next five years based on current installation rates, adding to the current crop of 120,000.
What is the impact of EV chargers coming on the electrical residential scene?
EV chargers are a relatively new product and affect consumers and electricians, government regulations and crosses into green energy consumption and tariffs sectors.
For manufacturers they are challenged to create products that respond to consumer demand from latest smart integrations with photovoltaics to in-built cable management, as well as meeting the technical safety regulations. Manufacturers additionally have a choice to connect customers with qualified electricians to help them get their product installed correctly, while some choose to run their own in-house electricians.
Since EV chargers have come onto the electrical scene, what kind of impact has that had on electricians?
The introduction of the EV charge point has given electricians the ability to forge extra business in a new sector, which for electricians doesn’t happen that often. There is the ability to diversify into the EV sector on both a domestic and commercial footing and give small companies the ability to expand their offerings to existing client bases or to go and forge new customers.
Electricians also like expanding their knowledge, so a new product and sector brings with it new regulations and training courses, more discussion and a chance to showcase their knowledge.
Approving electricians to install Andersen. What do Andersen look for?
We look for experienced, hardworking and driven installers of EV charging equipment. They must have customer service at their heart and want to deliver the best installation they possibly can for our customers. And carry and wear the Andersen EV name with pride at all times.
To become an in-house installer (external) of an Andersen Product, the installer should be registered with a CPS (NICEIC/NAPIT), have the relevant EV Charge Point installation qualification and also be currently approved by OLEV (HM government’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles) – this last point means that the installer needs to be approved by another manufacturer and then OLEV approved before being approved by Andersen. We believe that this increases the standard and experience of the installer and they know the full OLEV processes.
What technical levels do you ask for in an electrician?
- Latest BS:7671 18th Edition Regulations
- Testing & Inspection C+G 2391
- Installing of EV Charge Points C+G 2919
What are your challenges in onboarding electricians?
Making sure that the installer knows our product from a technical/ installation point of view and know what requirements are needed. All manufacturers of EV charge points are built differently and offer varying degrees of protection (O-PEN/ DC leakage etc) and as such assumptions are made and in some cases costly enabling works could have been avoided for a customer and in other instances we see a lack of appropriate protection has been installed.
How has the government OLEV grants affected the industry?
The grant was great at the beginning as it bought the cost of a charge point down which catalysed a pick-up for the whole EV market, however over time this has caused a couple of issues.
Cash flow is a major issue, due to the time it takes OLEV to get around to approving Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) grant submissions which can take up to 60 days. This puts a big strain on businesses who need to have large slush funds to be able to maintain operational levels whilst waiting to be paid.
The EVHS grant process (commonly referred to as the OLEV grant) is very paperwork heavy and time consuming with a lot of strain put on small businesses – the process should be more streamlined with the onus placed on customer or consumer for claiming the grant funds back from OLEV, rather like a voucher-based scheme.