So, you’re ready to install one or more electric charging stations in your garage or lot for a corporation, healthcare center, shopping center, restaurant, movie theater, etc, and you’re ready for visitors, guests, and staff to put it to good use. But they can’t use your EV charger if they don’t know it’s there!
Where to Locate Spaces
Some garage and lot owners worry so much about where to put EV charging spots so, it stops them from ever installing the chargers. Not to worry, there is a “correct” place to put them, which means less stress for garage owners and higher visibility for users.
Always locate your EV charging spots in a prominent place, near the front of the garage or around entrances to office buildings if possible. Don’t locate spots in hidden places. Offering EV chargers represents an important commitment to sustainability, and is a positive thing to do for visitors, customers, and staff, improving public health and air quality around your facility. Advertise your smart, green choices!
Another good reason to locate EV charging near the front of the lot or garage is that it’s often the location of your electric source. Trying to move electric service is often costly and unnecessary when a business can simply locate chargers near where the electrical run already is located. Similarly, “clustering” puts all the spots in one place, near the electric source. They’re also more visible clustered together, and in the case of maintenance, can all be worked on together. Clustering charging spots make EVs more visible, but for EV drivers to find them, the EV charging spots need to be clearly marked.
EV Charging Signage
Marking out the spaces which offer the ability to charge is essential. They should be eye-catching from a distance not making EV drivers find them amongst a sea of vehicles. Not only do EV charging signs direct the EV driver to space, but it also communicates expectations of the spot, such as whether the driver needs to move their car once it’s charged or if there is a time limit in the parking spot.
Signs for EVSE need to accomplish several things:
- Assist EV drivers in finding and identifying charging
- Make sure all drivers, including drivers of gas-fueled vehicles, understand the EV spots are for charging EVs only
- Offer information and rules, such as how long the station is open, how often it can be used, and if EVs need to be moved once they are charged. They should also communicate any enforceable consequences for those who misuse the spot.
- If this information and rules cannot be displayed on the sign the EV charger should display it.
- Make sure signs there are many clear to understand so EV drivers can locate the spots
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Alternative Fuels Center Data states, “Station signage helps electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid electric vehicle drivers identify charging stations. It also helps to charge station hosts communicate and enforce regulations related to the use of the EVSE and associated parking spaces.”
Signs vary to some extent. Some signage outside the garage or lot is necessary to direct the driver to the location. Once inside, signs might read “Electric Vehicle Charging”, “EV Charging”, etc. Green is usually the best color for writing on signs since green implies environmentalism. The reflective print should be used so that the signs can be clearly seen at night with a vehicle’s headlights.
Experts agree to avoid the word “parking”, as it’s likely to attract handicapped parkers and others who don’t read the entire sign, and it also encourages EV drivers to leave their car in the charging spot for the entire day. In fact, EV drivers share that they find it especially frustrating to find a charging station spot that is taken by an EV driver that is not charging but is simply parked.
Painting, Striping, and Canopies
Similar to signage, painting, or striping, it is intended to bring attention to charging spots for electric vehicles. Green is the paint color of choice and has become the industry standard for EV charging locations. Whether you paint the entire spot green or paint stripes within the spot’s boundaries, green paint goes a long way in indicating the expected use of the spot for EV charging.
You can also use the opportunity to draw attention to your EV chargers by getting creative. Offer EV drivers the shelter of a shaded canopy or feature road-surface icons and arrows to make the spots even more impactful can go a long way. There are many different stencils to choose, from batteries to plugs to car shapes.
Blink recommends drawing attention to charging spots for three reasons: to make them visible to EV drivers, to make it clear others shouldn’t park there, and to promote and advertise the service at your location.
In many parts of the country, EVs are not so common that people expect to see chargers in every garage or lot. Making your EV charging capabilities visible is critical to attracting attention and EV traffic. Bright colors and large signs both inside and outside of the parking area will draw in customers.
No matter how you draw attention to your EV charging stations don’t forget to take into accounting lighting and the safety of the parking area to customers in the evening hours. Be sure to have the parking facility properly lit for all your customers including those who may be charging their electric vehicle.
Whatever choices garage or lot owners make, experts agree the bigger, brighter, and more obvious signs and paintings are the more likely they will be noticed and used by EV drivers, and the less likely they are to be blocked by a gas-fueled vehicle.