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BEAMA unveils guidance on future-proofing EV infrastructure

Interoperability, data security, location and being adaptable were key themes in the guidance.

Interoperability, data security, location and being adaptable were key themes in the guidance.

BEAMA has published its guidance on future-proofing electric vehicle infrastructure to encourage investors.

The trade association was tasked with providing the advice following the publication of the EV Infrastructure Taskforce’s delivery plan.

The document is intended to describe a basis of best practice and guiding principles for the planning, design, manufacture and procurement of public EV charging infrastructure, but is advisory only and not a standard or specification.

It’s four key recommendations for ensuring infrastructure is future proofed, designed so there is no need to remove, scrap or replace a working asset before the end of its intended life – and therefore before it has provided the expected returns – are:

  • Interoperablity with all EVs and systems
  • The ability to communicate securely, as required, with all legitimate third parties
  • The placing, installation and operation in such a way that the charger will continue to be used for its lifetime
  • Being adaptable to expected and unexpected changes in use.
  • Technology and operation, ideally without a site visit

Detailing these further, BEAMA recommends that all public charge points should be able to operate with all approved service providers, vehicle types, makes and models and multiple payment systems or a universal payment system, such as credit or debit cards.

ISO-1511814 may be an appropriate basis to prepare for interoperability with future payment, contractual and commercial models.

There should also be the ability for interchangeability, defined as the ability to switch one charge point for another of a different make and model and retain functionality.

The importance of data security was also stressed, with the document stating that all parties should observe the findings and recommendations of the Energy Data Taskforce.

Smart charging was also discussed in the document, recommending manufacturers follow product requirements and reduce them to a minimum needs of all stakeholders, over designing a smart charge point that meets all possible needs.

Charge points should follow technical requirements and specifications that allow them to be reliably operated in smart mode, and must be interoperable with a range of systems and able to respond to signals from the charge point operator, aggregator, energy supplier or other intermediate party.

Design of smart charge points should also support the longer-term development of smart integrated operation of electrical assets.

In general, chargers should be built with a number of requirements in mind:

  • Public safety, including adequate lighting for the personal safety of the charge point user
  • Safety of wiring and other connections in light of potential new works or expansion of existing charge point to include additional connections
  • Security of the charge point and ability to withstand accidental damage or vandalism
  • Balancing various and sometimes contradictory local needs for the charge point to be easy to locate but also match its surroundings

Locational decisions for infrastructure should be driven primarily by consumer need and behaviour, BEAMA said, not by what is easiest or least cost.

If a new electrical connection is required for an EV charge point, allowance should be considered for future expansion within the electrical substation.

Ensuring adequate grid reinforcement and electricity provision is “essential”, with principles that should apply to planning including taking into account that current demand is not always the best indicator of future demand and making sure to engage with network operators and other stakeholders.

The connection as well as the charge point should be future proofed, and the future of network management considered.

The charge point should be easy to use and operate, and public charging areas should be flexible as it is unclear which charging speeds will emerge as most appropriate.

“Stranded assets, inefficient or unnecessary installations, or poorly planned infrastructure development will add to costs, challenge consumer confidence and harm both profitability and the consumer experience,” Jeremy Yapp, head of flexible energy systems at BEAMA, wrote in the foreword to the document.

“Those who invest in, own or operate public infrastructure will be accountable to the public and to shareholders. We hope the advice in this description of best practice to future proof EV infrastructure will help to deliver the long-term value of this vital upgrade to national infrastructure.”

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