How the Parking Industry Can be a Catalyst for Electric Vehicles
The electric vehicle (EV) industry is taking off. Those who do not take its momentum seriously will be overlooked. After decades of incremental investment, today, billions of dollars are being funneled into the EV industry by a myriad of players, including the federal government and global OEMs like Ford and GM, who are aiming to accelerate electrified transportation across the country.
While this momentum is surely exciting for established automakers, emerging technology players, and welcoming consumers, the transition to electric will also be a catalyst to the parking industry.
With millions of EVs slated to come online in the years ahead, all these vehicles will need a place to charge. The most efficient time for EVs to charge is when they are sitting idle for extended periods of time, such as overnight or in public venues like sports arenas, hospitals, office spaces, malls and more. This is where parking facilities come into play.
With Americans only driving 40 miles a day on average, most of the charging will be done when cars are parked, making parking facilities an important component of any EV charging deployment strategy.
According to Guidehouse Insights, by 2030 there will be over 19 million plug-in electric vehicles on the road in North America, which is a 735 percent increase from this year. This growth will require an increase in charging stations of about 590 percent across North America, making EV charging a required amenity.
Likely by now, you’ve already read about how EV charging at your property can help drive revenue through EV charging rates, occupancy fees, and increased demand at your location. However, do you know how fast the EV industry is innovating to bring parking operators more solutions that are ideally suited to parking operators’ needs?
Utilizing Existing Electrical Infrastructure
Due to the recent interest in EV charging and advances in battery technology, long-time EV service equipment (EVSE) companies are innovating to find an EV charging solution for every location. Many EVSE providers provide the opportunity to deploy chargers on low electrical circuits. Some equipment, including the Blink product line, can use technology solutions to deploy the same L2 equipment on low 40-amp circuits up to 100-amp circuits. Keep in mind that installing L2 on lower circuit amperage reduces the kilowatt output and may fall short of the charging capacity for many of today’s newer EVs. The result is that an EV will take more time to charge.
Companies have designed products that can take advantage of local load management technology, which allows EV chargers to be deployed on a single electrical circuit and share the power. Using hardware technology and software, EVSE providers can set the distribution of power evenly across chargers or with a first-in-first-served functionality. With this technology, and depending on the EVSE provider, parking operators can deploy two to twenty chargers on a single dedicated circuit. This allows you to grow your EV parking spots as demand for EV charging builds at your locations.
EVSE companies are also innovating in pairing EV charging equipment with other sought-after technologies for parking operators. For example, the Vision product line by Blink pairs fast L2 charging equipment with an impressive dynamic digital media display, offering a full-service advertising display with an integrated charging station.
Software Integrations with Existing Operations
Other industry innovations include flexibility in how parking operators can deploy charging stations and how the revenue collected from charging sessions is seamlessly paired with existing parking operations. Most EVSE providers offer wall and various pedestal installation options and some even offer a mounting kit for light poles. The EVSE industry is working to customize the EVSE software to integrate with existing parking operations technology to simplify transactions and management. One sought-after result is the seamless collection of charging revenue within existing parking payment functions.
Today’s innovations surrounding the rapid, widescale deployment of EV charging infrastructure, are designed with the parking industry in mind. New solutions are coming to meet parking needs and further the deployment of EV chargers at parking facilities, helping the industry to understand its role in meeting this consumer demand.
The need for flexible EV charging equipment, innovative product offerings, and integrated software solutions is ensuring parking operators will benefit when they offer EV charging stations at their locations.
In fact, in the years to come, offering EV chargers will not just be a necessity, but will be a critical amenity. Those who do not start taking part will be left playing catch up.
Paul Pirhofer CAPP is Executive Sales Manager at Blink. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org