Millions of Americans are switching to electric vehicles because they would like to live a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. One of the biggest problems is that there aren’t yet enough EV charging stations around. Installing one at your business location could be a great way of attracting new customers and improving your reputation as an environmentally friendly company.
Installing an EV Charging Station in Your Business
The EV market is set to experience massive growth in the next few years. At the moment, around 4-5% of vehicles in the US are electric, but this number is projected to grow by at least 20% in 2023. Installing a charging station at your business is a good way of drawing in customers. People looking to charge their vehicle might drive out of their way to visit you.
Because charging takes at least 30 minutes, EV owners will likely pop into your business while they’re waiting. You’re providing them with something they need, so they might do business with you rather than with a competitor who doesn’t have a charging station. However, this is only true if your station is reliable and fast. Work with experienced electricians to avoid problems and breakdowns.
When people go to a gas station, they are guaranteed the fuel they need. The same can’t be said for electric vehicle charging stations. In some locations, drivers have reported that 30-50% of all units are down at any one point. Others are much slower than expected, so drivers have to wait for an hour or more until they can continue their journey. This often happens because the charging stations were installed by a company with little experience.
The problem could also be that the electrical firm was trying to cut costs by outsourcing the work to contractors who might not have the right skills. At Legacy Electrical, we always do the work ourselves. Our founder, Shawn Lackey, is a multi-state master electrician and has been running the company successfully since 2008. When you work with us, you benefit from his longstanding experience no matter what the project.
Building a high-quality charging station is just the first step. Once the EV point is in operation, it has to be serviced regularly. We recommend one maintenance appointment per year. This ensures that the charging station is working efficiently and that there are no safety risks. It also keeps your warranty intact.
During the maintenance appointment, we’ll highlight potential problems and provide you with information about keeping your station in good shape. It’s important to regularly clean each unit with water and the connector with a dry cloth. While the mechanism is waterproof, the connector isn’t.
Sometimes, a charging station failure is inevitable. But when you work with the right company, this doesn’t have to mean that your customers can’t charge their cars for several days or weeks. A high-quality electrical business will offer emergency repairs to all customers. That way, issues are resolved within a few hours, and your charging station remains reliable.
What Chargers Are Available?
There are three levels of EV charging stations currently available. The higher the level, the more quickly you can expect EVs to charge. When you reach out to us about installing a charging system, we’ll go through each option so that you can choose the best one. Most businesses either choose a Level 2 or Level 3 charger, both of which are fast and efficient.
Level 1 Chargers
Level 1 are the slowest chargers. If you choose this option, you won’t have to install a special outlet because a normal 15 or 20-amp household outlet is enough. However, a Level 1 charger can only add around four miles of driving range per hour. Cars need to be plugged in for approximately 30 hours to be fully charged.
For this reason, Level 1 chargers are only suitable for private residences, where EVs can be left plugged in overnight. If you want to offer your customers a reliable place to charge their vehicles, you need to purchase a faster unit.
Level 2 Chargers
Level 2 chargers are similar to Level 1, but they are much more efficient and can add up to 32 miles of driving range per hour. Therefore, it only takes around three to eight hours for a car to be fully charged. Many individuals upgrade to a Level 2 charger after purchasing their EV because it allows them to charge their vehicle overnight and take advantage of quiet periods, during which electricity is cheaper.
These chargers are also frequently installed in businesses like restaurants, hotels, and shopping malls. Customers can enjoy spending an hour or two at the business while 30-60 miles of driving range are added to their car.
Level 3 Chargers
Level 3 charging is also known as Supercharging or DC Fast Charging. It’s possible to charge the average electric car in 30 minutes at Level 3. However, this charger slows down once the battery is at 80% because taking an electric car to 100% very quickly damages the battery over time.
A Level 3 charger adds five to fifteen miles of driving range per minute, so customers won’t need to wait long. They’ll have enough time to stop by your shop or business and find out what you do, but they won’t hang around for hours. Despite this, installing a Level 3 charger could be an excellent idea because it makes a good impression on EV drivers and encourages them to come back regularly.
Which Option Is Best for My Business?
As discussed, Level 1 chargers aren’t suitable for most businesses because they are too slow. Level 2 chargers could be a good choice because they provide customers with enough power to continue their journey after an hour or two. They are cheaper than Supercharging stations, so they are a great option for companies on a budget. The cheapest Level 2 chargers can be purchased for $2,500, but more sophisticated models might cost up to $5,500.
Level 3 chargers are the most advanced and powerful, but they are extremely expensive. You’ll have to spend at least $40,000 on a single unit. The most advanced and capable models cost over $100,000. Before choosing a charger, figure out the business value it provides your brand. You might recoup your investment more quickly than you think, especially if your EV station attracts high-quality employees as well as customers.
How Do I Get Started?
When you reach out to us, we’ll ask about your business and budget to figure out which charging station is appropriate. We’ll let you know what models are currently available, how much they cost, and how long the installation process takes.
We almost always visit businesses before getting started because we must make sure that the planned site is suitable. Charging stations can’t be installed at a height where they could get hit by a car. Once we arrive for the installation, we don’t usually take more than a few hours, but it depends on the number of charging points and the complexity of the setup.
Installing an EV charging station is a good way for companies to attract more customers. Since the EV market is set to grow rapidly, now is the perfect time to set up an EV point. Call us at Legacy Electric to find out more about our electrical services.