In January 2023, 7.1% of all light-duty vehicles registered were all-electric, “a 74 percent increase year-over-year and a noticeable change, compared to a 4.3 percent share in January 2022” according to InsideEVs. Chances are that your customers are already asking about test driving and buying EVs from your dealership. While electric vehicle charging equipment is new for car dealerships, it does not need to be a mystery. With a little planning and some help from a knowledgeable partner like Blink, you can quickly and easily choose the right charging equipment that will future-proof your dealership for years to come.
Why install EV charging stations at dealerships?
Forecasts predict that over half of vehicle sales in the United States will be electric by 2030 thanks to US federal tax credits for EVs and EV charging equipment. Getting on board now ensures your dealership will be ready to handle the influx of customers who want to go electric.
Aside from preparing your dealership for selling EVs, offering EV charging infrastructure supports customers who already own an EV and indicates that your business is keeping up with the newest trends.
Planning your EV charging needs
Before you order any EV charging equipment for your automotive dealership, you need to do some planning.
You need to figure out:
- Your dealership’s current electrical infrastructure
- If you require any electrical upgrades
- Where you will put charging equipment
- How many chargers you need
- What type of chargers you will install
- Whether you will require wall-mounted or pedestal-mounted options
The good news is that you don’t have to do this on your own. Blink Charging will perform a site assessment with you to help you understand the best way to install charging equipment at your dealership.
Main charging locations
Depending on your automotive OEM’s requirements, you may need to install chargers in these locations:
- Public/guest parking
- Inventory/loaner parking
- New vehicle delivery bay
- Service bay
Whether you choose to bill drivers for usage, installing chargers in your public and employee parking is an obvious way to show that you support electrification. Similarly, adding chargers to your showroom and test drive areas will allow your sales team to demonstrate charging and educate drivers about public and home charging. Installing charging stations in your inventory and delivery bays also allow your team to keep your test drive and sales fleet charged. Finally, having a few chargers in your service area allows your mechanics to return vehicles to their owners fully charged.
Choosing the right charger for each location
It is likely that your dealership will require a mixture of Level 2 charging stations and Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs).
Commercial Level 2 chargers can charge a vehicle in just a few hours, making them ideal for overnight parking and vehicles that may be parked in the same space for several hours. And with load management, which splits available power between multiple chargers, you can control energy usage to reduce costs. Using your own personalized dashboard in the Blink Network, you can also control your Level 2 chargers to take advantage of off-peak charging during evenings, weekends and overnight.
Thinking about becoming a Blink reseller? Your sales team can use your showroom’s home chargers as an education tool and upselling technique.
DCFC is the second type of charger that will be required at dealerships. While these stations are more expensive to buy and install, they’re necessary to keep your most popular vehicles charged between test drives.
Public charging for dealerships
Installing EV charging stations for general public use will be a service to your neighborhood and can act as another source of revenue for your dealership. Your business will be added to the Blink Network and popular map services like Google, helping your customers find EV charging stations nearby. The newly redesigned Blink Vision point-of-charge Level 2 charging station even provides you with the opportunity to advertise products and services on the station itself!
In addition, depending on your location, your business may be eligible for the US Federal Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. Your business may also qualify for state, municipal, or utility grant programs for EV charging. To view programs by state, click our handy Commercial EV Charging Incentives tool.
Emergency charging for dealerships
When an ICE vehicle runs out of gas, it’s relatively easy to simply bring a fuel can to the vehicle. However, “refueling” a stranded EV is a bit different. While some roadside assistance companies are now buying mobile chargers, your service team may also want to invest in a portable charger of your own for any unforeseen emergencies. With the newly redesigned Blink Portable Charger, your dealership has a solution if a fleet vehicle gets stranded or a customer needs help charging their own vehicle.
Blink is here to help you upgrade your auto dealership to accommodate electric vehicles. We also provide Construction Resources for Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment to make it easier for you to plan your installation. Ready to get started? Click here to start your dealership’s EV program.