More and more people are becoming interested in electric vehicles for many reasons. First and foremost, as the prices of gas skyrockets to $5 and $6 per gallon, interest in electric vehicles and cheap electricity grows. Drivers love the idea of having a vehicle that still fuels at at $1.16 per “egallon.” Another major benefit of electric vehicles is that they have a lower environmental impact than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Finally, EV drivers can still take advantage of the $7500 federal tax credit for purchasing an electric vehicle. Electric vehicles are easier and cheaper to maintain than conventional gasoline vehicles, which feature many moving parts and require weekly visits to the gas station.
The only issue is the availability of electric car charging stations. EV charging stations are required for electric cars, but many locations do not have enough (or even any) plugs yet. Business owners can increase their property’s appeal if they have electric car charging stations at their property. The question is, how do you install an EV charging station at a business? Here are the three main steps.
1. Select Your Type of Charging
There are multiple different types of EV charging stations available. Level 1 charging cords and stations use 110-120 volt electricity to deliver 5-6 miles of range per charging hour, fully charging the vehicle within 24 to 40 hours. Due to this slower “trickle charge,” Level 1 is mostly used at single-family homes. A Level 2 charging station is recommended for daily use at residential and commercial locations. This station uses 208-240 volts to deliver 6-19.2 kilowatts to the vehicle. The typical Level 2 station is a 30amp station that recharges a vehicle at an average of 25 miles per charging hour. Level 3 charging stations, or DC fast charging (DCFC) stations, use 200-980 volts DC power instead of AC power and can charge a fully electric car within an hour. DCFC stations are only compatible with fully electric vehicles and are recommended for highways and fleets.
2. Analyze Your Site
Before installing your EV charging stations, you must analyze your site to determine your necessary upgrades and permits. Typically, the property manager, preferred electrician, and SemaConnect sales manager will walk around your parking to test cell signal, determine electrical upgrades, choose parking spaces, and discuss permits. To minimize costs, it is usually recommended to choose parking spaces close to your electrical room to reduce the amount of necessary trenching. If you are planning to install additional stations later, now is the time to build your “make ready infrastructure.” Each charging plug will need a dedicated circuit, so some installations may require upgrades to your electrical panel or your transformer.
3. Conduct the Installation
Your parking manager will work with your electrician and contractors to prepare the site and install your EV charging stations. Unless you have existing EV make ready infrastructure, your contractor must run wires, conduits, and piping. If your charging stations are in a parking garage or another location with poor cell signal, you may need to install a cellular booster. Signage, striping, and bollards in your parking can help protect your stations and indicate necessary information to drivers. The final step in your installation is to turn on the power breaker and call SemaConnect. Your dedicated account manager will register your stations and provide ongoing customer support.
There are many reasons why you should have EV charging stations installed at your business. But don’t let the new process scare you off. SemaConnect is your partner for smart, easy-to-use EV charging stations that increase your appeal and attract new tenants and customers. Ready to get started? Request your quote for EV charging stations today.