Plugging In

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When it comes to sustainability and green programs, Able is always working to deliver value to its client base.  Electric cars are a great example. Auto industry experts say between two million and three million electric vehicles will be on the road worldwide by 2015. That’s less than one half of one percent of all vehicles, but, by the end of the decade, that share could jump to 2 percent to 3 percent, with 25 million to 30 million drivers behind the wheel of electrics, analysts say.

Whether gas goes to five dollars a gallon or not, electric cars are a better choice for the environment.  As these new vehicles gain in popularity and car companies continue to release their new green models, there has been a bigger push for charging stations. Able wants to be one of the first service providers to introduce its clients to charging station options that can be installed in their buildings.

For example, one option we’ve researched is GE’s electric vehicle charger, GE WattStation. It’s designed to help make charging stations accessible, quick and easy by significantly decreasing time needed for vehicle charging, and using smart grid technology to allow utility companies to manage the impact EVs have on the local and regional grids.  Another electric vehicle charging solution is from Leviton . The company offers a complete solution for commercial and public PEV (plug-in electric vehicles) charging. Their Evr-Green line of electrical vehicle supply equipment is compliant with all industry standards and compatible with all major auto manufacturers’ electric vehicles.

Several issues have been raised on the car chargers that you might want to bring up to your clients.  Clients can protect themselves from future liability by:

  1. Installing a locking device over exposed outlets.  This will prevent unauthorized plug ins
  2. Posting “No car charging” signs in appropriate areas.  Garages are usually poorly lit and if anyone trips over a cord, liability will be an issue
  3. California customers should look at load shedding options (like lighting efficiencies) as a way to prevent excessive power charges for increased consumption
  4. Plan ahead for level 3 chargers that will bring charge time down to 30 min.  Level 3 has a 125 amp 500v DC requirement
  5. Stations installed in garage locations should be checked for cellular signal.  A strong signal is required for billing and monitoring
  6. Consider the loading dock as a charging center.  UPS, FedEx & Coke are all experimenting with electric delivery vehicles.

If you’re thinking about electric charging station installation, let us know. We can share our expertise.

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