Technology continues to evolve, and the sale of electric vehicles is on the rise. Soon, we will all see our highways and byways filled with electric cars, instead conventional gasoline-powered, internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. An essential part of electrification is installing EV charging infrastructure where it’s needed. But how do you choose from the many electric car charging stations for sale ? Here are a few tips for choosing the right station for your business.
Commercial Charging Speed
Before anything else, it’s important to understand the three speeds or levels for EV charging . The most basic type is referred to as Level 1 charging, which uses a 110/120VAC outlet. This charging cable typically comes with a new EV, and it allows a driver to plug their vehicle in at home. However, at 120 volts, this is a trickle charge that may only deliver 4-5 miles of range per charging hour. It may take as much as 20 hours for a battery electric car to fully charge! For this reason, many EV drivers buy a Level 2 charging station online for personal use.
Level 2 charging stations use 208/240VAC, similar to a typical appliance such as a washing machine or dryer. With 208V and 30amp, a driver can receive about 25 miles of range per charging hour, enough for an overnight or workday charge. Commercial charging stations offer management software and sharing features, so a building owner can manage power, charge for electricity, or encourage drivers to move their vehicles after charging. Commercial Level 2 charging stations are compatible with all electric cars and are recommended for daily charging at apartments, workplaces, fleets, public parking, and other commercial facilities.
Level 3, or DC Fast Charging, runs on DC power rather than the AC power of the Level 1 and Level 2 stations. At 200-600 VDC, it can charge an EV in as little as 30 minutes. However, a DCFC station is not compatible with all EVs, and the electrical infrastructure is more expensive than the Level 2 stations. Fast chargers are typically found near highways and shopping malls where a driver can plug in and continue on their journey.
Station Position & Cable Length
Choosing a charging station and a location often go hand in hand. Not only is it important to install charging stations near an electrical panel and adequate cell signal, but station owners should also keep the location of the vehicle charge port in mind. With a gas car, the fuel port might be found on the driver’s side or passenger’s side. With an electric car, the charging port might be in the front or on the side. Because a driver may park forwards or backwards in order to reach the charging cable, parking managers should consider cable length when buying and installing charging stations.
EV Charging Etiquette for Drivers
Finally, it’s important to understand EV driver culture and etiquette . Because commercial charging stations are shared amenities, drivers are encouraged to unplug and move their vehicles once charging is complete. Not only is it rude for an ICE vehicle to block a charger in what is called “ICEing” a station, but it’s also rude for an EV to block a station without actually charging. Some states now have “anti-ICEing” laws that allow a property owner to tow or ticket a vehicle that is blocking a charging station. “EV Charging Only” signs and clear striping helps drivers know where to park and how much their charging session might cost. Many drivers also use PlugShare to leave comments about sharing or station details for other users. It’s not uncommon to see a post that says, “I’m just charging until noon, you can unplug me if you need the station!”
There are many EV charging stations for sale, so it’s essential to choose the right one. The good news: once you’ve chosen a station, installation is easy at your apartment, office, workplace, hotel, or other business.