Picture of a kilo watt hours power gauge, it is clean and shiny in sunlight

Fleet EV Charging: We Don’t Have the Power

You’re a fleet manager and feeling the pressure to meet your company’s goals for net zero. Your CEO is keen on converting the fleet as there are a few vehicles needing upgrades. Your facilities manager says there’s no way that your location has enough power to charge cars/vans/trucks as well as powering the daily activities of the company.

Honestly that is probably true for lots of locations. The charging infrastructure for a commercial fleet or a large bank of chargers for in a car park, could be consuming as much electricity as an entire building would use in a full year. You cannot risk this consumption disrupting power to offices, machinery or anything else.

A good first step is to quantify this problem. The easiest way to do that, is to call us and let us do it for you. But if you would like to do a back of an envelope calculation yourself first here are some steps you can take before giving us a call:

Step One: The Fleet

How many vehicles are you intending to purchase? What kind of mileage will they be doing daily? Will some of them be charged at employee’s homes or all overnight at the depot? Will they all charge at the same time or at different times of the day?

For example: A rough rule of thumb is that in winter, most EV’s fall in the range of 3 to 5kM’s per 1 kWh of charge. Therefore a van that needed to travel on average 200km’s each day, it would need 40kW of power added to its battery each evening.

Step Two: The Charger

The speed at which vehicles charge depend on a couple of factors. If you are installing a DC fast charger, then the draw will be quick and large and that needs to be taken in to account. But most budgets for this kind of infrastructure don’t stretch to DC Charge Points, at least not to begin with.

So that means you’re going for an AC Charge Point. The speed of charge and the rate of draw will depend on the vehicle’s inverter. The inverter is how the vehicle converts the AC from the grid, to the DC the vehicle needs to run. A good average is an intake of about 7kW an hour.

For Example: our van above needs 40kW to be added to its battery. It will take just under 6 hours to draw the 40kW from the grid and charge to the capacity that the vehicle needs for the day’s work.

Step Three: MIC (Maximum Import Capacity or the largest amount of power you can pull from the grid at any one time)

This is the harder bit. Your supply is quoted on your electricity bill and listed in kVa. It’s not straight forward to convert this to kWh’s. So look for the MIC listing on your electricity bill, take a picture and send it on to us for each supply line (i.e. MPRN) you will be using to feed the chargers.

If you know the power factor, then multiply the kVa by the power factor. If you don’t, then use 0.9 and it will give you a ballpark (a very big ballpark).

Once you’ve quantified what you need versus what you have, you can form a sensible view around what you need and where you’ll get it from.

Step Four: No seriously give us a call

As standard we provide load management for whatever power you have, making the best of what’s there without bringing down the building. So while knowing all this power information is important, there are tools that require no change to your power source at all. They will just involve more planning, which we can help with also.

You may also want to consider increasing your MIC, generating power yourself to use with the EV’s, storing cheap power that you take in at night and then feeding it to the chargers straight when needed, or most likely a hybrid of some of these solutions.

We can help with all this so our best advice is to get us involved early. We can advise and help you plan, not just for this round of EV conversion but for growth in the future too. Drop us a line at sales@glenev.com or use the contact form below.

Share this post