How to become an electric vehicle (EV) charger installer
The UK is set to ban the sale of new diesel and petrol cars within the next decade, by 2030. After this date, you will only be able to buy new electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrid cars until 2035.
With the sales of new EVs set to rise steadily now and even more so after 2030, many installers are looking to carry out EV charger installations. But what do you have to do to become an EV charge point installer? What qualifications do you need to be competent? What experience are you required to have to carry out an EV charger installation?
How to become an EV charger installer?
What is an EV home charger installation?
When you purchase a new or used electric vehicle, the one thing you will need access to is a means of charging it. This may come in the form of a charging station, like petrol stations, where points are set up for communal use. Alternatively, it may be on street charging; a point your local council has paid to install for residents to charge their electric vehicles from.
The easiest solution for charging your car, however, is installing an electric vehicle charge point at home, but only if you have off-street parking. Although you can charge your electric vehicle off of a regular 13A socket in your home, it can take up to 3 times as long to charge compared to a purpose-fit EV charge point and also isn’t practical if you have to park your vehicle on the street, as it means trailing a cable onto the street, which could be a trip hazard for passerby’s.
By installing a dedicated EV charger at home, you will be able to charge your car more efficiently and quicker, and also with less chance of overloading your circuits (creating a potential hazard in the home).
To install a charge point, BS7671 Wiring Regulations state that it must be on a new, dedicated circuit and it must be individually protected by an RCD (type A). All EV charger installations will follow a similar structure, however, installers should always be sure to follow manufacturer guidance and instructions.
Can I carry out EV charger installations?
To be able to install EV charge points, you will need to be a qualified and competent electrician. This is because to be able to carry out an EV charger installation, you will need to know the correct and up to date BS7671 Wiring Regulations to follow, as well as how to test and inspect your installation to ensure it is safe for the customer to use.
When installing an EV point, BS7671 Wiring Regulations states that it should be on a new, dedicated circuit to not interfere or overload other circuits in the home. For this reason, installing an EV charger would fall under Notifiable work under Part P of the Building Regulations. This means that when carrying out Notifiable work, then the work must be legally signed off and certified by a registered electrician. This is an electrician who is registered with a Part P Scheme Provider, such as NICEIC, and therefore authorised to sign off notifiable work.
I am not a registered electrician and I don’t have any electrical experience or qualifications…
If you are not registered with a Part P Scheme Provider and do not have any electrical experience or qualifications, then before any EV training, you will first need to complete some electrical qualifications to ensure you are competent to carry out single phase domestic electrical work. This could be an NVQ qualification, an apprenticeship or an intense adult learning course, like our Domestic Electrician Electric Vehicle Charging Package.
To become registered with a Part P Scheme Provider, you will need to be electrically competent and hold the required experience and qualifications.
I’m a registered electrician…
If you are a registered electrician already, then yes, you can install EV charge points and sign the installations off yourself. You can also then go on to become an OLEV registered installer, as Part P Scheme registration is one of the joining criteria.
We would recommend completing an EV installation course as well, to give you the technical knowledge and skills to safely install EV equipment within customers’ homes.
I’m not a registered electrician, but I do have qualifications and experience…
If you are not registered with a Part P Scheme Provider, but you do have relevant electrical experience and are qualified, then the simplest way to start carrying out EV installations is to join a Part P Scheme Provider to sign them off yourself.
This way, you are paying one yearly fee to be registered and sign off unlimited notifiable jobs throughout the year. So your yearly fee is spread across every notifiable job you do, instead of going through your local council to pay for each notifiable job you do, which can add up quite quickly. Yearly registration fees can average around £500 (inc VAT).
As well as joining a Part P Scheme Provider, we would also recommend considering completing an EV installers course to ensure that you have the technical knowledge to safely install EV charging equipment in domestic.
Do I need to do a course specifically for EV installation?
If you are suitably qualified for domestic electrical work already, it is recommended that you complete an electric vehicle charging course to ensure you are competent and know how to safely install an EV charging point in a domestic setting.
The course will typically go through the IET Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation, any design considerations, different types of EV points available, and the electrical requirements for the install (such as RCD protection). Some EV courses will also include a qualification at the end of the course to prove your competency.
Do I need to become an OLEV installer to carry out EV charger installations?
No, if you are registered with a Part P Scheme Provider, like NICEIC, you can install and sign off EV charger installations, without being registered with OLEV.
If you have the qualifications, experience, have completed manufacturer training, and are a registered electrician, you have the option of becoming an OLEV installer. But it’s not a necessity. The only benefit of joining the governments OLEV Scheme, is that you can claim up to £350 back off a single charge point installation. However, the grant is only available for certain type of chargers, for example it must have smart capabilities in order to qualify for the grant.
For more information about becoming an OLEV registered installer, see the governments scheme website.