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Barbican Estate
Case study

Barbican Estate

Installing electric vehicle chargepoints in a residential complex.


The Barbican Estate is a multi-residential complex in the City of London, home to more than 4,000 residents in over 2,000 residential units.

To address growing demand for electric vehicle (EV) charging, it has installed 16 chargepoints in communal (unallocated) bays.

The City of London received funding through the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme to install the chargepoints. The EV Chargepoint grant for landlords will provide funding for residential landowners from 2022.

This case study outlines three key learnings from the project.

Check your power supply

The building management team checked the power supply required to install the chargepoints with UK Power Networks, its Distribution Network Operator (DNO). The building had sufficient power supply for this installation, but the team learnt that further extensive chargepoint provision could require an expensive upgrade to the building’s old electrical infrastructure.

Any further extensive upgrades of existing chargepoint infrastructure would need an increase of power supply, as well as use of load management and smart charging technologies to reduce connection costs. These technologies help to manage the supply to the chargepoints based on the real-time demand on the building’s power supply. This results in efficient use of the existing power supply.

Check your internet connection

Chargepoint infrastructure requires good internet connection to enable communication with the back-office system. Bays with average signal benefit from additional network cabling. This is best installed with the chargepoint electrical cabling to reduce installation costs.

The Barbican Estate had to consider internet signal when choosing the location of their chargepoints, particularly as they would be located in an underground car park.

The installer should check the strength of the network signal with appropriate equipment. The resident management company should accompany the installer to check the network signal, to understand the signal strength in each bay, as well as how a good or poor signal is identified. The installer can suggest chargepoint locations, though the management team must ultimately make the final decision to install in bays receiving a good signal or upgrade the network connection in poor signal areas.

At the Barbican Estate, chargepoint locations were decided based on a balance between good internet signal at the bay and being close to the distribution board. The distribution board splits the incoming power supply to multiple circuits. The nearer the bays are to the distribution board, the lower the installation cost, as less digging through concrete is required. In addition to the capital costs, the Barbican Estate will have to pay regular internet costs for the chargepoint infrastructure.

Check your maintenance package

Initially the estate did not have a chargepoint maintenance package, which led to high costs on emergency callouts. For instance, residents were not being notified that the chargepoints were not charging their car when plugged in. This was resolved with software upgrades.

The Barbican Estate now has a maintenance package that covers regular proactive and urgent reactive maintenance.

“Barbican Estate is very pleased to announce we have installed 62 charging bays for our residents. We can proudly boast to be the very first in having charging facilities in a multi residential estate.”

– Muhammed Muhid, Barbican Estate Management

The Barbican Estate residents find the EV chargepoints convenient, with over 40 regular users and 80 unique users in the estate. This demand is expected to rise, and the estate is already planning to increase its chargepoint provision.

Last updated: 27 April 2022