The steps utilities are taking to be EV-ready

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Utilities are preparing to be the new fuel provider and many are taking steps to become EV-ready.

The move to electric vehicles has gained momentum across North America, with over 700,000 EVs on the roads today. In the last four years, EVs on the road have increased seven times and by 2025, 25 percent of vehicles sold will be electric.

As utilities look to provide more electricity as the preferred fueling option, there’s no better way to get hands-on experience than installing charging stations at their own workplaces.

By deploying a charging solution, utilities can start to collect valuable utilization data, which can help with developing customer education materials, integrate renewable and distributed energy resources, and even help develop time-based rate options for this specific use case.

EV charging is becoming a popular employee benefit that today’s brightest and most ambitious talent not only seek out, but also take into consideration when choosing where to work. In order to use their EVs for commuting — or to even consider switching to an EV — your employees need on-site EV charging at work.

Offering EV charging has many benefits for you and your organization:

  • Easily accommodate requests for EV charging, with minimal effort
  • Centrally manage an EV charging solution that meets the needs of employees
  • Align sustainability initiatives with business goals; reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Understand your environmental and financial ROI; establish your brand as a green leader
  • As EV ownership increases, a new wave of environmentally conscious drivers will make up a growing proportion of your current and potential employees.
  • The following best practices can help you ensure that you make smart decisions about charging station installation:
  • Plan for at least 5–10 percent of employees to purchase plug-in EVs over the next 3 to 5 years.
  • For new construction workplaces or in places with high EV density, plan for 10–20 percent of employees to drive EVs.
  • Prepare for an increase in the number of employees driving EVs by making additional parking spaces “EV Ready” with conduit and electrical wiring connected to the building’s power source.
  • Create an EV charging policy that is easy to scale beyond the first EV driver so that you can accommodate future EV drivers.
  • Some workplaces will not have enough electrical panel capacity to charge all employee EVs at once. Power Management can enable the deployment of more stations than rated capacity and eliminate or significantly delay costly upgrades.
  • Choose a networked EV charging solution that maximizes usage and future-proofs your investment with smart features and automated software updates.

Smart Cities: where do people travel right now and where will EVs need to charge?

To build the city you want, you first need to understand the city you have. Are existing EV charging stations used more frequently at certain times of day or times of the week? Are some areas of your city underserved by charging infrastructure? Identify where current demand is strongest and decide where you want to encourage more demand before you develop programs to incentivize businesses and your other customers to start putting stations in the ground.

Using data from existing smart charging locations, driver feedback, traffic data, population trends, and more will help identify and establish the right locations for EV charging in the smart city. By equipping these locations with sufficient power supply and putting in smart charging systems that can be updated remotely with new policies and features, these charging sites will be able to grow easily to accommodate demand, without requiring significant additional capacity or construction.

ChargePoint operates the world’s largest and most open electric vehicle charging network, bringing EV charging to more people and places than ever before. We design, build and support all of the technology that powers this network, from charging station hardware to energy management software to a convenient mobile app. We’re committed to understanding how EV drivers behave and how that behavior varies according to location, time of day, cost of charging and industry — and we use this data to better understand, anticipate and meet the needs of both drivers and EV station owners everywhere. Our work transforms transportation and energy use by helping more people choose to drive electric.

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