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What Construction and Electrical Contractors Need to Know About EV Charging

Posted 04/23/2024

As the United States and the rest of the world transition to a future where electric vehicles (EVs) become the most popular form of personal transport, there will be a significant demand for electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) installation. Skilled construction contractors will play a vital role in installing this necessary infrastructure, often collaborating with EVSE companies like Blink Charging.

Here's what contractors need to know about becoming part of the rapidly growing EV charging industry.

EV infrastructure expansion will create construction jobs

The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), underscores the United States’ commitment to constructing infrastructure and installing 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations nationwide by 2030.

The law allocates $7.5 billion in funding, divided into two parts:

●      $5 billion over five years for the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Charging Formula Program (NEVI), focusing on installing chargers along interstate highways.

●      $2.5 billion over five years for the Charging and Fueling Infrastructure (CFI) grant program, aimed at strategically deploying publicly accessible EV charging infrastructure along designated alternative fuel corridors.

This substantial investment over a short timeframe presents promising opportunities for construction contractors, particularly those with specialized skill sets.

Most EV infrastructure installation jobs fall under Sector 23 Construction, subsection 238 Specialty Trade Contractors of the North American Industry Classification System. These contractors possess expertise in areas such as concrete pouring, site preparation, plumbing, painting, and electrical work. Given that EVSE installation necessitates tasks like concrete pouring, site preparation, and electrical work, contractors with these skills are poised for success as the country transitions to EVs.

The installation of EV infrastructure entails meticulous planning, preparation, and often, concrete pouring. Additionally, wiring, ductwork, and significant electrical upgrades may be required.

While it’s challenging to precisely estimate the number of jobs created through the BIL, the $7.5 billion allocation is expected to generate numerous employment opportunities for specialized contractors.

Certifications for installing EV charging stations

While contractors with skills in site preparation, concrete pouring, and electrical work will be in high demand, if you’re interested in directly installing or overseeing the installation of EV chargers, at least one member of your team should hold Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) certification. Additionally, certain grants or government programs, such as the California Type Evaluation Program (CTEP), mandates having at least one certified EVSE installer on-site. The NEVI program also requires participating sites to include electricians certified by EVITP or another registered program.

EV-ready building codes

Publicly available EVSE represents just one aspect of the nationwide transition to electrification. On the opposite end of the EV charging spectrum, there’s a need for private charging infrastructure to be developed at workplaces and multifamily residential properties.

Older buildings lacking EV charging infrastructure will require retrofitting, while new multifamily and commercial buildings must incorporate a certain level of EV charging infrastructure now, along with “make-ready” infrastructure for future expansion, which is quick, easy, and cost-effective.

Building codes for EV charging vary by municipality, typically requiring a certain percentage of available parking spaces in new buildings to have EVSE installed and an additional percentage made ready for future expansion. For instance, if a building has 50 parking spaces, 10% may require station installation now, and an additional 20% may need preparation for future expansion.

When preparing an EV Ready parking spot for EVSE installation, wiring and conduits are installed, stopping short of placing a charger. This allows for easy future expansion, saving both time and money when more chargers are needed.

In 2021, the International Code Council published Electric Vehicles and Building Codes: A Strategy for Greenhouse Gas Reductions,” aiding communities in developing sustainable building codes. The United States Department of Energy also issued the “Electric Vehicle Charging for Residential and Commercial Energy Codes Technical Brief” for more specific guidance. As more people adopt EVs, building codes are evolving nationwide. Building without considering EV charging necessitates costly retrofitting, delaying charger availability. Therefore, installing EVSE during construction and preparing sites for future expansion is prudent.

Resources for planning an EVSE project

The U.S. government offers valuable resources to assist contractors with EVSE installation.

Blink also helps you manage planning, development, EVSE procurement, and funding acquisition.

Three Types of EVSE

Currently, there are three types of EV chargers: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3/DCFC.

Level 1 (L1) chargers are small, portable devices included with new EVs. They plug into a standard 120-volt outlet and deliver a trickle charge of 5 miles of range per charging hour. For this reason, most EV drivers prefer to upgrade to L2 charging at home.

Level 2 (L2) chargers, such as the Blink Series 8, deliver up to 19.2kW of electricity to the vehicle and require hardwiring into an electrical system, although some residential L2s can be plugged into a NEMA 240-volt outlet. Depending on the charger, amperage, and vehicle type, these chargers can typically charge an EV in four to eight hours. Both L1 and L2 chargers supply alternating current (AC) electricity to a plug-in hybrid or battery electric vehicle’s onboard charger, which converts the energy to direct current (DC) electricity for storage in the vehicle’s battery.

Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs), like the Blink Series 9, bypass the vehicle’s onboard charger and deliver 30+ kW electricity directly to the battery. This allows them to charge EVs in under an hour. It’s important to note that DCFCs require significantly more power and investment compared to L2 chargers and are only compatible with fully-electric vehicles.

Other considerations

During the planning process for EVSE installation, you may encounter other related items such as load management and battery energy storage systems (BESS).

Local load management allows station hosts to reduce installation costs when adding multiple charging stations. With load management, rather than installing a dedicated circuit for each charger, a contractor would place multiple chargers on the same circuit and limit or divide the available power among the vehicles currently charging on the circuit. For instance, if one vehicle is charging, it receives 100% of the available power. If a second vehicle is plugged in, the power is split between them. This is particularly beneficial when there are limited circuits available for chargers.

A BES system is a giant battery that can be charged and used to power EVSE at a location. This helps save money by allowing owners to charge the BESS during off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower and then use the stored electricity during peak hours, when they can charge higher fees. This practice, known as Demand Response and Variable Pricing, is especially suitable for larger operations like university campuses, airports, or automotive dealerships.


The electric vehicle industry and its associated infrastructure represent one of the fastest-growing sectors in the United States and globally. Contractors with the necessary skills for EVSE installation will be in high demand as the transition to an all-electric future progresses. To learn more about joining Blink’s network of trusted installers, or to request a quote for Level 2 or DC fast chargers for a current project, please don’t hesitate to contact Blink Charging today. Our experts are ready to assist you.

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