ChargingMinimize Costs With the Right EV Charging Hardware

Minimize Costs With the Right EV Charging Hardware

By choosing the right EV charging hardware and software, you can minimize costs and maximize the benefits of your EV charging network.

Businesses are realizing the importance of on-site electric vehicle (EV) charging stations. With some states planning to end the sale of gas vehicles by 2035, the demand for EV chargers will soon be even higher than it is right now. Companies can charge consumers, residents, and employees without overcommitting capital. Let’s examine some available EV charging hardware options and how you can make choices to lower installation and operating costs.

Understanding EVSE

Electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) includes a range of technologies. Understanding how this equipment works is helpful as you explore which types are right for you.

EV Charger Levels

Generally speaking, there are three tiers of electric vehicle chargers:

  • Level 1 chargers use a standard 120-volt outlet. They are ideal for a homeowner but impractical for commercial applications.
  • Level 2 chargers (L2) require 240-volt power and deliver enough charge in about eight hours to drive 200 miles. L2 chargers are small enough to mount on pedestals.
  • Level 3 chargers (L3, DC Fast Chargers, or DCFC) require up to 900-volt power and provide an EV with 200 miles of charge in just one hour. These chargers are large and require standalone cabinets.

Level 2 chargers are best for cost efficiency and optimization, whereas Level 3 chargers are best for speed.

EVSE Hardware & Components

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An EV network encompasses more than just charging stations. Here are some of the other components in a typical installation:

  • Charging cables and devices (cable holsters, retractors, high-point anchors, etc.)
  • Concrete pads and bollards
  • Dedicated EV electrical panels
  • Transformers (installation or upgrades)
  • Controller box to communicate with chargers
  • EV charging management software
  • Choosing Options Based on Driver Needs and Dwell Times
  • Mounting systems (pedestal, wall-mount, or standalone stations)

When choosing EV charging hardware, it’s important to consider the drivers’ needs. Here are some factors to keep in mind:

Battery size and vehicle type: The type of EV that plugs into a charging network will influence hardware selection. For instance, there’s a connection between battery size and charging habits.

Dwell times: The time a vehicle “dwells” at a charging location influences charger selection. For example, DCFC provides the fastest charging, but not all drivers need DCFC.

Offices: Employees and visitors typically park their cars for 8 hours during the workday. A mix of Level 2 and DCFC chargers is a good option for this setting.

Multi-unit dwellings: Residents typically park their cars overnight, so Level 2 chargers are the best option.

Retail locations: Shoppers may only need to charge their cars for 1-2 hours, so DCFC chargers are a good option.

Number of Chargers

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The number of chargers an installation requires depends on the size of your parking structure and your local building codes. However, scaling up is important to keep pace with EV charging demand. Fixed costs (such as design, permitting, and equipment mobilization) make expanding an existing network disproportionately costly.

Keeping Costs Low With the Right EV Charging Software

The right EV charging software can drastically reduce installation and operating expenses. A good software platform will help you:

Optimize charger placement: The software can help determine the best locations based on driver demand and dwell times.

Manage charging load: The software can help you avoid overloading the electrical grid by managing the power each charger uses.

Track usage and billing: The software can track how each charger is used and generate billing reports.

By carefully considering the needs of your drivers and your budget, you can create a system that meets the needs of your business and your community.

Contact PowerFlex Today

PowerFlex is a leading provider of EV charging hardware and software. They can help you design, install, and manage your EV charging network. Contact them today to learn more about how they can help you with your electric vehicle charging solution.

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