Employees and visitors who drive to Unipart Manufacturing Group in Coventry are feeling positive about charging their Electric Vehicles (EVs) in the company’s car park.
The experienced Tier 1 automotive supplier now features nine dual-outlet CTEK CC2 charging units installed into the car park.
EV owners can top up their vehicles while on site, leaving at the end of their working day in a fully charged car.
The three-phase CC2 charge points can supply up to 22kW of power to each outlet, with the whole system supported by CTEK’s Nanogrid load balancing to maximise their efficiency and to protect the wider electricity network at the Unipart site.
The EV charging installation is one of several recent growth developments on site, following the recent expansion of Hyperbat, a joint venture between Unipart and WAE Technologies.
On a typically busy day in the Unipart car park, half a dozen or more EVs are plugged in and charging up. Thanks to the OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) built into CC2 charge points which connect to the payment solution, drivers simply scan a QR code to access charging.
It was important to Unipart that the installation was future-proofed by installing sufficient charge points for the anticipated growth in demand as more and more employees and visitors switch to electric vehicles.
“We knew we did not need 18 charging outlets at this time,” said Rob Healey, Unipart Powertrain Application’s Finance Manager. “But we also knew more people will switch to EVs and want to charge in our car park, so it made financial sense to build in that provision at the outset.
“Currently the charge points are used mostly by employees who enjoy plugging in at the start of their working day. One colleague said she finds it really helpful that she can plug in at 8.30am and when she finishes work at 2.00pm her EV is fully charged and ready for her.
“One of the directors remarked to me that having EV charging here is so convenient. It is particularly so if a colleague lives somewhere that cannot have a home charger. But even if you do, there may be times when you forgot to plug in overnight and you can at work.
“Having that convenience for our employees, and for visitors too, is very much in line with what our company does and the markets it operates in.
“I drive a hybrid currently but my next car may well be an EV and as I work in the office five days a week, I may not bother with getting a home charger. It’s that handy having charging at work.”
Operation of the charge points is cost-neutral for Unipart, with the kWh fee in line with the manufacturer’s commercial energy supply tariff. Usage noticeably increased in the summer when the charge price was reduced to mirror a reduction in Unipart’s energy costs.
Unipart asked a consultant to compare several charge points from the points of view of cost and their manufacturer’s reputation for quality. After analysing the shortlist, Unipart chose CTEK and Permanex-Power who completed the installation earlier this year.
Rob said: “We have had no problems at all with the CTEK CC2s. Their use aligns with Unipart Group’s drive to reduce carbon and waste across its businesses. We have been impressed with the performance and durability of the CTEK equipment.”