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Ward, Hayden
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Are Vehicle Charging Stations Right for Your Operation?

EV Charging Stations at Your Business

As electric vehicles continue to become more popular, you may consider installing vehicle charging stations, also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) stations, at your outfitter operation. This can be a large asset to your business; EVSE stations can increase employee retention, improve your image and help you meet sustainability goals. However, the costs and risks of adopting a new and evolving technology can be even more significant if you don’t take all of your unique considerations into account.

As electric vehicle technology continues to advance, you must carefully weigh the potential benefits and costs of EVSE stations at your business.

Why Workplace Charging?

You might be drawn to electric vehicles because they don’t produce harmful emissions and generally have low operating costs. However, the main characteristic that enables these vehicles to be environmentally friendly and inexpensive to operate are their advanced batteries.

Though EVSE stations can add range to electric vehicles throughout the workday, the technology behind them has the potential to add numerous exposures to your business. Most EVSE stations in the United States use a connector standard known as J1772, which must be hard-wired into an electrical system and installed according to the National Electrical Code. As such, the installation process can include costs such as construction, labor, utility upgrades and more.

Technology and Standards

It’s first important to consider the technology behind electric vehicles and EVSE stations. The J1772 standard has two main charging levels with various price tags, charging rates and electric utility requirements. As such, you must select the right type of charger for your business:

Level 1: These chargers typically add 2 to 5 miles of range to an electric vehicle per hour. Level 1 chargers generally start at $500 and utilize a 120-volt alternating current (AC) circuit.

Level 2: These chargers typically add 10 to 20 miles of range per hour and generally cost at least $500. However, they require a larger 208- or 240-volt AC circuit, which may require your business to upgrade its electrical grid.

How to Make an Informed Decision

Once you have consulted the appropriate stakeholders, you should weigh the benefits and costs of installing EVSE stations. It can be difficult to predict how your employees and customers will utilize charging stations or to anticipate your business’s future needs. Use the following step-by-step guide to help you evaluate the potential benefits and costs to make an informed decision:

  1. Measure employee interest: Distribute a survey to determine how employees might use workplace EVSE stations. Be sure to find out how many employees have electric vehicles, who would consider purchasing electric vehicles and the distance of employees’ daily commutes. It is also wise to get their opinion on customer usage. Do they think customers who drive electric vehicles will use them and what is the distance from where they are typically coming from?
  2. Select an appropriate location for EVSE stations: Consider the distance from EVSE stations to your electric utility equipment—the shorter the distance, the lower the cost of installation.
  3. Determine the type and number of J1772 chargers you’d need to install: Use the results from your survey to determine how you select chargers. If the commute is short, you may be able to purchase less expensive Level 1 chargers.
  4. Contact EVSE suppliers: Confirm your charging needs and costs with a supplier. The features and payment options for EVSE units may vary between suppliers. Additionally, some suppliers offer regular maintenance and other services. Also, be sure to provide the EVSE supplier with the specifications of your electric utility. This can help you determine if your system requires upgrades.
  5. Contact your electric utility provider: Ensure that your electrical supply is adequate for your selected EVSE stations. If necessary, contact a certified contractor for the appropriate upgrades. Check your electricity rates and how installing EVSE stations may affect your bill.
  6. Investigate possible incentives: You may qualify for federal, state and local incentives if you install EVSE stations. Your electric utility provider may also offer discounted rates to power EVSE stations.

Create a Clear Internal Policy at Your Outfitter Operation

If you determine that your business would benefit from EVSE stations, you must take steps to ensure they are properly used and maintained:

  • Identify all construction, environmental, fire or building requirements for EVSE installation. These may require you to complete applications or to obtain permits prior to installation.
  • Contact your local fire and police departments and inform them of the location and cut-off points for your EVSE stations.
  • Create a clear internal policy that determines access, usage, security and other issues for your EVSE stations. Be sure to include the following in your policy:
    • Post signage that clearly designates that EVSE stations are only open to electric vehicles.
    • Determine the stations’ hours of operation.
    • Take measures to protect EVSE stations and electric vehicles from vandalism and theft.
    • Consider requiring users to sign a waiver that will protect your business from any damage to personal property or vehicles as a result of EVSE usage.
    • Designate maintenance responsibilities and timetables.

The installation of workplace EVSE stations doesn’t have to be costly or complicated and can provide valuable benefits to your employees and business. However, it’s vital that you consider all of your unique circumstances to make the most informed decision possible. As battery and EVSE technology advances, your considerations should also change accordingly.

Forward Thinking

As you invest in your business, don’t forget to protect it. Adventure more and worry less knowing that our team has the knowledge and experience to provide comprehensive insurance and risk solutions for your outfitters and guides business.  Request a free CBIZ Adventure Sport Insurance quote today.

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. In an actual claim situation, coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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1 comments on article "Are Vehicle Charging Stations Right for Your Operation?"

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Olivia

Thank you for explaining that it's a good idea to survey your employees to learn more about their interest in EVSE stations. My sister has been wondering if she should look to get some charging stations at her building. I'll have to share this advice with her so she can look into what her employees think. https://www.keelerelectric.net/charging-stations

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