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Electric Vehicle Infrastructure News, Thoughts & Rants.

Remember when the first mass-produced hybrid entered the US market? Every comedian from Portland, Maine to Portland, Oregon had something funny to say about it. Yet the days of the Prius as a target of ridicule are now long gone. Decades later, society has matured and the electric vehicle has blossomed in the public’s perception from something of an oddity to the better option worldwide.

Investing in EV charging stations no longer requires a leap of faith but rather an acknowledgment of the writing on the wall. December of 2017 was the 27th consecutive month of sales gains for electric vehicles with little over 26 thousand units sold in the US and almost 200 thousand sold throughout the year. Research also shows that the number of fast charging stations will grow from a mere six thousand in 2013 to 200 thousand by 2020. Recent analyses from the UBS Evidence lab shows that the cost of owning an electric vehicle will decrease to that of an internal combustion engine vehicle in 2018.


Location, location, location!

Gas stations require room for the gas tank and a specific location for the single purpose of refueling. Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) only needs power and parking spaces. This very short list of requirements for installing EVSE makes it ideal for properties, both residential and commercial.

Since charging electric vehicles is still a rather lengthy process, EV owners can really benefit from charging stations wherever they choose to park their car. If EVSE is made available near their apartments or condominiums, EV owners can recharge their cars at home, either overnight or after coming back from work. A level 2 station will complete the process in just a few hours. Level 3 DC Fast Charging (DCFC) is even more convenient as it allows for much shorter charging times. DCFC is ideal for commercial properties where people spend less time, like retailers, restaurants and parking garages.


The Benefits of Being a Station Owner

While EV owners have a lot to gain from a future ubiquity of charging stations, they’re not the only ones. As a building owner or property manager, you can reap benefits yourself. While the return on investment (ROI) is still difficult to quantify, purchasing stations can make an impact and allow for proven soft returns.

Today, standing out from the crowd is difficult and attracting future buyers and tenants often rely on innovation. Fitting your property with EV charging stations will put you ahead of the curve and increase your visibility. Those who own electric vehicles and those who plan on purchasing one in the near future will avoid properties that don’t accommodate their needs and turn their attention to those who do.

By adding charging stations to other environment-friendly amenities like renewable energy or green roofs, you won’t have to play catch-up with the ever-changing sets of regulations that are, now more than ever, focused on curbing the effects of climate change. But it’s not just about laws and regulations. It’s also about gaining a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating that will increase your visibility even further.

Last but not least, purchasing charging stations for your properties is also about making a difference and adding another point to an ever-growing grid. With each small effort, we turn a notion of the future into the reality of the present.

In the early 1900s, horses, carriages, and automobiles were a common sight on the crowded city streets of London and New York. At the time, the tens of thousands of horses posed a public health risk as their waste filled the streets. The invention and manufacturing of motorized vehicles came as a much-needed alternative that allowed urban life to evolve. Eventually, the transition was completed and the waste buried under cobblestone asphalt.

The Rise of The Electric Vehicle


While internal combustion engines spared us from typhoid and other maladies a century ago, they also contributed to damaging the environment at a global scale. Almost twenty percent of all emissions in the US come from cars and trucks, revealing that ICE vehicles are important catalysts of climate change. Yet, much like a century ago, a better alternative waits to be fully implemented.

A change in paradigm is right around the corner as electric cars become an increasingly more viable choice. EV technology greatly improved in recent years as electric vehicles can now be truly called autonomous. Tesla is the self-appointed leader of this revolution as it manufactures better and more affordable cars each and every year. Their Model 3 has a range of 215 miles and can reach 60 miles per hour in under six seconds.

Others heeded the call for change and produced their own electric models. German automobile manufacturer BMW released the fully electric and affordable i3 and Mercedes is soon to follow with a highway-ready EV. Bloomberg New Energy Finance predicts that electric vehicles will cost as little as ICE vehicles by 2025 and that, by 2040, electric cars will make up a whole third of the entire global car fleet. As the production of lithium-ion batteries increases, their price goes down.

Commercial Properties, a Key to EV Growth

While the rise of the electric vehicle is both impressive and unstoppable, there are still hurdles that hinder its swiftness. One of the most notable is the issue of charging infrastructure. As the number of electric cars increases, so should the number of EV charging stations. The recharging process is lengthier than simply pumping gas.

Electric vehicle owners can use a level 2 station from home or a DCFC (DC fast charge) on the road. Yet electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) seems to be needed most where people spend the better part of their day: on commercial properties. From the moment they step foot out of the house, the average person spends their time in office buildings or factories, shopping malls and supermarkets, gyms and coffee shops. Few of them currently have charging stations.

Doing your part to protect the environment may feel good but there are other advantages also. Developers who decide to install charging stations on their commercial properties will gain an additional revenue stream while also increasing their property’s value. Places with EVSE can attract new customers and keep them coming back. Without any downsides, setting up charging stations will also give another dimension to a company’s image and help developers gain a foothold for a future filled with electric cars.

Installing EVSE where it is most reachable will help make the transition to full electric quicker. As more charging stations become available, gas stations will become a thing of the past, much like horse stables on the city outskirts.

There are now more than 500,000 electric vehicles (EVs) on the road in the United States, and soon there will be over a million – and 3 million worldwide. EVs are becoming more and more popular, as the big auto manufacturers are all finally getting on board and investing in this technology. Consumers will soon have a plethora of choices when it comes to EVs.

If you’re a building owner or property manager, you may be considering EV charging stations on your property. Maybe you want to attract upscale, eco-minded tenants or shoppers, but whatever the reason, it’s a good idea to acquaint yourself with the range of benefits electric vehicle charging stations can offer your place of business.

Installing EV charging stations can provide you with a competitive edge, but is the timing right? Do enough people drive EVs? How will your property benefit? Are EV charging stations the right choice for your property?

  • What about a revenue stream from these EV charging stations? Yes, you can set what you want to charge per kilowatt hour or time spent. It may be free, you may wish to charge for just the cost of electricity or you can make a couple bucks per charging session. The fact is, these can eventually help your property bring in a little extra revenue and help pay for themselves, should you wish to sell the electricity at a higher price than you pay.
  • If you build it, they will come. According to a survey conducted by the Department of Energy, workers are 20 times more likely to buy an electric vehicle if their employers offer free charging at work. The simple fact is that EV drivers have enough battery range for everyday activities like going to and from work, but knowing there are EV charging stations at work could make the difference between choosing an EV or not. It can also provide drivers with the freedom to do lunchtime errands and after-work trips without experiencing range anxiety. So if you provide EV charging at your property, you will be encouraging people to drive EVs.

As you can see, the electric car revolution is happening – the train has left the station! Those who decide to get on board now can take advantage of the many benefits provided by offering this green amenity, while also making a statement about their company and its role in our future.

You have to hand it to Chevy: they’ve done a great job of positioning their vehicles in the marketplace, especially their plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and now all-electric vehicles (EVs). Chevy is checking all the boxes and providing consumers with great products! If you’ve been thinking about going green with your car, now may be the time to take the plunge.

Chevy_Bolt2Good-bye to Range Anxiety
The Chevy Volt was the first to successfully address “range anxiety” by combining a plug-in hybrid with a 53-mile all-electric range. That means you can have your cake — drive mostly electric every day — and eat it too, with 420 miles of total range.

And now, the Chevy Bolt EV provides 238 miles of all-electric range. This is another milestone for Chevy because it is the first affordably priced EV to break the 200-mile barrier. As a matter of fact, Chevy almost doubles the range offered by other manufacturers not named Tesla.

If range anxiety was an issue for you before, you have no more excuses.

200 Horsepower and 266 Pounds of Torque!

Most people don’t know what 266 pounds of torque feels like, but it propels this zero-emissions car from 0 to 60 mph in less than 7 seconds. That is some serious acceleration for this green machine. “It performs more like a sports sedan than a crossover,” said Mark Reuss, Chevy’s executive vice president of global product development, in a Road & Track interview at the Detroit Auto Show.

Chevy wants people to know that electric doesn’t mean slow. Most people driving a Bolt will out-accelerate conventional cars off the line because of the all low-end torque. The power doesn’t have to “build” like it does with conventional engines; it’s immediate. Which means the car is fast off the line and will beat most cars in 0-30 mph acceleration — ideal for everyday driving.

Hello to More Interior Space

The Bolt was designed to be roomy thanks to “space-smart engineering” — and it shows. Everyone seems surprised by the space. There are several contributing factors:

  • The electric motor is smaller than a typical engine. This allows the front seats to push forward more in the cabin. People who are six feet tall can sit comfortably in the back seat.
  • The seats and the interior are designed to be space accommodating. Which means they are thin — but even though they are thin, they do provide reasonable support.
  • The battery pack is flat and lies on the floor beneath the rear seats. In addition to contributing to a low center of gravity for improved handling, it helps maximize the cabin space for a car this size.

More Range, More Charging Options

All electric is now a viable option, thanks to the 200+ mile range provided by the Bolt. As PHEVs and EVs take off, we will see a paradigm shift in how we fuel their cars – they will fuel at home and at work — while we do something else. DCFC stations (fast charging) will be available on highways for longer road trips, but everyday charging will be done at home and at work.

As you can see, Chevy has done a tremendous job in building this truly revolutionary car. Add zero emissions and an affordable price tag to the list of features and the Chevy Bolt is a great candidate for anyone wanting an EV.

For workplace charging, the recommendation is to install SemaConnect Smart Charging Stations. They offer the best prices, warranties and are considered to be bulletproof. They are also open to driver programs like PlugShare and ChargeHub.




Four Tips for Choosing the Right One
Fossil fuels are limited sources of energy that are being depleted and will soon become near nonexistent. This knowledge has given rise across the globe to the demand for alternative energy sources. Many countries are cutting down on the use of fossil fuels – especially within the automobile industry. Many if not all the automobile giants are launching electric variations of their vehicles. Some, like Mercedes-Benz, are spinning off new divisions just for this market.

The commercial sector in the U.S. is not untouched by this trend and has been installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at office buildings, hotels and retail parking lots to meet the demand. In many cases, charging is offered free to employees or visitors as perks or at a minimal fee. As more and more commercial properties offer EV charging, choosing the right commercial EV charging station becomes crucial for such companies as well as for larger corporations.

Individuals managing such businesses are starting to understand the importance of installing smart EV charging stations but are often bewildered by which features to choose and which to ignore. Here are four tips that will help ensure you’re making the correct choice when selecting commercial electric vehicle charging stations.Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 9.20.03 AM

  1. Open to Driver Programs
    This is one of the most important features to consider. Open to driver programs means that more than one driver program or charging station finder program, like the popular PlugShare app, can interact with the charging station. Thus, you do not have to have an account with that charging station provider to charge your car, you just use the PlugShare app. This makes it very convenient for EV drivers. Some commercial charging stations do not work with other driver programs – forcing the driver to join their network. Consider avoiding charging stations that are not open to driver programs.
  2. Smart Charging Stations, Not Dumb Ones
    Many who purchase commercial charging stations don’t understand the benefits of a networked versus a non-networked station, so they understandably default to the most basic station available – a “dumb” (non-networked) charging station.While dumb stations may work in some situations, particularly residential, they often fall short of the needs of a commercial property.

    • Smart EV charging stations enable customers or tenants to share these stations. Further, properties might want (or need) to control or limit access to groups. Dumb charging stations provide no functionality in this area. Smart charging stations, by contrast, offer many ways to promote sharing and prevent any one person (or any group of people, like non-tenants) from hogging the stations.
    • Smart EV charging stations fuel information, insight, and better program decision-making. Imagine that a company installs charging stations across 10 of its buildings. The company likely wants to know things like: Is its electric vehicle program successful? How much is it costing the organization? Should it be expanded? Should the pricing for it be altered? These kinds of insights help the company manage and determine how to grow the program. They can also help burnish branding and reputation in terms of sustainability: the data from the smart charging stations can be used to illustrate and validate how the property is helping the environment, like documenting carbon offset. You cannot do any of this with dumb charging stations.
    • Smart EV charging stations can help control power usage and prevent billing shocks. As EV cars gain in popularity, this will add a new load on our energy grid system. We are starting to see utilities experiment with demand response and time-of-use pricing programs to effectively manage power consumption from EVs. If you’re considering EV charging stations to future-proof your property, prepare yourself for imminent electric utility programs to manage power consumption. Your smartest option – networked charging stations.
  3. Durable and Field-Tested
    This can be a deciding factor in the buying process because the sole purpose of installing EV charging stations is to charge cars. If the stations break down frequently and are not available, the drivers suffer. You want to select a charging station that is field-tested and has a strong reputation in the marketplace – a station that undergoes rigorous quality assurance testing, including environmental testing like water ingress. After all, this station needs to operate for many years without a problem. And if there is a problem, what kind of warranty replacement program is there? And how long will you be down? These are all factors to consider when considering EV charging stations for commercial use.
  4. Ease of Use
    The commercial charging stations you decide to install must be easy to use. You will want a charging station that uses an RFID card or a mobile app to initiate the charging session. Again, it helps if your station works with other driver programs. Most charging stations come with plug-and-play features, which means that the station will automatically detect the specific charging requirements of a vehicle. Drivers just have to plug in their vehicle and they can feel assured that it will be charged with no complications or issues. Also, equipment that is simple to use, durable, and suffers minimal wear and tear is the best bet.About the Author
    SemaConnect is the leading provider of electric vehicle amenities to the North American commercial and residential property markets. We also provide electric vehicle charging solutions to universities, corporations, municipalities, the healthcare sector, retailers, hotels, and resorts. We deliver a truly modern property experience through innovative, elegantly designed charging stations and a robust and open network.

Electric Vehicle Infrastructure News, Thoughts & Rants.

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