Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

I have been interested in the EV revolution for some years now and it appears that it is well underway . With over 40 models of electric vehicles on the road today and hundreds more coming from all the major manufacturers over the next 3-5 years, if you don’t have an employee at your properties looking for a charger, you soon will. As Facility and Property Managers it will fall to us to meet this growing need as it accelerates. Since I drive electric and I’m a Facility Manager I am routinely asked for help and advice on how best to deploy a charging solution or develop policy for a given property. I am not surprised; the industry is very fast moving, and the majority of FM’s have little or no expertise in this area. You may have noticed me passing on some interesting EV links recently and while they are interesting they don’t seem to answer many of the questions you seem to have, so over the next few years I intend to try to cover many of the most frequently asked questions, so let’s go!

#1 - What kinds of electric vehicles are there and do they all need a charger?

Hybrid cars, such as the Prius, have a gas or diesel engine, a small battery and an electric motor that can drive the wheels or generate electricity during deceleration. Hybrid cars do not need to be plugged in.

Plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV) have a much larger battery pack and can travel 18 to 85 kms on electricity alone. The engine is usually only a generator and is not typically connected directly to the wheels.  A PHEV can usually accommodate daily commutes without using any gas, while still providing an extended range for longer trips. PHEV’s do not need to be plugged in to fill their battery as they can run their engine as a generator to charge the battery but this not the optimal choice, so these people will want to charge at home or work.

Battery electric vehicles (BEV) such as the Nissan Leaf, Chevrolet Bolt, Hyundai Kona, Renault ZOE and all Tesla’s. models rely solely on their battery as an energy source. Most modern BEVs can go between 200 and 400 kms between charges. BEV’s need to be plugged in regularly.