- Commercial EV Charging Station Installation
- What Are the Different Types of Commercial EV Charging Stations?
- Who Should Install Electric Car Charging Stations?
- Choosing the Best Location for a Commercial EV Charging Station
- What Are the Three Most Important Factors to Consider Before Installing Commercial EV Charging Stations?
- What Are the Steps in Commercial EV Charging Station Installation?
Electric Vehicles (EVs) are a highly sustainable solution that does not release greenhouse emissions directly and have an average mileage cost of around $3.00 for every 100 miles. As the popularity of EVs increases, the need for a proper charging infrastructure rises at the same time that it becomes a business opportunity for entrepreneurs.
While EVs can be technically charged in a house, most people living in condos, residential buildings, and others, need to fulfill the electrical needs of their vehicles in public and commercial EV charging stations. In this article we will dive into this interesting business opportunity, explaining every related aspect of the commercial EV charging station installation, factors to consider, and other important details.
Commercial EV charging stations are an e-mobility solution designed for EV drivers on the road. These stations feature high-capacity equipment that can charge an EV in 2 to 10 hours for mid to high-level chargers and 20 minutes to an hour for extremely high-capacity chargers.
As there is a need for a proper EV charging infrastructure that is currently lacking in the country, commercial electric car charging points installations have and will become more popular as business opportunities. Depending on the type and number of EV charger stalls in a station, this business could deliver monthly revenues of around $4,500 to $10,125 on part-day parking charges or up to $4,050 for overnight charges.
Before performing a commercial EV charging station installation, you should define key aspects of your business. These include choosing the right commercial EV charger, defining target customers, choosing the best location, and finally performing the installation.
EV charging stations are divided into three categories or levels. This section explains each level, its power rate, and the estimated charging time:
Level 1 EV chargers are mainly used for residential applications. These chargers require a run-of-the-mill 120V outlet and have a low power consumption of around 1 kW, charging the battery of an EV in 40 to 50 hours.
Level 2 are the most popular EV chargers used for commercial applications, featuring mid to high-capacity devices requiring a 208V connection and demanding a current of up to 80 amps, delivering 19.2 kW to the EV. Level 2 commercial EV charging stations can completely charge an EV battery in 2 to 10 hours.
Level 3 EV chargers or DC Fast Chargers (DCFC) are extremely high-capacity options delivering up to 350 kW to charge vehicles in as little as 20 minutes to 1 hour. These EV charging stations represent a considerable investment and are mainly installed as public EV charging stations, delivering great benefits to EV drivers in general.
EV charging stations are a great commodity for drivers and one that they can easily adapt to their routines. This means that commercial EV charging stations can be seen in any place where EV drivers go for a coffee break, eat a meal, go shopping, or spend a day or night in general. As a result of this, commercial electric car charging points installations are better suited in the following locations:
- Schools, colleges, and universities
- Condos, residential buildings, and multi-dwelling units
- Restaurants, dinners, coffee shops, or similar businesses
- Government buildings
- All types of office buildings.
This list only illustrates a small number of places, but the possibilities are endless. Any location where EV drivers could spend a few hours with their vehicle parked would benefit from having a commercial EV charging station installation.
The location where a commercial electric car charging point installation is performed will define many investment costs involved. Some places have properly placed service panels and well-suited electrical infrastructures for EV charging stations, while others require upgrading the infrastructure and performing expensive wiring installations due to the poor location of the service panel.
Certified electricians can easily asses you on this matter. They can either determine the viability of installing an EV charging station at a particular location or recommend other places better suited for them. In general, the best location will have easy and close access to a service panel, be in an area with a good internet connection signal and be located in a place where multiple drivers pass by.
What Are the Three Most Important Factors to Consider Before Installing Commercial EV Charging Stations?
Commercial EV charging station installations are great business opportunities with lucrative revenues, but they require proper planning. The following aspects will give your business idea a more robust design:
- Choosing the Best EV Charging Station: Picking the right EV Charging Station can be the key difference to making your business thrive. You should pick a smart Level 2 EV charger with power management capabilities, since it allows you to adjust charging times, set different rates, and monitor historical usage data in real-time.
- Return of Investment (ROI) and Revenues: Study ROI and profits. EV charging stations should deliver a good and fast ROI, but this requires properly managing the place and designing attractive policies for customers.
- Choose the right location: Choosing the right location will make your EV charging station more attractive to customers. You should choose a place with a proper 4G/5G connection, access to a solid electrical infrastructure, easy access for vehicles, and proximity to places where EV drivers can spend a few hours while charging.
After considering the location and other aspects, it is time to perform the commercial electric car charging points installation. This section provides you with a simplified version of the process involved in the installation:
- Decide the number of parking spots with installed charging stalls. States like California demand nonresidential buildings with 10 or more parking spaces to have an EV-capable infrastructure that can fit 40 amp Level 2 Chargers with 208/240V connections for at least 6% of the parking spaces.
- Have your certified electrician asses the available electrical capacity at the service panel and plan the wiring for the place. We recommend also planning for future expansions by installing conduits where future charging installs can be located.
- Select the EV charging equipment and software by partnering with the right suppliers. Analyze different options and choose the one delivering the most benefits to your business.
- Identify and apply for EV charging incentives. You can ask your electrician and the utility for detailed information on this or check the Electricity Laws and Incentives site by the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Integrate EV charging stations into the environment. Do this by installing signalization, security cameras, and lighting poles to properly illuminate the place. Also, install other commodities or services that deliver comfort for EV drivers waiting until their vehicles are charged.
6. Prepare the documentation and perform the commercial electric car charging points installation. First, prepare any environmental, government permits, alongside requirements by your utility. Finally, you can have your electrician install the EV charging stalls and prepare for the safety officer to perform the inspection before opening up for business.
Nick Zamanov is a head of sales and business development at Cyber Switching. He is an expert in EV infrastructure space and he is an EV enthusiast since 2012, Since then Nick strongly believed that electric vehicles would eventually replace Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) cars.