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Can any electrician install an EV charger?

In theory the answer to this is yes - but many electricians will not install them - WHY?




SAFETY

EV charging points are quite unusual bits of kit - they will use all the power available to them (usually 32 amps / 7.4 kilo watts). To put that into perspective - most socket circuits in a house (there may be one for the kitchen, one for the upstairs and one for downstairs) - these circuits are rated at 32 amps - but they very rarely come close to using that much - if ever.


The car charger will use the full 32 amps for the majority of the time the car is charging up - so from 5-100% of battery that will be 7-12 hours straight. It is therefore very important that the correct protective equipment and the right size of cable is used to prevent nuisance tripping - or in the worst case a fire.


Most houses (those built before 2021 in general) will have the wrong type of main RCD device in the consumer unit (fuse board to those of my age!) - installing an EV charger without changing this can render it unreliable in the case of an electrical fault elsewhere in your property and can lead to the occupiers getting quite a nasty and potentially fatal shock.


There are also very special arrangements that need to be made regarding the earthing in your home or business - the earthing arrangement is the thing that allows your RCD's to work properly and stop you from getting a shock if a fault develops. Some charging equipment has extra protection built in (PEN Fault Detection)- if it doesn't have this - then additional equipment will need to be installed to keep you safe in the event of a fault.




PAPERWORK


There are several pieces of paperwork that need to be completed (some before the charger is installed) These include notifying the DNO (the electricity distributor - which is not the same as your energy provider who you get your bills from) - they need to know who is having a car charger fitted so that they can manage the grid to make sure imbalances do not happen that would affect others in your neighborhood - they also will arrange to increase the supply capacity to you property if it is too low to take the additional load of a car charger - if you only have a 60A main fuse - this will need to be upgraded to 80 or 100A before the charger is fitted - quite often - the main wires coming from your meter will need to be made bigger before the upgrade can take place (the upgrade to the fuse is actually free). Your local authority Building Control Department will need notifying and a Part P certificate raised for the installation. An Electrical Installation Certificate will need to be issued to you to prove that the installation has been inspected and tested in accordance with the latest standards and regulations.


Not having the above paperwork and notifications can invalidate your home insurance policy if there were to be a fire or accident.


OZEV Grants

There are grants available (for those in rented accommodation and for businesses) from the Office for Zero Emmission Vehicles and only approved OZEV installers can access these for you.



REGULATIONS AND STANDARDS

There are specific guidance notes which are regularly updated which ensure the safe installation of electric vehicle charging equipment - many electricians will not have a copy of these - and will not have been on training courses (and update courses) if they do not specialise in EV charging.


EXPERTS

So you can use your regular electrician to install your charger - but if they have not demonstrated full knowledge of all the above or are OZEV approved - then we would suggest using a specialist company (like EV Electrical) or any OZEV authorised installer or a company that is a member of the industries association EVCIA.


Being specialists - you will get good advice from experts in the field about what charger will best suit you. The installation will be safe, aesthetically pleasing, warrantied and quite often quicker than a standard electrician because the installers do this type of work every day - so in theory it should also be competitively priced.


Also many EV charge point manufacturers will only offer the full warranty on their products if they have been installed by an electrical contractor who has completed training on the product and is approved by them.


SERVICE

In addition the all of the above - if you use a local installer you will have access to excellent personal after sales service - so if you have any issues or just questions because the charging process and App is new to you - then your local installer is always there to help you.


Above all - specialist EV installers are passionate about the roll out of electric vehicles - we all want your transition to an electric vehicle to be smooth, stress free and to reinforce your own confidence in your decision to go electric.

EV Electrical are an OZEV Authorised EV installer based in Essex and covering Herts, Essex, North London and further afield for larger projects.




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