Expanding EV charging network poses challenges

With sales of electric vehicles reaching a record high, Bureau Veritas has stated that the rapid rise in the number of charging points being installed presents a ‘clear maintenance challenge’ for businesses.

According to the latest figures, one in every 12 new cars purchased each month in the UK is now an electric vehicle (EV) – with an estimated 7,500 electric and alternative fuel vehicles sold each month. To accommodate the rising numbers of low-polluting vehicles expected to hit the roads in coming years, it’s estimated the UK will need at least 100,000 EV charging points – a significant increase on the 16,500 currently available.

As a rising number of hotels, office car parks and supermarkets are currently being upgraded with this infrastructure, many businesses should consider a long-term maintenance framework to ensure their longevity, says Michael Kenyon, Technical Manager at Bureau Veritas.

He comments, “Given the growing numbers of people now buying electric vehicles, it’s great to see more and more EV charging points being installed, as charging infrastructure is vital to facilitate the UK’s transition to sustainable travel. However, while these charging points will come with an initial warranty, they also present a clear maintenance challenge that many businesses may not have yet considered. For instance, not to be overlooked is the fact that they will need maintaining in the coming years, which includes regular testing and inspection to ensure performance and electrical safety.”

According to Bureau Veritas, although there is currently no direct statutory obligation to test and inspect electrical installations, there is however a legal requirement under Regulation 4 of the Electricity at Work regulations 1989 to maintain all electrical systems in a safe condition.

Kenyon adds, “It’s also worth noting that the recent introduction of the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations and the updated Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installations 3rd Edition, sets out the most comprehensive guidelines to-date on the installation of EV charging points. As all new installations will need to be compliant, businesses that haven’t done so already are advised not only to put a robust strategy in place for maintenance, but also carry out an independent appraisal of the installation to ensure it complies with the relevant standards.”

Bureau Veritas offers a range of testing and certification services to support customers in managing compliance around electrical safety in general for new and existing installations or for specific areas, such as electric vehicle charging points.

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