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Electric Vehicles

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are classed as a low carbon technology and can help the UK meet its carbon emission ambition. The UK Government has set the ambitious target of banning the sale of petrol/diesel cars by 2040, with the Scottish Government aiming to accelerate this by 8 years to 2032.

The uptake of EVs is predicted to happen in a disproportionate way with the majority of uptake expected to happen in urban and suburban areas. Although an electric vehicle has fewer than 20 moving parts, charging your average EV overnight is estimated to double the electricity consumption of the home. To cope with that demand, we would require around £200m-300m of investment in each of our electricity network areas – this could rise to over £1b in our investment areas if smart charging is not adopted.

As the network operator for Central & Southern Scotland, Merseyside, Cheshire, North Shropshire and North Wales, there is some important information you should know when you go are thinking about connecting new charging points to the grid. 

You can download our electric vehicle handbook here.


Types of Chargers Available

Below is a guide to the types of chargers available for you to connect to the grid.

Slow

Slow

Slow chargers (up to 3 kW) take between 8-10 hours to charge most EVs today. A slow charger is the type that consumers would use to charge their EV overnight.

Did You Know?

A typical slow charger will provide about 15 miles of range per hour. The same time it would it would take an elite runner to travel the same distance.

Fast

Fast

Fast chargers are between 7kW-22kW and can charge the average EV in 2-5 hours.

Did You Know?

A fast charger can provide up to 100 miles of range per hour, similar to the length of Hadrian’s Wall.

Rapid

Rapid

Rapid chargers are 43kW or above and can charge an EV to 80% in roughly 30 minutes.

Did You Know?

30 minutes using a Rapid charger delivers more power than a typical smart phone uses over 20 years...


A Guide to Connecting Chargers

The time, cost & impact on the network will depend on what you want to connect. The following should only be used as a guide as costs and time scales may differ depending various aspects like network constraints, such as distance to cables or available capacity.

electricVehicleKey

Single Residential Homes, Small Offices or Similar (Small Connections)

Single Residential Homes, Small Offices or Similar (Small Connections)

Most modern domestic services should be able to cope with a single slow charger without additional costs from us; however you would still need to pay your installer for their service.

If an upgrade is required for a fast EV charger or possibly multiple slow EV chargers:

  • Upgrades required: Service cable upgrade
  • Approximate cost: £300 - £3,000
  • Approximate impact: 10-20m cable, ½ day – 1 full day of work
  • Approximate connection time: 8 weeks

Small Business, Carpark or Similar (Medium Connections)

Small Business, Carpark or Similar (Medium Connections)

A number of fast or rapid chargers (up to 20 or so depending on size) may require a connection up to 1MVA, similar to the requirement of connecting the power of a new supermarket

  • Upgrades required: dedicated connection – either at HV or LV
  • Approximate cost: £5k – 100k
  • Approximate impact: Detailed network review and design required
  • Approximate connection time: 3 – 6 months

Multi-story Carparks, Commercial Premises or Similar (Large Connections)

Multi-story Carparks, Commercial Premises or Similar (Large Connections)

Rapid charge stations with multiple connections– greater than 1MVA

  • Upgrades required: HV connection requiring new substation at HV or EHV*
  • Approximate cost: £100k +
  • Approximate impact: Detailed network review and design required
  • Approximate connection time: > 6 months depending on location

*if an EHV connection is required a typical cost is >1M and 18-24 months installation time


FAQs

We have answered some common questions on EVs, charging and installations below. If there is something we have not answered, then please contact us at gettingconnected@scottishpower.com.

How do I install an EV charging point?

You should start by contacting an accredited electric vehicle charge point installer to confirm whether your electricity supply is adequate to support the charging point.

Provided there is no problem with your internal wiring, the electricity supply or the equipment which joins your internal wiring to our electricity network, named the 'cut-out', you can install the charge point.

Once you have installed your charge point, notify us by completing this <form> and email it to gettingconnected@scottishpower.com

How do I know if my EV charge point will be installed correctly?

The Institution of Engineering and Technology’s Code of Practice on Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation provides guidance for installers and confirms their responsibilities.

Specifically it outlines the installer’s responsibility to:

  • Assess the adequacy of the supply capacity for the new EV’s electricity consumption, plus any existing electricity demand, before installing the charging equipment
  • Assess the adequacy of the earthing, before installing the charging equipment
  • Notify the electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) once the charge point has been installed. If you are in Cheshire, Merseyside, North Wales, North Shropshire, Central & Southern Scotland this is SP Energy Networks.

Why do we I need to inform you if I am installing an EV charge point?

EVs can use as much electricity as a domestic power shower, but for much longer. When this is concentrated on parts of the network, demand on that network will rise and we will manage the network to maintain a secure supply. That is why we need to know each time a new charge point is installed.

It is also useful for us to know where EV charge points are installed in order to explore the opportunities they can offer in the future for smart grids.

Will you charge for me connecting my EV to the network?

Provided a properties supply capacity is capable of supplying the full demand of the property and the installer of the EV charging unit is using approved equipment which is suitable for use within the property type they are installing within, there will be no charges from us directly associated with an EV charger installation. You pay your installer to install your charger. You will pay for any power used by the charger using your normal electricity metering arrangements.

Where your demand exceeds your supply capacity or you are using equipment which is not suitable for your current supply characteristics there will be a requirement for reinforcement work. In some cases this work is carried out by us free of charge, alternatively a formal quotation for the required work will be sent to the applicant.

What happens if there are multiple electric vehicles at a property?

As with a single vehicle charger it is the responsibility of the installer to ensure that the existing supply is capable of supplying the full properties electrical demand. Where multiple vehicles are being charged simultaneously this can often result in overloading of supplies or the requirement for a reduced charging output. Before installing a charger it is important to understand if the charger will deliver the desired output and that it does not present a risk of overloading supply equipment. 

Can I have an EV charger if I live in a property without off street parking?

In the majority of cases where a charger is required to be on-street the user will request a new supply which is separate to their existing properties supply. It is not permitted to run charging cables across public footpaths so the charging unit will normally be located at the kerbside. Supplies which are street side will generally be provided with a supply utilising a TT earthing arrangement, including RCD protection. Installers should ensure that they have the relevant permission from the local council or land owner prior to installing charging facilities on land not controlled by the Charge-Point owner.