When I advise electrical vehicle charging clients, I use the analogy of pairing food with wine. With EV charging you want to pair the charging station with the intended length of stay.
For example, at a downtown retail shopping and dining district, a Level 1 or even a 40 Amp breaker Level 2 charger is less likely to be used due to the minimal amount of electric range it is possible to gain per hour with such low amperage service. At a workplace charging site, Level 1 (110-120 VAC) or Level 2 40 Amp (208-240 VAC) is typically fine since the vehicle is parked for 8-10 hours.
In higher traffic areas where time is of the essence, I recommend a 100 Amp breaker Level 2 charge station or a DC charger if possible. The last thing you want as a property host making an investment in an EV charger is to see it go unused because people go to a competitor's location where they offer faster charging, which means more range, while they shop and dine.
Other factors to consider are future-proofing the install to reduce charging bottlenecks in busy areas because inevitably, more cars will be coming with faster onboard charging capability (like Teslas with dual chargers). Running an oversize #3 gauge wire is also a smart idea so that you don't end up with a stranded asset. This is what I did at my home because one day I hope to get a Tesla.
So if you are in a downtown business improvement area (BIA) or chamber of commerce and want a novel way to attract new customers to "stay longer and spend more" it is hard to beat the ROI of an electric vehicle charging station.
Here is a simple chart that conveys the value proposition per hour of charging:
- Level 1 = 3.5 to 12 kms
- Level 2 (40 Amp breaker ) = 10 to 45 kms
- Level 2 (100 Amp breaker) = 10 to 92 kms
- Level 3 DC = 130 to 160 kms
- Level 3 DC Tesla Supercharger = as much as 400 to 700 kms
The photo at the top of the page shows The Town of Grimsby, ON with two 100 Amp breaker EV charging stations conveniently located in the downtown core near several restaurants, banks and stores and other amenities.