EV Charger Requirements
An EV charger requires electricity from the grid to charge vehicles. During installation, an electrical supply line is run between the charger and the electrical panel. The charging station is either wall-mounted or installed on a pedestal. Network connectivity may also be required.
Along with the electrical requirements, there are additional factors to consider.
Selecting the Type of Charger
Level 2 chargers are commonly used to keep municipal EVs on the road. However, some fleets with mileage exceeding 100 miles a day can use Level 3 chargers.
Choosing Level 2 chargers will save municipalities on purchasing costs. Another option is to have upgradable infrastructure installed in the beginning. That way it is a simpler process to switch to a Level 3 charger at a later date, as long as your initial installation accommodates the upgrade.
Level 3 chargers offer two charging ports and might be a better fit for larger EV fleets. Whichever type of charger you choose, ensure the equipment is certified.
All of our EV charging stations are UL certified. We have several charger options that include energy star, cUL, FCC and cETus certified. You can review all of our EV charger products here.
Number of EV Chargers
It is always a good idea to have the same number of chargers as vehicles. It ensures all vehicles can fully charge overnight. Some fleet managers have more vehicles than chargers, but it requires careful planning to manage the timing.
Fleets that are planning on expanding in the future will want to consider installing additional electrical conduit and panel capacity during the initial installation. It is a small increase in costs, but it is significantly cheaper than redoing the installation on a later day.
Selecting the Electrical Panel
The electrical panel needs to be capable of supporting the electrical load. When EVs are connected to a Level 2 charger, expect to use around 7000 watts. A Level 2 charger uses roughly the same amount of energy as a stove with the oven and all burners on. Most municipalities have electrical panels capable of handling these loads.
Distance Between the Chargers and Electrical Panel
The farther away the PEV charger is from the electrical panel will increase installation costs. Cables may need to run underground, and trenching comes at an expense. Part of EV fleet management is finding the right location, close to the panel. EV chargers do not necessarily require installation by doors or prime parking spots.
Wall-Mounted or In-Ground PEV Chargers
PEV chargers come with mounting options. It is more cost-effective to mount the chargers on a wall, especially if the electrical wiring is inside. In-ground mounting requires pedestals and burying the wiring. When the only option is in-ground mounting try to find a location that does not require trenching to keep costs down. Some pedestal mounted PEV chargers are located in grassy areas that require very little digging to bury the electrical supply lines.
Inside or Outside the Fence
It’s always a good idea to install PEV chargers inside the fence. It limits potential vandalism. Some municipalities open their EV chargers to the public. Choose a well-lit area for installation. Some facilities offer paid and unpaid parking. Install the charger in a location close to the electric panel.
Networked or Non-Networked
Networked PEV chargers simplify EV fleet management. The included hardware and software allow managers to remotely monitor the charging stations. Managers can track usage and select EV driver payment methods, if applicable. Networked chargers are more expensive, and there is also an ongoing cost for communication services.
Public vs Employee vs Fleet Parking
The placement of PEV chargers often depends on who is using the equipment. Chargers open to the public are often located near doorways or prime parking spots. When the electrical panel is closer to the employee parking lot, managers may want to install the chargers close by. The downside is it limits public use of the charging stations.
Chargers intended for fleet use can be placed in visible areas. It advertises to the public that the municipality is taking steps to meet zero-carbon emissions goals.
Learn More About Incorporating EVs into Your Municipal Fleet
Installing PEV chargers requires a lot of planning and considerations that can conflict with each other. Partnering with an expert will help eliminate any confusion.