7 Recharging

7 Recharging

7.1 Overnight recharging at home is prioritised

It is widely expected that the majority of plug-in vehicles will be recharged at home and overnight. The convenience that this affords is a much appreciated benefit of plug-in vehicles, with drivers no longer needing to make special journeys or detours to refuel. Furthermore, using off-peak electricity offers the greatest cost, environmental and energy system benefits. Measures to support the provision of home recharging should be given priority in all relevant strategies and policy instruments to promote convenient and desirable recharging behaviours.

Figure 9: Recharging timeline of key developments and enabling measures

Figure 9: Recharging timeline of key developments and enabling measures

 

A related objective is to ensure that the installation of home recharging units is as straightforward as possible. Homeowners should not have to separately liaise with vehicle manufacturers, charging equipment suppliers, electricians, inspectors, permit providers and utilities. Accordingly, as the plug-in vehicle market grows, industry and Government should continue to work together to ensure such installations are straightforward and convenient.

Action 18 Transport Scotland to continue to provide funding for the safe and convenient installation of domestic, workplace and en-route charge points 2013-15

 

7.2 Recharging is safe

A key requirement is to ensure that recharging is safe. Household appliances do not typically exceed 2 kilowatts, while a plug-in vehicle may charge at 3 or 7 kilowatts. Consumers therefore need to be made aware of the risks of handling such equipment to ensure responsible recharging through a domestic electrical system which complies with the UK national wiring regulations (BS 7671). Guidance offered by the Institution of Engineering and Technology recommends that EVs and PHEVs are plugged into a charging unit on a dedicated circuit similar to those required for other appliances such as power showers and electric cookers19. This requires installation by a qualified professional and has the advantage of enabling faster recharging rates.

To encourage such installations Transport Scotland is providing grants to cover the total cost of installing domestic charge points for owners of plug-in vehicles and will continue to work closely with industry to ensure responsible and safe recharging of plug-in vehicles in domestic properties, workplaces and public locations across Scotland.

Action 18 Transport Scotland to continue to provide funding for the safe and convenient installation of domestic, workplace and en-route charge points 2013-15

 

7.3 Charging solutions are developed for residents of flats and tenements

Home recharging is undoubtedly most straightforward at residences with dedicated parking. In Great Britain, 63 per cent of vehicles are parked overnight in a garage or private off-street property20. Across Scotland as a whole, over two thirds of homes are houses or bungalows and therefore many of these residents are also likely to have access to dedicated parking21. However, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, 60 and 66 per cent respectively of households are flats, tenements or other multi-dwelling unit buildings21.

There are a number of possible solutions for residents of such properties. For the early plug-in vehicle market, the most straightforward is likely to be the provision of on-street recharging points for people who buy EVs and PHEVs. Workplace recharging might also provide a practical solution for these individuals and offers a further imperative to encourage employers to provide charge points. Another possible solution is to broker access to private car parks in city centres which have available capacity overnight and could be used by residents that live nearby. This requires engagement with offices, businesses and other organisations with suitable car parking facilities. Furthermore, wider provision of rapid charging across towns and cities may also be beneficial for drivers who cannot recharge at home.

It is likely that a combination of solutions will provide the necessary recharging infrastructure for multi-dwelling unit properties, with much of this depending on the specific circumstances in a given street or locality. Local authorities that have a high proportion of multi-dwelling unit properties will need support to develop recharging solutions for residences across their respective towns and cities. Guidance and support should also be offered to landlords to encourage the provision of necessary charge points.

Action 19 Transport Scotland to establish a multi-stakeholder group on recharging to review the challenges and opportunities and prepare necessary guidance and advice for public and private sector organisations 2013-14

 

Action 18 Transport Scotland to continue to provide funding for the safe and convenient installation of domestic, workplace and en-route charge points 2013-15

 

7.4 Employers are encouraged to provide workplace recharging

Recharging at work is widely expected to be the second most common charging location after the home. This will serve both fleet vehicles and company employees.

The provision of recharging points by employers provides a significant and highly visible statement of an organisation's environmental policy. The provision of recharging points should therefore be promoted as an integral factor in corporate sustainability strategies, the design of sustainable buildings and the environmental assessment of workplaces.

The provision of workplace recharging also encourages employees to consider adoption of plug-in vehicles. This could be further encouraged by incentives such as giving plug-in vehicles access to preferential parking locations or discounts where parking charges are applied.

The ability to recharge at work will be especially important for EV drivers who commute long distances or have no designated location for overnight recharging. It will also be greatly beneficial in maximising the environmental and economic benefits of PHEVs, enabling commuters to complete a greater proportion of a journey in all-electric mode.

A limitation of workplace charging is that it does not encourage off-peak energy use. Accordingly, in the long-run, strategies to minimise peak demand may be required such as variable tariffs and pricing signals.

It is also important that where businesses' emissions are subject to the Carbon Reduction Commitment, any subsequent increase in electricity consumption resulting from workplace charging is discounted and does not result in additional costs.

A further consideration is the need to avoid modal shift away from public transport. On this basis it is recommended that charge points are targeted at workplaces where employees already commute by car.

There is an overarching requirement to promote the benefits of providing facilities for recharging at work as well as addressing the challenges and questions of employers. An outreach programme to inform and encourage workplace recharging jointly initiated by Government, regional planning authorities, public and private sector employers, and other representative bodies would greatly help in this regard.

Action 20 Transport Scotland to install charge points at all main Scottish Government buildings 2013-14

 

Action 21 Transport Scotland to develop an outreach and education strategy for plug-in vehicles 2013-15

 

Action 18 Transport Scotland to continue to provide funding for the safe and convenient installation of domestic, workplace and en-route charge points 2013-15

 

Action 19 Transport Scotland to establish a multi-stakeholder group on recharging to review the challenges and opportunities and prepare necessary guidance and advice for public and private sector organisations 2013-14

 

CASE STUDY:
WORKPLACE RECHARGING AT CARNEGIE COLLEGE

Carnegie College in Dunfermline has received Transport Scotland funding to install recharging facilities, enabling staff, students and members of the public to recharge plug-in vehicles at the College.

The College replaced two Ford Focus diesel vehicles with Nissan LEAFs, with the purpose of advocating carbon reduction and showing its importance to the community. John Buchan, Head of Estates, is not only happy with the vehicle's "exquisite ride and feel" but would also happily lease more vehicles and "absolutely recommends these vehicles to others as they have had lots of positive feedback from a whole array of stakeholders." There are also additional educational benefits for the College as the vehicles can be used for internal training purposes.

7.5 The recharging needs of fleets are supported

Fleet operators of plug-in vehicles have specific recharging requirements that need to be supported to encourage increased adoption of plug-in vehicles. For example, many fleet vehicles are parked at the driver's residence overnight and are therefore subject to the same requirements for dedicated parking and recharging facilities as with individual drivers. Employers will potentially need support in understanding the issues associated with providing infrastructure to such individuals.

Even when vehicles are based in depots and can be reliably recharged overnight, additional charging may be required during the working day to extend the range achievable. The key issue for fleet operators is to ensure completion of required business, which demands guaranteed access to recharging facilities at a desired location and time. Accordingly, some operators of electric fleet vehicles may find it necessary to deploy their own recharging infrastructure networks, adding a considerable cost to organisations wishing to invest in EVs.

A more efficient long-term solution to support fleets would be the provision of shared public infrastructure. This would require faster charging technologies, real time information on the availability of charge points and a facility to make reservations.

Further analysis is needed to better understand the recharging needs of fleets operating plug-in vehicles across Scotland. Government and charge point operators will therefore need to engage with public and private fleet managers to establish usage patterns, the types of recharging infrastructure required and develop appropriate models of infrastructure provision.

Action 15 Transport Scotland to provide funding and work with partners to support evidence-based analysis of public sector fleets to create new opportunities for the deployment of plug-in vehicles 2013-15

 

Action 19 Transport Scotland to establish a multi-stakeholder group on recharging to review the challenges and opportunities and prepare necessary guidance and advice for public and private sector organisations 2013-14

 

7.6 Targeted provision of public recharging

It is widely expected that charge points in public places will generally be used to provide non-essential top-ups to EV and PHEV batteries, with relatively fewer charging events to help extend journeys or support owners who do not have access to off-street parking. Analysis for WWF Scotland22 reported that public charge points represent a more expensive solution than recharging at home and workplaces (on the basis of £/kWh of electricity delivered) and that while visible charge points have a role to play in sending out signals to end-users, public recharging may generally have a relatively low utility because of the short duration that cars are typically parked. It is therefore imperative that the provision of public charge points is targeted at the locations where they are most likely to be used. This includes supermarkets, retail outlets, leisure centres, tourist destinations and car parks, including park and ride facilities.

A number of businesses across Scotland have installed charge points at their own expense to provide top-up charges to customers and visitors. This provides a highly visible statement of corporate environmental policies and encourages increased patronage and dwell time among the growing community of plug-in vehicle drivers. Further engagement and support for these organisations will encourage greater provision of charge points across Scotland.

The overarching requirement for this public infrastructure and all future deployment is that priority is given to locations where it is most needed as opposed to addressing perceived needs. This should be informed by the local knowledge of key stakeholders in towns and cities across Scotland, including local authorities, CPPs, businesses and plug-in vehicle drivers. Transport Scotland has provided resources and support to Scotland's CPPs in 2012/13 and 2013/14 for the targeted provision of public charge points. This support will continue into 2014/15.

Action 18 Transport Scotland to continue to provide funding for the safe and convenient installation of domestic, workplace and en-route charge points 2013-15

 

Action 19 Transport Scotland to establish a multi-stakeholder group on recharging to review the challenges and opportunities and prepare necessary guidance and advice for public and private sector organisations 2013-14

 

CASE STUDY:
ASDA SUPERMARKET INSTALLING CHARGE POINTS AT STORES ACROSS SCOTLAND

Asda is installing EV recharging points for electric cars in car parks for customers who want a cheaper and greener alternative to fossil fuels. Eight charge points have already been installed at stores in Scotland and the scheme will be rolling out to more stores in the near future. To gain access to the charge points, customers sign up to an EV recharging scheme such as Polar, with each of the charging posts providing helpline number details for customers to request support.

Julian Walker-Palin, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Asda, commented: "Asda recognises that electric cars are one of the cheapest ways to travel when compared to a standard car. However in the past there has been a case of chicken and egg with customers not wanting to buy an electric car until charging is more widespread but at the same time companies not wanting to install charging facilities until uptake was higher. Asda already has the highest number of electric car charging points of any UK retailer in an attempt to break this cycle and support cash-strapped Scottish customers. We will also be analysing usage data, allowing us to keep our finger on the pulse to ensure that we continue to provide the right facilities for all of our shoppers."

7.7 A commercial market for plug-in vehicle recharging

A key objective in the provision of public charge points is to avoid creating an infrastructure that is continually dependent on public subsidy. Private sector investments will be required to support the future provision of public charge points, which will ultimately be dependent on the potential to realise sufficient revenue from this infrastructure.

Consumer preferences will largely determine the business models for charge point operation. However, Government clearly has a role to play in facilitating the development of this market and will need to continue to work closely with industry to support this process, while ensuring that provision is made for the needs of plug-in vehicle drivers across the whole of Scotland and not just in the most profitable locations.

Action 22 Transport Scotland to commission a review of the opportunities to transition infrastructure provision in Scotland from a Government-funded pilot to a private sector-led initiative that meets Scotland's long-term needs for recharging infrastructure 2014-15

 

Action 19 Transport Scotland to establish a multi-stakeholder group on recharging to review the challenges and opportunities and prepare necessary guidance and advice for public and private sector organisations 2013-14

 

7.8 Public recharging points are easy to access

There are a number of elements to providing easy access to public charge points. The first is to ensure that it is easy to locate opportunities to recharge. This can be achieved through simple measures such as the provision of signage, accurate maps and geo-information linked to navigation systems.

A related issue is to communicate the status of a charge point. For example, if a charge point has been taken out of service due to a fault or maintenance, this information should be available to plug-in vehicle drivers before they arrive to recharge. As the market develops further, real-time information on the status and availability of charge points could be a valuable service to plug-in vehicle drivers.

Once the charge point is located, drivers should then be able to easily obtain access. This requires that where a publicly available charge point is in a restricted location, such as certain local authority car parks, necessary arrangements are in place to enable drivers to easily gain access. It is also necessary to ensure that any parking spaces at charge points are limited to plug-in vehicles which are actively recharging through clear stipulation and enforcement of parking restrictions. It may also be necessary to limit the duration of parking and recharging in some locations. This will ensure that charge points experience turnover and are available to potential users throughout the day.

Making payment for charging/parking as straightforward as possible is also an important element in providing easy access. To support this, Transport Scotland, under the ChargePlace Scotland brand, is rolling out a network of publicly available pay-as-you-go charge points in Scotland. This negates the need for membership of different charge point schemes or numerous specialist access keys.

Drivers of plug-in vehicles are a valuable source of information on issues related to access to charge points. Accordingly, relevant feedback mechanisms should be established to enable easy reporting of any issues as they emerge and they should be met with a rapid response by the responsible operator of the charge point.

Action 23 Transport Scotland to continue to develop the electric vehicle content on the Greener Scotland website to provide information on plug-in vehicles, recharging and respond to the needs of EV and PHEV drivers 2013-14

 

Action 24 Transport Scotland to roll out a network of pay-as-you-go charge points in Scotland - making payment for charging/ parking as straightforward as possible for plug-in vehicle drivers 2013-14

 

Action 19 Transport Scotland to establish a multi-stakeholder group on recharging to review the challenges and opportunities and prepare necessary guidance and advice for public and private sector organisations 2013-14

 

7.9 Extended all-electric journeys are enabled

The majority of journeys undertaken in Scotland are well within the driveable range of an EV. Ninety-four per cent of journeys in Scotland are under 40km, with the average trip length in a car being only 12.1km23. For many, ownership of an EV is unlikely to be a constraint on their ability to make longer distance journeys. For example, in 2010 the National Travel Survey showed that 37 per cent of households in Scotland with regular access to a car also had access to a second vehicle24, which would allow the use of a fossil-fuelled vehicle for longer journeys. Also, as explained in section 6.6, a range of innovative business models are being developed to enable EV drivers to access different vehicles to meet specific needs, such as a requirement to undertake a longer journey. Furthermore, rail travel will also continue to present a viable alternative to the car for many people.

For drivers who regularly undertake longer journeys or place a high importance on being able to do so, PHEVs could provide a viable option. These vehicles use a petrol or diesel fuelled internal combustion engine to enable longer journeys.

All-electric journeys in EVs and PHEVs offer the greatest emissions reduction and therefore should be facilitated as much as possible. Transport Scotland plans to deploy a network of rapid chargers at intervals of least every 50 miles on Scotland's primary road network. These rapid chargers will enable an EV such as the Nissan LEAF, which has a 24 kilowatt hour battery, to be recharged to 80 per cent of capacity in under 30 minutes.

Transport Scotland will continue to have a role in ensuring that a suitable recharging infrastructure is in place to enable extended all-electric journeys to both meet the changing needs of the market and support widespread adoption of plug-in vehicles.

Action 25 Transport Scotland to deploy rapid charge points at intervals of at least 50 miles on Scotland's primary road network to enable extended all-electric journeys 2013-15