Circular Procurement of Electric Vehical Chargers (EVC)

The growing market for electric vehicle chargers has led to increasing environmental impacts that risk being overlooked. The material flows created leave an environmental impact in the production of the charging points. Europe is the second largest market for charging points and the number of electric vehicles is forecast to grow exponentially in the coming years. The demand for charge points will also follow, and by 2030 more than 3 million EV chargers will be needed in Europe. On this page, we offer some preliminary guidance and examples for circular procurement of electric vehicle charge points.

Circular strategies EVC

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  • Utilise existing infrastructure: when purchasing charging points, consider whether there are opportunities to reuse existing infrastructure. Can an already existing electric box or other infrastructure be adapted and reused as a charging point? This minimises the need for new materials and reduces the total amount of raw materials needed for the new charge point.
  • Reuse: in the purchase contract, you can specifically state that reusable packaging should be used to transport the charging points. This reduces waste and the need for new packaging materials. Ideally, the supplier could take back this packaging and reuse it for future shipments.
  • Minimal Material Use in Design: ask for charge posts where the design takes into account minimising material use. For example, minimalist design, keep the design simple and minimalist. Avoid unnecessary details and parts that do not add direct functionality. Make sure that the dimensions of the packaging match the size of the charging poles it carries. This avoids unnecessary packaging material, and avoids transporting 'packed air'. This reduces overall material use and minimises waste.
  • Multifunctional Parts: consider using parts that can perform multiple functions. For example, a protective housing can also serve as a heatsink

  • Materials with Low Impact: choose materials with a low environmental impact, such as recycled materials or materials with a low carbon footprint.
  • Design for Disassembly: ensure that the charging station can be easily disassembled at the end of its life. This facilitates the reuse of materials and components.
  • Design for Recyclability: when designing, already consider how the materials can be recycled later. Avoid complex combinations of materials that are difficult to separate.

  • Modular Design: design the charging station modularly so that different parts can be replaced or upgraded separately without having to replace the whole unit. This minimises material waste and extends the product's lifespan.
  • Design for Disassembly: ensure that the charging post can be easily disassembled at the end of its service life. This facilitates the reuse of materials and components.

  • Standardised Design and Updateability: choose charging stations with a standardised design. This ensures that the same components can be used in different charging points, simplifying logistics and reuse. Importantly, charge points should also be updateable and upgradeable. This means that when new technologies or improvements become available, the charge points can be updated without complete replacement. This minimises the need for new charge points and extends the lifespan of existing models.
  • Contractual Take-back and Reuse Agreements: In the purchase contract, you can include specific agreements on take-back and reuse of the (components of the) charge points at the end of their life. The supplier could be obliged to take back the charging points. Here, the customer has the choice of keeping the existing charge point for his own use or having it replaced with a new model. If the latter is chosen, the existing charge point could be offered to other customers as a refurbished model. This maximises the reuse of materials and extends the lifespan of the charge points.

  • Understanding Materials: ensure that the charging posts are designed with mono-material components that are easily separable from each other, without complex bonding or fixings. This facilitates disassembly and reuse of materials after the life of the charging posts. Ask the supplier to make available the composition of the materials used. This will give you an insight into the materials used and encourage reuse.

Criteria & labels for purchase