Fossil fuels are limited sources of energy that are rapidly being depleted. This knowledge as well as the threat of climate change 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.

The commercial sector in the U.S. is following this trend and has been installing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at office buildings, hotels, and retail parking lots to meet the demand. As EV adoption grows and more commercial properties offer charging, choosing the right commercial EV charging station is becoming crucial.

Businesses are seeing the importance of installing smart EV charging stations but there is a lack of knowledge about which features are available and useful to the business model. Here are four tips that will help ensure owners make the best choice when selecting commercial electric vehicle charging stations.

Buy Smart Charging Stations

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. Without a network, there is no way to manage station access or track utilization. Smart EV charging stations fuel information, insight, and better program decision-making. Understanding costs, pricing policies, station usage, and sustainability metrics can help businesses measure the success of their EV charging program.

Choose an Open Network

This is one of the most important features to consider. Open networks allow drivers to use their preferred apps and don’t limit charging to drivers who create specific accounts. This means that popular EV charging station finding apps like PlugShare and ChargeHub, can interact with the charging station. 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 and potentially discourage drivers from using your stations. Through the power of our open network, SemaConnect drivers can roam between charging networks and preferred charging maps – no separate memberships needed.

Opt for Field-Tested Stations

If your charging stations break down frequently and are not available, EV drivers – and your reputation – suffer. You want to select a charging station that is field-tested and has a strong reputation in the marketplace. SemaConnect’s stations undergo rigorous quality assurance testing and have the industry’s best warranty. If something does go wrong with a station, and the issue cannot be resolved remotely, we will send you a brand-new station. This means there is no repair cycle or contractor visits required for most replacements. We make sure that your business is up and running with no downtime for your drivers.

Consider 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. SemaConnect 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.