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"What a load of..."

What a load of ...!

“We seem to be deploying EV charging infrastructure in ‘panic mode’, but we must be careful not to reinforce the view that every space needs an EV charger.”

Kelvin Reynolds considers a loaded issue

Some say it’s in the mind: there's no cause for concern. But is it? Im talking about car park loadings or, more importantly, the potential for car park overloading. Some say it's a load of… but are they right or wrong? 


Well, the BPA is “on it”! Leading the conversation with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, and supported by our Parking Structures Group, we are working with government and other stakeholders in the development of new and improved building regulations for both fire safety and structural safety. The need is driven (excuse the pun) by the fact that today's average vehicle is heavier and wider than most existing car parks were designed to accommodate. 


There's loads to consider: vehicle sizes, weight, materials used, fueling systems (internal combustion engine (ICE) vs electric battery, construction techniques, materials and technologies, equality and accessibility needs: access control and payments technologies…. The risks have changed over time: they are not worse, just different. 

Mantra for More


The truth is that many electric vehicles (Es) are adaptations of their predecessors. Manufacturers have invested in designing and developing the present vehicle fleet and initially at least, will simply “add a battery”.

Until now, there has been a significant safety factor in the typical design loadings used for multi-storey car parks (MSCPs). They were designed around a vehicle weight of 2, 500kg which was up to twice the weight of a typical ICE vehicle when the design standards were first formulated in 1976. 


As an example, the new Volvo EX90 weighs 2, 818kg empty. With the addition of passengers and luggage it could weigh more than 3, 200kg. 

The Volvo EX90- to be released in 2024 (1).jpg

Volvo EX90

Remember, too, that vehicles moving around present an even bigger (dynamic) load than when they parked. An occasional vehicle exceeding the design loads may not be an issue, but if multiple vehicles exceed them and are clustered in one location - such as around EV charging infrastructure - it will probably present a very different challenge. 

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