Cities and urban centres face a challenge regarding EV Charging - many EV drivers do not have access to private parking and therefore private charging. A strong example is London - 78% do not have private parking so how do they / would they charge their electric vehicles? We know that there has been an acceleration in the installation of public fast charging points in both the public and commercial sectors however there are a few other innovative approaches aiming to help meet the growing demand.
Multi-story car park roof using solar panels
While car parks are an obvious charging location, there is an extra advantage to those with surface roofs and the exposure to solar power. A full circle link from solar panels to charging stations has been developed and car park operators find themselves in a strong position to take advantage of this form of infrastructure. By using fast and rapid charging points, visits can be shorter and achieve a much higher turnover. Dundee City Council has opened such a hub with 20 fast-charging bays allowing for fast and efficient charging and turnover.
The reality of widespread application of this technology is a way off but it could definitely complement the wider charging infrastructure. Induction pads work like wifi charging pads for smartphones by parking the car on a mat in the pavement and allowing power to transmit from it to a fitted mat on the undercarriage of the car. With no cabling needed, its simplicity is attractive however work will need to be done on the cost side to make it accessible.
A company called Char.gy has come up with a way for councils and car park operators to use their existing infrastructure to develop charging point facilities. Their main offering is a lamppost charger that fits directly to street furniture/lampposts, a natural location for on street parking. With a charging speed of 7.7kWh, they are suited to overnight charging, typically drivers without private parking or access to a home charger.
Another way to maximise existing real estate in expensive cities such as London is to use lock-up garage space. InfraTech Property Solutions (IPS) is a company that manages hundreds of these garages and has joined forces with SSE Enterprise to adding charging infrastructure, solar panels and coffee service for drivers as they wait. It makes sense to maximise space and turnover at these sites and help to meet the burgeoning demand for charging services.
Photo by Jimmy Chan from Pexels