Now that nearly 800,000 Americans have now made the switch to driving electric vehicles, the need for commercial electric vehicle charging stations will only continue to grow. If you’ve already determined that your business can benefit from installing EV charging stations, you’ll next need to decide where they should be installed on your property. This might not be as simple a choice as it sounds. The location of your charging stations can have a profound effect on their frequency of use and overall user satisfaction. You’ll need to think carefully before determining the correct place for your EV charging solution.
When choosing the ideal location for your property’s electric vehicle charging stations, be sure to consider the Three C’s: Convenience, Cost, and Clientele.
Simply put, an EV charging station that is located in an inconvenient location isn’t going to be used nearly as much as one that’s situated in a spot with heavy foot traffic. If you share a parking lot with other businesses, it’s a good idea to position your charging stations in areas that are close to your business’s entrance(s). Many times, this may mean giving them a prime location near the handicap-accessible parking. It could also mean clustering several stations together or placing stations at each end of a larger parking lot or garage. They should be highly visible to make sure EV drivers can easily find these stations and should appeal to the kinds of customer behaviors you notice
Of course, the costs of installation and maintenance will play a part in where you install your chargers. For one thing, it’s going to be more cost-efficient for you if your EV stations are in close proximity to existing electrical services. That way, you won’t have to find expensive workarounds. But you’ll also want to consider the costs of electricity (especially during peak times) and any financial incentives that are available from your local utility or state government. While energy costs may not appear to directly impact where you should place your property’s charging stations, they may impact your decision to implement a pricing policy for drivers. Efficient pricing policies combined with low installation costs can allow you to serve more motorists (and potentially install more stations). If your costs are going to be on the higher end of the spectrum, this will allow you to make better budgetary decisions that might impact your station placement.
Who is your EV charging customer? You’ll need to know how to answer that question before you make a final decision about where to install your commercial electric car charging stations. Will your customer be willing to pay for parking just to access your charging stations, or will they look elsewhere for a station to find a free option? If your business is based on sustainability or appeals to higher-end clients, this can help you to determine the kinds of behaviors and concerns of your target demographic. An EV driver at a workplace will have different expectations for their charging experience than they will at a shopping center or a hotel. Once you know your customer inside and out, you’ll be able to decide on the right location for your station, as well as any associated costs and how to market your installation.
Many businesses are now realizing that charging station installation can set them apart from their competitors. But to ensure your stations are actually used, you’ll need to fully understand your customer and the costs associated with installation. Then, you’ll be able to zero in on the precise location that will benefit your business the most.
SemaConnect offers a turnkey solution to commercial properties looking to make the best of their EV charging program. Learn more about how we manage your complete experience.