18 Jul EV Chargers: 2030 – $7.5B – The Biden-Harris EV Charging Action Plan
As more people buy electric vehicles, the nation’s charging infrastructure must grow in tandem. This involves setting up EV charging stations. It is essential to engage the services of professionals in the step, and this is where MEP Engineers come in.
The US currently has about 46,290 EV charging stations with more than 113,000 charging points. However, the country needs at least one million charging stations to support half of all new cars being electric within the next ten years. This shows that many EV charging station installations will occur within the next decade. MEP engineers will be in the middle of it.
When it comes to designing an EV charging station, there are many steps involved. These steps call for MEP engineers to carry out multiple tasks before the project is completed. Some of the tasks are mentioned below.
Each site is unique, and the MEP engineer must assess the site to identify what is required to set up a charge station. For example, some sites may require electrical upgrades. Some locations are easy to work with, while others are not, but MEP engineers ensure the site can host a charging station.
The MEP engineer is also responsible for due diligence when designing an EV charging station. This includes ensuring compliance with building codes, conditions, restrictions, applicable zoning, etc. He or she will also obtain all the necessary permits. This may become more complex if other facilities are present, like a car park.
This is another vital step when installing an electric vehicle charging station. The MEP engineer takes into consideration whether the site will have multiple charging points, if AC or DC or both are needed, the power requirements, which may depend on the max power supplied to the car, charging cable, etc. The goal for the electrical engineer is to design a system that can withstand peak load.
At this stage, the MEP engineer determines the kind of charging equipment that works best for the site, based on the requirements. The equipment could be Level 2, which works with 240V typically in residential applications or 208V in commercial applications, or Level 3, which usually works with 208/408V AC three-face input.
Charging grants and incentives
The MEP engineer keeps abreast of the charging grants and incentives available in the client’s location, which helps to defray some of the installation costs. Sources include the federal, state, and local governments, utility companies, and other organizations.
An EV charging station has many components, enabling it to offer customized services, and the MEP engineer factors these in the design. For example, the site operator may use EV charging station management software that handles payments using debit cards. The charging stations may also authenticate customers using RFID, while the chargers may be listed on platforms that make them more discoverable.
MEP engineering and energy savings from efficient EV charging station design
When designing an EV charging station, energy efficiency is an important consideration. This is because a good share of the energy used to charge EVs come from non-renewable sources, meaning the less energy is consumed charging EVs, the less the damage to the environment. MEP engineers can incorporate technologies that allow EVs to act as, not just a sink for energy, but also a source. By powering a building from the charged batteries of enabled EVs, engineers can raise a building’s energy efficiency.