- How to Install EV Charging Stations?
- Who Can Install EV Charging Stations?
- Commercial EV Charging Station Types
- 4 Things to Consider Before Installing EV Charging Stations
- Installing Your Electric Car Charging Stations Step-By-Step
The U.S. Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure was valued at USD 2.85 billion in 2021, it is estimated to grow at a steady annual rate of 36.9% until 2030. This makes EV charging stations a great investment opportunity, especially since EV popularity is constantly growing and it will keep doing so in the future.
If you want to install an electric car charger station, then this is the right article for you. Here we will detail important information about EV charging stations, their types, aspects to consider and explain the whole installation process.
Installing electric car charging stations is a business opportunity paving the road towards the future of e-mobility. You can install an EV charging station with the help of incentives from the government and utilities, alongside an additional investment.
Further down this article, you will learn 4 important aspects to consider before installing an EV charging station and a complete explanation of the installation process. This will help you create a plan to choose a suitable place, the right equipment, and plan additional details.
EV charging stations can be installed by certified electricians, who make sure the infrastructure suites the application and equipment. If you require a larger infrastructure, you will have to ask your utility and have the electrician upgrade the wiring and service panel. You might also have to hire a contractor for the place and an EV software subscription to control the EV chargers (if not included already)
There are three types of EV charging stations: Level 1 chargers which are very slow and take 40 to 50 hours to charge a vehicle, Level 2 EV chargers that take around 3 to 10 hours, and Level 3 EV chargers or DC Fast Chargers (DCFC), which take less than an hour.
Even though DCFCs are highly efficient, they also cost more than $100,000. Installing a level 2 charger is the most popular option for commercial applications since they fit the balance between charging efficiency and affordability.
Installing a Level 2 Electric Vehicle Charger
Installing a level 2 EV charger gives EV drivers the opportunity to charge their vehicle on workplaces, malls, hospitals, schools, universities and other places in just a few hours, delivering enough mileages to reach their destinations. This also provides you with a business opportunity in a constantly growing industry.
This type of EV charger operates at a maximum power rate of 80 amps and a 208V voltage, which is why it requires a dedicated 100 amp circuit. Depending on the equipment, this EV charger might operate at a maximum rated power of 19-20 kW.
Before diving into the detailed process of installing electric car charging stations, here are 4 important things to consider previous to the acquisition of the site:
1. Location, location, location
Choosing the right location for EV charging stations is extremely important for your business. The right location should have the following:
- Stable data (4G, 5G or Wi-Fi) connection for EV chargers and for EV drivers during their stay.
- Easy access to parking spots from different entry points.
- Shortest distance between electricity service panel and chargers.
- Right distance between chargers and parking spots (EV charging cables are less than 25 ft. long).
- Proper height for wall-mounted EV chargers (24 to 48 inches according to the NEC 625.30(B))
Ensuring the location suits all of these requirements will grant you a great advantage to run a successful EV charging solution.
2. Electrical capacity
Level 2 EV chargers require a 208V-240V connection to operate at 19 kW or less, while DCFC requires a 400 – 1000V AC connection to operate at 50 kW up to 350kW. Installing a single level 2 EV charger can usually be done with pre-existing electrical infrastructures, but to install an EV charging station with multiple charging points may require you to upgrade the electrical capacity of the building.
3. Future expansion
While a few charging ports might be enough at the moment, it is important to look towards a future business expansion in the EV charging industry. Since the goal for IEA’s Net Zero Emissions by 2050 looks forward to increase yearly market share sales of EVs from the current 10% to 25%, you should prepare for the future EV expansion needs of your clients.
This translates in installing additional car charging points and investing in Power Management solutions to optimize electricity usage at your business.
4. Finding the right partner(s)
EV charging businesses require certified electricians to install an EV charging station, EV charger equipment and software providers, contractors, and other certified professionals. Considering this, it is important to partner with the right companies and people to make your business thrive.
We recommend hiring certified and experienced professionals with background experience in EV charging station installations. We recommend checking previous projects performed by potential partners, before getting into business with them. This will let you know that you are hiring the right people for the job.
After considering previous aspects, now you are ready to have your EV charging station, what’s next? This section provides you with a step-by-step analysis of the process to install an electric car charging point station.
Step 1: Site Analysis
First, the site has to be properly analyzed. Before installing a level 2 EV charger station, there are some important details to look for during the analysis part of the project:
- Is the business ideal for an EV charger? EV charging stations should be installed where EV drivers can spend a few hours, especially if they have important businesses to attend in the area or directly in the building. Generally it is beneficial to install a level 2 EV charger in places such as schools, hospitals, airports, workplaces, universities, malls, coffee shops, hotels, etc.
- Is the place safe and well-lit? EV drivers charging vehicles in the late afternoon and night will look for safe places with proper illumination to charge their vehicles.
- Is the EV charging station easily accessible? Your business should have different entry access points. This allows EV drivers coming from different directions to enter the place.
- Do you have the right infrastructure? Electrical infrastructure should supply power to all EV charging equipment. If the site is lacking enough power supply, you will have to plan on upgrading the infrastructure.
Step 2: Infrastructure Planning
Planning to install the electrical infrastructure means dealing with contractors, electric utilities, and certified electricians. These three components of the team work together towards providing your site with the right electrical infrastructure to supply power EV chargers and give you room for future expansions.
Infrastructure planning will involve setting the location and quantity of EVSE to be installed as well as the corresponding electrical load which must be provided by the main electrical panel. Service panels should be located as close as possible to the EV chargers to save you money on trenching and wiring installations as well as to maximize efficiency. In some cases, and depending on the amount of EV chargers, main panel upgrades may be required or power management solutions must be considered.
Contractors should work hand-in-hand with electricians towards embedding wires through walls and underground, making it easier to install electric car charger points with the right aesthetics.
Step 3: Utility Assessment
Utilities can assess you towards building a successful EV Charging solution for a reduced cost. There are government EV charging incentives that incentivize business owners to install EV chargers by reducing the overall cost of the installation. Some incentives are granted directly through utilities, which is why we recommend working alongside them when creating this business.
Step 4: Environment Integration
Integrating EV charging stations with their surroundings is an art performed during the fourth step of the installation. It is essential to install an EV charging station with the right commodities and services considering how long EV drivers might be hanging around the place.
You should also aim to create a safe environment with proper lighting, making EV drivers feel welcome and safe. Moreover, EVSE ratings for outdoor and/or indoor use must be considered. While EV chargers rated to work in outdoors should work safely in wet conditions, installations close to irrigation systems or flood plains should be avoided. Snow and freezing temperatures must also be evaluated with component ratings.
Step 5: Final Preparation and Installation
The final step is preparing the proper documentation to obtain incentives and finalize the details of the project. Paperwork should consider environmental permits, state and local government permits, and any additional requirements by the utility. It is important to remember that EV charging stations require building permits and are subjected to inspections after installation.
During this final step of the process to install electric car charger stations, team members will install the charger in wall or pedestal mounted options, perform wiring connections from service panels to EV charger inputs, and run commissioning for power management software. Additionally the crew will install light poles, set up security cameras, install dwelling sites for EV drivers to spend time, create different entry access points towards the place, and any other amenities required.