News | Feb 16, 2023 | Christyn Binder
Interested in Implementing EV Chargers? Find out what Arora’s Electrical Engineers Recommend
This is the second post in a series where we’re exploring the implications of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) and the key factors organizations should consider when implementing sustainable technologies. Read the first post here.
Is your organization looking to implement electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for the first time, or expand your existing charging capacity? Perhaps you want to capitalize on the $900M+ in National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Formula funding to deploy electric vehicle charging stations along highways. Maybe you simply want to start preparing now for a future EV charging infrastructure implementation, considering the US EV market is projected to increase 20% by 2030.
The IRA offers consumers tax credits of up to $7,500 for new light-duty EV purchases, $4,000 for used EVs, and $40,000 for heavy-duty commercial electric vehicle purchases. These incentives, combined with increasingly stringent sustainability initiatives at the local and state levels will increase EV demand among individual consumers and organizations alike.
The good news is the robust, 10-year incentives and programs implemented by the IRA provide organizations with a decade of clean energy policy certainty. This policy stability combined with the projected growth of the EV market means now is the perfect time to invest in your EV charging infrastructure.
Patrick Licklider, PE, CEM and Fares Al Juheshi, PE, electrical engineers at Arora Engineers (Arora) with extensive experience in EV charging infrastructure shared some key considerations for organizations seeking to implement EV charging stations.
1. Start by assessing the amount of power you already have. Work with an experienced electrical engineer to determine your existing electrical service characteristics, including voltage, and amperage from the serving utility’s transformer. Additionally, metering data for this service would need to be acquired and reviewed to determine the existing load utilized by the facility.
One of the most common challenges our team faces when implementing EV charging stations is that many existing facilities do not have adequate infrastructure or capacity from the utility company to properly serve the equipment. Our engineers have helped organizations overcome power infrastructure pitfalls by helping them to select charging equipment at the right charging level that also utilizes load management software to cap the utilized charging power to mitigate any possible overload of the upstream service.
2. Determine how many vehicles you want to charge. The number of vehicles you will need to charge at one time will dictate the charging system you will be able to implement. The size of your fleet or projected customer base will help the electrical engineer determine what level of charging capacity your system can support.
EV charging equipment is sold in the following levels:
a. Level 1 has the slowest charge and is most common for residential implementation. These chargers can take between 22-40 hours to fully charge a standard battery EV.
b. Level 2, the most common, is often less costly for larger organizations to implement and operate and provides a faster charge of around 2 hours.
c. Level 3 provides the fastest, most powerful charge of approximately +/- 7 minutes, though they also result in the highest electrical power requirements. Level 3 chargers are the most expensive, as both the cost to implement and the cost to operate increase due to the greater power demand.
3. Work with an Electrical Engineer to Determine your Minimum KW per hour Requirements. If you know the quantity of cars you need to charge, an electrical engineer can analyze the given data along with the collected electrical system characteristics to calculate your necessary capacity and then determine your minimum kWh per electric car. This analysis is critical in the decision-making process of the EV charging equipment level, which will determine the charging period and overall cost of the project.
4. Do you want to monetize your EV Chargers? EV charging stations offer organizations an additional source of revenue generation. To ensure your facility is prepared to collect revenue at your charging stations on day one, you need to ensure you have the telecommunication capacity to hardwire, or wirelessly connect, credit card readers or other revenue collection tools. Our engineers recommend determining your monetization strategy upfront and working with your engineering team from the start of the project to ensure you have the infrastructure necessary to collect payment.
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