Lead Generation for Construction & the Built Environment

Getting New Builds Electric Vehicle Ready

Technology is evolving at an ever-gathering pace, and one particular area hitting its stride is in the field of electric cars. In an effort to become greener and less environmentally impactive, motoring is turning away from conventional internal combustion engines to all-electric vehicles (EV).

In the early days of EVs, their limited range significantly impacted their appeal, particularly as charging stations were few and far between. However, advancing battery storage technologies has increased the range of the EV and charging stations are popping up all over the place, making EVs a far more appealing option for the environmentally conscious driver.

The EU plans to implement a directive that will see every new or refurbished house equipped with an EV recharging point by 2019. Although the UK will no longer be part of the EU by 2019, something similar may well come into force following the government’s commitment to the Clean Air Plan. Part of this plan includes the ban on new petrol and diesel cars, including hybrids, by 2040, and a £1bn investment in ultra-low emission vehicles and around £100m in the UK’s charging network. Some of this will include ‘plug-in car’ and ‘plug-in grant’ schemes for retrofitting charging points, but there are many current residential and commercial properties with limited scope to incorporate these into their design. With car marques such as Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover announcing all new models will be either electric, plug-in or hybrids by 2020, clearly, EVs are here to stay, at least until another technology replaces them. Construction as an industry would be advised to make plans to incorporate fast, efficient recharging points in all new houses and workplaces, sooner rather than later. In the future, charging technologies may evolve to incorporate new methods such as inductive charging. However wireless charging for EVs is not currently a reality, and so Construction will need to move forward incorporating the technologies available today.

This is potentially more complex than it may at first sound. Consider the current trend for terraced houses to have en bloc parking. Many of these garages are constructed without access to mains power, and these garages tend to be fairly small. Often too small for the average electric saloon. If the UK implements EV-ready legislation, garages will need to be made bigger and with access to electricity and this, in turn, will undoubtedly increase build costs. And what will the move to EVs mean for apartment buildings? Incorporating sufficient charging points for new apartment blocks is likely to be challenging in the extreme.  Likewise, workplaces will need to be carefully planned with sufficient charging points incorporated to accommodate the number of anticipated employees.

It is doable, and sharing plans and information with other cities that have already made the commitment is likely to be an invaluable resource. In February this year, San Francisco introduced legislation stipulating all new building be 100% EV ready. A significant plus is construction companies who incorporate charging points now will be getting ahead of the curve: selling EV-ready houses and office blocks is likely to significantly increase saleability.



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