RS Automotive, a gas station and auto repair shop in Tacoma Park, Maryland has recently converted to 100% EV charging. All the pumps and storage tanks were ripped out and replaced with high speed EV charging equipment. After 20 years of bad contracts, changeable oil prices and convenience store break-ins, owner Depeswar Doley had already decided to just shut off the gas pumps. Then he got a call from the city: Would he accept a grant to transform the station into a fully outfitted charging center? He accepted.
Doley now gets a healthy 66% of the revenue from charging station use. He also fields calls every week from gas station owners who are considering replacing their pumps with chargers, and lots of encouragement from EV drivers and others.”If I can spread that one word around, that one little drop, if I can contribute for the betterment of the environment and humanity, that’s more than enough,” Doley says. “That’s a better reward than the money.”
So why is public EV charging important?
While most EV drivers (over 80%) charge their EV at home, when they’re on the road they still may need a boost in range to get where they are going. And some drivers don’t have the ability to charge at home. Lower-income customers, fleets or for those who live in an apartment, condo or townhouse, may not have a garage or even access to a 120-volt or 240-volt outlets. In these situations, the driver will want to find a conveniently locater charging station to park their car and charge, preferably at or ear somewhere they already planned to go and maybe can run an errand or two.
More and more charging stations are popping up around the country, especially in states focused on growing their EV adoption. As more drivers make the EV plunge, it leads to more commercial institutions investing in public charging. With each charger built, the thought should be “where are the best places to put them, and what level of charging should we place there.”
When it comes to public charging, there are two realistic options. Level 2 charging, and DC fast charging. Level 2 charges at a rate of about 6.6kW to 7.2 kW, which usually adds around 25 miles of range an hour. DC fast charging, at current, charges at a rate of about 50kW, which adds about 90 miles of range in 30 minutes. (Tesla Super Chargers charge up to 150kW) The expected future of fast charging is that we can eventually plug our cars in and expect them to charge 60-80% of an EV’s battery in as short as 10 minutes.
For now, wherever we go to charge our EVs will take anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours to charge. So we’ll want those chargers to either be located near places meant to utilize our wait time (example restaurant, shopping centers) or have infrastructure built in for us to be content to wait around for a window of time to charge our cars (example: RS Automotives lounge area).
Some great apps that we recommend for finding public charging stations in your area are: PlugShare, ChargePoint, and EVGo
Feel free to reach out to us for any questions about your EV, finding the public chargers around you, buying an EV or to see if your town has any home charging incentives!
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