The automotive industry is taking an important step toward sustainability, with a shift in focus toward manufacturing Electric Vehicles (EVs). Most major automotive companies are now manufacturing at least one if not multiple electrically powered models and share a long-term goal of phasing out traditional gas-guzzling alternatives. While this movement will have a positive impact on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and crude oil consumption, with it comes a new set of needs for residential and commercial building owners and developers, and an increased need for careful control of electricity consumption. As more drivers make the transition toward EVs, multi-dwelling and commercial building owners and developers are seeing a heightened demand for the installation of EV charging stations (also known as Electrical Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE)) at home, in the workplace and in public areas such as gas stations and parking lots.
We caught up with Brookes Shean, General Manager of FLO to get some specifics on EVs and how this transition will affect the submetering and housing industries, as well as the general public.
Q: From a maintenance standpoint, how do EVs compare to traditional gas-powered cars?
A: As opposed to a traditional gas vehicle, EVs require minimal maintenance aside from the occasional replacement of tires and breaks, which last up to triple the amount of time as regular diesel or gas-powered cars due to less wear and tear.
Q: How frequently do EVs require charging?
A: Electrically powered vehicles don’t work like gas powered cars, where one can wait until the tank is empty before filling up. Various factors can deplete an EV’s charge such as range depletion due to cold weather and more. As such, EV drivers are encouraged to charge up wherever and whenever there is an available station.
Q: Where do EV drivers generally charge up? Are there different kinds of EVSE?
A: 63% of EV charging is done at home, and the other 37% at workplaces or public centers. There are three levels of charging stations:
1. Level 1 EVSE is a standard 110-volt wall outlet. These stations use the least amount of electricity but take the longest time to charge a vehicle.
2. Level 2 EVSE is the most optimal for installation in multi-dwelling buildings providing up to 30km/hour of charging. This will provide a guaranteed charge over a 6-8-hour period.
3. Level 3 EVSE is the fastest and most powerful system, providing up to 250km/hour of charging. However- these systems use 50 kWh of electricity in an hour, which is more than five single family homes consume in one week. Level 3 EVSE is most optimal for centers with heavy traffic, a high demand and the infrastructure to support this amount of energy usage.
Submetering and EVSE
Naturally, with the additional energy required to power Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment in residential buildings, there is a necessity to monitor and control usage to minimize over-consumption. As is the case with all utilities, tenants billed individually for their usage will use the stations more responsibly and efficiently. Submetering EVSE usage also helps control costs for building owners. By billing tenants individually as opposed to factoring in the added expenses to rental costs, building owners can remain competitive with their rental rates. Most private submetering companies such as Wyse Meter Solutions will offer the added benefit of multiple utilities on one bill, allowing for a streamlined billing process for both tenants and building owners.