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Commercial EV Charging: Everything You Need To Know

Posted 4th June 2024

Commercial EV Charging: Everything You Need To Know

As electric vehicles become more common, and regulatory changes mean that in a few years diesel and petrol cars will be phased out entirely, it is crucial for business owners to understand the potential of commercial EV charging. The surge in demand for EV chargers necessitates an improvement and expansion of the available infrastructure.

Charging points for electric vehicles will eventually become the backbone of the new sustainable method of transportation for everyone, but the time is now to put the measures in place to allow for this effective adoption in the coming years. ElectrAssure  can guide you through this journey every step of the way.

Types of Commercial EV Charging Stations

Level 1 Charging Stations

Level 1 charging is usually just the provision of a standard 3 pin plug socket or a 16A commando socket for drivers to trickle charge their vehicles. The outlay for this provision is very low, and best suited for vehicles with a very long dwell time and minimal charging requirements. Usually a temporary solution for Home charging before a Level 2 charger is installed. Charge rate is up to 1.8kWh from plugging into a standard 3pin plug or up to 2.4kWh from plugging into a 16A commando Socket.

The industry nicknames this as charging on a ‘Granny Lead’ due to the slow rate of charge (8 to 12 miles of range/hour). This makes them unsuitable for public use but In my experience, might be adequate for workplaces that want to install charging capabilities for employees who park their cars for up to 8 hours during work time.

Level 2 Charging Stations

Level 2 charging stations are the most common for commercial parking spaces as they can charge vehicles up to 5 times faster than Level 1 chargers, adding 25-80+ miles per hour. They use 230V AC, up to 32A to deliver up to a rate of 7.4kWh, 400v 3-Phase AC delivers at a rate up to 22kWh.

This is nicknamed ‘Fast Charging’, making them a more efficient choice for businesses that want to offer a reliable and quicker charging solution to employees and customers. I’ve seen many businesses opt for Level 2 chargers because they strike a good balance between cost and efficiency, making them a popular choice in various  settings such as fleet charging solutions.

Level 3 Charging Stations

Level 3 charging stations are nicknamed “Rapid Charging” (up to 100kWh) & “Ultra Rapid Charging” (up to 900kWh). This includes AC models above 22kWh. Our partner Garo have a AC 43kWh charger which is great for overnight eHGV charging. DC charger options offer 25kWh to 900+ kWh, adding 100-600+ miles range per hour. They are compatible with almost all EV types (positive).

Personally, I think these chargers are a game changer for the e-HGV world and fleets with high mileage but short dwell times. These chargers also offer great value for attracting high turnover traffic, such as in retail/service stations.

Level 4 Charging Stations

Potentially the future of EV charging for the eHGV world. Level 4 Charging Stations deliver 1MWh or more (that’s 1000+kWh!). Lots of charger manufacturers have early models of this coming to market in 2024/2025 and vehicle manufacturers are working closely to test this ready for production model Trucks, Busses, and other e-HGV’s. Some iterations have shown to be adding over 400 miles range in just 20 minutes! ElectrAssure are working on this solution, because again it’s a game changer!

 

Benefits of Installing Commercial EV Charging Stations

Attracting and Retaining Customers

EV charging stations can draw in eco-conscious customers, providing an additional service that can set your business apart from competitors. For instance, shopping centers and restaurants with EV chargers are more likely to attract patrons looking for convenient charging while they shop or dine.

In our experience at ElectrAssure, businesses that invest in EV charging infrastructure often see a noticeable increase in foot traffic, particularly from EV drivers looking for a place to charge up while they spend time at the location.

Potential Increase In Property Value

Installing EV Charging Stations can significantly enhance the value of your property. Properties with EV infrastructure are seen as more modern and future-proof, attracting higher-value tenants and buyers. Case studies have shown that properties with EV chargers can command higher rents and sales prices. In my opinion, this is one of the most compelling reasons for property owners to consider installing EV chargers. It’s not just about immediate returns, but also about future-proofing your investment.

Environmental Impact

By installing EV charging stations, your business contributes to reducing the carbon footprint, supporting corporate social responsibility (CSR) goals. This not only benefits the environment but also enhances your brand’s reputation as a forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious entity. As someone invested in sustainable practices, I believe that showing a commitment to the environment resonates strongly with today’s consumers and can significantly boost a brand’s image.

Key Considerations When Installing EV Charging Stations

Location and Accessibility

Choosing the right location for your EV charging stations is crucial. Consider factors like visibility, accessibility, and convenience for users. Ideal locations include workplaces, business districts, shopping centers, public buildings, hospitals, universities, and multi-occupancy housing. One tip I always give to clients is to think about where people naturally congregate or spend time frequently; those are often the best spots for chargers as large amounts of repeat footfall goes a long way.

Cost and Funding Options

While the initial investment can be significant, various grants, incentives, and financing options are available to offset costs. It’s important to research and take advantage of these funding options to make the installation more affordable. At ElectrAssure, we always advise businesses to look into local and national incentives that can significantly reduce upfront costs.

Choosing the Right Equipment

Select reliable, high-quality EV charging equipment. Consider factors like charging speed, compatibility with various vehicle models, and the reputation of manufacturers. We continuously analyse the market to ensure we deliver the best Hardware & Software options. From this we deliver high quality installs, reliable equipment and the correct solution for your business needs.

It is pivotal to invest in equipment that not only meets current demands but is also scalable for future needs and your projected companies growth. Invest for the future.

Installation Process for Commercial EV Charging Stations

Site Survey

An in depth site assessment is the first step in installing EV charging stations. This involves evaluating the site for suitability, determining the best locations for chargers, and ensuring the electrical infrastructure can support the installation. I can’t stress enough the importance of a thorough site assessment; it’s the foundation for a successful installation.

Permitting and Regulations

Obtaining the necessary permits and complying with local regulations is crucial. Meeting EV regulatory requirements can be complex, so it’s beneficial to work with experienced professionals who can guide you through the process. The team at ElectrAssure always stress the importance of compliance to avoid any legal hurdles down the line.

Installation and Testing

Once permits are in place, the installation process can begin. This involves setting up the charging stations, connecting them to the power supply, and conducting thorough testing to ensure safety and efficiency. I think it is safe to say that, thorough testing is key to preventing any operational issues and ensuring a smooth user experience. Quality of installation and ongoing maintenance is of upmost importance to us. After all it is essential any downtime is minimal.

Maintaining and Managing Your New EV Charging Stations

Regular and Ongoing Maintenance

Routine checks and maintenance are vital for the optimal performance of EV charging stations. Regular inspections can identify and address issues like physical damage, wear and tear, and loose connections. I’ve found that a proactive maintenance schedule can significantly extend the lifespan of the equipment and reduce downtime which is why ElectrAssure offers a range of maintenance packages.

Usage and Billing

Effective management of EV charging stations includes user access and payment systems. Utilising software management tools can streamline this process, providing features like contactless payments, employee access controls, and performance data analysis. At ElectrAssure, we can offer high quality Chargepoint Management Systems (CMPS) which allow you to manage everything and monitor the performance of your infrastructure all within one place. Game changer!

Future Trends in Commercial EV Charging ( From Our Point Of View)

Advances in Technology

Emerging technologies are continuously enhancing EV charging solutions and their charging capabilities. Innovations like faster charging speeds, wireless charging, and improved battery technology are set to advance the industry further. It’s exciting to see how these advancements will shape the future of EV charging and further integrate into everyday business operations. Rest Assured we plan to be leading from the front.

Expansion of Charging Networks

As the adoption of electric vehicles grows year on year, so too will the demand for an extensive and reliable charging network throughout the UK.  We believe that Businesses who invest in EV charging infrastructures now will be the ones who are well-positioned to benefit from this growth market. We believe that staying ahead of this curve is crucial for long-term business success.

Push Your Business Forward with Our EV Charging Solutions

At ElectrAssure, we provide high availability charging systems that keep your business moving. By installing EV chargers at your workplace, you can increase foot traffic, enhance property value, and support sustainability goals. Contact the ElectrAssure team to learn more about our commercial EV charging solutions and to discuss your options.

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