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Top 9 Things to Consider for Commercial EV Charging Stations

There are several important factors to consider when deciding whether an electric vehicle charging station is right for your business.

When considering your options for electric vehicle charging at your business location, there are several important factors to consider. We’ll touch on nine of them here, but more information (PDF) on EV charging station installation is always available from Ameren Missouri for your continued research.

  1. Basic or Smart Charging: The main differences between smart and basic EV charging are real-time control of charging stations, the ability to collect data and insights from usage, and the ability to charge fees. Basic chargers can’t process payments, deliver usage reporting, or provide owner controls beyond a simple on-off. But they are the simplest and least expensive option…and can offer the same charging capability as a smart charger. If you’re not sure what you need, you might consider equipment with the Open Charge Port Protocol, which will easily and cost-effectively allow you to upgrade to smart features. And remember: If you’re installing smart chargers, you’ll need Ethernet, Wi-Fi or LTE wireless access to handle certain functions. Before installing, it’s important to verify if your location has the needed communications signal access.
  2. Charger Location: The top priority when considering locations for EV charging is locating close to existing electrical infrastructure; doing so will help control EV charging station setup costs and keep installation simple.
  3. Convenience: Your EV charging station should be in a convenient location, close to walkways and buildings. Parking lots often fit this description. By putting chargers in highly accessible locations, you’ll improve your business as a destination and help encourage further EV adoption.
  4. Driver Safety: Employee, tenant and customer safety should also be a primary consideration for your EV charging station. The location should be well lit to allow drivers to easily read signs and instructions.
  5. Protecting Chargers/Accessibility: An important consideration is how to protect the charging equipment from potential collisions with cars. Curbs, wheel stops, bollards, and other mounting methods are options. However, while there is not yet widespread adoption of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance requirements in Missouri, your organization or community may want to consider proactive ADA compliance, which prescribes guidance for height of the curb, connectors, and accessibility of charging spaces. For example, wheel stops and curbs are discouraged by the ADA to allow easy access to the charger from all sides, so bollards may be a good choice.
  6. Mounting Type: A variety of options are available for mounting chargers, depending on your needs and space. Wall mounts and pedestals are common choices. Pedestal mount chargers are popular in parking lots and parking garages. Wall mount chargers offer simpler installation. There are several other mounting styles (PDF), too.
  7. Signage and Marking: Use signage to ensure your charging station is clearly visible. Standard “EV Charging Only” signs are available from many signage companies. You can also add company logos or other graphics to the charger. Ground markings work well to indicate an area is reserved for EV charging. It is recommended to paint the entire parking space a bright green.
  8. Future Growth: As EVs continue to grow in popularity, you may need to increase your EV charging capacity. Planning your EV charging infrastructure for future expansion from the start will help you save big on design and construction costs in the long run.
  9. Cable Management: Keeping the cords of your charging equipment organized and neat is important for the safety of the users and overall maintenance and aesthetics of your installation. Many charging stations have integrated cable management features to help ensure proper cable storage, such as wall-mounted reels or overhead solutions.

Thorough planning ahead of time will make the charging station installation process easier and help you achieve your objectives faster.

Check out additional resources from Ameren Missouri to learn more about installing EV charging stations at your business.

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