Electric vehicles (EVs) are quickly becoming more popular as businesses learn more about their benefits. They are cheaper to operate and maintain than traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, they produce less pollution, and they’re more efficient. However, owning EVs requires some change to how the vehicle is fueled. For businesses, this means they will need to have electric vehicle charging stations installed on their lots. In order to get the correct EV charging equipment you’ll need to assess your business’ needs. You will also need to understand what the necessary steps are for charging station installation for the type of charger chosen. We will walk you through each step, so you can make the best decision for your business. 

What Are Your EV Charging Needs?

The first step in installing an EV charging station is to determine your charging needs. This will depend on several factors such as, the model of electric vehicle,  the number of electric cars, and how often and how far they are being driven. 

The type of EV that your business uses will determine what type of charging it can accept. For example, a Chevrolet Bolt can accept up to 55 kW but a Ford Mustang Mach-E can accept up to 150 kW. This means that the Mach-E will be able to charge faster than the Chevrolet Bolt. Different electric car charging stations will have different kW speeds, so it is important to understand what your fleet vehicles can accept. 

In addition to the type of EV your business uses, you will also need to know the number of vehicles that will need to be charged and how often they are driven. The ratio of EVs to electric vehicle chargers varies depending on the level of the charger and the usage of the vehicle. The most common type of charger is a Level 2 EV charger which would most often need a ratio of 1:1 in order to keep up with business operations. 

What Are The Different Levels of EV Charging?

There are 3 different levels of electric vehicle charging stations available each with different speeds and installation requirements.

Level 1 EV charger

A Level 1 EV charger is what typically comes with the vehicle when it is purchased. It uses a J1772 charge port that is connected to a standard 120v wall outlet. A Level 1 EV charger is the slowest charging solution, taking about 40-50 hours to fully charge a vehicle from empty with 1-2.4 kW power output. For businesses looking to charge their fleet vehicles for daily operations, this type of charger is far too slow.

Level 2 EV charger

Level 2 charging stations are the most popular choice for most EV owners and public charging stations. Unlike a Level 1 EV charger, the Level 2 charging station cannot be plugged into a standard wall outlet. Level 2 chargers require a 220v outlet in order to deliver more power to the vehicle. This often requires employing a licensed electrician to update the grid to be able to work properly. When using a Level 2 charger, it takes about 4-10 hours to fully charge a vehicle from empty using between 7-19 kW.

Level 3 EV Charging Station

Level 3 electric car charging is the fastest, but most costly installation. A Level 3 (DC fast charging) charging station installation requires trenching, digging, electrical wiring, permitting, and more. This can result in up to $120,000+ in installation costs and between 12-24 months for installation time. However, Level 3 charging solutions are able to charge a battery from empty to 80% in 30 minutes to 1 hour depending on the vehicle’s battery size.

DC fast charging is the optimal solution for businesses looking to utilize electric vehicles, but are costly and have long lead times. This is one of the main hurdles to EV adoption which is why SparkCharge has created their mobile DC fast chargers and services.

SparkCharge has created two services for businesses looking for Level 3 EV charging without the installation time or costs. SparkCharge Fleet and SparkCharge Out of Charge are EV charging delivery services that allow businesses to order DC fast charging whenever and wherever it is needed. 

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Choosing a Location for Your Charging Station

Once you’ve chosen the type of charging station you need for your business, the next step is to choose a location for your EV charger. You’ll want to pick locations that are easily accessible, safe, and convenient. The ideal locations for charging stations will be close to where your business’ vehicles are parked and near where your electrical panel is located. You may need to work with a local utility company to install additional power infrastructure to support your stations. 

Adding electric vehicles to your business is a great way to meet and exceed green initiatives. Finding the right EV charging solution for your business can be a daunting task. By following these steps, you’ll be able to ensure that you are making the right choice for your business.