Posted on December 20, 2022
Things to know about commercial electric vehicle charging station installs:
- You can likely offset some installation costs for EV charging stations from utility incentives, state tax credit options, and a federal tax credit of up to 30% of the total cost of equipment and installation. But you will have to meet specific labor and construction requirements to be eligible to claim the full federal tax credit.
- Level 2 chargers are most common for most commercial customers.
- Level 3 or “DC fast chargers” are the most expensive charging stations and require larger power requirements.
- Permitting and inspections are required in most Indiana cities and towns or by the utility provider to ensure meters are installed correctly.
- Depending on your needs and market demands, there are various networks and EV charging equipment to choose. We’ll extensively review those options based on your space, location, and market to help you decide.
Indiana companies and building owners have options in charging networks and credits
In Indiana, EV charging stations can receive credits from the Indiana Department of Transportation, as well as a federal tax credit for qualifying projects. These credits work well for a variety of industries, including:
- Apartment & condos
- Shopping centers and malls
- Mixed-use commercial and retail corridors and development
- Auto dealerships
- College and university campuses
- Municipalities and public institutions (some tax credits may not apply)
- Entertainment venues like theaters and stadiums
- Fleet services and logistics
- Green and LEED-certified buildings
- Hotels and lodges
- Parking garages, facilities, and lots
- Workplaces and employers of any size
- Hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers
5 steps for installing EV charging stations
1) Begin with an infrastructure assessment
Installing electric vehicle charging stations is not a DIY project due to their extensive network, hardware, and electrical infrastructure requirements. R.E. Dimond and Associates is ready to consult with any Indiana or Midwest company, healthcare facility, campus, or organization ready to offer charging stations.
We’ll help you identify whether your electrical service has the capacity for a Level 2 charger, if upgrades are needed, or if there is capacity for a Level 3 charger. In most cases, we can coordinate the installation of EV charging stations alongside your existing electrical infrastructure with only modest upgrades.
2) Identifying the best location for EV charging stations
Depending on the location of electrical infrastructure in your area, the best site for EV charging may be somewhere other than by the front door. We’ll help you identify the best places to install EV chargers. We also advise people on ways to provide extra security for the chargers, such as lighting, landscaping, and protection from the elements.
As a general rule, the further away from the electrical panel, the more costly the installation.
3) Sourcing tax credits and available deductions for commercial properties
With the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, new laws administered by the Indiana Department of Transportation, and the potential for further changes or additional credits from electric companies, we can help you find available credits and deductions to offset upfront costs and improve your ROI.
4) Navigating permitting and inspections
We’ll help you navigate the permitting and inspections that your municipality or electric service provider may require. Few municipalities have restrictions against EV charging stations, but almost all Hoosiers will need to work with either their local government or power provider if only to acquire the appropriate meters.
5) Installing, timelines, cost estimates, and network setup
The average installation cost for a Level 2 or Level 3 EV charging station can vary dramatically, but Level 2 charger costs usually start around $5,000-$10,000. Level 3 fast chargers usually start around $65,000.
Much of this cost depends on the location, credits, network, hardware and charging network choices, and related expenses for electricity and metering.
We’ll analyze all your options and provide commercial clients with a timeline for installation, setup, and ongoing help to connect commercial EV charging stations to broader networks, Wi-Fi features, and more.
FAQs about commercial EV charging stations
What kind of EV charging stations is best for my business?
Broadly, there are three types of charging stations.
Level 1 uses charging equipment designed primarily for residential homes. They’re slow to charge and designed to be easy on electric infrastructure up to 120 volts in garages where cars can charge overnight or up to 48 hours. They have a low power consumption of around 1 kW per hour.
Level 2 is common for public charging stations and commercial EV charging stations. Level 2 stations can charge an EV battery in 2 to 10 hours. We recommend this for most commercial EV charging, where a customer might reasonably park for a few hours or overnight.
Level 3 is the most powerful, with 480+ volts of electricity. DC fast charging stations are the most expensive to install, but do have a low charging time as fast as 20 minutes. These “DC superchargers” are the fastest way to charge an electric vehicle and are most common at rest stops, fuel centers, and places where most EV owners are likely to stay for less than an hour.
What kind of charger plugs are used? Is there a standard?
Some do use a proprietary plug on some vehicles, notably Tesla. But the EV industry is coalescing around a single standard. In Indiana, a new state-level initiative in cooperation with other Midwest states like Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, and Michigan seek to create a regional, consistent, and sustainable standard for electric car chargers.
Most EV owners benefit from a universal plug found at Level 2 AC charging stations. This allows both vehicles with the Type 1 (SAE J1772) and Type 2 (IEC 62196) sockets to both be able to charge.
SAE J1772 is the standard US connector and IEC 62196 the standard in the EU. DC Rapid chargers typically have two cables — one with a CHAdeMO DC connector and one with a CCS DC connector, which are the most common non-Tesla connector types.
Tesla supplies an adapter to allow their vehicles to connect to Level 2 chargers, and is in the process of adding the CCS DC connectors to their Level 3 Supercharger stations.
How do people connect to networks or pay for services?
Many commercial EV charging stations can offer long-term ROI with passive income on electric rates. While some commercial clients like hotels choose to offer charging as part of room rates, banks, restaurants, and public parking facilities can simultaneously charge multiple vehicles with shared revenue.
EV charging equipment can connect to networks like ChargePoint, Tesla, Bosch, Blink, and others. Most offer driver apps for payment, administration, and even alerts to their phone when their car is fully charged. Wi-Fi-enabled stations can also help you earn utility and state EV incentives and tax credits. We can help you determine the best for you given your location, market demand, app features, and usage.
What kind of ongoing maintenance, certification, or permitting is required?
You’re not on your own after installation. We’ll help you with setup, training, and re-certification, as some municipalities or electric providers require. We’ve also advised commercial customers on ways to update policies and procedures to protect their investment, such as what to do if a non-electric vehicle parks in a charging station.
It’s rare, but ongoing maintenance is usually limited to replacing handles or plugs due to damage or extreme wear and tear.
Can I offer chargers free to employees or pass along costs?
The costs of the charging stations can be covered entirely by employers, or you can pass along a small parking fee to employees or guests. EV drivers are aware that, like gasoline, electricity isn’t free.
Will I need to repave my parking lot after installing EV charging?
Possibly. You do not need to assume you’ll have to repave your entire parking lot. In most cases, the pad around the charging station may need repaving to smooth out buried wiring or electrical infrastructure.
What’s the difference between hardwire, wall-mounted, and pedestal stations?
Hardwire, wall-mounted, and pedestal-mounted charging stations are all common types of charging hardware. Some work better than others, depending on the site. For instance, pedestal-mounted chargers are common on public sidewalks or large parking lots. Wall-mounted stations work well on the side of a building. Hardwire stations can extend further out from the panel but may increase costs.
Get the help you need to identify all the right features of commercial EV charging stations
Contact us to discuss options to get started with your EV charging setup and pass along perks and benefits to your employees, customers, and guests. An engineer can assess the best EV charging station for you.