The Simplified Guide to Commercial EV Charging Station Installation
While the number of commercial EV charging stations on the grid continues to grow, the number of electric vehicles on the road continues to outpace them. To fill the gap and tap into this rapidly growing EV market, many businesses, from large corporate facilities to residential complexes, retail stores, and auto dealerships, are installing EV charging stations.
As a business owner or facilities manager, what should you consider when installing an EV charging station? How much will it cost and what steps should you take to get started? By the end of this guide, you should be able to answer all your commercial EV charging station installation questions, helping you choose the contractor that best fits your needs.
Let’s first dive into the benefits and features of EV charging stations. We’ll guide you to the right solution for your budget.
Looking for information on Home EV charging stations, click here.
Download Our Guide To Electrical Vehicle Charging Stations
Lemberg Electric is a leading provider of electrical services to various locations in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, Dane, Rock, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth, Jefferson, Waukesha, Dodge, Washington, Ozaukee, Sheboygan, and Fond du Lac. With a team of highly skilled and experienced electricians, Lemberg Electric offers comprehensive EV charging station services.
Benefits of an EV Charging Station for Your Business
As the world embraces the transition to electric mobility, businesses have a unique opportunity to position themselves at the forefront of this revolution. For many businesses where customers spend extended amounts of time, such as retail, restaurants, and hotels, installing EV charging stations can be well worth the cost.
For apartment complexes and larger corporations, offering residents and employees a place to charge their electric vehicles may attract high-income renters and top talent while increasing overall experience and convenience.
Below, we explore some key benefits of installing EV charging stations at your business:
- Attract and retain EV-driving customers — Installing EV chargers gives your business the opportunity to increase visibility and attract new customers who are actively searching for charging stations on a mobile app. The ease of charging at your business also creates a positive experience and encourages customer loyalty, increasing the likelihood that a customer will return.
- Attract employees — According to a recent study, nearly 40% of millennials have chosen a job because of the brand's sustainability values. By installing EV chargers, you demonstrate to current and potential employees that your company is environmentally conscious. It is also a great way to show potential employees that your company is proactive in seeking opportunities to enhance employee lives.
- Generate additional revenue — Despite much improvement, electric vehicles still have a charging time considerably longer than it takes to fill up at a traditional gasoline or diesel pump. This increases customer “dwell time.” While customers wait for their car to charge, they will have the downtime to take in more of your products and services, leading to increased sales.
- Stay ahead of competitors – Electric vehicle sales are not expected to slow down. Providing EV charging stations for your customers may soon become an expectation, not an added benefit. Installing an EV charging station for your business today can help you stay ahead of your competitors tomorrow.
- Increase property value — If you own or manage a residential development, installing an EV charging station can attract financially stable tenants, ultimately making your property more desirable. For tenants already driving electric vehicles, charger availability can be a deciding factor when choosing a rental location.
- Tap into the “green” market — By installing EV charging stations at your commercial business, you’re promoting a lower carbon footprint and showcasing your business as environmentally conscious.
Click here to explore more about how your business can benefit from installing an EV charging station!
EV Charging Stations for Auto Dealerships
EV charging stations provide a unique opportunity for auto dealerships to establish their brand as a leader in the electric vehicle market, meet manufacturer requirements and provide a tool for educating and easing anxiety about the practical use of electric vehicles for first-time buyers. All this can add to a great customer experience, leading to more sales.
Cost-Effective Solutions to EV Charging Station Installation
Installing an EV charging station is becoming increasingly essential for businesses as more people adopt electric vehicles. However, budget constraints can often pose challenges when considering installing charging infrastructure.
Working with a trusted contractor, you'll receive expert input to value engineer your business's most cost-effective EV charging solution without compromising functionality or quality. A site analysis and load assessment will provide accurate information about your current electrical service and help control costs during installation.
Additionally, your contractor can assist you in matching your needs to smart features of an EV charger, such as mobile apps for remote monitoring, that enhance functionality and maximize your return on investment.
At Lemberg, we will take the time to understand your business and EV charging station installation needs. We will work with you to find an installation cost that fits your budget, giving you a quote you can trust to be honest and fair. Contact us today!
Understanding the 3 Levels and Features of EV Charging Stations
There are three levels of EV charging stations: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Understanding the difference can help you decide what EV charging station level is best for your business.
- Level 1 — Often provided with most electric vehicles upon purchase. Level 1 chargers simply plug into a household outlet and are mainly used for residential purposes. It offers the lowest power at the slowest rate.
- Level 2 — Level 2 chargers are the most common type of charging for commercial sites. They are ideal for residential and public places like apartment complexes, shopping malls, commercial properties, and more. This level can charge an EV up to ten times faster than a Level 1 charger and requires additional charging equipment and infrastructure. At this level, it becomes possible to incorporate fees for customer/tenant usage via cellular service to the charger itself if desired. Many facilities also opt to leave this as a free amenity or charge a flat rate to tenants for simplicity.
- Level 3 — The fastest charging level with the highest power. A level 3 charger can charge up to 80% of its capacity in 30 to 60 minutes. These are the most expensive EV charging stations to install and are common in public areas like gas stations and shopping malls. Like a level 2 charger, a fee is most often required to use a level 3 charger.
Due to their time convenience, most businesses install level 2 or level 3 chargers when they plan to make their chargers available to employees, tenants or the public. Which level you choose will depend on the type of your business. For example, a level 2 charger may be the best option for an apartment complex or corporate facility because residents can charge their electric vehicles overnight, and employees can charge them during the workday.
On the other hand, if you're a gas station or convenience store owner, a level 3 charger may be the best choice, as your customer will be looking to get their EV battery charged as fast as possible and get back on the road.
If you run a business with a fleet of electrical vehicles, working with professionals can help you understand load management and determine the number of level 2 or level 3 chargers you'll need. Depending on your needs, your electrical infrastructure may need to be upgraded.
Key Features of EV Charger Units
There are EV charger brands that fit all EV makes and models. Many have low operating costs and low maintenance. Depending on the EV charger you choose, many of these features may come free, making the cost to operate an EV charger more affordable. Features of EV chargers can include multiple mounting and display options, diagnostics, reporting, alerts, and recovery.
Here are some other possible features of EV charging stations.
- Autonomous operation
- Cloud-Based software
- Mobile phone touch-pay technology
- 24/7 charging and payment processing
- Real-time statistics
- RFID-based fleet user management
- Load management
- Cord retraction
- Future network extendibility
- Map app location services
Need help deciding what EV charging station level and brand is best for your business? Give us a call today!
What to Consider Before Installing a Commercial EV Charging Station
Type of EV charger
A good place to start is to decide what level and type of EV chargers (the brand, features, type and number) you will use. For example, two-port chargers are often a good option as they can be placed between two parking spaces and cover both, which can be more cost-effective than one charger per space. This is particularly the case with free-standing pedestals. Pedestals can also hold multiple units, so depending on the design of your lot, one pedestal could easily cover four spaces.
Where you decide to place the EV charger on your property will determine whether you offer a wall-mounted, free-standing, or pedestal unit, which have different price ranges and features. The location will also determine how far the charger will be from existing power sources and the availability of dedicated circuits for each charging point, network, and Wi-Fi connection.
All these factors can impact the overall project cost, so it’s important to work with a professional in deciding the most convenient and cost-effective location for your commercial EV chargers.
If you opt for a network-free EV charging station, you will not be able to charge users directly based on usage. Wi-Fi-connected chargers, also known as “smart” EV chargers, are connected to an electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) network, which gives you the benefit of:
- Limiting access to select people (such as residents and employees)
- The ability to set prices and charge a user fee
- Promoting charging locations on online maps and mobile apps
- Remote access to online management tools
- Remotely troubleshoot maintenance issues
- Monitor and track the station’s performance
EV chargers draw a fair amount of electricity and often require specifically dedicated circuits. A reputable electrical professional can help you determine whether your existing electrical service can meet the demand of your EV charging needs and make suggestions for upgrades that fit your budget.
Future-proof your infrastructure by considering your growth plans and the outlook for the EV industry. For example, if your future business plans include a larger fleet, budget the infrastructure now and install additional chargers as your budget allows.
Permits and Jurisdictional Requirements
Any commercial level 2 or 3 EV charging station requires the correct electrical installation permit. It's important to ensure the correct permit is applied for and received. Making a mistake on a permit can lead to later issues with building inspections, costing you a lot of time and money.
Some jurisdictions will also require an engineer-stamped blueprint of the plans. It's best to contact your local government to determine the exact approvals you will need for installation, as the requirements can differ depending on your city, county, and state.
The overall cost of the EV installation process depends entirely upon your needs and the existing electrical service. A good contractor will minimize your expenses, today and into the future, with customized solutions based on those factors. Rebates and tax breaks may also apply.
At Lemberg, we specialize in installing EV charging stations. With over 95 years of experience serving Milwaukee-area businesses, we focus on providing a quality experience through collaborative services and the latest technology.
The installation process will look different for every business. With the help of a reliable EV charging contractor, you can get the guidance and support you need throughout the entire process, ensuring a clear understanding of what to expect from beginning to end.
No matter what your readiness level, Lemberg's team is certified by the Electrical Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program (EVITP) to get you started on your commercial EV installation project. Contact us today!
Once your commercial EV charging station is installed, it’s important to consider the signage needed to keep the spaces reserved for EVs and avoid potential conflict that may arise when somebody in a gas-powered vehicle parks in front of the charger. ADA requirements may affect the location, identification, availability, and use of your EV charger.
From EV unit installation to customized secondary signage, Lemberg is your one-stop, trusted partner. Learn more about the different types of secondary commercial signage here!
When to Expect an ROI from Your Commercial EV Charging Station
You may be asking yourself if installing an EV charging station at your business is worth the investment. With a recent report from Allied Market Research projecting that the global electric vehicle market is projected to reach $802.81 billion by 2027, it’s easy to see the simple answer is YES!
Although, when can you expect to see a return on your investment?
Evaluating utility costs and the costs associated with the installation (equipment, installation, electrical upgrades) against projected revenue is the best way to estimate the ROI. The sooner you make back the initial installation cost, the sooner you can see a profit. Taking advantage of tax rebates and incentives and implementing a fixed-price or pay-as-you-go charging fee may help accelerate your payback time and maximize your ROI.
If your EV charging station is at a corporate facility or a residential building, you may consider offering the service free of charge or at a lower price. If this is the case, you'll see an ROI through increased property value and customer satisfaction, which can lead to higher tenant retention rates and a positive reputation in the market. While the financial return may be indirect, the long-term benefits can significantly contribute to the overall value and success of the property and business.
Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station Installation in Milwaukee and SE Wisconsin
Lemberg is committed to being your trusted Milwaukee and SE Wisconsin EV charging station contractor. We are now offering residential and commercial EV charging station installation for all level 1, 2 , and 3 EV chargers. If you’re looking for EV charger installation, Lemberg has experience and expertise in the installation of charging stations for all electric vehicle makes and models.
We are dedicated to providing you with turnkey solutions to your residential or commercial EV charging station installation needs. Whatever the scope of the project, we are here to help guide you from initial planning and cost estimating to final unit installation and customized signage.
Milwaukee’s Leading Commercial EV Charging Station Contractor Supporting “Net Zero” by 2050
Electric vehicle charging stations are part of global climate initiatives. At the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in November 2021, the goal to meet “net zero” carbon emissions worldwide by 2050 was set. Large scale efforts to reduce waste, move to electrical, cleaner and more renewable energy sources are already in play.
Lemberg is proud to support businesses in Milwaukee and SE Wisconsin with affordable and future-focused EV charger installation services.
Call our Service Department today at (262) 781-1500 or complete an information request form online to learn more about our EV charging station installation services.