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The Installation of Networked Charging Stations: Myths and Realities

The advancement of networked charging stations marks a significant step forward for electric mobility. However, there is a common misunderstanding regarding the installation of these devices.

Many assume that because networked chargers are “connected” that their installation requires less infrastructure than traditional or wired charging stations. 

This article clarifies the actual installation requirements for charging stations, whether connected or not, to equip consumers and charging site planners with needed information. 

The Fundamentals of an Electric Vehicle Charging Site Installation

Whether the charging station (sometimes called EVSE or electric vehicle supply equipment) is connected or not, the basic requirements for electrical infrastructure remain the same. The installation of any charging station requires: 

A suitable transformer is needed to increase energy capacity and to guarantee safe and efficient charging.
A dedicated electrical panel is required to adequately distribute electrical power to a set group of charging stations.
Robust wiring must be installed to connect each charging station to the electrical panel to ensure reliable power transmission.

Networked Chargers: A Myth of Simplicity

It’s crucial to dispel the myth that just because a charging station is networked or connected that it simplifies charging site installation requirements. 

Connectivity only refers to a station’s ability to communicate with a network for features such as remote management or billing, but it doesn’t affect basic infrastructure requirements. 

Planning and Installing for a Successful Charging Site

As with any charging station installation, site managers and property owners and renters need to work with qualified professionals to assess the specific needs of their site. This will include: 

An official energy capacity study
Consultation over power source choices (i.e. Networked charging stations require a shared power source whereas a private power source is preferable when available)
Consultation over the energy management system used (i.e. Networked charging stations sometimes offer an EVEMS feature whereas wired energy management is more secure)
Adding the necessary electrical infrastructure
Adding the charging equipment

Electric vehicle charging stations, whether networked or not, require serious planning and often significant upgrades to the electrical infrastructure if an EVEMS is not installed. 

A Panel that is a Power source and Management System

The Smart Metering Panel or SMP by RVE is an Electric Vehicle Energy Management System (EVEMS) that offers the same features as networked charging stations, but does not require the additional cost of a wireless network and wireless infrastructure on site, and neither the associated recurring costs for operations and management.

The addition of an SMP to site infrastructure offers:

A solution for a powersource using a wired and secure connection
Electric vehicle charging control and management for 100% EV readiness
The opportunity to monitor transformers and other infrastructure components*
Low rate kWh pricing for charging
A transparent and accurate billing of electricity

How to make an EV plan?

Understanding and planning for these needs is essential for a successful charging site installation that will effectively support the transition to electric mobility.

Meet with an RVE EV Specialist when considering the installation of charging stations. Your preparation can make all the difference to the success of your project.

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