Electric vehicles are making their way to dealer showrooms, and chances are that your customers are already requesting test drives and reservations. Many automakers now require their EV-selling dealerships to install charging equipment in preparation for their newest models. With a little planning and some help from a knowledgeable partner like Blink Charging, you can quickly and easily choose the correct charging equipment that will future-proof your dealership for years to come.
Why install EV charging stations at dealerships?
Installing public EV charging stations can act as another source of revenue for your dealership.
BloombergNEF predicts that over half of vehicle sales in the United States will be electric by 2030, thanks to US federal tax credits for EVs and EV charging equipment. Getting on board now ensures your dealership will be ready to handle the influx of customers who want to go electric. But installing chargers is more about just meeting OEM requirements. Networked charging stations are a great way to support customers, promote brand awareness, and upsell additional products.
How to Plan Your EV Charging Needs
Before you order any EV charging equipment for your automotive dealership, you need to do some planning. Schedule a meeting with your electrical contractor and Blink sales representative to conduct a site walk and determine your necessary electrical upgrades.
Make sure to discuss the following:
- What is my budget?
- What is my current electrical capacity?
- Do I need to make any electrical upgrades or site work?
- Which are the best locations for my chargers?
- How many charging stations can I install?
- Which type of chargers can I install?
- Does my installation require special permits?
- Do I need wall or pedestal mountings/configurations?
- Do I qualify for any funding programs?
Depending on your location, your dealership may be eligible for the US Federal Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. Your business may also qualify for state, municipal, or utility grant programs for EV charging. To view programs by state, visit Blink’s handy Commercial EV Charging Incentives tool.
Five main charging locations
Depending on your automotive OEM’s requirements, you may need to install chargers in these locations:
- Public/guest parking
- Inventory/loaner parking
- New vehicle delivery bay
- Service bay
Some of your customers may already drive electric vehicles. Installing chargers for public use allows these customers to charge while visiting your dealership or test-driving their second EV. For customers who do not yet drive an EV, chargers in your showroom and test drive areas can be used as an educational tool by your sales team. Your dealership will also need to install charging stations in your inventory and delivery bays so your team can keep your sales fleet charged. Finally, having a few chargers in your service area allows your mechanics to return vehicles to their owners fully charged.
Level 2 and DC Fast Charging
Your dealership will likely require a mixture of Level 2 charging stations and Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs).
Commercial Level 2 chargers can charge a vehicle in just a few hours, making them ideal for overnight parking and vehicles that may be parked in the same space for several hours. Load management, which splits available power between multiple chargers, is a helpful software feature that allows you to control energy usage. Using your personalized dashboard in the Blink Network, you can set your Level 2 chargers to take advantage of off-peak energy rates overnight. Level 2 chargers can also be used in your used car lot where you sell plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) or older EVs.
Your showroom is the perfect location for home charging stations. Clients can interact with a home charger for the first time, and your sales representatives can demonstrate charging and explain why 80% of charging takes place at home. If your dealership is also a Blink reseller, you can ensure that every new EV driver also leaves with a smart Level 2 home charger.
DCFC is the second type of charger that will be required at dealerships. While these stations are more expensive to buy and install, they’re necessary to keep your most popular vehicles charged between test drives. If you have the electrical capacity, we recommend adding a few DC fast chargers near your loaner parking or service bay.
Top Charging Solutions for Dealers
Blink Charging is a leading provider of Level 2 and DC fast charging solutions for residential, commercial, and fleets. In addition to your dealership’s showroom and service areas, here are a few of our solutions for public and mobile needs.
Public charging for dealerships
Installing public EV charging stations can act as another source of revenue for your dealership. Blink offers several Level 2 chargers that are perfect for public charging at dealerships, from the Blink Series 8, which includes a credit card reader, to the newly redesigned Blink Vision, which consists of a large media display for advertisements. You can also charge drivers through the Blink app for their energy usage. Your business will be added to the Blink Network and popular mapping services like Google and PlugShare, helping prospective customers find EV charging stations nearby.
Emergency mobile charging for dealerships
When an ICE vehicle runs out of gas, it’s relatively easy to bring a fuel can to the vehicle simply. However, “refueling” a stranded EV is a bit different. With the newly redesigned Blink Mobile Charger, your dealership has a solution if a fleet vehicle gets stranded or a customer needs help charging their vehicle.
Blink is here to help your auto dealership prepare for electric vehicles. Ready to get started? Click here to contact our team today.