Future-Proofing EV Charging Deployment
By Paul Pirhofer, CAPP
When planning for EV charging stations whether one to two chargers or multiple chargers, don’t minimize – instead consider a plan to future-proof deployment. Let’s focus on Level 2 charging for this discussion.
Level 2 plugs into an EV’s on-board converter for storage to the battery. As today’s EVs have converter capacity to charge at 11kW up to 19.2kW, capable EVs charging at 19.2kW may add more than 25 miles travel range in one-hour versus charging at 7.68kW on a 40-amp charger.
Match public charging points to length of stay or dwell period, as well the capacity of EVs parked. High-turn commercial properties where visitors dwell 30 to 60 minutes have different customer needs versus locations with overnight guests.
- Start with a preliminary site power assessment – assess power availability, proximity to power source and utility pricing.
- For high-turn locations, plan for up to a 100-amp breaker to output at up to 19.2kW for each charger plug; utilize local load management for multiple plugs.
- For longer dwell locations, plan for a 50-amp breaker to output 9.6kW on 240V, charging most EVs within 12 hours or less.
- For fleet locations, plan for a 60 to 70-amp breaker for up to 50-amp output and 12kW.
Use at least 1-1/4” conduit to each device location. Don’t make the mistake of planning 1/2″ conduit for a high-turn location, as charger will provide only 8-14 miles range within a 30-minute session. Consider future expansion now. Many new developments plan charging stations for 25%+ of parking capacity, though initial deployment may be less.
Remember that installing EV charging stations is not merely buying a charger and checking off a box, but instead treat a deployment as you would other aspects of your business – with customer needs as your focus.
Paul Pirhofer, CAPP, is executive sales manager at Blink Charging and serves on the IPMI Planning, Design, & Construction Committee.