As EVs become more and more popular, the number of public garages that want to install EV vehicle chargers grows every day.
As businesses begin to build their charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, it is important to know what charging infrastructure costs are, and just as importantly, where to cut costs. The benefits of going green are well-established, but many businesses may not be aware they can save green with a little bit of planning ahead.
What Costs Are Associated with EVSE Installation
Upfront costs, sometimes called procurements, represent hardware and software required to use the chargers, from the unit itself to network access. Also included under procurements is the electricity needed for the charger. The electrical panel, and if it needs to be expanded, is an upfront cost. Making sure it can support more chargers than you currently need is a great way to save future money.
According to RMI.org (Rocky Mountain Institute),”’ make-ready’ hardware such as distribution feeders, transformers, meters, and the service drop” are also part of upfront costs. Cables, the type of communication system, like WiFi, etc are part of setting up and using chargers.
While these costs are mostly the same across the board, Blink offers many different business plans to choose from; some plans don’t require clients to pay for the charger. Learn more about our available business plans to see which one is the right choice for your business.
Other requirements, not considered upfront costs, include a payment system, adherence to ADA compliance, as well as painting and signage. Still others include easements to use property for everything from trenching to signage. Some of these costs cannot be avoided, but many of them can be by thinking ahead.
Save Money By Thinking About Tomorrow
Many businesses, which have purchased and installed EV chargers in the past, have found they need more of them now than they did five years ago. More of their clients, residents, patients, and employees are driving EVs. A little planning can save businesses thousands on future installations by preparing for them while installing their first set of chargers.
If your business is interested in installing EVSE, or you already have and need more chargers, below are some suggestions on how to save a bundle on future installs.
Including EV Chargers in Blueprints Before Construction
All charging stations are dependent on power. No power= no charge. How much power the charger has access to is directly related to the speed of charging and how much power can transfer from your charger to your employee or resident’s car, and if they are getting everything out of the car they can.
How much power can be used by your charger is dependent on two factors: the amount of power available in the building, and the amount of power available in the local grid. Eliminate one of these issues by including EV chargers in your blueprints so you know how much power your building is going to need BEFORE the garage is built. Providing ample power before charges are installed ensures the building can support the number of chargers you will eventually want.
According to WXY Studio’s Siting and Design Guidelines, “The cost differential for EVSE installation is represented by the power interface. Considering a site’s power sources and capacity will help plan for lower-cost installations that require less physical construction.”
How to Slash the Price of Adding More Chargers
When the process of preparing for the installation of chargers begins, prepare for twice as many as you want to install right now. That way, most of the work is already done! Trenching is expensive, particularly so if cutting through garage materials and concrete.
If you’re installing four chargers right now, upsize the electrical panel you purchase to accommodate eight circuits. Upsize the conduit to match, and dig a trench deep enough to accommodate eight circuits.
You will only buy one conduit, big enough for future expansion. Pull enough circuits of wire for eight chargers. Prepare for eight, but only pay for the installation of four chargers. This will increase the installation price by a small amount. However, when you go back to add four more chargers in the future, most of the expensive work will already be done, and the price of installing new chargers may be slashed nearly in half.
Few businesses think ahead of time about wanting more chargers in the future, and end up paying more than they need to.
Planning ahead and talking to Blink about the right business plan for you can save you green while going green!