Plug-in Readiness at Your Workplace 
 
It’s anticipated that 20% of all electric vehicle (EV) charging will occur at the workplace and at other public locations - and employers, retailers, governments and institutions all around the country are coming up with great reasons to get “plug-in ready” for electric vehicles: 

  • Office buildings are being outfitted to charge EVs in their parking lots for the sake of early-adopting employees, tenants, and business visitors.
  • Merchants, retailers, and commercial developers are making provisions for EV charging as a means of attracting patrons to their locations.
  • City and state governments are installing charging stations along public streets, in parks, and in front of municipal buildings to promote environmental concerns with their constituents.
  • Universities and community colleges are providing charging locations as a means of promoting technology and “forward thinking” with their faculties, student bodies, and campus visitors.

The network for public access charging is expected to grow as fuel prices continue to climb and more EV models become commercially available. Below are some considerations to take into account that are specific to the installation of public charging stations.

    <b>Level 2 charging</b> (208 volt or 240 volt) is most common in commercial and public charging facilities, and can generally restore “electric commute” ranges of 10 to 20 miles in a couple hours.<br/><br/> <ul> <li>Level 2 charging stations come in a variety of installation styles, including wall-mount, column-mount, and free-standing pedestal-mount.</li> <li>They also come with a number of options depending on your desired level of security, the amount of space available, and whether you intend to charge a fee for the service.</li> <li>Costs to purchase and install can range from $5,000 to $15,000 per charging station.</li></ul><br/> <b>Level 3 charging</b> (480 volt) involves significantly larger power flows and can recharge a depleted battery in as little as 20 minutes.<br/><br/> <ul> <li>The industry has yet to standardize on Level 3 charging. Additionally, not all EVs come equipped to accept this type of charge - so it could be years before this fueling method is common in our service territory.</li>
     
    As you consider the installation of public EV charging, you will have to decide whether or not to charge users for the service. Some employers may offer free EV charging as an employee benefit or as a courtesy to their office visitors. Other retail businesses are providing EV charging as a free service to patrons and as an effort to attract new customers. However, since most public charging will occur during daytime peak demand periods, you may consider some form of billing a necessity.
     
    <ul><li> Charging stations should be located conveniently near the main building or facility, and away from traffic and other hazards.</li> <li>Adequate lighting should be provided for personal security, to prevent vandalism and to create an attractive environment for charging.</li> <li>To avoid tripping injuries, cords and cables should not cross sidewalks or other areas of pedestrian traffic.</li> <li>Curbs, wheel stops, setbacks or protective barricades should be provided to prevent vehicle collisions with charging equipment.</li> <li>Signage may also be required to identify the equipment for charging and to designate parking spaces for EV use only.</li> <li>EV charging spaces should not be located near explosive materials like flammable liquids or combustible dust or fibers.</li></ul>
     
    More and more municipalities around the country are requiring a certain number of EV charging spaces in public parking areas as they adopt more forward-looking building codes. These requirements can include specifications as to the types of spaces to provide, such as disabled, “most convenient,” or covered parking.
     
    As a property owner, you must determine whether your existing electrical service can handle EV charging. Ameren can help assess your facility’s current capacity and necessary equipment upgrades, if any. We also want to ensure our own grid is sufficient for charging at your location. <br/><br/> Call our Construction Hotline at <b>888.659.4540 in Illinois or 866.992.6619 in Missouri</b> or submit an <a href ="https://stageforms.ameren.com/sites/corp/EV/Pages/EVServiceAssessment.aspx" target ="blank">online request</a> for a free capacity assessment of our service to your premise. In most cases, a site visit will not be required.
     
    <ul> <li>Standard charging cord lengths are 18 feet but are available up to 25 feet. For security purposes, options exist for retracting the cord or locking it behind a panel in the charging station.</li> <li>Some suppliers offer charging stations with more than one charging port, allowing up to four EVs to charge at one time from the same station. Others have 120-volt receptacle options, allowing two EVs to charge, but using different voltages.</li> <li>Radio frequency (RFID) cards are available for purposes of authenticating the user (e.g. an employee) before charging. Waving this keycard in front of the “reader” can do things like unlock the plug from a holster or enable the station to charge the vehicle. Keypad and magnetic card swipe options exist for this purpose as well.</li> <li>Credit, debit, and radio keycards are possibilities for point-of-sale payment for charging services, and many suppliers are integrating the payment system with the charging station equipment itself.</li> <li>Communication options allow for the remote management of charging station equipment using an Internet website service. Options include the monitoring and control of equipment status, extraction of energy usage information and even the control over how many stations can be charging at one time.</li> </ul>
                 
commercial charging stations, Plug-in Readiness at Your Workplace
 
 
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