EV Charging Stations: Engineering Support in Demand

Electric vehicles (EV) have become increasingly popular over the last few years, and today market demand for them is at an all-time high. This has driven an increased need for charging stations and, along with that, the necessary engineering support, specifically EV charging station infrastructure design and program management.

EN Engineering has been planning for a shift in demand. This included putting together program management services to help utilities build their entire EV charging station program, including site selection, designing charging station infrastructure and engineering support.

Getting Started

The planning was rewarded when a large east-coast utility needed help with its EV program and partnered with EN. Their program was based on identifying sites that would be ideal for installing EV charging stations, such as parks, parking garages, community centers, libraries, and other public spaces.

Once potential locations were selected, a site assessment would be done to locate nearby electric infrastructure and determine if it was feasible to be used in the project. This included evaluating everything from the main to the transformer, taking services to the meter, setting the meter, and planning the connection to the intended charging location.

In addition to considering the foundation size and type of chargers to be installed, demographics were analyzed to determine how many chargers would be ideal to meet this growing demand.

Shifting to Infrastructure Design

Once site analysis was completed, the client put together a proposal for the owner of the space that had been selected. After an agreement was reached with the customer, the engineering and design work would proceed.

For this particular client, they handle everything on the electric line side—everything that fed the transformer. EN’s engineering design responsibilities began with the service to the meter location, ensuring the meter cabinet was appropriately sized, and from there to the chargers, identifying the location of the chargers in real space using a 3D linear diagram.

This diagram allowed the team to visualize the actual space and planned infrastructure to ensure that the chargers and space for the EV would not obstruct pedestrians, traffic, sidewalks, etc.

Looking to the Future

For these projects, the design was for anywhere between two and eight chargers, not a big charging lot where mass transit buses might charge, which is a different level of chargers and engineering design.

Those larger charging spaces are the wave of the future, and while they are not common yet, we have started to see some activity in that direction. Other changes we have observed include sites where there is new construction or modifications to an old building, and they want to include EV charging stations in their plans.

These cases depend on the tariff involved, which determines who is responsible for installing which part of the line. It’s not unusual for ownership of the meter to be split 50/50 between the utility and their customer.

Every project is unique, and clients ask for support in different areas. EN has provided any service clients have requested regarding design, engineering, system evaluations, feeder extensions to upgrade the system, and support for new chargers.

A Customizable Service

Other projects we have worked on included writing high-level standards that provide our utility clients with a solid base for pitching projects to their potential clients.

This gives them written language that explains the project details, what is needed, what each party is responsible for, and templated standards for the charging stations.

This customizable service allows us to meet our clients wherever they are in the program management process, including partial or complete development of the program for those just entering the EV charging station space.

EN can help clients with data collection, data analysis, site assessments, system evaluation, standard development, writing of proposals, customer outreach, and one of the most challenging parts—permitting. We have the experience to manage to permit, which our clients often see as a lifesaver.

We know that building trust with our clients is crucial, and we are committed to bringing efficiencies to every project through a workflow process for the entire program.

If you need help developing a program or have challenges in your existing EV charging station program, give EN a call to see how we can solve your problems and save you time and money along the way.

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