Selecting Workplace EV Charging Solutions | EN Plus

Selecting Workplace EV Charging Solutions

Last Updated: 18/03/2024

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Selecting Workplace EV Charging Solutions

As the world places greater emphasis on achieving Net Zero emissions and promoting low-carbon transportation, workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging is growing in significance. However, selecting an ideal EV charging solution for your workplace is not a one-size-fits-all decision. It depends on your specific needs, preferences, and requirements. To guide you through this process, we’ve crafted 7 essential questions for you to consider.

Define Your EV Charging Business Strategy

talk about the business strategy

Your charging requirements are closely linked to your strategic model. Reflect on the following:

  • Is this strategy entirely internal, exclusively benefiting employees as a perk?
  • If not, you are probably aim to gain revenue from these EV charging facilities, then it becomes crucial to contemplate the pricing distinctions among employee charging, visitor and client charging, or individuals seeking for charging service unrelated to your business. This decision will shape your specific requirements.

Assess the Importance of Charging Speed

Charging speed is a critical factor when choosing a charger. Faster chargers cost more but are necessary for high-utilization scenarios, such as delivery fleets. Slower chargers may suffice for employee use during a standard workday.

Charging speed stands out as a critical consideration in EV charger selection. The choice between faster chargers, i.e. Direct Current (DC) chargers and slower chargers, i.e. Alternating Current (AC) chargers involves weighing the pros and cons:

DC Chargers

These are designed for high-speed charging, making them ideal for scenarios with heavy utilization, like delivery fleets. However, they come at a higher cost, both in terms of initial investment and potential infrastructure upgrades.

dc ev charging station

AC Chargers

Conversely, AC chargers offer a more cost-effective option and may suffice for employee use within a typical workday. While they provide a slower charging rate compared to DC fast chargers, they are often more suitable for workplaces with moderate charging demands and budget constraints.

ac ev charger

The decision between DC and AC charging is contingent upon the unique requirements of your workplace, taking into account variables such as your fleet size, total budget, and preferred charging modes.

Case

One of our clients, operating a grocery store, has plans to offer EV charging services from two different perspectives. Firstly, they aim to provide charging as an employee benefit, rendering fast chargers unnecessary for this aspect. However, given the property’s location and the influx of customers visiting the store, along with a small fleet of vehicles needing charging, a mixed approach was recommended.

Considering such scenarios, we proposed a mixed charging solution that includes a combination of Level 2 AC chargers and a few DC chargers for expedited charging requirements.

Essentially, the choice comes down to evaluating the scale of your business. How many vehicles will be utilizing the chargers? In cases where you have a significant number of EVs but a limited number of charging units, investing in DC fast chargers can ensure that everyone has ample opportunity to charge during the workday.

It’s important to emphasize that the decision between fast or slow chargers isn’t binary. In specific situations, a hybrid approach encompassing both DC fast chargers and slower AC chargers to cater to diverse user needs may be the most effective strategy. For instance, you could deploy AC chargers to provide complimentary employee charging while reserving a few fast chargers for your commercial fleet or visitors.

Anticipate Future Charging Needs

With the rapid growth of EVs on the road, it’s imperative to consider how your charging requirements will evolve. Think about scalability, technological advancements, and shifting in charging expectations. For instance, as the integration of green energy, would you be interested in incorporating PV charging features? Additionally, you might explore methods to maximize your electricity utilization efficiency by implementing dynamic load balancing in EV charging systems. These forward-thinking approaches can not only align with evolving industry trends but also enhance the sustainability and cost-effectiveness of your charging infrastructure.

Load Shifting and Peak Shaving for EV Charging

Consider a Charging Management System (CMS)

A CMS can unlock the full potential of your chargers. For instance, it can unlock valuable data regarding usage patterns and charging behaviors, enabling you to establish variable pricing during peak hours or apply distinct fees for visitors, employees, or clients. Furthermore, a CMS streamlines billing and payment processes, eliminating time-consuming and non-value-added tasks from your employees’ workflows. Additionally, a charging management system can optimize energy utilization by intelligently allocating available capacity through features like clustering and dynamic load balancing. This not only maximizes charger efficiency but also helps control costs by enhancing energy efficiency.

charging management system

Address Location Restrictions and Regulations

Local regulations, permits, zoning requirements, and grid connections can impact your charging infrastructure. Engage stakeholders early to avoid costly delays.

Explore Government Incentives

Many countries offer incentives for installing EV chargers, which can significantly reduce costs. Investigate available incentives in your region.

For instance

In the United States, employers embarking on EV charger installations can avail of a 30 percent tax credit, capped at $30,000, to offset installation expenses.

Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the government covers up to 75% of the costs associated with purchasing and installing EV chargers.

Within the European Union, incentives for EV charger installations are accessible across almost all member states, ranging from one-time subsidies or grants to tax refunds.

Capitalizing on these incentives can substantially mitigate the financial outlay for your workplace’s EV charging infrastructure.

Plan for Post-Purchase Maintenance

Maintaining your charging infrastructure is crucial for optimal performance and longevity. Consider warranty coverage and after-sales services to minimize downtime and costly repairs.

Conclusion

The world is embracing electric mobility, and workplaces must adapt. By carefully considering these seven questions, you can make an informed decision about the right EV charging solution for your workplace. Whether you’re switching to EVs for your operations, employee satisfaction, or client services, understanding your facility’s needs is the key to a successful transition.

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