Updated: Jan 12
Electric vehicles will surge to 10% of the United States new-car market by 2025. With major automotive manufacturers like Ford, GM, Volkswagon preparing to transition exclusively to electric vehicles, it’s safe to say more than half of U.S. car sales will be EVs by 2030.
Cleaner, quieter, and more efficient than traditional gas- or diesel-powered cars, electric vehicles provide drivers significant cost savings on fuel, as well as benefit the environment. One concern? Staying charged up on the road. That said, the US charging station infrastructure is outpacing forecasts and the nation is a fifth of the way to its goal of 500,000 chargers by 2030. This will go a long way to alleviating any charging concerns around range anxiety.
As the number of EVs on the road continues to grow, workplaces, multi-family residences, retail stores, and other businesses are attracting drivers by offering them the charging spots they need to keep their batteries topped up. To make the most of EV charging for your business, you need to know who you want to attract to your business and what they need from you. Read on to learn why more people are choosing to drive electric and what their expectations are for the best charging experience.
Know Your EV Customers
As with any other product or service, understanding your customer is the first step in selecting the best EV charger for your business. Just as with conventional vehicles, EV purchasers opt for electric for many reasons. Knowing why your customers decided to purchase an EV will ensure that the charger you choose aligns with their values and needs.
Let’s consider some examples. Last year, Sam decided to replace his beat-up SUV with a shiny new Chevy Bolt to save some money. While the sticker price of a new electric car exceeded what he might’ve paid for a traditional four-door compact car with a combustion engine, he calculated that the fuel and maintenance savings over a lifetime of ownership made electric the more frugal option. His girlfriend Carly, on the other hand, traded in her reliable Honda for a sleeker Kia Niro after learning that an electric vehicle would cut her commute time by almost 30 minutes - no more time wasted pulling off the highway to refuel every other day!
Erica just moved from a densely populated urban area to a more rural farming community and discovered that her beloved bike just doesn’t cut it anymore for daily errands. Rather than sacrifice her commitment to fighting climate change, she chooses a Ford F-150 Lightning to stay true to her values while increasing her haulage capacity. Meanwhile, her friend Frank plans to celebrate his promotion with the ultimate status symbol: a Tesla with all the bells and whistles.
Of course, all of these consumers now need charging stations, but knowing the underlying drivers that pushed them to purchase electric vehicles can help us anticipate when and where they’ll want to charge up. For hard-working Frank and practical Carly, daily charges at the office have immense appeal. Country-living Lisa has a much larger range in her truck, but will want to maximize each and every charging opportunity to stay safe on the road. She doesn’t mind waiting a few extra minutes if that’s what it takes to top up completely. Cost-conscious Sam would prefer to top up his batteries while completing errands - the better to save time and money!
Learn more about who your EV customers are by downloading our EV Charging Buyers Guide today!
Know Your Chargers
Once you’ve taken a look at your prospective customers, it’s time to identify the charger that best meets their needs. Today’s EV chargers can be grouped into three categories, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s take a closer look at each type to assess its suitability for drivers in your market.
With charge times ranging from 17 to 25 hours for a 100-mile battery, Level 1 chargers may be a good choice if you anticipate that customers will leave their vehicles with you for extended periods of time, such as long-stay parking garages or airports. If you plan to profit from quick turnover, however, or charge multiple vehicles from a single station, Level 1 charging may not be for you. Level 1 chargers also operate primarily as stand-alone, non-networked units, which means unlucky drivers won’t know about problems until they return to the vehicle.
Level 2 chargers offer drivers some significant advantages over their Level 1 counterparts in terms of speed and range. Up to six times faster than Level 1 chargers, Level 2 stations are perfect for quick top-ups on the road or while out and about. Retailers, restaurants, theaters and other businesses with high traffic may find Level 2 an attractive option, particularly given that these charging stations can accommodate up to four vehicles and offer updates via networking.
DC Fast (Level 3)
The fastest of all charging options, Direct Current or ‘DC’ Fast chargers are lighting quick, delivering a whopping 80% charge in just 20 to 30 minutes. Especially well-suited for charging locations on highways or in rural areas, DC Fast chargers also appeal to time-pressed commuters and drivers with extensive range. That said, DC Fast chargers aren’t necessarily the best choice, depending on the popular vehicles in your market. Older models may not have a DC Fast charger port, and many popular hybrid models have smaller batteries that can’t accommodate ultra-powerful DC Fast charging.
At Charge Up USA, we suggest our commercial customers opt for networked Level 2 stations. While less efficient than DC Fast charging stations represent the best value for money with the broadest customer base.
Learn more about the different types of EV charging solutions and find the best one for your business. Download our EV Charging Buyers Guide today!
Invest in Expert EV Charging Installation
Once you’ve selected the proper charger for your business, you’ll need to arrange for installation and maintenance. Tempting as it might be to coordinate this yourself, using the wrong installer could result in damage. Botched attempts with inexperienced installers can lead to damaged equipment and can be costly for businesses.
A team of licensed master electricians from a provider like Charge Up USA will ensure that your EV charging stations are properly installed and that they will handle any networking required to keep your drivers up-to-date about the status of their vehicle. Because networking adds significant value to most drivers, you’ll want to ensure that your installer has the proper experience to install your charging stations safely and professionally.
The bottom line: It makes good business sense to invest in expert installation and Charge Up USA is here to help connect you with certified, vetted, insured, and experienced installation professionals.
Whether you’re just exploring or ready to install, let Charge Up USA help guide you through every aspect of the job from site survey to installation. No need to spend hours researching charging station solutions, electrical contractors, and shopping for quotes. We streamline the process of finding the best EV charging stations, and the best commercial installation professionals, at the best price. Best of all, the cost is free for you. Don’t wait – Contact us today!
The Bottom Line: Electric Cars are the Future
With the number of electric vehicles on the road rising and demand for convenient, reliable charging solutions growing, it pays for you and your business to prepare now for the driving needs of the future. Networked Level 2 charging stations are the speedy solution most commercial vehicles need to increase range and functionality with maximum driver convenience. Make sure you’re choosing the right EV charging stations for your business by downloading our EV Charging Buyers Guide. When it comes to installing EV charging stations, Charge Up USA is here to help you every step of the way.
About the Author
Robb Monkman is a mission-driven entrepreneur who is passionate about making the world a better place. Robb is the Managing Partner of Charge Up USA where he is making an impact by accelerating the transition to electric vehicles (EV) and other electric technologies. Robb is a serial entrepreneur with experience launching multiple hardware and software products at early-stage companies. Robb is an active angel investor and advisor helping companies that are making a positive impact in clean energy, electrification, and IoT.