Mahindra – Racing forward with Workplace Charging

 

Mahindra Racing – the ‘Greenest Team in Motorsport’ – is a founding team competing in the ABB FIA Formula E World Championship. Formula E is the world’s first, all-electric street racing series and the closest, most competitive, and fastest-growing category in motorsport – but it’s more than just a race on track! It’s also the leading platform to test new technologies, drive development to the production line, and ultimately lead to more electric cars on the road. It helps to alter perceptions and accelerate the switch to electric too, in a bid to counteract the climate crisis and address the effects of air pollution.

Teams with an impeccable pedigree

Mahindra Racing has an impeccable pedigree. The team was crowned 2021’s Climate Champions at the end of the last ABB FIA Formula E season and was the first Formula E team (and only the second motorsport outfit in the world) to receive the top Three-Star FIA Sustainability Accreditation. The team also became the first FIA World Championship entrant to be certified as Net Zero Carbon Footprint from inception, and we were delighted when the business approached our own impeccable team, to help with their workplace charging requirements at their new UK headquarters in Banbury.

Clarifying requirements, technology, and funding

Mahindra wanted to make EV charging available to all staff and visitors, as well as to encourage the uptake of electrical vehicles. The need was an initial 6 chargers to cover current and short to medium term demand, with the view to expanding in future, and one of the reasons they selected Joju was that they also wanted to explore potential for roof top solar for their Banbury site, to help further decrease the carbon footprint of their premises.

At Joju, we are highly experienced in helping our customers navigate the variety of funding options available. In Mahindra’s case, as the site and business were eligible for the OZEV Workplace Charging Scheme, we were able to administer this on their behalf to secure a £350 per socket contribution to the cost of the install.

Also, due to being technology agnostic as a business, we were able to recommend the best solution for the site, as well as for our client’s brand goals. As ABB is the principal sponsor of the Formula E Championship, the link to the product on this commercial site was a natural one. Together we examined the ABB product range and agreed the best products for the application – namely the ABB Terra AC 22kW Wallbox chargers. The ABB back-office solution also provides the perfect functionality for Mahindra Racing to monitor their use.

The installation

We carried out the full turnkey installation including all groundworks, installation of the charge points on posts, the electrical installation, testing and commissioning, all to the required client timescales.

We pride ourselves on our dedicated project management, technical expertise and flexibility and for Mahindra, we needed to ensure we connected into the existing electrical infrastructure on site, choosing the correct supply chain partner and making sure this happened at a convenient ‘out of hours’ timeframe for the client.

The reaction

Dilbagh Gill, Team Principal and CEO at Mahinda Racing said,

“We believe that ‘doing good’ goes beyond philanthropy and CSR. It is more than just random acts of kindness. It is a purpose, an attitude, and a way of life. As a team, we are committed to finding credible, advanced and next generation mobility solutions while being kind to the planet. Sustainability is not a buzz word for us; it is ingrained into our ethos and a big part of the reason we are racing in Formula E.

The installation of EV charging points at our facility here in Banbury is yet another step in our journey to drive this change towards electrification and it has been a pleasure to work with Joju, whose reputation and attitude aligns so well with our own passion. We are grateful for their guidance every step of the way, and look forward to their continued support as we continue to grow”.

It’s always great to get this kind of feedback and we look forward to working with Mahindra Racing in the future, to keep their workplace charging goals on track!

 

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Royal Holloway Charge Points

Going electric at Royal Holloway University

Royal Holloway, University of London, is a pioneering University, steeped in history, yet constantly adapting to the demands of modern higher education.

When it comes to environmental credentials, the University ranked as a top tier University in USwitch’s second annual study into UK universities’ commitment to being green.

As part of their Living Sustainably programme, University researchers also work with partners around the world to investigate the drivers of unsustainable activities. They respond by co-developing innovative solutions for all communities to use resources more sustainably, and to be part of healthy communities. So, when we were appointed to work with the University on its EV infrastructure, we were delighted.

Feasibility and install

After visiting the University and discussing requirements, we conducted a feasibility study to create the best possible EV charging solution for staff, students, fleet vehicles and visitors to site.

The project was funded by the University and after an initial four car parks in the original study, Royal Holloway made the decision to begin with one site. There was an excellent electrical supply to that car park already, which meant we could install four dual socket Alfens, all running at 22kW.

Collaboration

The University needed the installation to be complete for the start of the new September term last year, so we put everything in motion to complete our works in that timescale. More often than not, we carry out all electrical work ourselves but, in this instance, our installation team worked seamlessly with the University’s electrical contractor, overseen by our experienced project managers. Working collaboratively is always something we’re happy to do!

Looking to the future

Dr David Ashton, Deputy Principal (Operations) of Royal Holloway, has said that the University is

“committed to addressing climate change and working hard towards goals such as achieving net zero by 2035”

and it’s brilliant to be part of the sustainability story at Royal Holloway. We hope to install more EV charge points here in the years to come.

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Bluelight turning green – Avon Fire and Rescue Service

Avon Fire & Rescue Service (AF&RS) has 24 fire stations and other service sites around Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire. The Service is committed to achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2030 and is determined to do everything it can to increase sustainability.

As part of this, AF&RS has been growing the number of EVs on its fleet – and that means having reliable charge point infrastructure in place too. We were happy to help when the team contacted us through the Central Southern Regional Procurement Framework to carry out a feasibility study into the most effective EV charging solution.

Making it feasible

For us, good electric vehicle charging practice is the provision of the right charger, with the right power, in the right place, with the right payment options, controlled by the right system. Our feasibility studies mean we assess the suitability of all sites in terms of demand, electrical supply and other considerations, and as Annabel Harford, Environmental Manager at AF&RS commented,

“The feasibility study process was very informative and tailored to meet our requirements at every stage”.

Installing the network

Following on from it, we began work on the supply and installation of the estate-wide EV charging network, with ‘Phase 1’ including 14 sites. With all chargers being building connected, we took into account the available power from each, installing a mix of 22kW and 7kW Alfen dual socketed chargers, meaning at least two vehicles can charge at any one time.

The electricity used to charge the vehicles is 100% renewable as all AF&RS sites are currently supplied with 100% green energy.  As well as fleet vehicles, employees are able to use these points too with an EV staff salary sacrifice scheme providing an added incentive.

Looking to the future

And there’s more! As well as the maintenance and ongoing back-office provision for the existing charge points (with our partners Mer), we’ll be installing ‘Phase 2’ next year which will include a further 10 sites.

EVs will play a major part in helping AF&RS reach the targets in the organisation’s Environmental Strategy and we are delighted to contribute to the realisation of the bluelight turning green!

Annabel Harford commented:

“We’ve been really pleased with how the first Phase has gone and have enjoyed working with the team at Joju. They are all very helpful, friendly and have helped resolve issues efficiently. With EV charge points now installed at half of our sites, we look forward to Phase 2 for all our remaining sites”.

 

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Powering 1,900 seats – Wales Millennium Centre

Wales Millennium Centre wanted to find a way to produce enough energy themselves, to power a 1,900-seat auditorium. Located at the heart of the regenerated Cardiff Bay, the Centre is the national arts centre of Wales and from the moment it first opened its doors in 2004, the team were very keen to lead from the front when it came to demonstrating its sustainable credentials… step forward solar!

The installation

We were delighted to help realise the most recent stage of this ambition, by installing 720 345W JA solar modules and 4 Solis inverters on 6 of its south-facing roof spaces.

The roof space itself is made up of five smaller flat roofs and one larger metal seam roof, so we used a mix of Van der Valk mounting systems too, with a non-penetrative clamping over the metal seam roof – and to give you an indication of scale, we needed a crane for two days to lift everything on to the roof for the project!

Facts and figures

And it’s all worth it. Solar power will produce around 10% of the electrical energy that the Centre uses each year (based on pre covid figures of 2019) and the predicted annual generation of 192,922 kW hours is more than enough to power its stage activities (including the heating and cooling of the auditorium) for each year, over the next 25 years.

A commitment realised…

David Bonney, Building Conservation and Engineering Manager at Wales Millennium Centre said:

“As an iconic building in the Welsh capital, it is important to us that we promote our sustainable credentials and demonstrate our commitment to reducing our carbon footprint.  Teaming up with Joju Solar has allowed the Centre to achieve this ambition. Despite large cranes being present at both the front and rear of the Centre to achieve the lift of equipment to the various roof spaces, the impact was minimal meaning it was ‘business as usual’ throughout the process. 

 The project has presented both Wales Millennium Centre and Joju with some challenges, but working together the teams have increased, and improved, the Centre’s environmental performance and has delivered a first-class result. Employing a preventative approach to environmental concerns is imperative to the Centre, ensuring our ongoing commitment to creating a cleaner, greener outlook for the future generations of Wales.”

Now that’s what we call a curtain raiser!

It looks stunning too, and we have absolutely loved working with Wales Millennium Centre, David and the team, to design and install the solar solution on this iconic building.

 

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Beautiful and powerful – Mike’s new build home

Our customer, Mike, originally contacted us with architects plans for a new build house. He wanted the house to be highly energy efficient… generating its own power without this negatively impacting on the character and aesthetic of his soon-to-be-built home.

Back to black 

We loved working with Mike to bring this vision to life and as solar tiles weren’t widely available at the time of install, and there were technical constraints with the products too, we specified all black solar panels built into the roof.

The all black panels have a black frame, black mono crystalline cells, and a black back-sheet with a neat finish, blending particularly well with dark slate and whilst there is a slight additional cost when compared to traditional on-roof solar, savings are made by not having to install slates and tiles where the panels are located.

We worked with Mike’s main contractor and roofer to complete this solar installation and in terms of the look for Mike’s new home, the panels worked perfectly.

As Mike says,

“We selected the black panels largely for the aesthetics and, given that we were building a new house, it made no sense to put a roof covering on and then put the panels on top… may as well make the panels be the roof covering. It integrates with the house much better”.

Never a truer word, we say!

Panel power

Well, the aesthetic is certainly attractive, but what about the solar generation?

As Mike tells us,

“We can get over 30kWh on really sunny days.  In 2021 to date, we have had 3253hWh. We have battery storage now too and our electricity bill is less than £50 per month, which isn’t bad for an electric only house and two electric cars”.

Not bad indeed!

A great experience

Here’s to architecture that not only looks beautiful, but that also definitely generates the power and here’s to a great solar installation experience all round. Jon, our Head of Residential Solar, led the project and as Mike says,

“It was a really good experience, easy, and Jon was great. He did what he said, when he said he would”.

We can’t say fairer than that!

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Dennis Eagle, LBI Tipper, electric, Islington

Islington Council’s Electrified Fleet

Islington Council has been working hard to electrify its fleet – one of several measures to reduce vehicle emissions in the borough, tackle the climate emergency and achieve a net zero carbon Islington by the year 2030.

An e-first in the Capital

As part of their initiatives, the forward-thinking borough became the first in London to use two innovative, purpose-built, fully-electric refuse collection trucks. The 26-tonne Dennis Eagle ‘eCollect’ produces no exhaust emissions and is much quieter than conventional collection trucks, as well as being more environmentally friendly. After putting the truck charging infrastructure supply and install out to tender, they agreed Joju would be the perfect partner for the job.

We installed vehicle charging equipment at the Council’s Waste and Recycling Centre, including two ABB Terra 94 90kW rapid chargers for the electric refuse trucks, and three Alfen dual 22kW chargers as well.

No time to waste

There was no time to waste after that installation either, because the electrification of Islington’s entire fleet of almost 500 vehicles including cars, vans, school and community buses and street cleaners, is ongoing.

To support this, we also installed two Alfen single units and 3 Alfen dual units at The Laycock Centre. Three dual Alfen chargers are currently going in at 222 Upper Street and the installation of 18 dual units is in progress at Pritchard Court.

This work will help the Council provide the infrastructure for a fully electric fleet in the coming years and we will be operating and maintaining these units for an initial three-year period, with our partner Hubeleon.

The future

We are currently working with Islington Council to continue the design work for other sites, with a mixture of rapid and fast charger installations being planned.

The Council has also just announced the arrival of the borough’s first, fully electric cage tipper vehicles, with each vehicle saving approximately 1,600 litres of diesel per year, as work to fully electrify the council’s fleet continues. Six vehicles will be used in the borough and by the time they all arrive, 11% of the council’s fleet will be electric.

As Cllr Rowena Champion, Islington Council’s Executive Member for Environment and Transport, said:

“Creating a net-zero carbon borough by 2030 is one of the council’s leading priorities, and we know that achieving this will create a greener, cleaner, and fairer Islington for everyone.

“The ongoing electrification of our fleet will help to provide local people with cleaner air to breathe and tackle air pollution, which remains a major health emergency across London.

“Key to achieving our net-zero carbon ambition is working productively with partners in the local community, and our relationship with Joju is essential to our ongoing fleet electrification project.”

Our London office is just around the corner from the Council’s Cottage Road Waste and Recycling Centre and we’re proud to support the Council with its vision for a greener, healthier Islington.

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Southampton, road sweeper, wallbox, ABB

Southampton’s Electric Fleet and 25kW Wallbox

The UK Government has committed to achieving net zero carbon emissions by the year 2050. This has had a snowball effect on local government, with many councils committing to this same target by 2030. Southampton City Council is no exception.

 

The Road to Net Zero

In 2016, the council set out a Clean Air Strategy to run until 2025 – at which point another strategy will be produced. As part of this, the council has been meticulous in creating a clean air zone. Converting its fleet to electric vehicles and providing charging infrastructure for local residents and visitors to the area has been a key part of this plan. Joju has assisted Southampton with the installation of over 30 charge points across a number of council owned buildings and depots. However, it’s not just about volume. It’s important to install the right charger in the right place to operate a functional electric fleet.

 

The 25kW DC Wallbox

While the council largely installed AC fast charge points for small vans and fleet cars to charge overnight, they also wanted the ability to charge vehicles quickly, within an hour, at a ‘stop and go’ site. The council was cautious about installing a 50kW rapid charge point due to the size constraints of the allocated site and the available capacity on the existing supply within the building. Joju was able to provide a solution that was cheaper than a 50kW rapid charger, had the ability to recharge vehicles onsite within an hour and one that adhered to the dimensions and size constraints of the site.

The ABB 25kW DC Wallbox was installed using the existing supply in the building and on the wall of the building. This charge point has the capacity to recharge a battery from 20% to 80% (depending on battery size) within an hour, using either a CCS or CHAdeMO connector.

We were able to orchestrate the project for the council from the design phase, through surveying, installation and commissioning, and ongoing maintenance post-installation.

 

The Future

The council has ambitious targets to electrify its entire fleet of vehicles before 2030 and we hope to continue our longstanding relationship, helping the council to realise and achieve these goals.

There are ongoing fleet installations, and the council is currently looking at the demonstration of electric refuse collection vehicles. Further to this, the council is hoping to increase the provision of publicly accessible charging infrastructure throughout surface car parks.

 

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Bluebell railway, EV charge points, electric vehicles, ev charge point install, ev infrastructure

Bluebell Railway’s EV journey

Imagine travelling through eleven miles of scenic Sussex countryside on a steam train, meeting railway staff in period clothing, learning all about the history and science of the industrial age in an interactive museum, seeing original working signal boxes… and charging your EV whilst you do it! Well, now you can do exactly that at Bluebell Railway, one of the first preserved heritage lines in the country, as historic and contemporary travel infrastructure sits side by side.

Making it happen

Heritage Railways, with their vintage steam locomotives, may not be the first organisation that comes to mind when considering the green agenda, but the Bluebell Railway team decided to look to the future as well. They wanted to offer visitors, staff, and the local community the opportunity to charge their electric vehicles on site. To make it happen, they dedicated part of a recently received grant from the Department of Culture, Media & Science and got in touch with us to help them.

Steaming ahead!

We initially surveyed two sites, helping the team navigate the options based on what they wanted the charge points to deliver for the variety of people using them. Another consideration was making sure EV charging would be in place to welcome visitors by the time the railway reopened, following the lifting of Covid restrictions. The install was therefore completed by the beginning of April, 2021.

We selected 7kw Alfen chargers to fit with the electrical capacity available and were able to connect to existing onsite infrastructure, with enough spare capacity to meet the demands of all charge points should they be used simultaneously. This isn’t always the case and if capacity is limited, we also have solutions to allocate available power between charge points.

Here, two dual socket units were installed, allowing four cars to be charged in the upper car park at Sheffield Park station… home to the railway, interactive museum, picnic areas and shop. This included a designated charge point for blue badge holders, and the opportunity was also taken to remark the car park during the work.

The charge points are operated by our partners New Motion, with Bluebell Railway selecting this particular network for accessibility, and to service as many EV drivers as possible.

An electric future

Sheffield Park was built in 1882 by the London Brighton and South Coast Railway and it’s exciting to see that electric vehicles are now part of its historic story.

The Railway’s project manager said “JoJu Charging is an easy company to deal with and always makes that extra effort in customer satisfaction, which is good to receive”.

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S Georges' SPorts Centre, Scott Brown Rigg, Architects

St George’s College Iconic Solar Sports Hall

St George’s is an independent mixed Roman Catholic co-educational day school in Weybridge Surrey.   The school have recently constructed a new Sports Hall for the school as their existing sports hall was only sized for 500 students (all boys).  The new sport hall now caters for over 1000 pupils (both boys and girls) over a wide range of sporting activities.

The new hall is a flagship architectural building, designed by Scott Brown Rigg Architects, with many unique design features that required careful integration of the solar PV.

The structure of the building is made from curved glulam columns and roof beams, which support a plywood deck.  Above the roof sites 150mm insulation, finished with a Sika Sarnafil single-ply roof membrane.  The roof is curved in two directions much like the Olympic Park velodrome, and also features diamond-shaped roof ventilation towers.

Careful Integration of Solar

As such, the design needed to account for the following sensitivities:

  1. As a high-end architectural project, aesthetics were paramount to the client.
  2. The installation mounting system needed to work with the curved surface of the roof.
  3. We needed to avoid shade from the ventilation towers.
  4. The chosen system needed to be lightweight so as not to compress the insulation, or led to puddling of water
  5. The system needed to be non-penetrative
  6. We needed to install sufficient solar PV to meet overall building CO2 targets.

The building carbon targets implied the building had a target of 32kWp of solar PV to generate 29,688kWh of electricity per year.  To meet this brief, we installed a system of 119 JA Solar 270W modules, connected to a single Solis 30kW inverter.

 

Sika SSM1 mounting system

Joju Solar are the solar energy partners of Sika Sarnafil who manufactured the roof membrane system.  Working closely with them and the main roofing contractors, Malone Roofing, we designed and delivered what we to believe to be a prime example of sensitive architectural integration of a commercial solar PV roof.

The chosen mounting system was the Sika Solar Mount SSM1, which offers several unique features, ideal for this project.  The mounting system consists of plastic triangular frames pitched at 15 degrees.  These frames use rubber fixing flaps, that sit over the frames which are then rubber-welded directly to the roof membrane.  Because the frames are bonded to the roof surface, the system is ballast-free, and therefore very lightweight.  This not only simplifies construction but helps from a structural engineering point of view, especially in case such as this where the span of the roof is large.  It also prevents compression of the insulation layer and puddling of water on the roof.

Uniquely, the mounting system and the roof membrane itself are covered under a single point warranty.  As Sam Rogan, Sika Sarnafil Technical Advisor explains: “The SikaSolar system offers a low profile panel with high output,  that is fully compatible with Sarnafil single ply roofing membranes”.  This avoids any potential conflict between the multiple contractors on-site, as there is a single holder of risk and responsibility.

Primarily designed for flat roofs, the SSM1 is limited to being installed on roofs of less than a 10-degree pitch.  We therefore restricted our array to those unshaded areas of the roof that met this design requirement.  The area chosen was such that optimisers were not required and the system could be strung on a single 30kW inverter.

As a further step to enhance the aesthetics of the installation, the DC cable routes were laid in channels cut into the insulation membrane, which were then covered with the main roofing membrane.  This removed the need for an unsightly cable tray running across the roof and preserved the clean aesthetics of the building.

 

(Images 1&3 courtesy of Scott Brown Rigg Architects)

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  • Our PV design team is on hand to help you realise the solar part of any new build project, large or small
  • We have even integrated a bespoke solar PV array into the roof of Salisbury Cathedral
  • Solar schools like St George’s are a speciality of ours – find out more about the hundreds of solar schools we’ve already built
EV CHarging, Alfen, Fast Charger

Dorset Council’s greener travel at zero capital cost

In 2019, Dorset Council was looking to replace a handful of pre-existing rapid chargers and began an open conversation with us about what we could do to help offer residents and businesses a cleaner, greener way to travel in Dorset.

The local authority wanted to take steps towards their ambition to become a carbon-neutral Council by 2040 at the latest, with the whole of the county being carbon neutral by 2050. They were also keen to accelerate several actions in their  Climate and Ecological Emergency Strategy Action Plan and as part of this, we discussed more widespread electric vehicle charge points in public car parks, supporting the transition to electric vehicles.

 

Making it feasible

Through the Central Southern Regional Framework, we have several funding approaches we offer, tailored to local authority requirements.

One of those is a fully funded installation and management solution for electric vehicle charge points in public sites, with our funding partners Grønn Kontakt. It’s a great way for local authorities to roll out EV charging infrastructure at zero capital cost and in this case, the first step for us was to carry out a large feasibility study across 115 public car park sites and several Council offices in Dorset.

During the process, full pricing and site designs were put together and we agreed, with Dorset Council, which sites to take forward.

 

Working together to go electric

After several months of planning, conversation and collaboration, we began installing ‘phase one’ of this landmark project, which will cover 17 public car parks across the county including Blandford Forum, Dorchester, Gillingham, Lyme Regis, Shaftesbury, Sherborne, Verwood, West Bay, Weymouth and Wimborne Minster.

The fast (22kW) charge points being installed are supplied with 100% renewable energy and mean drivers can charge their electric vehicles while visiting the county’s towns. A quick top-up (a charge of 15 minutes) enables a journey of about 15 miles, or a full charge will take 2-4 hours, depending on the vehicle. All charge points can be accessed through the Grønn Kontakt charging portal and app.

It’s been great working in partnership with the Dorset Council team to make this happen and as they say,

“Working with Joju is a pleasure. Their can-do attitude to problem-solving is refreshing and undoubtedly part of the reason why Dorset’s electric vehicle charging infrastructure programme has been such a success. They have a real understanding of how local authorities work and have demonstrated a genuine willingness to accommodate Dorset’s charging infrastructure needs, for the benefit of both residents and visitors”.

At the recent launch of the first phase one sites, Cllr Ray Bryan, Dorset Council’s Portfolio Holder for Highways, Travel and Environment, also commented:

“Dorset has an important role to play in helping to tackle the climate and ecological emergency. The government plans to phase out sales of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, so it is important drivers are offered more sustainable travel options now.

We are grateful to Joju Charging and their partners Grønn Kontakt for funding both the installation and management of this scheme and for their enthusiasm and hard work in getting us to this stage.”

The feedback is fantastic to hear.

 

Future installs in Dorset

We’re excited to be rolling out Phase 2 of this project during the remainder of 2021. It will include the install of electric vehicle charge points in approximately another 30 sites around the county. The pre-existing rapids will also be replaced and as the team at Dorset Council say,

“Residents and visitors to Dorset are already demanding more charge points. Going forward we are confident that Joju can help the council meet those demands”.

Here’s to the further roll-out of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to help Dorset move to a low-carbon future and to make travelling in the county cleaner and greener.

 

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