Understanding Your Network Interface to  Streamline Your EV Investments

Understanding Your Network Interface to Streamline Your EV Investments

Understanding Your Network Interface to
Streamline Your EV Investments

Many electronic vehicle makers include on board technology, which enables proper network communications and metering.

These network systems maximize EV station access by offering a process where drivers can locate and run through designated EV parking spaces.

Allowing state-of-the-art EV interfaces to assist both drivers and EV hosts preserves not only the purpose of the network but can help maintain consistent use of your EV investment.

Cellular Network Functions

Communication between cars and the available EV parking spot occurs through a cellular network that alerts drivers to station locations within public areas through the driver’s on-vehicle systems or smartphone apps.

Below is a list of generic EV station functions that communicate through this type of network:

  • On-vehicle systems to parking space sensors
  • Searching locations of EVSE via grid maps
  • Connecting drivers to a payment network
  • Confirming driver to their vehicle
  • EV station communication to primary host/operator/facility manager

As popularity increases within the EV market, future developments include more accurate built-in sensors to determine EV access.

Utility Communications

Most stations have integrated payment technologies that communicate with a utility grid to measure and meter electricity used.

This utility communication enables payment for publicly-accessible EVs that track usage and bill drivers by accepting fees through its network, connecting to the back-end billing
software.

Throughout each of these communication areas, data collection might be required and improve your EV systems and can help to understand more about the EV charging demand.

However, to sustain accuracy, such communications will need to involve a constant development of business models that requires drivers to swipe an access card that links the service charge to the driver’s account.

Also, meter conversions are easily adaptable and traceable to the flow rate of electricity to the station, so hosts and facility managers can detect when grid loads are high and when rates peak the most during certain times.

Currently, not all networks are compatible with this process, but again, improvement in utility communications will improve overall efficacy and ease of use.

Mitigation Through Network Highways

EV stations are network highways with electrified passages that help extend the effective battery range of your vehicle.

Using these networks can mitigate emerging issues for many EV drivers. Systems like alerts and other exchange-based methods can improve efficient access to publicly-accessible charging spaces.

When enforcing network-based communications, it can avoid physical, regulatory enforcement—a more costly tactic for local authorities in charge of ticketing and towing and facility site owners.

For example, as a substitute for implementing parking ordinances, your EV station network can alert prolonged parking and use by automatically charging additional fees to the charging time, limiting interactions between EV drivers and the unit’s host or facility manager.

Since EVs are new emerging technologies for many clients and portfolios, charging networks are currently experimenting with more options. For sure, EVs are a convenient platform for communication via smartphones and built-in vehicle technology.

Still, this type of technology depends on network access in all locations. Hardwiring and wireless network connections may require additional special equipment and installation specialists to bring these networks remotely or for indoor scenarios.

To learn more about EV installations and how they may benefit your portfolio and space, click HERE for additional educational resources.

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Best Practices for EV Charging Station  Operations and Maintenance: Policy Guidelines

Best Practices for EV Charging Station Operations and Maintenance: Policy Guidelines

Best Practices for EV Charging Station
Operations and Maintenance: Policy Guidelines

As the demand for charging stations increases, more guidelines may be outlined, such as guaranteeing a set time limit for charging vehicles.

When marking your parking spaces for your EV patrons or employees, it’s good practice to create policies that specify the direct enforcement and consequences when restricting other vehicles from parking in these spaces.

However, additional supportive maintenance practices can also apply to help enforce your EV parking regulations.

Helpful Markings for Prime Parking Spots

When you install EV charging stations at prime parking spots around your facility, traditional gasoline vehicles may still want to use these spaces, unaware of the intended use.

These types of conflicts can cause disputes and confusion over parking lot spaces, especially if your facility doesn’t have adequate parking available or if your EV spaces aren’t visibly marked.

To make sure your EV parking spaces are being utilized by EV vehicles only, connect with your local commercial paving partner or contractor to begin discussing ways to line your EV parking spaces appropriately during your next paving maintenance audit.

On top of paving markings, you can also connect with your signage partner to add signs that visibly display areas intended for EVs. Combining both signage and line striping is not only a great solution to protect your EV spaces, but both can increase area visibility.

Enforcing Strict Regulations

Although a combination of signs and line striping can inform drivers of specific parking lot policies, you may have to be willing to go a step further to enforce your rules.

Two things have to be applied when enforcing any regulation: consistency and consequence. If you notice a pattern of regular gasoline vehicles using your EV parking spaces, be consistent in ticketing their car or towing it away as a consequence.

EV parking spaces are typically close to the main entry point for many facilities. So, it’s tempting for many non-EV drivers to use these spaces as an added personal benefit.

Even though you don’t want to take any extreme measures, such practices might help establish basic EV ground rules and mitigate non-EV drivers to use designated charging spaces.

Alternative Applications & Fees

Additional advantages towards your EV parking stations’ operation and maintenance include establishing a fee for the charging station’s use.

Site owners must first assess if they want to pay for EV charging stations out-of-pocket, generate revenue from the use of EV stations, or create duration value.

Charging stations offer several ways to produce value. The obvious is that charging stations attract EV drivers who add investment to the business. EV charging stations can also help maintain valuable employees who drive energy-efficient vehicles and can show a sense of environmental responsibility to the brand or portfolio.

Furthermore, EV station hosts can open up alternative cost solutions by selling space for advertisements via the charging stations, creating a stable revenue stream.

For more solutions on creating EV charging policies and regulations or any maintenance and operation inquiries, contact your contracting partner to find the best fit and method for your EV investment.

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Strategic Tips for Your Next EV Charging  Station Install

Strategic Tips for Your Next EV Charging Station Install

Strategic Tips for Your Next EV Charging
Station Install

Several factors influence charging station installation costs, which can often exceed the entire unit’s price.

Consider the following factors to help determine and prioritize station site practicality and the best methods to increase visibility when installing your property’s charging station.

Understand Your Electrical Connectivity

Before installing your charging unit, think
about the current electrical services available to power the station. Properly aligning your connectivity is probably the most significant factor when installing your EV station.

All new charging station fittings should have a load analysis performed on the host or facility’s electrical demand to decide if there’s enough capacity to add EV charging stations.

For example, level 2 stations will need a steady stream of about 240-volt (40 amp) to generate efficient power. If you lack the necessary voltage to run the station, upgrading your electrical service will add costs to your overall installation project.

Lastly, consider the distance between your electrical panel and where you would want to install your EV charging station. If you desire to install your charging station farther from your main point of entry, this could mean an increased cost towards your installation because it increases the amount of necessary trenching and conduit to re-wire for full functionality.

To help understand the electrical layout of your commercial space, reach out to a certified contracting partner. Your partner can help you review your facilities’ electrical routes to inform your decision-making process

Leverage Your Parking Lots to Strategize EV Installations

Although it’s desirable to limit the amount of distance between your electrical panel and the EV charging station, a charging station close to prime parking or entry points may impact your unit’s usage.

For example, placing charging stations near parking spaces behind a building might prevent its use since they might not be readily visible. On the other hand, other customers may complain if you install a charging station right by prime parking spaces that often remain vacant because of a lack of EV driver usage. Also, charging stations in prime parking spaces are more likely to be occupied by non-EVs.

One way to mitigate your parking lot frustrations is by contacting a paving partner like BlueSky Paving. They can help transform certain areas of your parking lot for charging while safeguarding certain prime parking spots for non-EV patrons.

Additional EV Unit Considerations

Finally, some other considerations that have less impact on EV installation costs but are essential to take note of include how people use your charging station and how they can pay for its service.

Be sure to think about the charging cord’s path when in use, so it’s not a tripping hazard, and consider your parking lot management practices when integrating your station, especially if your locations are in colder climate regions.

If so, be sure the charging station will not impede pavement cleaning or snow plowing. For example, avoid installation spaces where you pile snow or where you store your equipment. You want to have clear access to the charging station.

Also, pay attention to how you or a third-party will control fees and payments for using the station seamlessly.

Remember, EV stations can be an added boost to increasing business traffic across your portfolio, and you want to keep things as simple as possible

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EV Charging Stations are Driving Profits  and Improving Company Images

EV Charging Stations are Driving Profits and Improving Company Images

EV Charging Stations are Driving Profits and Improving Company Images

To cost-effectively install charging stations, site owners should consider how much use they can expect and how much benefit electrical vehicle (EV) drivers can get while parked at that location. Offering EV charging stations can increase site visitations and keep customers for longer durations on your property. These stations can serve as a good perk for your facility tenants, employees, or even residents nearby.

Generating Cost-Efficient Benefits

EV stations proactively provide opportunities to attract green-vehicle owners while promoting the usage of an environmentally friendly alternative.

Nowadays, going ‘green’ translates to saving money and diverging from short-term benefits. So, in essence, how would you bank on adapting your charging stations?

Installing EV stations can generate further revenue through charging fees and as an additional advertising resource. However, the best way to ensure whether or not EV stations are an investment that matches your portfolio is by understanding your geographical location and population.

Try accessing data around those who own an electronic vehicle within the proximity of your locations.

Geographical Areas of Opportunities

EV station interest depends on how many EV drivers seek out charging locations as they go about their daily drive.

According to a national U.S. census, the market forecast for EV vehicles rose from .14% to .75% by 2014. By 2017, the EV market increased to 1.13%, and by 2018, EV drivers skyrocketed to 2.1%. By the end of 2021, it is expected that EV drivers could potentially be north of 5% of all drivers and growing.

With the anticipated increase in interest for
more eco-friendly and efficient ways to travel, accessible stations to charge these vehicles will most likely rise.

Weighing Other Considerations to Install Charging Stations

In this section, we weigh in other considerations to establish whether your site may be an excellent place to install a charging station.

The biggest priority for an EV driver is the overall charging time they would spend parked at a station.

If you have a portfolio of shops or eateries, a charging station might be beneficial towards gaining more consumer traction by allowing them to physically spend more time at your location while charging their vehicles.

The most commonly installed stations provide between 10 to 20 miles of range per hour of charging. So, if you have a portfolio of facilities that offer services that are for shorter durations, the time allowed won’t give many benefits to EV drivers.

Final Driving Markers

Additional EV station factors can include
the purpose of your facility or portfolio. If you lease your building or have a third-party operated facility, it’s most likely you may need to work out arrangements to clarify ownership, operation, and revenue in advance.

Other factors also include acknowledging and tracking patterns of travel within your vicinity. An area’s demographics can be associated with characteristics typical of EV owners, as mentioned previously.

The nature of installing a potential charging
station at a location, whether it’s public retail establishments, leisure destinations,multifamily housing, hotels, transit centers, or other institutions, play a crucial role in determining its success and benefits.

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Snow RFP Best Practices: Four Pricing Models You Need To Be Aware Of

Snow RFP Best Practices: Four Pricing Models You Need To Be Aware Of

Snow RFP Best Practices: Four Pricing Models You Need To Be Aware Of

There are four traditional snow removal pricing models: Per Push, Event, Seasonal, and Time & Materials. There are key differences between each model, and it’s important to understand how each pricing model works to understand which one best fits your needs.

What are these differences, and which pricing model is the best fit for your portfolio? Let’s review:

1. Traditional Service Model (Per Push)

Per Push pricing is on a “per service” price
point, meaning there is a set cost billed for each time a plowing or salting service occurs per the contracted service trigger.

Traditionally, small box footprints and route-based services use this model in heavy and light snowfall markets.

2. Consolidated Service Model (Per-Event)

When estimating the total snowfall during an individual storm, it’s standard to use a per-event pricing model. For example, rather than paying a rate for each personal service, tiered price points are established based on snowfall during a winter weather event.

This pricing model is flexible as it fits both small-box and big-box footprints in heavy or light snowfall markets, and it’s the most commonly used format as an alternate option in lighter snow markets for companies that prefer to use an inclusive seasonal model in their more severe snow markets.

Also, the Per Event option is less of a burden administratively due to fewer line items on an invoice than the per-push model.

Call Ferrandino & Son at (866) 571 – 4609 or email
sales@ferrandinoandson.comto learn more about our snow programs and services.

3. Inclusive Service Model (Seasonal)

In regions where the average snowfall is higher than average and more consistent over a 2-3 year period, seasonal models are commonly used to determine costs for a snow removal program. Seasonal areas include more inclusive pricing options and provide the most budget predictability.

Typically, portfolios with prominent locations in heavy snowfall areas will leverage the seasonal price model to lock in a consistent budget over multiple years. It’s rare for small-box portfolios to implement this model since the inherent nature of seasonal pricing and equipment staging doesn’t align with route-based services rendered on smaller properties.

4. Large Service Models (Time & Materials)

Finally, models based on time and materials are ideal for significantly larger properties that average a million square feet or more. These types of properties require the staging of specialized equipment to deliver adequate snow removal services.

Usually, this model doesn’t fit most company’s needs due to the unpredictability of the cost from year to year. However, this pricing model is useful for select locations such as data or distribution centers.

When choosing a pricing model for your snow removal program, we recommend opening up discussions with your contractor to review which solution may deliver the best value for your portfolio along with an effective scope of work.

Looking for the right partner to help manage your snow removal needs? Click HERE to learn how Ferrandino & Son can help initiate your Snow RFP today!

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Snow RFP Best Practices: Quality & Price Through Service Triggers

Snow RFP Best Practices: Quality & Price Through Service Triggers

Snow RFP Best Practices: Quality & Price Through Service Triggers

When creating a scope of work for snow removal at your properties, it’s important to identify a service trigger that aligns with the level of service you expect.

A service trigger should clearly define the amount of snow and ice accumulation that will prompt your service partners to automatically dispatch local plowing and salting services during a winter weather event.

So the question is, when should the local crews show up to begin service at your properties?

The industry standard for snow removal triggers typically ranges between 1-inch, 2-inch, and 3-inch triggers. Let’s discuss the differences.

1-inch: Aggressive Benchmark

A 1-inch trigger is the most aggressive benchmark for service delivery, which means it can also be the most costly to your budget. Requiring crews to arrive when an inch of snow accumulates and continuing service at one-inch intervals throughout an event can be optimal for some contracts, but does it make sense for your properties?

A 1-inch trigger is the most aggressive
benchmark for service delivery, which means it can also be the most costly to your budget. Requiring crews to arrive when an inch of snow accumulates and continuing service at one-inch intervals throughout an event can be optimal for some contracts, but does it make sense for your properties?

For small-box locations such as banks, convenience stores, or properties sized
less than 40,000 square feet, services are
typically route-based. Route-based services at one-inch intervals are nearly impossible
since the time it takes to cycle through even a small route of locations will prevent a crew from meeting that expectation during a moderate or heavy snow event.

However, for big-box locations staged with crews and equipment, it’s more realistic to
achieve this aggressive trigger. Maintaining this level often requires several pieces of large equipment, which does come at a cost.

For example, where a standard 200,000 square foot lot might require three pieces of
equipment to maintain a property at two inches, maintaining one inch might require
additional machinery to meet the trigger’s demand.

Certain suppliers might take advantage
and decide to price that “one-inch trigger” under the guise of delivering service at two inches to win the work and hope the client doesn’t hold accountability for that expectation.

That is why setting expectations regarding the service levels is critical during the RFP process.

Contact Ferrandino & Son at (866) 571 – 4609 or email
sales@ferrandinoandson.com to talk more in-depth about your local franchise build-out now!

2-inch: Industry Standard

A 2-inch trigger for snow removal is an industry-standard. It provides a consistent level of service that’s achievable for both big and small box properties.

Most local service providers have the experience managing route-based services that adhere to a 2-inch trigger. Many companies choose this trigger as it most closely balances service-level expectations and cost.

3-inch: Budget Saver

Referred to as a “budget saver,” a 3-inch trigger ironically comes at a price. For example, as a property’s conditions become hazardous from snow accumulation, there’s a higher risk of accidents or slip and fall incidents onsite. Delayed operations due to high triggers not being met can cause an increased risk and liability for your company.

Bare pavement can be challenging to achieve with a 3-inch trigger, and post storm conditions are often less than favorable due to packed down snow and ice. These problems occur from excessive pedestrian and vehicle traffic on unplowed sites while there are still several inches of accumulation.

Although you may receive lower bids
during an RFP by setting a 3-inch trigger, you could risk negative customer experiences, impact your brand, and increase liability. It’s important to understand if your properties are a good fit for a higher trigger, or you could cost your company more in the long run.

It’s important that your stakeholders fully understand each service trigger’s ramifications related to cost and service levels. Be sure to take the time to weigh the impact between brand, cost, and liability to determine the trigger that best fits your needs.

If you need help determining the right trigger to meet your expectations, connect with your national contractor to gain better insight, and avoid settling for less than your portfolio deserves.

Looking for the right partner to help manage your snow removal needs? Click HERE to learn how Ferrandino & Son can help initiate your Snow RFP today!

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Please email us at sales@ferrandinoandson.com to connect with
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