Case Studies

Smiths Motors Group
Installation of electric car charging units 

Project: Installation of electric car charging units
Value: £11,000
Duration: 7 weeks
Client: Smiths Motors Group
Completed: December 2011

As petrol and diesel costs continue to rise, economy motoring has become the watchword for motorists and Princeenergy is providing a solution by installing vehicle charging points to enable electric cars to ‘top up’ their batteries.

Running an electric car like the Nissan Leaf is massively cheaper than running a conventional car and Princeenergy is earning a reputation for its expertise in this sector.

Installing domestic car charging units nationwide Princeenergy have also undertaken large commercial installs. One of its latest jobs was at Peterborough based Smiths Motors Group. Princeenergy installed three electrical car charging units within the parking bays and workshops.

Managing director of Smith’s Renault, Mark Craig, who himself runs an electric car; said Princeenergy had done an excellent job for them. “Princeenergy’s parent company Princebuild have been doing all types of work from showroom refurbishments to maintenance, for a very long time and have always done a good job,”

The installation involved a large amount of complex electrical works, associated excavations and reinstatement to enable new supplies to be installed while ensuring minimum disruption to the client, said Princeenergy’s technical manager, Darren Richardson.

“The installation of these units also allows the client to monitor energy usage, demonstrate charging to customers and assists in report preparation of CO2 savings for marketing purposes, “said Mr Richardson.

Electric cars can be more expensive to buy but the running costs are transformationally lower, said Mr Craig.

The take up for electric cars is still low but inevitably the sales will increase. It is a fact that 84% of journeys in the UK are less than 34 miles and my Nissan Leaf has a range of 80 miles on one charge. Environmentally it is a winner and, along with that, my car is saving me hundreds of pounds a month in fuel and tax.

"We were asked by Renault UK to organise the electrical infrastructure to accommodate two external and one internal charge points," said Mr Craig.

"Renault had negotiated a national contract for the supply and installation of charge points. The costs looked excessive for the cabling works, and included significant disruption to the business due to the cables being placed below ground," he said.

"I presented the requirement to Princeenergy who performed a thorough belt and braces investigation, including the capacity of our existing electrical distribution boards to handle the loads required at peak working times.”

As many home owners explore the option of an electrical vehicle the domestic market for installs is increasing. “Since becoming installers of the units we are seeing a gradual increase in the amount of units we are installing” said Mr Richardson.

The manufacturers of these units currently offer the unit free of charge. The installation is a simple process taking an engineer a morning to complete, because of this more and more people are future proofing and having units installed.

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