Mapping the Operation and Management
of EV Charging Stations
EV station hosts are liable for overseeing their stations and parking space’s use and upkeep at the commercial level. Managing your on-site operations is vital to your daily business experience, like making sure EV stations are easily accessible and reliable.
Understanding the layout of your municipal borders that outline your EVSE system helps to map out patterns that communicate traffic, usage rate, and other functional details within the station’s proximity.
Additionally, mapping out the exact placement of your EVSE demonstrates your priorities from a host’s perspective by correlating location choice and parking space accessibility for users.
Consider the following procedures to efficiently manage and operate your EVSE to increase your facility’s practical-aesthetic qualities and parking site features.
It’s All About Proximity
Physical proximity to high-volume traffic can be both positive or negative. For example, if your business or facility is on a busy main street, installing an EVSE might not be ideal. Heavy traffic patterns determine the practicality of use and can affect EVSE location choice.
You want patrons visiting and utilizing your station to know that they have ample time to park their vehicles without any interruption.
If your facility happens to be on a busy street, with no markers to slow the traffic down, your station might not be easily viewable. User visibility starts with supportive methods with clear signage to direct EV drivers to parking spaces with units installed.
Signage should also have a chain of command that helps direct drivers and organizes the stations’ infrastructure network on-premises. Applying maintained and visible signage throughout your facility helps drivers locate EVSE regardless if you have an app or any
wifi-enabled access tool.
Finally, the proximity between your charging units and your facility’s main entryway determines the ease of visibility and accessibility, which also impacts your priority parking spaces that are short walks away from main entrances. As an EVSE host, you have to make an intentional decision to emphasize your EVSE investment from the very beginning. If you decide to place your units farther away from your space’s proximity because you value your parking spaces, this decision can incur higher installation costs due to longer distances from your main electrical panels or power supply.
That’s why you should take the time to consider the ratio between your building and its surroundings to determine where you should install and operate your EVSE.
Liability, Capacity & Cost
EVSE units and their cord accessories should never intrude on pedestrian pathways. For example, your charging stations shouldn’t be in a location that would cause a trip hazard or liability. EVSE site choices should consider building entrances, corridors, streets, and meeting points to mitigate challenges.
The EVSE site design also impacts the power supply within your municipality. Connecting your EVSE to a power source will require evaluating your existing electrical capacities, like your location’s electrical system and the ability of your neighborhood systems to support multiple EVSE usage at once.
Electrical panels and circuitry need to adjust to the anticipated load. Some municipalities have used building codes to make new construction allow adequate room where they house their electrical sources for equipment needed to raise power for future projects.
Thus, the power lines represent the cost difference for EVSE installation. Thinking about a site’s power sources and capacity will help strategize for lower-cost projects that require less installation work. Positioning your EVSE close to the primary power source lowers the need to cut, trench, and drill for new conduits. Additionally, if your existing line already has adequate capacity, then you’ll help reduce your cost just as much.
There’s no doubt operating your EVSE unit affects your metering levels. Sub-metering means electricity used by charging units allows the energy to be isolated from the rest of a building’s energy usage.
However, it’s important to note that separating energy usage via multiple cords can only be accomplished by the charging unit itself.
For locations with multiple EVSEs, we recommend metering each unit separately. Through a network connection to the utility, intelligent meters help drivers and utilities balance electrical use during peak energy times.
How you decide to operate your investment defines what kind of ownership and management structures you impose for your charging station. Your management will determine the degree of accessing the power supply, running conduit, and maintaining EVSE.
Maintaining the relationship between you and the unit’s operators is critical. As different business models place additional requirements on navigating these relationships, your utility will work with you to bring traffic and other advantages to your site.
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