Electric vehicle (EV) sales continue to skyrocket, with over 2.3 million EVs sold around the globe in the first quarter of 2023 – a 25% increase over the same period last year. The United States government is making the switch from internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles to EVs even easier for drivers, with comprehensive tax incentives for personal electric vehicles and even tax breaks for used and commercial EVs. Fortunately for any dealership that has not yet begun electrification, the process is simple with Blink Charging. We have helped hundreds of auto dealerships install electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) with our step-by-step electrification process. Here’s what you need to know about adding EV charging to your dealership.
Blink’s Customer Centric Three-Phase Approach for Electrifying Automotive Dealerships
Blink has fine-tuned the process to make automotive dealer electrification as fast and efficient as possible while still maintaining the highest level of safety. Let’s take a look at Blink Charging’s three-phase process for electrifying your dealership operations.
Phase 1: Strategy, Electrical Analysis, & On-Site Planning
The first phase of your EV charging project is all about information gathering and putting a plan in place for the work that needs to be done. Your Blink sales manager and site general manager will begin with a discussion about your OEM requirements and goals. For example, some dealerships want to provide charging for the general public where drivers pay fees for usage, while others just provide charging to their own customers at no additional cost. Many OEMs also require chargers for your fleet, your own inventory, and vehicles that you are servicing for customers.
Blink then conducts a site assessment of your dealership so we can provide you with the most accurate quote possible. Once you have agreed to the quote, we can get started. Our team will share with you the best practices for electrifying a dealership (i.e. where you will most likely need chargers and the type they should be).
Together, we will draw up a preliminary plan with you that suits your electrification needs. This will include planning the number of chargers needed, where those chargers should be placed to reduce costs, local load management to minimize installation costs, and the most convenient mounting options for your chargers. This first phase contains crucial steps including:
- Proper site evaluation
- Preliminary planning
- Permitting requirements
- Determination of additional utility upgrades
Current Load Utilization
In order to plan for the future, we start by looking at how much electricity your dealership currently uses. This gives us a baseline to work with when we determine how much extra electricity you will require for your EVSE.
Blink will determine the electrical capacity you will require to cover your current and future electrical needs after your EVSE is installed. While your dealership may only require a few chargers in your initial installation, your electrical needs can be expected to increase as your vehicle fleet transitions from gas vehicles to electric vehicles. It is more economical to prepare parking spots with make-ready infrastructure now (like installing wiring and conduits) rather than waiting to do it later.
For example, you may only want to have EVSE installed at five of your public parking spots to accommodate current demand, but prepare a further five spots for future demand. Once your electrical infrastructure is installed, your property is ready to add your next five chargers with minimal construction or labor required.
This evaluation stage is also the time to select a charging level. As NEC Article 625 notes, branch circuits for EV chargers must be rated for 125% of the maximum load of the charger. That means that for an 80amp Level 2 charger like the Series 8, your electrical input must be 100amp or more.
Once we know your typical electricity usage and how much power you will need to accommodate your EVSE, we look at how much electrical power your dealership has available and whether your location will require any electricity upgrades.
For example, some sites installing DC fast chargers require a new transformer to give their power availability a boost to run their chargers. Depending on the level of infrastructure upgrades, your location may require additional permits.
Phase 2: Engineering & Design
After completing your initial research and planning, it’s time to get technical with a detailed plan. In addition to considering the number and location of your chargers, most businesses must also consider ADA accessibility and weather and hazard protection for your chargers. For example, you may need to install bollards to prevent accidental collisions with your public chargers, or cable management to keep cables off walkways.
This phase includes:
- Develop an engineering plan
- File for necessary permits
- Project management
- Coordination with the local utility
Phase 3: Construction, Installation, and Commissioning
Now that the process has been meticulously planned, all the teams have been arranged, and all the work has been mapped out, it’s time to execute the plan and install your new Blink EV charging stations.
Blink helps your contractors and engineers determine all the resources that will be required, such as wiring and conduits. If your installation requires any additional resources, like concrete or chain link fencing around new electricity infrastructure, our project team can help coordinate your arrangements. We work hand-in-hand with all contractors involved in your electrification process.
Construction and Installation Support
Blink collaborates with your electrical and civil engineers to make the entire process as easy as possible for your dealership. We have a network of qualified electricians across the country who are certified to install EV charging equipment, or you can use your preferred certified electrician.
Charger Logistics and Arrival Coordination
We ensure your chargers arrive at your location in a timely manner, ready to be installed. We take care of every aspect of the delivery.
Whether you work with one of Blink’s preferred electricians, or you choose one of your own, we will support your team during the installation.
After installation, we will walk you or your contractor through the commissioning process and ensure the chargers can connect to the Blink Network. This allows drivers using the Blink Mobile App and other popular EV charger locators to see your dealership’s public charging stations.
Blink Supports Electrification
Automotive dealerships are leading the transition from ICE vehicles to EVs. Blink Charging is proud to support more than 4,000 dealerships make the switch. Is your dealership is ready to support electric vehicles? Contact Blink Charging today to get started with a site assessment.