Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity, with more than 83,000 now on Australian roads. As EV adoption rises, so does the need for conveniently located public charging stations.
Adding EV chargers to your business or commercial property is a savvy move - you’ll attract eco-conscious customers, meet the needs of EV-driving employees, and establish your company as forward-thinking.
But where do you begin if you want to install EV charging stations? Selecting the right equipment, navigating permits and regulations, and understanding costs and incentives can seem daunting if you need help knowing where to start.
The good news is that installing and managing EV chargers is straightforward, with careful planning and preparation. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the entire process, from choosing charging equipment to marketing your new EV charging capabilities.
Follow this start-to-finish plan to add EV charging to your commercial location successfully. With more drivers going electric, installing EV chargers is an excellent way to meet customer needs, differentiate your business, and build a forward-thinking brand.
Choosing Your Charging Equipment
When selecting EV charging equipment for your commercial property, you’ll need to decide between Level 1, Level 2, and DC fast charging stations.
Level 1 provides 2-5 miles of range per hour and requires a standard 120V outlet.
This is the slowest but cheapest option. Level 2 offers 10-20 miles of range per hour and requires 208/240V wiring.
This mid-range option can fully charge an EV in 4-8 hours. DC fast charging equipment delivers 50-100 miles of range in just 20-30 minutes using 480V power. However, DC fast chargers are quite expensive.
Also, determine if you need network stations connected to the cloud and offer usage tracking or basic non-networked units. Research leading equipment brands and models based on factors like reliability, durability, smart features, and warranty. Consult with experienced electrical contractors to pick the right EV charging solutions based on your budget, needs and electrical system capacity.
Installation Process and Requirements
Installing EV charging stations requires careful planning, qualified electricians, and meeting permitting and electrical requirements. Start by researching the installation costs and process for your area.
Many regions have streamlined permitting for EV chargers, but understanding the local regulations is essential. Hire a licensed and experienced electrical contractor to handle the installation.
They can assess your current electrical capacity and determine if any service upgrades are needed to support EV chargers. Running new wiring from your electrical switchboard and installing a new meter may add costs.
The electrician will pull permits, run wiring to the charging location, install the equipment, get inspections, and handle utility notifications. Ideal EV charger placement includes visible, convenient parking spots close to electrical service, with good lighting and security.
ADA compliance must also be considered. Take the time upfront to understand requirements to ensure a smooth installation process.
Once your EV charging stations are installed, you’ll need to establish an ongoing management plan. Determine how access and payment will be controlled. Many stations require an RFID card or mobile app to activate charging.
You can set hourly rates and pricing structures to recover equipment and operating costs. Networked stations allow you to view usage data and track issues remotely. Provide contact information on the equipment for driver assistance and support. Establish a schedule for periodic maintenance and cleaning of the stations. Check that the stations are operational daily and address any malfunctions immediately.
Keep the parking area well-lit and the pavement clearly painted. Any fees collected will need to be processed according to your payment setup. Effective ongoing management ensures your EV chargers provide optimal convenience, maximum uptime, and a positive experience for drivers.
Incentives and Cost Offsets
Installing EV charging stations represents a significant upfront investment, but financial incentives are available to reduce the costs. The federal EV tax credit can cover 30% of equipment and installation costs for commercial locations. Many utilities offer rebates and discounted electrical rates for EV charging installations. Your state or city may also have additional incentives, grants, or abatements for EV infrastructure projects.
Local governments want more public charging options and are sweetening the deal. Once operational, the fees collected from EV drivers for charging sessions can offset ongoing costs.
Adjust pricing accordingly to recoup your initial investment over several years. Leverage available databases to find incentives and apply well before installing equipment. Tax credits, rebates, and usage revenue streams can all help improve ROI for your EV charging station project.
Promoting Your EV Charging Stations
Once your new EV charging stations are installed, you’ll want to spread the word to drivers. Start by adding your business and stations to online EV charging maps and apps like PlugShare, ChargeHub, and Google Maps.
This gets your chargers visible in key directories EV drivers rely on. Install clear on-site signage and directions to make finding your charging locations quick and easy for customers.
Promote the new charging amenities on your website and social media channels to boost awareness. Reach out to local EV groups and your chamber of commerce to get the news shared.
Issue a press release to local media outlets announcing the new EV infrastructure. When customers charge with you, provide instructions for accessing the stations and payment. Promoting your new charging capability keeps your business at the top of your mind with your region’s growing group of EV drivers.
Electrify Your Business
Installing EV charging stations is an excellent way for commercial properties and businesses to meet the needs of EV drivers while showcasing a commitment to sustainability. Following this guide, you can successfully plan, install, manage, and promote EV chargers at your location. The upfront investment is worth the long-term benefits.
Partnering with a knowledgeable electrical contractor is key - be sure to contact the EV charging experts at Bright Force Electrical. Their team of qualified electricians can consult on selecting the best equipment, handle the entire installation process, and provide ongoing service and support. Investing in EV charging with Bright Force Electrical ensures your project goes smoothly from start to finish.
As more drivers go electric, public charging availability will only grow in importance. Contact Bright Force Electrical today to get a quote and electrify your business. Adding EV chargers establishes your company as forward-thinking, eco-conscious, and ready to meet the future needs of customers and employees. Be at the forefront of this transition and enjoy the many benefits.