Happy New Year to all electric vehicle (EV) charger hosts and drivers! With the start of a new year, it’s time to plan new resolutions for charging programs at your properties. Here are a few ideas for Blink Hosts.
I resolve to… inspect my EV chargers
Unfortunately, it has been replaced by a new fear: charge anxiety. Charge anxiety is the fear that a charger won’t work or will be too busy to use when needed. Drivers are increasingly worried that an EV charger they want to use to will be vandalized or broken, will have an overly long queue of vehicles waiting to use it during peak times, will have software that isn’t compatible with the driver’s preferred payment system, or will be occupied by an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle.
As an EV charger site host, you can help assuage charge anxiety by putting an emphasis on maintaining your chargers. Schedule time for your facilities manager to inspect all chargers, make sure they are in working order, and contact Blink for additional help. This month, resolve to log into the Blink host portal, ensure your information is up-to-date, and review station usage at your locations.
Action steps for after your inspection
When visiting your charging stations, take note of any chargers or parking spots that may be broken, blocked, or otherwise unavailable for use. If you find your chargers are being vandalized, consider security measures like cameras or physical security. If you find that internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles are blocking the chargers, consider posting notices that non-EVs will be towed, and then follow through by actually having ICE vehicles towed if they are blocking the chargers.
If your business is routinely seeing long lines at the EV chargers, or if you notice high utilization in the Blink Network, that is an indication that you should consider installing more chargers. Encourage drivers to disconnect right away when they’re done and make room for others when their vehicle has completed charging.
Need to add more stations? Ensure that every EV driver can use your chargers by purchasing chargers that come with universal payment systems, like the Blink Series 8 Commercial Level 2 EV Charging Station. The Series 8 offers 48-80amp charging and comes with RFID and credit card readers so everyone can use the charger, worry free.
I resolve to… prepare for future EV charging
One thing is certain: the cost of construction will increase every year. What costs a certain amount this year may cost double next year thanks to inflation and fluctuating prices of materials. If this is the year you decide to install EV supply equipment (EVSE) at your business, don’t just install the number of chargers you need in 2024, install “make ready” equipment for the future.
With “EV Make Ready” infrastructure, when you prepare a parking spot for EVSE installation, you install the wiring and conduits without installing the actual EV charger. When you are ready to put a charger into that spot, you can simply “plug it in” and it will be ready to go.
For example, you may want to start with just four parking spots for EVs right now. But, knowing that 2024 is estimated to see a 66.4% jump in EV sales in the United States (39.5% globally), you will likely want to expand the number of EV parking stalls in the future to 10, 20, or even 50. If you already expect to need 10 total chargers later, it’s cheaper overall to add make-ready infrastructure additional six parking spots ready when you are installing your initial four chargers this year. Then in the future when you’re ready to host 10 chargers, you can simply order six more chargers and simply have your electrical contractor wire them into your pre-existing system.
I resolve to… perfect my charging strategy
As a Blink Host, you have access to an intuitive dashboard where you can see all the information about your connected chargers, including their usage. You can also set up groups of people and charge these different groups different prices for using your chargers.
Make this the year you create a comprehensive charger usage strategy. Set peak and off-peak pricing to accommodate the time when drivers are using your chargers. Consider creating specialized pricing groups for loyalty members, employees, or residents to encourage them to charge at your business more often.
I resolve to… review my sustainability data
Not only does the Blink Host Portal let you view charging station usage, but you can also use the reports to show customers, clients, investors, and other stakeholders how your EV charging strategy fits into your business’ sustainability strategy. Considering that 78% of US consumers say that a sustainable lifestyle is important to them and products that make environmental, social and governance-related claims averaged 28% cumulative growth from 2017-2022, showcasing your sustainability commitments is a good idea. On your Blink Host Dashboard, you can view data on CO2 Reduced, Oil Saved, Fuel Saved, and Dollars Saved thanks to your EV sustainability program.
I resolve to… consider battery storage
While not every business will be large enough to need a battery energy storage system (BESS), large businesses like a shopping center, fleet, or a multi-level parking garage may benefit from this investment. A BESS is essentially a giant battery that can store and supply a steady stream of power for at a location.
A BESS is especially handy for locations using solar panels or taking advantage of off-peak electricity pricing. During certain off-peak times, electricity rates are lower than during peak times (generally weekdays) because there are more businesses and offices open, meaning more electricity from the grid is being used. There are also peak times throughout the year (generally summer when more air conditioning units are being used).
Facilities can charge the BESS during the off-peak hours when electricity rates are lower, then use this stored electricity to power your EV chargers during peak hours. Since you charged the BESS using off-peak utility pricing, you can save money and increase your charging revenue during peak energy hours. Learn more about EV charging and BES systems here.
The year 2024 promises to be another big growth year for electric vehicles in both the United States and the rest of the world. Now is the ideal time for businesses to take stock of your current EV charging program and consider expanding your offerings. Click here to log into the Blink Host Portal or contact the Blink sales team to get a quote for EV charging this year.