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Ready for EV Charger Installation?

Posted 02/03/2021

As EVs become more and more popular, the number of public and private parking garages that want to install EV charging stations grows every day. According to the Bloomberg Report’s “Electric Vehicle Outlook”, industry insiders expect 57% of vehicles on the road to be EVs by 2050. The popularity of EVs rises every year. Nearly 2 million new EVs will be on the road this year, when just a few years ago, only a couple of thousand new EVs were on the road each year. EVs are the future of automobiles, and many drivers are already eager for more charging stations. President Biden just committed over $2 trillion to national infrastructure, including clean energy, more EVs, and EVSE, promising a million new jobs. EVs are here to stay and are the future of your business. Once your business has decided to install EV charging stations, the next step is to choose what plan is right for you, and have our Blink installation team out to get you started. Blink features a variety of different plans for different budgets.

Networked for Non-Networked?

First, you’ll need to decide if you want a networked or non-networked system. If you plan to charge for the service, you will want to be part of a network. The Blink Network allows our hosts to control many aspects about the charger from hours of operation, to who can and can’t use it, remote operations and management, and producing reports on hours of use and even the amount of CO2 prevented from emerging into the atmosphere. Your business will also get the benefit of appearing on Google and Apple Maps, PlugShare, and other websites EV drivers use to find available chargers.

What Kind of Chargers Does My Facility Need?

Level 2 chargers are the most common for facilities including corporate garages, hospital garages, parking lots, shopping centers, apartment buildings, and more. They require a 240 V connection, and normally charge at a rate of 25-65 miles per hour depending on amperage, vehicle type, and charger.

Blink also offers multiple business models, installation, maintenance, and warranty services to support new station hosts.

Getting Ready for Our Team

Make sure to be in contact with local and state municipalities about requirements in your area, necessary inspections, and permits needed, but also available grants and rebates. Remember chargers must meet requirements of the ADA, including pedestal height, etc. Next, we’ll conduct a site assessment to determine your available power and options, including the best location for your chargers and any future chargers. If any re-wiring or more equipment is needed, we can advise you.

Details of Installation

You want to keep in mind that generally, chargers should be installed close to the power source for ease of repair, and because it’s less expensive. A lot of trenching can get expensive; it’s always a good idea to make parking spots closest to your power source into EV spots. For the sake of convenience and cost, consider pulling power from a nearby electrical room vs. installing a new meter and service from a nearby utility transformer. Also, never install in an area that floods or has poor drainage. A concrete pad will be needed, but there are no required official specs on it. If you are worried about seismic loads and hurricane loads, we recommend a 36” x 36” x 36” concrete pad with rebar.  

If you are not worried about seismic or hurricane loads a 24” x 24” x 6” reinforced pad is sufficient. Keep in mind with a pad of this size, you most likely will not be able to center the conduit; the conduit will have to be stubbed up closer to the face of the pad to achieve ADA standards unless the pad is flush. Wall mounting is less expensive than pedestal mounting. If you want pedestals, remember when installing a pedestal with two chargers, using two separate dedicated circuits, it is strongly recommended to run both circuits through one conduit stub up instead of each having their own. This will make installing the pedestal much easier. Conduit stub ups are recommended to be 6”. Dual pedestals should be installed in line with the parking stripe to split two parking spots so they can serve two spots. Wall mount or single pedestals should be installed centrally in front of parking spots for one charger to one parking spot ratio and installed in line with parking stripe splitting two spots if it is one charger to two parking spots ratio.

Plan Now, Save Later

Consider planning for future expansion during your installation now! Consider oversizing your breaker panel and your conduit now for more chargers and more circuits than you currently need. It will make expansion much easier and less expensive later. Consider pulling more conductors than you need, all at once now (leave extra conductors in the junction box, or handhole). This way when you expand your number of EV chargers you will not have to buy an additional panel, trench again, install additional conduit, or run wiring again. Planning ahead can save businesses and facilities managers a bundle!

Painting and Signage

Be sure to put signs for your chargers inside and outside of the garage or parking lot. Green is the accepted color for EV spots (never blue, as that signifies handicapped parking) and a painted big letter “E” or a picture of the charger get a driver’s attention. Following our simple guidelines and keeping the future in mind will make installation easier, faster, and less expensive than ever! Contact Blink for the first step, and we’ll help you choose the plan that is right for your business.

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