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Electric Vehicle Charging Stations – What Building Owners Need to Know

Hybrid electric vehicles and battery electric vehicle ownership is expanding. Building owners need to be prepared for the future of electric vehicles and charging stations. Many employers such as Google, Adobe and SAP in the US are already purchasing and installing charging stations. What do you need to know to be on top of this growing trend.

 Technical

Standards

  • UL2231 – Personnel Protection Systems for EV Supply Circuits: General Requirements
    • CUL equivalent for harmonizing codes.
    • Covers the actual charging station.
  • SAE J1772 – Covers connection between the charging unit and the EV.
  • Ontario Electrical Safety Code.
    • Section 86 specifically addresses the installation of EV charging stations.

Electrical Requirements

  • Level 1 Charging Station: 120V, 15A, 1.6kW (normal residential breaker) – Used in residences – long charging time.
  • Level 2 Charging Station: 208-240V, single phase, 40A, 7.2kW Two-Pull Breaker – Used in commercial, multi-residential, street parking.
  • Level 3 Charging Station: 480V to 600V, three phase Fast Charging station (Less than 1 hour).

EV Charging Station Desired Specifications

  • Proper cord retraction.
  • Weatherproof.
  • Ethernet connection – Wifi
  • RFID.
  • Point of Sale – Future.
  • Software for remotely monitoring, mapping tools, text messaging, reserving parking, flex charging, status.

Financial

Charging Station Costs

  • Level 1 – $600 for the unit
  • Level 2 – $3,000 to $4,500 for the unit. Installed cost depends on the amount of wiring, but could be up to $8,000/unit.
  • Level 3 – $100K

Generating Revenue

  • Level 2 Charging Stations do not have revenue grade electrical meters. Therefore, car owners cannot be charged for the actual amount of electricity used.
  • Revenue is obtained by charging the owner for access to the charging station.
  • A Chevy Volt will use about $1.50 in electricity costs for a complete charge. (about 56km range on $1.50, according to GM)

Other Benefits

Environmental

  • LEED – 1 Point

Tenant Relations

  • PR, improved perception of building owner
  • Perceived benefit to tenant

Trends[1]

  1. The global availability and increasing sales of EVs will put an end to the “Are they for real?” speculation.
  2.  Car sharing services will expand the market for EVs and hybrids.
  3. Battery production will get ahead of vehicle production.
  4. Road tax legislation in the United States that will require PEV owner contributions will fail.
  5. The Asia-Pacific region will become the early leader in vehicle-to-grid (V2G).
  6. PEV prices will continue to disappoint many consumers.
  7. Third-party EV charging companies will dominate public charging sales. Grocery stores, drug stores and other commercial establishments looking to attract EV owners have two choices. They can purchase and maintain the charging equipment themselves, set the fee structure, or give the power away free in order to attract customers.
  8. Germany, South Korea and Japan will see the most progress towards the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in 2012.
  9. Employers will begin to purchase EV chargers in large numbers. Companies who want to attract young professionals with EVs will begin to install them in large numbers. Already Google, Adobe, SAP and others have installed dozens at their U.S. facilities. 2012 will see hundreds of other global companies following their lead.
  10. EVs will begin to function as home appliances.