Why Small Businesses Should Consider Installing EV Charging Stations

By August 14, 2023 EV Charging, Parking Lot

Businesses are constantly growing and changing to meet the needs of their customers. One of the most recent changes business owners and building managers are making to upgrade commercial spaces is the installation of EV charging stations. Public and shared private charging stations for electric cars have grown in popularity in recent years thanks to a number of environmentally proactive measures.

If you live in a municipality or metropolitan area where electric vehicle registrations are going up, you might want to consider installing EV charging stations at your place of business. Find out some of the benefits of EV charging stations for businesses and how that upgrade can become a reality with Imperial Lighting.

Electric Vehicle Sales in the United States

If you are a retailer or small business owner getting back on your feet after the pandemic, you may have noticed that a number of cars in your parking lot or on the street around your building are now either fully electric or partially electric.

Along with the return to in-store shopping, the United States has also turned the corner on new electric car sales. According to Car and Driver, EV registration increased 60% in the first three months of 2022 while the progress of the overall market decreased about 18%.

While it’s hard to determine exactly what EV sales will look like in the future, IHS Markit predicts 25-30 percent of new car sales should be electric by 2030. The continued challenge however with EV sales is the issue of public charging stations.

The Challenges of Public EV Charging Stations

One of the greatest barriers to adoption of electric vehicles is the disparity between the number of EVs and charging stations. Even though the majority of EV charging is done at home, the prospect of being stuck in public without the ability to charge the car makes them a challenge to own in certain parts of the country. Government Technology recently reported that the states with the most charging stations per EV tend to be the states with the fewest EVs.

*Top 10 states with entirely electric vehicle registrations

State EV Registrations EV Charging Stations Charging Stations Per EV EV Charging Ports Charging Ports Per EV
California 425,300 13,694 0.03 35,842 0.08
Florida 58,160 2,496 0.04 6,262 0.11
Texas 52,190 2,218 0.04 5,263 0.10
Washington 50,520 2,141 0.03 3,940 0.08
New York 32,590 2,884 0.09 7,049 0.22
New Jersey 30,420 672 0.02 1,782 0.06
Arizona 28,770 884 0.03 2,314 0.08
Illinois 26,000 967 0.04 2,423 0.09
Colorado 24,670 1,535 0.06 3,618 0.15
Georgia 23,530 1,473 0.06 3,756 0.16

This discrepancy makes it very difficult to own an EV in a state like California where the public charging infrastructure is struggling to keep up with the demand. This has prompted business owners and commercial buildings like offices and parking garages to install EV charging stations for employees and patrons.

Levels of EV Charging Stations

EV chargers come in a variety of types and variations. But what are the different types of EV chargers? And which EV port is correct for which public setting and the customers’ charging needs? 

Level 1: Standard Wall Outlet (120 Volt)

The standard wall outlet EV charger is the least robust of the three types of EV charging stations and is best suited to residential installation in a garage. The Level 1 charger also does not require any special installation and will permit the driver to plug their EV directly into the wall. This method of charging is best used for short, daily drives.

Level 2: 240-Volt Outlet 

This type of EV charging station can often be found in public spaces like parking garages, workplaces, and shopping centers. The 208-240-volt outlet offers more charging power than the standard. It can entirely charge an EV in 8-10 hours. Level 2 chargers also require a 100-amp 208-240V dedicated circuit that can be installed by an electrician.

Level 3: DC Charging Station

DC charging stations offer the fastest charging of the three types of EV charging stations. DC chargers can charge an electric vehicle at a rate of 3 to 20 miles of range per minute. This type of charger is predominantly seen in public settings as residential homes don’t have a 400-volt electricity service that can support the installation of this specific type of charger.

Types of EV Charging Stations

In addition to the different charging levels, there are also different types of EV charging stations from public to shared private and private charging stations.

Public Chargers

Public chargers are located in public spaces designated by a property owner or lessee for use by the general public. You will likely find a public charging station in parking garages, parking lots, and shopping centers.

Shared Private Chargers

Shared private chargers are those designated by a property owner or lessee for use by tenants, employees, residents, and visitors. You would find these types of charging stations in apartment buildings, multifamily residences, and workplaces.

Private Chargers

These chargers are installed predominantly in a single-family home for use by the vehicle owner and other designated users. Most private chargers are standard 120-volt chargers.

4 Benefits of EV Charging Stations for Businesses

One of the keys to widespread adoption of electric vehicles is greater access to charging stations at work and on the commute. Owners of small businesses and commercial buildings can do their part by installing EV charging stations in designated spots in parking garages and parking lots. This will not only help improve access for small areas of the country, business owners can also reap some of the benefits of EV charging stations.

1. EV charging stations can drive shoppers to your business

Installing EV charging stations at your local business or commercial space could help your services stand out—especially in an area with a large number of EVs. Additionally, business owners can either make their EV chargers complimentary to shoppers or charge a small fee for use. Either way, anticipating shopper needs will keep you top-of-mind over competition and, if you charge a small fee, you can also earn additional revenue.

2. Property managers can maintain their business tenants

If you’re a property manager who owns and leases retail space to tenants, installing EV chargers at your commercial properties can help improve business which, in turn, keeps commercial tenants happy. Small improvements like these signal to retail tenants and their customers that a property is well managed, which instills confidence in those who lease a space from you.

3. EV chargers attract residential tenants

Property owners and lessees can also benefit from installing EV charging stations at a multifamily residence. EV charging is still a relatively new amenity, and providing your area with an option for renters and condo owners who also own EVs could be the deciding factor for another sale or occupied unit.     

4. Installing electric car charging stations at work can make your company more attractive to prospective employees

There is a growing need for businesses to adapt their physical space to accommodate employee needs. If you’re an employer, you should consider installing electric car charging stations at work to improve your company’s benefits package. What’s more, electric car drivers tend to be younger, more tech savvy, and higher earners than gas-powered car drivers, so you could attract top tier talent with this update to your company’s workplace.

How to Install a Car Charging Station

Imperial Lighting has the expertise and training to install and maintain EV chargers in most commercial facilities, provided the site has the necessary electrical infrastructure already in place. Prior to installation we will do a load study to ensure the facility can handle the additional electrical load.

If new infrastructure is not needed we will run power from the electrical panel to wherever the chargers are placed. If additional infrastructure is required, we have partner companies we work with to seamlessly handle that process and to ensure the EV chargers are installed in the ideal location on the property.

To get in contact with one of our experts today, read more about our EV charging services and we’ll help you get started with our auditing and installation process.