There’s more to fleet management than simply getting your clients the vehicles they need. That’s why we have multiple EV adoption options available as part of our one-size-doesn’t-fit-all philosophy to electric vehicles.
Infrastructure refers to the necessary equipment, machinery, and support to maintain electrical vehicles. This includes different types of charging equipment, financing and support, and any related supplies and parts (such as EVSE ports and connectors).
Level 1 Level 1 charging stations are typically for personal use and simply plug into a standard wall outlet. It will take 24 hours or longer to fully charge an EV with a level 1 charger. Level 1 stations do not require any investment, but since they charge vehicles at a slower rate, they aren’t recommended for fleet charging.
Level 2 Level 2 stations are the most common charging stations at workplaces, and each level 2 connector is capable of charging more than one vehicle per day. With a level 2 charging depot, EVs can charge from 0% to 100% battery capacity in approximately 10-12 hours, and much less if starting from a partial charge.
Level 2 chargers can also be installed in a home for faster charging, reliably fully charging an EV overnight. You will find that many public charging stations are Level 2. Some Level 2 stations have multiple connectors that allow vehicles to charge simultaneously. Merchants Electrify Fleet recommends level 2 charging stations for our clients for both home and work locations.
Level 3 (DC Fast Charging) Level 3, or DC fast charging ports, are available in some public depots. Although they can charge an EV to 80% in as little as 20 minutes of charging, this type of charging is more expensive and with daily use might degrade your vehicle’s battery more quickly. However, DC fast charging can be used as part of a fleet strategy to alleviate charging congestion or to allow employees to charge vehicles quickly when needed.
Ensuring you have the right type of EV infrastructure in places means a more seamless experience and removes the worry about where and when you will recharge your vehicles.
We also offer traditional invoicing for EV charging, which means you don’t need a third-party charging agreement. We’ll simply provide a monthly invoice for all your costs, including EV charging infrastructure in addition to any other Merchants Fleet services and support.
Infrastructure Level Options
There are three main types of charging options, with depot and home charging being the most popular options for EV fleets. Public charging stations are available across the U.S., which can be helpful in the event your vehicle needs a quick charge between trips.
Depot: This is an overnight hub where fleet vehicles can recharge.
Home: Charging stations are available for drivers to charge their vehicles at home.
Budget & Funding
Your budget should detail funding, financing, and any type of cost consideration, including charging equipment, installation, operation, maintenance, extended warranty, and any type of annual charging network fee. Remember — you want to invest in the future and think about your company’s needs not just at the moment, but for the next few years.
Planning & Timeline
It takes time to implement an EV charging infrastructure solution, which can be anywhere from 12-16 months, especially if you have more than 3-4 plugs. If you’re considering EV fleet adoption, it’s important to start planning early, gain stakeholder buy-in, and ensure this type of project aligns with your broader environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals. Merchants Fleet advises our clients to explore an EV pilot program, which is a trial period for fleet managers to discover how to best incorporate EVs into their fleet.
Types of Charging Stations
Do you need Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3 charging stations — or a combination of all three? If so, how many of each? It’s also important to keep in mind how many vehicles will need to be charged and how often, and how far your drivers will need to travel.
If you’re considering the use of public charging stations, make sure you conduct interoperability testing between vendors and suppliers. This will ensure the vehicle’s connector works with certain charging stations.
Ownership of Charging Equipment
Who will own the charging assets? What happens if a driver with a home charging station leaves the company? These are important questions to consider when it comes to installing home charging equipment.
Geographic Location, Ownership & Regulations
Additional considerations from the U.S. Department of Energy include permitting and inspections, signage, markings, utility needs, accessibility concerns, and whether the charging station will be site-hosted owned or third-party owned.
It’s also important to remember that charging stations are subject to local, state, and federal compliance laws and regulations. Also, depending on the location, a formal solicitation process might be required to buy and install any type of charging equipment.
Federal Funding Resources
EV Funding and resources are continually evolving. Since each state is different, we advise you to start with your state’s transportation department, or reach out to our fleet electrification specialists who can direct you to internal resources that are tailored to your area.
For details on federal EV infrastructure financing, we recommend the following:
EV Federal Funding and Financing Programs
The U.S. Department of Transportation provides an overview of
discretionary grant funding programs, formula grant funding programs, loan financing programs, and tax incentives. You can also find information on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which was signed into effect on Nov. 15, 2021 and provides additional funding opportunities for EV charging stations.
“We needed an EV charger installation partner that was able to hit a very tight deadline for getting units installed at multiple sites. I’ve worked with Merchants for years as a fleet client, and they delivered big time when it came to getting our chargers installed. We will be calling Merchants Fleet for our next round of installations.”
Owner, Edge Auto
Are You Ready to Take the Next Step?
Our EV consultants are ready to answer your questions. Contact us today for more information or to get started on your EV adoption journey.