Commercial buildings must invest in electric charging stations to keep up with demand.

Key Takeaways:

  • Electric vehicles are exploding in popularity.
  • More charging stations will be necessary to keep up.
  • Commercial buildings will have to invest in charging infrastructure.
  • Upgrading and maintaining your electrical services will be part of the process.

For years, consumers’ main concerns with EVs were driving range and price point. However, the average electric vehicle sold in the United States in 2022 ran for 291 miles between charges, and prices have dropped considerably compared to gas-powered vehicles since 2020. As a result, the questions are beginning to change.

If you’ve already made the jump to an electric car, you likely know the predominant issue with owning this vehicle type is charging it. Tracking down a charging station in a convenient location can be challenging, especially for those living in an apartment or condo, where installing an at-home station isn’t possible. 

As a result, many EV owners will look to their employers or favorite retailers to provide charging stations to help them keep their batteries at optimal levels. Commercial buildings will have to adapt. Here’s a look at the future of electric vehicle charging infrastructure and how it requires upgraded electrical services.

Demand for charging stations

The first evolution we’ll experience in electric-vehicle charging is a greater demand for charging stations. Nearly 6% of all new cars sold in the United States in 2022 were electric, and over 750,000 electric vehicles are registered nationwide. While there’s a long way to go before EVs overtake gas-powered vehicles, the numbers are rising, and more charging stations will be necessary.

As electric vehicles become more mainstream, the demand for charging stations will increase, too. A report by global market intelligence firm SkyQuest suggests the EV charging infrastructure market could reach a value of $101.98 billion by 2030 as more consumers make the switch to electric vehicles.

Much of this money would come from global governments upgrading existing infrastructure, but many businesses will also contribute amenities their employees and customers need. 

Faster charging capabilities

Understanding how much things will have to change to meet demand starts with learning about charging options available to drivers. There are three basic charging types, depending on the electrical service available at a property.

Level 1 is the slowest way to charge an electric car. It runs off your home’s standard 120V service, but isn’t practical in a commercial setting because each hour of charge time only gives your battery between three and seven miles of range. You would need between 22 and 40 hours to completely charge your vehicle, which is why most EV owners now opt for other options. 

A Level 2 charger requires an upgraded 240V electric outlet; you’ll need an electrician to install the connector. An hour connected to a Level 2 charger gives the vehicle between ten and 75 miles of range, and you can completely charge the battery in two to 13 hours, depending on the vehicle’s acceptance rate. Level 2 chargers exist outside many commercial buildings to charge customer vehicles while they’re in the facility. 

Level 3 charging, or DC fast charging, is the fastest of the bunch and the technology users want on commercial properties. These devices can charge a vehicle in as little as 15 minutes and provide at least 120 miles of range per hour of charging. However, these chargers require 480V power, so significant upgrades are necessary before businesses can install Level 3 devices.

Consumers want more Level 3 charging stations, and commercial building owners will have to adapt. This could trigger the need for upgraded electrical infrastructure to support these stations and their energy requirements. 

Smart charging technologies

Of course, the move to electric vehicles and their charging stations will put significant pressure on the power grid. Companies of all sizes must adapt to these needs and how to manage how EVs use these services. 

The solution could be smart charging, a technology that allows your charging stations to communicate with the vehicles connecting to them. The result is an optimized charging experience.

The charger will manage how much electricity to send to a particular EV based on how many other people are using electricity on the property at that moment. Smart-charging technology can put less pressure on the local grid by preventing Level 3 charging stations from sucking up all the energy, keeping the building as a whole within its capabilities. 

Smart-charging technology will likely become necessary for businesses that opt for DC fast charging systems to keep their power grid functional. Finding professionals to safely and efficiently install these devices will also become a priority. 

How the future might look

In the near future, we’ll likely see Level 3 chargers appearing outside commercial buildings around the country. This move should keep consumers and employees happy, and the speed with which these devices operate will prevent EV drivers from staying too long at charging stations.

However, companies will have to adapt to the energy these stations will consume by installing smart charging controls. Failing to make these upgrades would create issues for companies because of the electricity these stations use.

The role of electrical services

Hiring a professional electrician will be necessary to upgrade your commercial building’s electrical services and install the smart devices required to control energy consumption. Correctly handling these installations creates efficiency, ensuring customers and staff can charge their EVs while at the building. 

Universal Electrical Services can assist with all your electrical needs. We can upgrade your current service, install an EV charging station, and find a smart charging solution for your property, minimizing the issues you’ll experience as you make the switch. Contact Universal Electrical to learn more about our electric vehicle charging options.