EV Charging in Commercial and Industrial Buildings
The eMobility revolution is accelerating as sales of EVs shift into high gear around the world –partly due to government regulations and subsidies and partly due to the growing availability of longer-range, lower-cost EVs. As these new EVs hit the road over the next few years, demand for public charging will explode. This growth is creating new business opportunities for commercial and industrial building owners who can meet EV driver needs for charging during the day while they are at work or visiting shopping malls, restaurants, and other commercial and industrial (C&I) destinations. The same holds true for residential multi-dwelling units (MDUs). Therefore, EV charging in commercial and industrial buildings presents a major business opportunity.
How big is the opportunity? McKinsey estimates that by 2030 the EV market will require more than 55 million chargers in buildings in China, the US, and the EU-27 plus the UK, consuming at least 525 TWh of electricity per year. To put this in perspective, in 2022 building-based chargers will number around 100,000 in the US, EU and UK.
For C&I owners, chargers installed on your property can generate new revenue streams, either by increasing rent because you are offering a major perk to tenants and guests or by selling charging services. At the same time, you can improve the customer experience and strengthen brand loyalty by enabling EV owners to charge where they work and shop. And you can future-proof your business by complying with carbon-emissions-related legislation, which in the EU and UK calls for new C&I construction to include prewiring for EV charging.
Getting Started with EV Charging for C&I buildings
There are three primary implementation options for building owners. You can build, own and operate your own charge point infrastructure and manage it using EV charging management software. Although you will have to make an upfront investment to do so, you will retain control over operations, pricing and revenue. To help offset upfront costs, many governments, cities, and utilities offer rebates, tax credits, and grants.
Alternatively, if your property meets requirements, you can lease space on your property to a charge point operator or eMobility service provider such as EVgo in the US or Mer in Europe. The operator will build the chargers and use their own EV charging software to manage them. Or you can acquire the infrastructure from an EV charging-as-a-service provider.
What to Look for in EV Charging Management Software
C&I owners that build and operate their own EV charging infrastructure – whether it’s for one location or for hundreds or thousands of properties – will need EV charging management software that can provide a seamless charging experience for EV drivers, optimize existing infrastructure, maximize ROI and provide the flexibility to support evolving needs. Here’s what to look for in an EV charging management software platform to meet those objectives and simplify operations for your facility managers:
A path to operational excellence – Once you’re assured a platform can simultaneously support multiple charging use cases (employee vehicles, multiple tenants, guests) and is hardware agnostic, look for an insights-driven dashboard for real-time monitoring and control, proactive and automated operations, remote issue resolution and integration with your building management systems.
A seamless charging experience – An intuitive and easy-to-use mobile app simplifies EV driver onboarding and makes it easy for your users to find available charging stations. Improve the experience with customized notifications and alerts, the ability to reserve a charging station, and seamless charging at other locations and networks with eRoaming.
Optimized energy management – Your EV charging management software should enable you to balance energy use within your facility and lower costs with EV Smart Charging based on driver priority and time-of-use utility charges. Smart energy management also should integrate your infrastructure with onsite battery storage and renewables like solar panels. This enables you to lower costs and maximize your local infrastructure and topology to support as many EVs as possible.
Reduced TCO and Maximized Monetization
Even if you build and manage your own facility EV charging infrastructure, it won’t be your primary business. That’s why it’s critical that your EV charging software platform can simplify operations, reduce total cost of ownership (TCO), and maximize monetization.
That takes a platform designed to maximize uptime so you can optimize charging infrastructure and reduce electricity costs with power management. Your platform should also make billing and payment processing convenient or enable you to allocate costs among tenants while offering paid charging to guests.
With all these capabilities, C&I buildings will be ready for carbon-neutral taxation because you will be able to demonstrate CO2 reduction. With carbon-neutral deadlines looming, it’s more important than ever for building owners to begin investigating the advantages of offering EV charging in Commercial and industrial buildings as part of their long-term environmental strategies.