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Powering the Revolution: Finding the Right EV Charger for Your Business

The electrification of transportation is no longer just a trend; it's a transformative shift that businesses need to embrace. As electric vehicles (EVs) become increasingly prevalent, providing the right EV charging infrastructure can be a strategic move to attract customers and contribute to a greener future. However, deciding on the right commercial EV charger for your business involves several considerations. Here's a breakdown of the key factors to help you make an informed choice.

1. Charging Speed (Level of Charger)

There are two different levels of EV chargers to consider for your business:

  • Level 2 Chargers: These offer a balance between speed and cost. Chargers like the DieHard® 48 AMP EV Charger (11kW) are suitable for places where cars can be parked for a couple of hours, such as restaurants, shopping centers, and hotels.

  • Level 3 (DC Fast Chargers): These are the fastest chargers, ideal for locations where drivers need to quickly top up and go. DC Fast Chargers can also come in varying powers, such as the DieHard 95 kW DC Fast Dual Station (208V) and the DieHard 150 kW DC Fast Dual Station (480V).

2. Infrastructure and Installation Considerations

Before installing EV chargers, consider the following:

  • Electrical Capacity: Assess if your existing electrical infrastructure can support the desired type of charger, or if upgrades are necessary. DC Fast Chargers require the highest power.

  • Physical Space: Consider the available space for installation, ensuring easy access for customers and minimal disruption to your business operations. Take into account proximity to parking spaces, accessibility requirements, traffic flow, and the possibility of future expansion.

  • Cost of Installation: Calculate the cost of the chargers, any required electrical upgrades, and construction costs.

3. Cost vs. Benefit Analysis

Perform a thorough cost vs. benefit analysis:

  • Initial Investment vs. Long-Term Benefits: Weigh the upfront costs against potential benefits like attracting more customers, revenue from charging fees, and environmental benefits.

  • Incentives and Rebates: Research government or local incentives for installing EV chargers, which can significantly offset the initial costs. Tax credits and deductions, grants and rebates, utility incentives, public funding programs, workplace charging tax benefits, Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) mandates, and environmental incentives are all possible programs you may be able to take advantage of.

4. Customer Behavior and Preferences

Understand your customers' behavior and preferences:

  • Visit Time: Estimate how long customers typically stay at your establishment. Longer stays favor Level 2 chargers, while shorter visits may justify the cost of fast chargers. Reviewing point-of-sale data and other reporting can provide insight.

  • Customer Needs and Expectations: Determine whether your customers value charging speed over cost or vice versa. Usage data from nearby EV charging stations and input from local EV associations allow businesses to get supporting data points.

5. Environmental Goals and Sustainability

If your business has specific environmental targets, consider chargers with renewable energy sources or a low carbon footprint to align with your sustainability goals. Increasing the EV charging structure is one of the best ways to show your business’s commitment.

Choosing the right commercial EV charger for your business involves careful consideration of factors such as charging needs, charging speed, infrastructure, cost, customer behavior, and sustainability goals. By making a well-informed choice, your business can not only meet the growing demand for EV charging but also contribute to a greener and more sustainable future.

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