Is your electrical infrastructure ready for EV chargers? Here are three kinds of businesses that need to be ready, now.

Smart Columbus aims to install more than 900 EV charging ports in the region and increase the number of people driving electric vehicles in the area by 500%. By 2040, 35% of new car sales will be electric vehicles, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance. EV Chargers are not only relevant to residential facilities either. Although cars get charged at home 85% of the time, there is a significant need for people to charge on the go. Here in Columbus, 79% of the EV charging ports that have been installed have been at non-residential locations such as workplaces and fleet charging stations, according to the Smart Columbus website.

While commercial building owners may be hesitant to spearhead EV projects without seeing a large presence of electric vehicles on the road or among their employee and customer bases, there are obvious and substantial benefits to incorporating charging stations into existing and future building design. According to Smart Columbus, AEP is heavily incentivizing these installations at places of business in both the public and private sectors. Additionally, employers who incorporate EVs into their building footprint extend current and future employees, as well as clients and vendors, an added convenience. Embracing alternative energy solutions demonstrate a commitment to the environment as well.

With all the information available on EV charger technology, we wanted to shed some light on how this technology might be particularly useful to your business. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that charger technology is only for businesses within these groups.  However, out of the market segments that we work with, these are the ones that really stand out to us as having the potential to see significant benefits from installing on-site EV charging stations in the very near future:

  1. If you are in the retail, restaurant, or hospitality industry. As an EV charger provider, you will appear in charger locating apps and charger directories. People may discover your restaurant, boutique, or convenience store simply because you have chargers in your parking lot. The same can be said for shopping centers and hotel chains. According to (the nation’s largest public electric vehicle fast charging network), 89% of people who drive electric vehicles buy something when they are charging their car at retail sites.
  2. If you’re starting a new construction project.  According to a report mentioned in the August edition of EC & M Magazine, adding infrastructure to an existing space is quadruple the cost of building a complete electric circuit for charging during the start of a new construction project. EC & M’s article echoed a 2016 study, Plug-In Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Cost-Effectiveness Report, which stated, ” Installing infrastructure during new construction can avoid retrofit costs including breaking and repairing walls, longer raceways using more expensive methods, and upgrading electrical service panels. In addition, the soft costs such as permitting and inspections and project management are much lower for new construction.”  Also, if you are adding EV chargers to your current building, you need to consider if you want room to grow this building feature in the future. Allocating space and investing in the infrastructure now will save you money and time down the road. For example-if you’re installing two charger stations in 2019, but want the option to add eight more in two years, you really need to tell your electrical contractor that now.
  3. If you are a hospital.  Hospitals have a constant flow of people that often stay unexpectedly for days at a time. They are high-traffic facilities as well. Doctors and nurses work hours outside of the typical 9-5 workday, so providing on-site chargers is a major perk for healthcare givers and hospital patrons driving electric vehicles.

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