Running a commercial fleet has its challenges, but fueling your vehicles shouldn’t be one of them. With electric vehicles coming into the commercial sector, it could be time to consider making the switch. If you’re new to the world of commercial EV charging stations, here are the basics that you should know when considering electric vehicle charging stations for your fleet.
Take Advantage of Cost Savings and EV Charging Station Incentives
The upfront cost of installing electric vehicle charging stations for your commercial fleet might seem steep initially, but the cost savings of your program are worth it. The key to making the most of this financial assistance is understanding exactly what your needs are for EV charging solutions. The three main capital costs include:
- Make-Ready Infrastructure
- Networked Charging Station Equipment
Some businesses are now adding make-ready infrastructure to their parking, even before they are ready to buy EV charging stations. This make-ready infrastructure prepares the site for installation: ensuring electrical infrastructure to power your charging stations, investing in the correct wire conduits and connectors, adding dedicated circuits or upgrading the electrical panels, and resurfacing your parking. The electrical infrastructure is the most expensive part of any new electric vehicle charging program, which is why some governments and utilities now offer rebate programs to help businesses get started. Station installation costs, on the other hand, are much easier than your make-ready costs. SemaConnect charging stations do not require assembly in the field and can be easily installed by your preferred licensed electrician. Finally, the charging station. Commercial properties and fleet managers need smart networked charging stations. With SemaConnect Fleet Management, fleet managers can monitor station performance, create usage reports, manage access, track departures, schedule charging, and more.
Understand the Best Type of Charging Station for Your Needs
When you want to install electric vehicle charging stations, it’s critical to know what type of stations will benefit your fleet the most. There are three “levels” or kinds of charging stations: Level I, Level II, and Level III/DC Fast Charging. Level I charging stations are the slowest of the three, with only about three to five miles added per hour of charging. This trickle charge is not recommended for commercial use. Level II stations use 240V of power and offer slightly faster charging with an average of 25 miles of range per hour of charging. You can buy fleet charging stations that deliver 7.2kW @ 30amp or 19.2 kW @ 80amp power to the vehicle. Finally, Level III, or DC Fast Charging (DCFC), stations offer the fastest charging speeds with a range of 35 to 100 miles added per hour of charging. Level I and Level II station use AC power from your existing electrical infrastructure, while DCFC stations use DC power and typically require electrical upgrades.
There are downsides to DCFC stations, though. Because they require more energy in order to attain the aforementioned charging speeds, DC fast charging stations typically require expensive electrical upgrades and additional permits. Unlike Level 2 stations, DC fast charging stations are not compatible with every electric vehicle model, so fleet managers and purchasers must research vehicle compatibility before signing on the dotted line. Depending on your budget or usage, you may instead prefer a high-powered, Level 2, 80amp charging station for your fleet.
Electric vehicles are the best new investment for fleet managers and commercial properties in 2021. For more information about EV charging or choosing a smart station for your fleet, contact SemaConnect today.