As the popularity of EVs continues to grow, the number of public garages that want to or need to install EV vehicle chargers 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 the driver demand for publicly available charging stations is growing accordingly.
Many businesses, which have purchased and installed EV chargers in the past, have found they need more of them now that 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.”
The Basics of Installation
There are several steps to installing EVSE. Installers need to find or purchase the appropriate electrical panel. The electricity then has to travel from Point A (the panel) to Point B (the charger.)
Next, you need a circuit, which is the total number of wires needed for the total number of chargers being installed. The conduit (a pipe) holds enough wires for the total number of chargers and keeps them from being damaged.
Trenching is simply digging a hole outside to hide the conduit so it is out of sight and not a tripping hazard. Pull the four circuits worth of wires through conduit to a hand hole or junction box, and finish off the conduit for the total number of chargers.
These steps are simplified of course, but they are the basics of installation. These steps must be taken every single time a charger is installed. Cut down on the price of installing future chargers by preparing for them ahead of time.
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!
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.
When installing EVSE, it’s always a good decision to plan for future charging needs. If a business is installing 8 chargers, installing 8, but preparing spots for 16, will save money in the future by avoiding more trenching and wiring changes.
But the best savings of all is to build the garage or parking lot with blueprints that already include the power needed for EVSE. The electricity needs of EVs are built into the schematic and there are no later worries that the wiring may need to be replaced. Additionally, EV drivers can get the most out of their vehicles when there is plenty of power to charge. Plan early and save.