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Why make the energy shift? You'll improve your bottom line today and well into the future. When generating electricity onsite, what your neighbor has may not be the best for your business. Choosing the right technology mix and sizes are critical. Your technology mix will depend on how you use energy and whether you want to maximize savings, protect sensitive equipment or ensure 24/7 backup.
Electric vehicle (EV) charging is a great addition to an on-site energy project. When added together with solar, batteries, and frequently new shade canopies, the impact of the project is felt and appreciated by all the employees and customers, not just the accountants.
There are three key considerations to take into account as you plan to add charging infrastructure.
There are three levels of EV chargers, differentiated by the charging speed.
|Level||Speed||KW Power||Approximate time to fill a 50 KWh battery|
|Ⅰ||Slow||2 - 6||8 - 22 hours|
|Ⅱ||Fast||7 - 22||2 - 7 hours|
|Ⅲ||Rapid||43 - 150||30 minutes - 1 hour|
Why not simply go for the rapid charging every time? Because your current infrastructure may not be sized sufficiently to move that level of power and upgrades from your utility could be very costly. The chargers themselves, and the materials needed to connect them also are far more expensive with increased power. Also, depending on the design, the power usage could increase a building’s demand charges from the utility.
On the other hand, slow chargers are quite inexpensive and will not require system upgrades. Some businesses may need rapid charging for their fleets, but in most cases the lower cost chargers will suffice.
We can evaluate your site and present options with prices for adding EV charging.
The bottom line is that adding chargers will add both equipment and energy cost but can also be a revenue center if desired. As a business hosting charging stations, you can choose the economic model that is right for you.
Additionally, businesses may choose to add an hourly fee to incentivize drivers to move their car as soon as it is charged to free the space for others.
If your company is expecting a significant increase in EV charging needs, for example a car dealership or delivery service adding an EV fleet, the impact on your infrastructure and electricity consumption will be quite significant. The decisions made early on may save significant costs down the road. Contact us and we can help you plan for the future.
|Cost impact to your business||Cost to the patron|
|Subsidized||You absorb all or part of the cost. Businesses do this to attract more retail customers, or to reward employees.||Anywhere from free to minimal cost below market value.|
|Pass through||None||Dynamic market rates, depending on your rate tariff and the cost of energy at the time of the charging. Note: paired with a solar system, daytime electricity will likely be the lowest cost.|
|Revenue center||The business makes profit on the sale of energy, adding a fee on top of market energy rates.||A cost above both retail cost of energy and amortized cost of the equipment.|
Impact on your utility bills
Typical commercial customers pay both a demand and energy charge. Your demand will certainly be affected by your EV chargers particularly if you have rapid chargers. It is important to understand your current utility rate structure when deciding on your preferred charging technology.
Charging costs can generally be passed on to the EV patrons, but there is a small chance that significant usage could impact the utility rate tariffs your main building is eligible for.
Utilities may propose you add a new meter for the EV chargers and may even offer a sweetheart deal to have your demand charges covered for the first year or two. We would be wary to take this route. Demand charges are the primary reason for the significant utility price increases recently, and once the sweetheart deal expires business you may find the increase to your EV charging rate to be significant.
The bottom line is that it might be a simple a pass through, but it could change your energy profile and costs. Let us help walk you through it.