As electric vehicles become more popular, many offices are considering installing EV charging stations to accommodate those who drive electric cars. Installing a charging station at your office can provide a range of benefits, from reducing carbon emissions to demonstrating your commitment to sustainability. The struggle of having an electric vehicle is often the time needed for charging it. By having charging stations at your office, employees can charge their vehicles while they work, eliminating the need to worry about it after hours.
However, choosing the right charging station can be challenging, considering many factors, such as safety, user experience, and compatibility. This blog will discuss these factors in more detail and help you decide if an EV charging station is right for your office. Keep reading to learn more!
Benefits of Commercial EV Charging Stations
Multiple benefits come from having EV charging stations at your office. From attracting employees and customers to being environmentally friendly and earning potential revenue, these are benefits you can have for your office. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Attract and Retain Employees:
Having an EV charging station at your office shows your company’s commitment to sustainability and reducing its carbon footprint, which can be attractive to environmentally conscious employees.
Offering EV charging stations as a perk can help attract and retain employees who drive electric vehicles, as it provides a convenient and reliable place to charge their vehicles while they work.
Providing EV charging stations can be a way for employers to show they care about their employees’ well-being and work-life balance, as it can save employees time and money that would otherwise be spent charging their vehicles elsewhere.
2. Attract Customers:
Having EV charging stations can help differentiate your business from competitors who do not offer EV charging stations. It provides a unique and valuable service to customers who drive electric vehicles.
Offering EV charging stations can help attract environmentally conscious customers who may be more likely to support businesses that share their values.
Providing EV charging stations is a way for businesses to show their commitment to providing a high level of customer service. It can make it more convenient for customers to visit and spend time at their establishment.
3. Environmental Responsibility:
Electric vehicles produce significantly fewer greenhouse gas emissions than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles, which means that, by providing EV charging stations, you are helping to reduce the overall carbon footprint of transportation.
By providing a convenient and reliable place for employees and customers to charge their electric vehicles, you are helping to encourage the adoption of electric vehicles, which can positively impact the environment in the long term.
By demonstrating your commitment to sustainability and reducing your carbon footprint, you are setting an example for other businesses and helping to promote environmentally responsible practices more broadly.
4. Potential Revenue:
Potential revenue can come from having an EV charging station at your office if you choose to charge users for the electricity they use. By setting a charging price, you can generate revenue that can offset the cost of purchasing and maintaining the charging stations.
Additionally, you can choose to offer different pricing plans, such as pay-per-use or subscription-based plans, which can provide flexibility for users and potentially increase revenue for your business.
However, it’s important to note that the potential revenue from EV charging stations may not be significant, especially if you only have a few charging stations and if you choose to offer free charging as a perk to attract and retain employees and customers.
Ultimately, the decision to charge for EV charging should be based on your business’s specific needs and circumstances.
Costs of Commercial EV Charging Stations
Of course, as with any device using electricity, there are associated costs. Let’s take a look.
- Upfront costs: Upfront costs will vary based on the type of charging station, installation costs, and any necessary upgrades to electrical infrastructure. A Level 3 charging station will cost more than a Level 2 one. There are also installation costs to consider, including site preparation, electrical work, and any necessary permits. Plus, you may need to upgrade your electrical infrastructure to support the charging stations, which can add to the upfront costs. The upfront costs of commercial EV charging stations can be significant, but they can vary greatly depending on your specific needs and circumstances.
- Ongoing maintenance: Like any other equipment, EV charging stations require regular maintenance to ensure they continue operating safely and efficiently. The specific maintenance needs of an EV charging station can vary depending on the type of station, the manufacturer, and the environment in which it is installed.
Some common ongoing maintenance expenses include:
- Software Updates: EV charging stations often require software updates to ensure they continue functioning properly and address any security vulnerabilities. The manufacturer may provide these updates, or they may need to be installed by a technician.
- Cleaning and Repairs: Over time, EV charging stations can become dirty or damaged, impacting their performance. Regular cleaning and repairs may be necessary to ensure that the stations continue to function properly.
- Electrical Inspections: EV charging stations require electrical power to operate, so it’s important to regularly inspect the electrical components to ensure they function properly and identify any potential safety hazards.
- Replacement Parts: Like any other equipment, EV charging stations may require replacement parts over time. This can include cables, connectors, or other components that may wear out or become damaged.
- Electricity Costs: The electricity costs that come with EV charging stations can vary depending on several factors, including the cost of electricity in your area, the type of charging station, and the pricing strategy you choose to implement. Level 2 charging stations, which use a 240-volt outlet, can draw anywhere from 3 kW to 19.2 kW of power, depending on the station’s capacity, and can fully charge an electric vehicle in 4 to 8 hours. Level 3 charging stations, also known as DC fast chargers, can draw up to 350 kW of power and can charge an electric vehicle up to 80% in as little as 20 minutes. The cost of electricity in your area can also affect the electricity costs of EV charging stations. The average cost of electricity in the United States is about 13 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), but this can vary depending on the region and the utility provider. To estimate the electricity costs of charging an electric vehicle, you can multiply the kWh used by the cost of electricity per kWh in your area. If you choose to charge users for the electricity they use, you can also set your own pricing strategy. Some businesses charge a flat fee per charging session, while others may charge based on the amount of electricity used. You can also choose to offer free charging as a perk to attract and retain employees and customers, but this will result in higher electricity costs for your business.
Factors to Consider
How many employees or visitors drive electric vehicles? How often do they need to charge their cars? These are important considerations for determining how much electricity will be used.
If there are only a few electric vehicle drivers and they only need to charge occasionally, a single charging station may suffice. However, if there are many electric vehicle drivers or they need to charge frequently, multiple charging stations may be necessary.
It is also important to consider the charging speed of the station. Faster charging stations may be more expensive, but they can be more convenient for users who need to charge their cars quickly.
Where will the charging station be located? It should be easily accessible for electric vehicle drivers. The location should be convenient for employees and visitors to access and, ideally, should be located near parking spots.
Additionally, you should consider the electrical infrastructure of your building and whether it can support a charging station. If your facility does not have enough electrical capacity, you may need to upgrade the electrical system to support a charging station.
By choosing a convenient and accessible location for your commercial EV charging station, you can ensure that it is used frequently and provides a valuable service to your electric vehicle drivers.
Type of Charging:
When considering a commercial EV charging station for your office, it is important to consider the types of charging the station can provide. There are three main types of charging: Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Charging.
As we started earlier, level 1 charging is the slowest type of charging and can take up to 12 hours to fully charge an electric vehicle. This type of charging is best suited for cars that can be charged infrequently or for long periods of time. While you could have a level 1 charging station at your office, level 2 or 3 makes much more sense.
Level 2 charging is faster than Level 1 and can fully charge an electric vehicle in 4-6 hours. This type of charging is best suited for cars that need to be charged regularly or for longer periods of time.
DC Fast Charging is the fastest type of charging and can charge an electric vehicle up to 80% in 30 minutes. This type of charging is best suited for cars that need to be charged quickly and efficiently.
Charging time is an important factor to consider. The charging time will depend on the type of charging station you choose and the battery capacity of the electric vehicles that will be using the station.
It is important to consider the needs of your electric vehicle drivers and how long they typically need to charge their cars. If they only need to charge for short periods of time, a slower charging station may suffice. However, if they need to charge for longer periods of time, a faster charging station may be necessary.
By choosing a charging station with an appropriate charging time, you can ensure that your electric vehicle drivers are able to charge their cars efficiently and effectively.
Safety is an important consideration when using an EV charging station. Here are a few key safety tips to keep in mind:
- Electrical Safety: EV charging stations use high-voltage electricity to charge electric vehicles, so it is important to follow all electrical safety guidelines when using a charging station. This includes ensuring the charging cable is not damaged, avoiding contact with the charging port while the vehicle is charging, and not touching the charging station with wet hands or while standing in water.
- Fire Safety: EV batteries can pose a fire risk if they are damaged or improperly charged. To reduce the risk of fire, it is essential to use a charging station designed for your specific electric vehicle model and follow all charging instructions carefully. It is also important to avoid charging your vehicle in extreme temperatures or in areas with flammable materials.
- Personal Safety: When using a charging station, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and take steps to protect your safety. This includes choosing a well-lit and secure location for charging, avoiding charging in isolated areas, and being aware of any suspicious activity in the area.
User experience is essential when choosing a commercial EV charging station for your office. Here are a few key factors to consider when evaluating the user experience of different charging stations:
- Ease of Use: The charging station should be easy to use and intuitive, with clear instructions for initiating a charging session and disconnecting the charging cable when charging is complete. The charging station should also be compatible with a range of different electric vehicle models.
- Payment Options: The charging station should offer a variety of payment options, such as credit card payments or mobile payments, to make it easy for users to pay for their charging sessions.
- Customer Service: The charging station provider should offer responsive and helpful customer service, with a dedicated support line or online chat service to help users troubleshoot any issues that may arise.
- Availability: The charging station should be available when users need it, with enough charging ports to accommodate multiple electric vehicles at once. The charging station should also be located in a convenient and accessible location, with easy access to parking and other amenities.
- Reliability: The charging station should be reliable and well-maintained, with regular servicing and maintenance to ensure it functions properly.
Compatibility is an important factor to consider when choosing a commercial EV charging station for your office. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind:
- Charging Speed: Different electric vehicle models have different battery capacities and charging requirements, so it is important to choose a charging station that is compatible with the charging speed of your electric vehicle. For example, some electric vehicles are compatible with Level 1 charging (120V), while others require Level 2 (240V) or DC Fast Charging.
- Charging Cable: Different electric vehicle models use different types of charging cables. Hence, choosing a charging station compatible with your electric vehicle’s charging cable is important. For example, some electric vehicles use a Type 1 charging cable, while others use a Type 2 or CHAdeMO cable.
- Connector Type: The charging station should be compatible with the connector type of your electric vehicle. For example, some electric vehicles use a J1772 connector, while others use a CCS or Tesla connector.
- Software Compatibility: Some charging stations require specific software or apps to initiate a charging session, so choosing a charging station compatible with the software and apps used by your electric vehicle is important.
As you can see, a lot goes into deciding whether an EV charging station is right for your office. Evaluating all the factors outlined in this blog will help you determine if it’s right for your office. For many offices, the perks that come with an EV charging station will outweigh the costs.
Get Your EV Charging Station From EV Charging Professionals
Indeed, installing a commercial EV charging station at your office can provide a range of benefits, from reducing carbon emissions to demonstrating your commitment to sustainability.
If you want to install EV charging stations but don’t know where to look, you’ve come to the right place. EV Charging Professionals has everything you need. Our Level 3/DC Fast charging stations are perfect for your office, offering the fastest charging speeds available for the convenience of your employees and customers.
Our team of experts can help you choose the right charging station for your office and provide ongoing EV Charging support and maintenance to ensure that your charging station always functions properly.
With the help of EV Charging Professionals, you can make it easier and more convenient for your employees to use electric vehicles while contributing to a cleaner and more sustainable future. Contact EV Charging Professionals today to learn more about our commercial EV charging solutions.