Commercial electric vehicle charging stations are growing in popularity, seeming to pop up in the parking lots of public places everywhere such as movie theaters, department stores, grocery stores, retail stores and gas stations, just to name a few. As a matter of fact, there are now almost 100,000 public and private charging stations in the U.S. and that does not include home chargers.
As electric vehicles increase on the roads, so will a demand for qualified electricians who can successfully complete a commercial EVSE installation.
Here is a guide covering commercial EVSE installation basics:
Where can they be installed?
Drivers park their cars at work more often and for longer periods of time than anywhere else, except at home. Due to this, employers and companies that offer charging stations can attract more EV driving employees. As a matter of fact, the U.S. Department of Energy reported that 80% of employers offering EV charging stations say that it has helped them pull in and keep talent. Offering an EV charging station at a workplace can be of benefit to both the employer and the employee.
Business Districts and Shopping Centers
Shopping and eating are popular pastimes for Americans. Naturally, EV drivers want to be able to safely park and charge their cars while they are out having fun. As a result, public parking lots, business districts, shopping centers, restaurants and malls have started installing charging stations to attract more customers in hopes that they will stick around a little longer as they wait for their EV to charge.
Service locations such as hospitals and universities have an obligation to maintain sustainability. These locations tend to have a high volume of people such as employees, patients, students and visitors. While installing charging stations will benefit EV drivers for obvious reasons, these service locations can actually receive LEED credits for installing an EV charging station.
Multifamily Living Spaces
It is important to remember that not all EV drivers live in their own house. They may also choose to live in an apartment building, condominium or some other type of multifamily building. If these living spaces do not offer charging stations, it could drive potential new residents away from an otherwise perfect living situation.
EVSE installation in multifamily living spaces will bring in new residents and increase property value. In cities such as Miami, Seattle and Chicago, there are rules and regulations that require multifamily living properties above a certain size to offer EV charging solutions. This is a great opportunity for electricians and installers in those areas looking for more leads.
What kind of commercial charging station should be installed?
This level of charging is more often found in homes than it is for commercial use. It is the cheapest and slowest option, usually only charging a vehicle for about three to five miles of transportation an hour. Though level 1 chargers are generally deemed too slow for public use, they may be a good fit for companies that have employees who work long shifts.
This is the level of charging that you will likely become most familiar with, as it is the standard for commercial parking spaces. This level powers EV’s at about 4-5 times faster than level 1 chargers. They use 208/240V and 30-amp electricity to charge vehicles for about 12 – 40 miles of transportation an hour.
The fastest EV charging level is level 3. It can fill batteries as fast as 35 to 100+ miles of transportation per hour. It is important to note that they are the most expensive option, and not as popular as level 2, as they are not compatible with every electric vehicle on the market. You can find level 3 chargers at high volume locations such as car dealerships, commercial charging lots and travel rest stops.
Are there any incentives or rebates?
Federal Tax Credit
The Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling Property Tax Credit (2020 30C Tax Credit) will offset up to 30% of an EV charging station’s total purchase and installment cost, up to $30,000. This credit is currently set to last through the end of 2021 but is expected to extend past 2021 and possibly even to increase.
State And Local Incentives
In the U.S., 45 states and Washington D.C. offer some form of incentive for EVSE installations. An example is Michigan’s Consumers Energy PowerMIDrive program. It provides a rebate to small businesses that install public EV charging stations: up to $5,000 per level 2 charger and $70,000 per level 3 charger.
To find EVSE incentives for you or your potential customers, search up your state in the National Conference of State Legislature’s interactive map.
How much does it cost?
The average cost for a level 2 commercial EV charging station is about $6,000. If you multiply that by 10 to 20 chargers, a company may have a price tag of about $60,000 to $120,000 for suppling sufficient energy to customers or employees. However, your prospects will likely not end up paying this full price thanks to rebates and incentives.
When it comes to the total upfront cost of a charging station, the price will vary depending on the following factors:
- Electrical service
- Number of chargers
- Material quantity and type
- Associated taxes
- Applicable state and local initiatives
There are also preliminary expenses that will go into the total price of a charging station install. Some of these expenses include:
- Electric infrastructure to power the charging stations
- Wire conduits and connectors
- Pouring new concrete
- Parking lot restriping
- Signs guiding visitors to the EV station
As automakers become more competitive with electric vehicle prices, more people will buy them. This will raise the bar on business requirements to offer EV charging stations which will in turn give you more opportunities to find work completing installations for not only commercial use but for at-home use as well.
As electric vehicles become more popular, the transformation from gas powered cars will rely heavily on trade professionals who can supply the labor needed to upgrade private and public infrastructure. Electricians who are able to install and maintain charging stations will be in demand as well as designers and home builders who incorporate charging effortlessly into their home and work places layouts.
Keep up to date with the changes in workforce demands with trades.org. We will help you determine what the new plan means for you and your business and take advantage of new markets that will be opening as technology advances. Our business is to help your business plan and be prepared for changes to the construction industry so you are ready to meet the needs of your customers.