A roadmap for commercial property owners, operators, and managers for developing their next EV charging project.
A New Start
My family is right in the middle of a cross-town move. It’s exciting, challenging, and sometimes daunting. Uncertainty can make any problem scary. Anybody who’s ever moved knows that feeling.
“Where do I start?” “What steps can I take to make this process as smooth as possible?” Most importantly, “What am I not asking?”
Whether it’s moving, planning for a wedding, or taking weekend out of town, a little foresight can go a long way. Your next commercial EV charging project is no exception.
The Big Question
“How soon can we get EV charging stations at our property?”, I’m asked every week by eager customers.
What they’re actually saying is, “help me understand the process”. They want insight, clarity. To eliminate the unknown.
I want you to have clarity because informed customers make the best customers.
Here are the six steps we follow for any commercial EV charging project:
- Qualify the project
- Engineering site walk (prepare with 5 steps)
- Present the Proposal
- Enter Contracting
- Project Planning, Execution, and Commissioning
- Asset Management Setup
Have you already read How to Prep for a Successful Commercial EV Charging Project in Under 60 Minutes? If not, I recommend you to stop and take 3-minutes to read before continuing.
So let’s get started.
Six Steps for Your Next EV Charging Project
Step 1: Introductory call
You don’t know me. I don’t know you or anything about your property. Yet.
That will change after a brief 20-minute intro chat.
I’ll ask about your EV charging vision, your preferred timeline, and your first live concert experience. I’ll usually hazard my first guess: Hootie and the Blowfish. (Pretty good, huh?)
At the end of our call, we’ll qualify your site, discuss any preliminary challenges, and decide together if it makes sense to move on to the next step.
If we decide to move forward, some projects may require entering a non-binding Letter of Intent (LOI). If that’s the case, I’ll let you know. Our team will send over a one-page draft agreement for review and signature. Then, we can move to the next step.
Step 2: Engineering Site Walk
It’s getting serious, we’re coming over to your place. We’ll coordinate an engineer to visit your site at no cost.
Thankfully, you read How to Prep for a Successful Commercial EV Charging Project in Under 60 Minutes before our call, so you knew to send utility bills and as-built drawings for the facility before the site walk.
During the site walk, the engineer will investigate the facility’s electrical room, take photos, and check the site’s capacity for EV charging.
But what if the facility isnt’ built yet? Good news – we’ll keep that engineer at home.
For new construction projects, we’ll plug in with your design team and coordinate an EV charging solution based on the most recent version of the engineering drawings. Send us the drawings, and our engineers will get started.
Perhaps at this stage, you’ve wondered, “gosh, 1) how much could it cost to install EV charging stations“, or 2) “how much do they cost to operate?“. Well, click those links!
Step 3: Present a Proposal
We’ll take our notes from the site walk or drawing review to design an EV charging system that best fits your needs. We may include a couple of options to choose. Think “good, better, best” fit.
We’ll schedule a time to discuss the findings and present our proposal. We’ll cover our design, pricing, and suggestions for reducing costs. Then, you can select your favorite design. (We’ll let you keep the others to hang on your fridge.)
Step 4: Contracting
Once you award us the project, this relationship is getting even more serious. Yup, it’s time to make it official: Contracting.
We’ll start by sending our customers a Master Services Agreement (MSA) draft. Under the MSA, we’ll execute separate work orders for 1) Installation and 2) Ongoing Software and Support Services.
The work order drafts will accompany the MSA for your review.
We’ll walk through the terms together, giving you time to ask any questions. We’ll select your preferences. For example, do you want to charge drivers a fee, how you prefer to handle billing, and do you want to make your chargers public or private.
After making sure you’re 100% comfortable, we’ll send you a final “execution-ready” version for digital signature. Contracting generally takes 1 – 4 weeks, depending on the customer. Less if it only depends on us.
Step 5: Project Planning, Execution, and Commissioning
You signed the contract. Congratulations! So, “Where are my chargers?”
We’ll schedule a kick-off call to introduce you to our execution team, led by our project manager. They’ll discuss timelines and next steps, and schedule all on-site activities with you – from contract signature through commissioning.
If the project includes incentives, we’ll coordinate the program timelines with you to ensure you collect all eligible rebates.
Expect 3-4 months from contract signature to a completed, commissioned turnkey EV charging project.
Step 6: Asset Management Setup
Once the stations are up and running, there’s still one more step! It’s time we commit to a long-term relationship. Yup, it’s getting real. Good news: no ring required.
The program manager will introduce you to your new partner: our Asset Management (AM) team.
AM will schedule a demo and create an authorized login for your personalized “facility manager portal” account. The portal tracks EV charging station performance, allowing customers to see real-time system operation. They can pull historical data and generate board-room-ready reports in seconds.
From revenue generation to carbon emissions, asset management empowers our customers to manage their EV charging empire. Or at least create one less pain point in their busy day.
My family’s move across town proved challenging (moving is rarely fun). Starting with a general timeline and realistic expectations prepared me for potential speedbumps. It made the process feel less scary.
The result? Enjoying a cold drink on the patio of our new home. And no more boxes!
How do you envision your project’s success? If you’re ready to explore EV charging solutions for your site, reach out to see if we have anything that can help. (I can also offer insightful tips for moving with a 1-year old, besides “don’t”.)
And if you found this helpful, be sure to check out How to Prep for a Successful Commercial EV Charging Project in Under 60 Minutes. (Seriously, you should read it.)
About the Author
My name is Alex. I’m working alongside a talented team to provide organizations with intelligent onsite solutions that support carbon-free electrification and transportation.