The electric vehicles are here and with rising gas prices, more and more people are thinking about making the switch (or at least adding one to their line of vehicles).
But another budding industry is taking shape in this country and around the world and at rapid speed – the Electric Vehicle Charging Station industry. Other names are Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment, EV Chargers, EV Charging station – regardless the name, theses stations are popping up in our cities, on our streets and in our neighborhoods.
Business’s like Walgreens, McDonald’s and Best Buy are promising to install EV Charging Stations at their locations to help new EV drivers extend their range. New EV drivers are filled with questions about where to install an EV station in their garage if they purchase one.
And in the fog of all this excitement, I still get asked the same question.
“What is the difference between Electric Vehicle Charging Stations?”
The short answer:
If the charging station has a J1772 plug, and meets all code and is certified to UL standards then it is safe to use, regardless of which brand you purchase.
The long answer:
Charging stations are becoming a new breed, and can be broken down into various categories. The first difference is whether you are purchasing a station for residential or commercial use.
Residential stations might come with lower voltages and have a different make or model. Since the station won’t be strenuously used by various amounts of people, the need for added technology won’t be necessary since your EV will be jam packed with great features already.
Commercial stations should be more rugged, have software or an added technology feature. This is most suitable for making it easier for the station owner to have, giving you the ability to run sustainability reports, billing EV drivers and monitoring electricity usage.
Pike Research recently ran a study on the best EV Charging Station companies on the market right now. It’s a great list, however I’d suggest you to continue doing more research to find a charging station that is best suited for your needs. Use the research as a reference, but not as a final list because your needs will differ greatly from another EV driver, another business or another industry.
As history has told us, bigger sometimes isn’t always better, and there are smaller niche companies out there (SemaConnect included!) that produce a great product, provide wonderful customer service and will help you extend EV range.