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EV Charging Stations in Local Governments – Challenges and Solutions

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  • EV Charging Stations in Local Governments – Challenges and Solutions

As the electric vehicle euphoria spreads throughout the country, many employees from local government buildings such as City Halls, County Offices, or local and municipal utility companies, are purchasing electric vehicles, and more are expected to do the same in the next few years.  This is one major reason for adding electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to your office building.
 

Adding EV charging stations benefits both employees and visitors, as they can leave their EVs charging while they are at work or running errands. Particularly, workplace charging minimizes the range anxiety for employees, which is a common term used to describe the fear from EV owners to run out of battery power in the middle of the route.

Nevertheless, in the process of developing a project to add several EV charging stations you could find potential challenges, some more important than what you could imagine. But do not worry, here we will approach some of them and also provide you with a remarkable solution that can address them all.

What are the Most Common Challenges of Installing an EV Charging Station in a Government Building?

Low Network Connection
 

Many EV charging stations have a wireless networked configuration under which each charging station is connected one to another for remote management. However, one inconvenience for this approach is that these configurations need a reliable and high-speed internet connection to work properly. As you can imagine, this could represent a major issue in local government offices with underground parking garages where the wireless signal will be poor. This limits the locations where EV charging stations could be installed due to connectivity issues.
 

Now, by integrating the Cyber Switching Electric Vehicle Master Controller (EVMC) into the EV charging station layout, you will not find any issue whatsoever in the operability as this load management system does not require an internet connection to perform its charging routine. 

Long-Term Stays

Moreover, the typical EV station installation approach does not consider monitoring of any kind. This means that while the employees are at work, their EV can get fully charged and they are unaware of it.  Some member staff would then regularly leave their car plugged into the station all day, limiting their usability to other employees.

By installing an EVMC, this will no longer be an issue as it provides a monitoring capability that allows detecting when the EV has been completely charged. This enhances the productivity of the EV charging stations to make them accessible to more users across the day. As more employees start bringing their EVs to the office, this will be becoming a more important matter to think of.

Electrical Infrastructure Upgrades

Finally, the most troublesome cases involve the upgrade of the government building electrical infrastructure due to the unavailability of enough power capacity to supply all the projected load from the EV stations. This can refer to the main electrical panel, feeder, or in the worst case, the power transformer. Cases where the transformer needs to be upgraded, are likely to become cost-prohibitive for local government offices, leading to stuck projects.
 

As you can imagine performing any building modification will involve a series of permitting steps not only from the utility (if feeder or transformer are involved) but also internally, which could delay the project for several weeks or months. Cases in which multiple EV charging stations are to be installed are likely to also carry on some issues for available spare circuits, as each station will need a dedicated electrical circuit to power the unit.
 

The EVMC solution takes care of this issue by offering the chance to feed multiple charging stations with a single 40A branch circuit that enables the EVMC to power up to four EV charging stations by using a rotational load distribution approach in which the stations are charged on a programmable time basis depending on their energy demand request. This solution works perfectly for local government offices where users are expected to remain connected for several hours as it eliminates the need for a full rating dedicated circuit for each EV station that would involve a high instantaneous power demand from the utility.

EVMC

This approach reduces the number of dedicated circuits required from the main panel to power EV stations and highly reduces the need for electrical infrastructure upgrades, especially for feeder and transformer requirements. Moreover, it also reduces the peak load demand on the electrical system, which also enables potential demand charges reductions and optimizes the system to avoid TOU peak rate consumption. 

With all these benefits, the EVMC facilitates the development of multiple EV charging stations while keeping project costs low and also optimizing energy demands to make projects in local government offices feasible and efficient


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.

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