EV charging stations in Auto Dealerships: Challenges and solutions

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According to a survey report from 2020, over 71% of U.S. drivers would consider buying an electric vehicle, this represents a huge market for auto dealerships to exploit. However, as an auto dealership owner, you need to be prepared to make use of this new and expanding market, by taking a step into modernizing the infrastructure of your business to make it EV ready.

Car dealerships will have vehicles parked for long periods of time, making them ideal for long-term charging, however, having multiple EV charging stations installed and connected at the same time can present some important downsides. Let’s find out what issues might show up and how the Electric Vehicle Master Controller (EVMC) can address them.

Challenges of EV Charging Stations in Auto Dealerships

Productivity Monitoring

The traditional approach for non-networked EV charging station installations leaves the power consumption from the EVs unmonitored and unmanaged. This is an important downside for the salesperson since he/she needs an easy and attractive way to present vehicle features to potential customers in a showroom.


The EVMC approaches this issue by providing a full monitoring and energy management functionality that allows monitoring important parameters like voltage, current, power, and energy demand over time. Not only that, but also enables the user to manage power flows and adjust programmable settings that allow selecting different charging strategies. This offers a valuable, interactive, and easy way to showcase EV charging and to address the most frequently asked questions that customers might have regarding having an electric vehicle.

Peak Demand Charges

Another common issue that auto dealerships would face when connecting multiple EV charging stations is a substantial increase in power demand.
 

Electric vehicles are high-current applications that can demand 40A per branch circuit or even more depending on the charger type. When many EV charging stations are connected to the same meter (as would be the case on a car dealership), this will represent a substantial increase in peak power demand, and therefore, will be associated with high demand charges from the utility that will be added monthly to your balance sheet.
 

The EVMC solves this problem by setting a programmable and rotational charging schedule for EV stations that uses a single 40A branch circuit and distributes the power from this circuit among up to 4 EV charging stations.

While in the traditional approach, charging 4 EVs at the same time will involve increasing the instantaneous power demand to 160A (very probably increasing demand charges), by using the EVMC you will keep EV power consumption from the utility at a minimum, demanding only 40A from a single branch circuit.  This virtually reduces peak demand by up to 4 times and reduces costs associated.

Electrical Infrastructure Upgrades

Finally, a very important issue that can arise from the installation of multiple EV charging stations is the need for electrical infrastructure upgrades. This is highly variable and depends on the ratings of the existing main electrical panel, feeder, and transformer. Considering that typical loads in car dealerships involve lighting, outlets, and HVAC loads, there may be enough rating capacity available to accommodate a couple of EV charging stations.
 

However, if the dealership owner aims to the future and wants to provide an entire fleet of electric vehicles, then he will need several EV charging stations to keep the EVs charged and ready for rent. In that case, electrical infrastructure upgrades will probably be necessary and if this particularly involves the power transformer, the process can be slow and highly expensive.

EVMC

Nevertheless, by installing an EVMC you will potentially be able to avoid these expensive upgrade costs while at the same time installing several EV charging stations by using the existing electrical infrastructure of your building. This is possible thanks to its rotational load power distribution management that uses a single line circuit from the main panel to power up to 4 charging stations at the same time. This minimizes the number of spare circuits required in the existing electrical panel to power EVs and also minimizes the electric current demand which highly reduces the chances of requiring an electrical infrastructure upgrade due to increased amperage. 


Interested in learning more? Feel free to contact us. Our experts are happy to answer all your questions and help you with you EV charging needs.