When comparing EV charger installation companies, it’s important to understand what a standard installation covers. A standard EV charger installation package defines the services that a company is willing to provide to cater for most installations (but not all).
In this article, we will explore what a standard EV charger installation covers, helping you understand what you can expect from the installation and whether you will need a standard or a non-standard EV charger installation quote.
What does a standard EV charger installation cover?
When installation companies refer to a “standard installation,” it typically means a predefined package that covers the most common requirements for installing an EV charger.
This package is designed to apply to a majority of installations and provides a clear definition of what you get included in the price, such as:
- Where the charger is installed
- How much cabling is used
- How long they are on site
- How many walls do they have to drill through
- Ho much trunking do they need to use
The concept of a standard installation allows EV charger installers to streamline their installation work, set consistent pricing structures, and provide customers with a straightforward and predictable service.
It helps simplify the decision-making process for customers by offering a predefined package that meets their basic needs without requiring extensive customisation.
Let’s look at the typical work covered by a standard installation:
The placement of the charger
The installer will need to know that the charger is being fitted to a suitable permanent structure, typically a brick or plaster wall. This ensures the long-term safety of the charger.
Typically standard installations do not permit the installation of the charger on a wooden structure. This is due to the increased risk of structural damage over time.
If you have a wooden structure or alternative installation requirements, raise this with the installation company.
Drilling through a specific number of walls
Standard packages typically allow for the drilling of a maximum of one or two walls to facilitate the routing of the charging cable, up to a maximum thickness of 500mm (20 inches).
This is considered enough to get through most walls in residential or commercial properties.
Standard installation packages generally include a specific limit on the maximum length of cable run required from your fuse box to the charger location.
The installation company will assess the distance between your fuse box or distribution board and the desired charger placement. Based on the standard package guidelines, they will ensure that the cable run does not exceed a certain length.
The maximum cable run limit can vary depending on the installation company, typically ranging from 10 meters (33 feet) to 25 meters (82 feet). 10 meters is fine for most installations, but for example, if you are installing a charger in a garage located away from the fuse box, you should work out the distance carefully and consider a company that offers more than 10 meters of cabling as standard.
It’s important to provide accurate information about the location of your fuse box during the installation planning phase. This helps the installers work out the most suitable route for the cable and ensures you stick to the cable run length limits.
Plastic trunking to cover interior wiring
The use of plastic trunking or conduit to conceal interior wiring is a common practice in standard EV charger installations. There is typically a specified limit on the length of plastic trunking included in the standard installation package.
The standard package typically allows for a maximum length of between 3 and 7 meters of plastic trunking.
The plastic trunking serves as a protective housing, preventing the cables from being exposed and reducing the risk of accidental damage or interference.
The allocated time on site
To manage scheduling and ensure an efficient process, standard packages tend to include a maximum duration for the installer to be on-site.
The standard installation package typically allows for up to 4 hours on site.
This timeframe gives the engineer enough time to do the initial on-site assessment, equipment setup, cable routing, electrical connections, testing, and any necessary demonstrations or explanations of the charger’s functions.
The allotted 4-hour duration is designed to accommodate the typical requirements of a standard installation and allows the installer to complete the necessary tasks within a reasonable timeframe. It’s in place to ensure that the installation company can effectively serve multiple customers within a given day.
That the actual time required for the installation will vary based on factors such as the complexity of the installation, property-specific considerations, and any unforeseen challenges that may arise. The allocated 4-hour timeframe serves as a guideline but may be subject to adjustment based on the unique requirements of each installation.
For installations that may require more time due to specific complexities or additional requirements, it is always a good idea to discuss these details with the installation company in advance.
The installation region
In most cases, the standard installation package covers the mainland UK, excluding Northern Ireland and the Scottish Isles.
Specific installation companies may have variations in their coverage area or may offer installation services in additional regions. Therefore, it is recommended to check with the installation company to confirm their specific coverage area before confirming the quote.
In terms of the initial assessment or survey, most installation companies offer a remote survey option as part of their standard installation package. A remote survey allows the installers to gather necessary information about your property, assess feasibility, and provide guidance without physically visiting the site. This can help streamline the installation process and save time, especially in situations where an on-site visit may not be quickly booked.
Standard installation packages include a guideline for cable height to the charger, which is usually set at a maximum of 1.8 meters (6 feet) above the ground.
The height of 1.8 meters (6 feet) is a common industry standard and aligns with best practices for safe EV charging and practical cable management. It strikes a balance between keeping the cable off the ground to avoid potential hazards and maintaining a reasonable height that is convenient for users.
What happens if my EV charger installation is ‘non-standard’?
If your EV charger installation is considered “non-standard,” it means that it falls outside of the specifications outlined in the standard installation package provided by the installation company.
This means you will likely pay more than the advertised price for an EV charger installation.
Here’s a rundown of what will likely happen:
- Customised Solutions
The installation company will work with you to assess the specific requirements of your installation and propose customised solutions to accommodate your needs.
- Site Visit and Assessment
Depending on the complexity of the non-standard installation, the installation company may need to conduct a site visit to evaluate the feasibility and requirements more accurately. This allows them to gather essential information and provide a tailored solution that meets your specific circumstances. This can come at a cost – check with the installer before committing.
- Revised Quotation
A non-standard installation will likely bring about an adjustment quotation. Additional costs may be incurred to cover the extra materials, labour, or specialised equipment required to complete the installation.
- Extended Timeline
Non-standard installations may require more time to plan, prepare, and execute. Depending on the complexity of the project, the installation timeline may be extended to ensure a successful and satisfactory outcome.
The final word on standard EV charger installations
Home charger installation is a great option for EV owners looking for an upgrade on a granny charger or who depend on public charging. A standard EV charger installation package sets guidelines for the services an installer is willing to supply to meet the common requirements of most installations.
It can vary between installers and you must check the terms of your specific installer.
Non-standard installations will require additional customisation which will likely incur add cost to the overall charger installation price or mean you have to wait a lot longer for the installation.
By understanding what a standard installation typically covers, customers can make informed decisions and have clear expectations of price and service.
The most important thing to do is communicate any non-standard requirements to the installation company early in the process. By sharing detailed information about your specific needs, you allow them to assess the feasibility and provide appropriate guidance and solutions.
The charger installation company will work closely with you to ensure that your non-standard installation is executed professionally, safely, and to your satisfaction.
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John is the Editor and Spokesperson for Electric Car Guide.
With over 20 years of writing experience, he has written for titles such as City AM, FE News and NerdWallet.com, covering various automotive and personal finance topics.
John’s market commentary has been covered by the likes of The Express, The Independent, Yahoo Finance and The Evening Standard.