With more and more EVs on the road, as a business you are probably interested in electric vehicle charging points on your premises. But it is important to remember that there are many choices to make when it comes to implementing them into your business process, both in terms of profitability and sustainability.
There are a few benefits of installing electric vehicle charging stations on your premises, from improved profitability to energy cost recovery. As a business, you attract the attention of your employees and customers in a positive way, and you also attract EV drivers, whether you own or manage a shopping centre, hotel, flat or business complex.
However, not all charging solutions are the same and it is important to understand the key features to look out for before purchasing charging stations. Whether you opt for AC or DC chargers (fast charging), go for chargers that are reliable, accessible and smart.
Here are the main requirements that charging stations should meet:
* Reliability: charging stations should have a decent lifespan, and be flexible to market needs.
* Safety: charging equipment must meet international quality and safety requirements. A charger must also be able to withstand all kinds of weather conditions. It must be able to withstand a beating and keep charging safely.
* Software: stations must be smart, with online connectivity and remote maintenance, management and monitoring capabilities.
The main reason why drivers of combustion engine cars do not switch to EVs is 'range anxiety'. Drivers worry that they cannot find a charging station when they need to recharge. Or that the charger they find won't work for their EV, or won't work at all.
This is why reliability is essential. As a company, it is important to buy a charger that you know will work with all types of EVs, with the right plug, for example. It is important to choose a reliable charging station from a reliable company known for its fast, helpful customer service. After all, you don't want any hassles on that front.
Charging station placement and capacity
Just as drivers of combustion engine cars often plan their commute so that they drive past a filling station (just in case they need to fill up), EV drivers look for routes and locations that have accessible charging stations. If you can offer those as a business, your employees, customers and other visitors will particularly appreciate it, which of course also pays off for your business.
Actually, the decision on where to place EV charging stations on your premises comes down to two factors: power and visibility.
After all, charging stations need to be connected. Laying conduits over a long distance between a charging station and the power source involves additional costs. So the closer you can place the charging station to the power source, the better. Your EV parking spaces should also be highly visible so that drivers can easily see them when they arrive. EV drivers need to know as soon as they arrive that they can charge while parking, shopping or visiting your business.
EV charging stations that are prominent at your location also show your customers and other visitors that you are sustainable and progressive as a business. They may even encourage drivers of combustion engine cars to consider an EV as their next car. You can also choose to place the chargers close to the entrance. That reduces installation costs, and you give EV riders an advantage because they can park closer to your business.
Charge management software
To maximise the profit and performance of your charging stations, charge management software is essential. The software running on your charging stations should give you a centralised view of your entire EV charging ecosystem. Charging management software should give you full control over customisable charging station settings, such as pricing, power delivery, station access and more.
There are many providers of charge management software, and they all offer something unique. One provider may offer more features, while another works with a lower tariff. Choosing the right charge management software is all about finding a good middle ground between what you need and what you are willing to invest.
Requirements for the charging station
The visibility and recognisability of the charging station at your location are no less important than its power and other technical features. It is extremely important that the charging station is well-designed, well-marked, with 24/7 access and video surveillance.
Also consider good lighting, because fumbling around in the dark with a charging plug is no fun. And they should also be visible, because of course you don't want your employees or customers tripping over them.