Design and Construction, Green Building, Grounds Management, Sustainability/Business Continuity

Navigating the Path to Commercial EV Charging Stations

Companies across various sectors, from retail locations to commercial businesses, are recognizing the shifting consumer attitudes toward electric vehicles (EVs). This growing awareness and changing sentiment are driving substantial investments in EV charging solutions, and there’s no sign this will let up, as EV sales are expected to leap 35% in 2023.

As a result, states like New York are offering incentives for EV infrastructure, while others, such as Florida, are leading the charge in EV adoption. As more drivers embrace EVs, the demand for accessible public charging infrastructure will follow suit, cementing its status as a vital component of the overall EV infrastructure landscape—and rightfully so. Public EV charging stations bring a host of advantages for both businesses and society at large.

Before installing EV charging stations, there are several key factors businesses should consider:

Assess Your Audience, Site, and Infrastructure Needs

When planning any program or workplace initiative, audience consideration is paramount. Before implementing EV charging stations, it’s essential to assess the current and potential EV-driving customers or employees. The mere introduction of EV charging in public places can spur more individuals to contemplate switching to electric vehicles.

Conducting a site survey is equally crucial. Understanding your existing infrastructure and electrical capacity is the foundation for determining the number and type of charging stations feasible for your organization. This knowledge informs power management decisions and ensures efficient station deployment. Site energy capacity may also influence charger selection, while parking space availability should also be taken into account.

An ideal EV charging solution provider offers a comprehensive site audit, providing detailed insights into your location’s capabilities. Prioritize reliability when selecting a provider. Look for a partner that offers flexibility, ongoing support, warranties, consistency, and transparency throughout the process. Your provider should guide you in charger selection, station management, and control options, and offer customizable reporting to demonstrate ROI for EV charging station investments.

Connectivity Plays a Vital Role in EV Charging Infrastructure

Connectivity is at the heart of modern technology, including EVs and the supporting charging networks and applications. When it comes to networked EV charging stations, careful attention must be paid to their connectivity and the type of network connection needed. These connections play a pivotal role in how station owners manage various aspects, from fee structures to power usage, and they also serve as the means by which EV drivers locate and charge at the station.

For these reasons, it’s essential to establish the most reliable and secure connection possible, typically achieved through broadband. Broadband offers a dedicated, high-speed internet connection that is consistently available. Moreover, broadband can provide dependable Wi-Fi, ensuring a seamless charging experience for drivers without the types of interruptions or hiccups that may occur with less stable connections.

Consider Charging Policies and Business Models

When businesses are fully prepared to implement EV charging stations, establishing charging policies is critical given the numerous variables to consider when determining whether to charge users for EV charging. For instance, businesses may opt to provide incentives for achieving specific goals or milestones to help make charging a more rewarding and positive experience. It’s also imperative to define clear charging protocols to prevent customer frustration.

This is also the opportune time to determine whether to manage the stations internally or partner with an EV charging station provider that offers charging-as-a-service (CaaS). Businesses can choose to own and operate the EV charging stations, generating revenue streams through charging fees, or they can opt for the convenience of CaaS, which typically involves less administrative work. Regardless of the selected business model, it’s crucial to partner with a provider that can cater services to each business’s unique needs, such as reliability, support, and warranties.

Drive EV Charging Infrastructure Forward

Amidst the myriad of factors to ponder when contemplating EV charging stations, one undeniable truth prevails: EVs are swiftly cementing their place as an integral facet of modern society. As a result, installing charging stations can present businesses with valuable opportunities to drive growth and strengthen relationships with consumers. It can also showcase a commitment to corporate sustainability efforts, which resonates well with the heightened sense of social responsibility observed among consumers and employees, especially millennials and Gen Z.

In anticipation of this transformation to EVs, businesses must proactively assess these factors to ensure they can consistently deliver what consumers desire and require.

Michael Slovin is the vice president and general manager of Comcast Smart Solutions, a division of Comcast Corp. that specializes in smart technologies for businesses and communities.

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