Want Charging Stations at Your Dealership? Start Planning NOW
If you have had thoughts about installing a commercial EV charging stations at your dealership, WANADA is recommending beginning the process sooner rather than later. After recent conversations with several utilities and dealers who have done so, suffice to say that the process can be lengthy, cumbersome and expensive, particularly if the grid in the vicinity of the dealership will need any upgrading. Such a project requires coordinating numerous contractors, understanding utility company requirements, and identifying available tax credits and incentives to reduce costs.
The first step would be contacting your local utility, as each power company will have differing specifications and application processes that you must follow. Generally, however, the process will generally include a site analysis, infrastructure planning, utility assessment, and a possible environmental impact study before the installation can even begin.
If transformers must be replaced or added, there are additional hurdles. The majority of transformers are produced in China and procurement could be up to one year. And that does not include and preparatory work that could be required such as digging up the street or installing a new telephone pole. Finally, it is worth considering the future needs the dealership may have, so it’s important to ensure that any infrastructure modifications could also accommodate Level 3 charging, for example.
The need for clarity and understanding in this arena is large. Recent conversations with four major area utilities and state government officials revealed that neither the utility companies nor state regulators appreciate the fact that a lack of this infrastructure will reduce EV inventory deployed to dealers, meaning the states will not be able to hit their own EV sales targets.
To see some examples of at least one utility company’s processes and application, you can review some documents Pepco has available as follows:Download Bulletin PDF