When researching electric vehicle charging stations for your property, you’re bound to hear about “Networked” and “Non-Networked” stations. Both types will provide energy to your EV drivers, but only one will give you management tools through an online portal. How do you choose the right option for your property? Here are four questions to ask yourself when assessing your needs.

1. Do you want drivers to pay for energy?

Many properties install public charging stations to attract new clients. However, public does not have to be free. If you want the drivers using your stations to pay for the amount of energy transferred to their vehicle, you need a networked station with pricing capabilities.

2. Do you want drivers to find you through a network locator map?

Some of the most popular reasons to install charging stations include: to fulfill requests from tenants/employees for new amenities, to attract new customers to visit your property, and to show existing clients and stakeholders that you care about their electric vehicles. Many EV drivers use popular EV charging locator maps such as PlugShare, ChargeHub, or the SemaConnect Network to discover nearby charging stations. If you install networked stations, you can attract new customers using a charging map to find a charge. These customers are especially valuable if you are in a retailer, hotel, or restaurant who wants a captive audience to spend money at your property over several hours.

3. Will you eventually want reports?

Some properties purchase EV charging stations through financial incentives that require quarterly reports as a term of the rebate or grant. But even if you are not bound by the terms of a grant program, you may still want to have the capability to pull usage reports. Do your stakeholders want to know about your company’s reduction in greenhouse gases? Does your company have a sustainability plan? If you want to know your property’s environmental impact, you need networked charging stations.

4. Do you want to monitor usage?

One of the most common questions that property managers ask us is, “How many stations do I need at my property?” While that initially depends on your property, once you have them, you want the ability to monitor how your stations are being used. If your stations are high in demand and EV drivers have to race each other to the charging stations, you may want to increase your number of stations. Additionally, if you notice that your drivers always charge at times of the day when electricity demand and costs are high, you may want to vary your charging costs. Networked charging stations allow you to monitor your stations to see how and when they’re used.

If you want to understand the EV drivers who visit your property, or if you just want to make the most of your EV charging investment, you want charging stations with network capabilities. Click here to download white papers and here to learn about the SemaConnect Network.