What are the best practices for installing charging infrastructures in commercial buildings?

building charging stations

The charging infrastructure are becoming a central feature of commercial buildings, as illustrated by the already achieved by the government to install 100,000 charging points by 2025. As well as offering economic and environmental benefits, they enable remote management and optimization of energy consumption. In this article, you'll discover the best practices for installing recharging infrastructure while benefiting from the best financing options available.

 

Also read → What will be the charging infrastructure challenges for electric cars in 2024?

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How do I choose the right type of recharging point?

It's important to choose the right type of charging station to meet the needs of the building housing the charging infrastructure. Charging stations differ mainly in terms of power, charging speed and additional features such as intelligent management.

What are the different types of electric car charging stations?

Slow (or normal) recharging station

  • Power : between 3.7 kW and 7.4 kW.
  • Average recharge time : between 6 and 12h for a full recharge.
  • Main use : ideal for residential or company parking lots.

 

The terminals Wallbox Pulsar Plus Wallbox terminals are ideal for domestic installations and small businesses.

Semi-rapid charging station

 

  • Power : between 11 kW and 22 kW.
  • Average recharge time : Approx. 3 to 4 hours for a full charge.
  • Main use: Suitable for shopping centers, offices and public parking lots.

 

EV Box Business Line kiosks are often used in commercial environments for their balance between cost and performance.

Fast charging station

 

  • Power : 50 kW and more.
  • Average recharge time : between 30 minutes and 1 hour for a full recharge.
  • Main use: Mainly used at fast-charging stations, freeway service areas and major transport hubs where vehicle turnover is high.


Superchargers Tesla Supercharger charging stations are well known for their ability to rapidly recharge Teslavehicles, considerably reducing waiting time for users.

Smart charging stations

Smart charging stations add a layer of remote management and control, optimizing energy distribution and reducing operating costs. They can be programmed to charge vehicles during off-peak hours or at the lowest electricity rates. Their main features are : 

 

  • remote management, 
  • recharge programming, 
  • integration with renewable energy systems.

 

Enel X JuiceBox smart charging stations are widely used for their intuitive interface and ability to integrate with smart energy solutions.

What are the criteria for choosing the right charging station?

It is essential to choose a terminal that is compatible with the majority of electric vehicles used by your customers or employees. Most modern charging stations offer several types of connector, such as the Type 2 connector in Europe, which is the most common for electric vehicles. To maximize its usefulness, make sure that the bollard you select can meet the recharging needs of different vehicle models.

 

What's more, cost is a determining factor in the choice of charging station. Costs include not only the purchase of the charging station, but also installation and long-term maintenance. For example, fast charging stations require more robust electrical installations, which can increase installation costs. However, they offer faster recharge times, which can be a considerable advantage in environments with high vehicle turnover.



Finally, as will be explained later in this article, programs such as the ADVENIR program in France. They offer subsidies that can cover up to 60% of of installation costs for charging stations. Taking advantage of these subsidies makes the initial investment more affordable, and enables you to choose better-quality or higher-performance charging stations.



Also read → Top 10 best charging stations on the market

Installation of charging stations and pre-equipment

What are the stages involved in infrastructure preparation?

Infrastructure preparation ensures that the installation complies with safety and efficiency standards, while optimizing costs and implementation times.

Study energy requirements

Prior to any installation, it is essential to carry out an in-depth study of the site's energy requirements. This study must assess energy demand in relation to the number of charging stations planned and their power output. For a commercial building wishing to install 50 kW fast-charging stations, sufficient capacity in terms of electrical power must be available. A 50 kW charging station requires a power line capable of supplying this power in a stable manner.

Assessing electrical capacity

The capacity of the existing electrical network must be checked to ensure that it can support the addition of new terminals without compromising the stability of the power supply. In a condominium or commercial building, it may be necessary to reinforce or increase the capacity of the electrical panel to meet increased power requirements.

Check conduits and wiring

The installation of suitable conduits and cables is essential to ensure the safe and durable installation of charging stations. These infrastructures must be designed to support the necessary electrical loads and comply with current standards. French legislation requires new buildings to have suitable infrastructure to enable the future installation of charging stations. For example, the law on energy transition for green growth requires new buildings to be pre-equipped to facilitate the installation of charging stations.

Install intelligent management systems

The integration of intelligent management systems makes it possible to control energy distribution and optimize vehicle recharging according to energy needs and availability. Management systems can schedule vehicle recharging during off-peak hours to minimize electricity costs and avoid grid overloads.

Complying with standards and regulations

All installations must comply with national and European standards to guarantee the safety and efficiency of the infrastructure. Standards such as IEC 61851 and IEC 62196 specify the requirements for charging equipment and connections, and installations must be carried out by IRVE-certified professionals to ensure compliance and safety.

 

Worth knowing, the cost of pre-equipping a 50-space parking lot with charging stations can vary from €20,000 to €50,000, depending on the work required to adapt the electrical infrastructure.

What is the installation process?

Installing charging stations in commercial buildings requires careful planning and rigorous monitoring to ensure effective implementation: 

 

  • carry out a feasibility study and detailed site assessment (analysis of energy demand in relation to the number of terminals)

 

  • plan the installation in detail and select the appropriate equipment (drawing up a detailed work schedule, allocating tasks and coordinating with stakeholders)

 

  • install conduits and cables that comply with safety standards (add new circuit breakers or upgrade electrical panel)

 

  • have charging stations installed by qualified professionals (they must be strategically placed for easy access and use by users).

 

  • ensure that charging stations are working properly by carrying out tests (safety checks, communication tests, load tests).

 

  • training and awareness-raising for employees and users (safety procedures, clear instructions, information panels to ensure correct use).

 

  • perform regular maintenance to ensure optimal operation and longevity (monitoring, software updates, reactivity in the event of failure)


Also read → Charging station: what the law says

What funding and subsidies are available?

Available subsidies

Subsidies available for the installation of charging stations

Installing charging stations for electric vehicles can represent a significant cost. Fortunately, there are a number of grants and subsidies available to ease the burden. Here's an overview of the main subsidies in 2024, including the ADVENIR bonuswhich is one of the most important schemes in France.

The ADVENIR program

The ADVENIR program, managed by Avere-Franceaims to support the installation of charging stations for electric vehicles through various forms of financial assistance. This program, financed by energy saving certificates (CEE), aims to finance 175,000 charging points by 2025with a total budget of 320 million.

Amount Conditions
Individuals in apartment buildings
Up to €600 excl. tax per individual recharging point
Bonus covering 50% of supply and installation costs
Up to €1,660 excl. tax per collective recharging point
Bonus covering 50% of supply and installation costs
Condominiums
Up to €8,000 for collective infrastructures
Premium covering 50% of pre-tax costs for collective infrastructures
Companies (parking lot open to the public)
Up to €1,000 excluding VAT for AC terminals
Premium covering 30% of costs excluding tax
Up to €2,700 excluding VAT for DC terminals
Premium covering 30% of costs excluding tax
Private parking lots
Up to €750 per recharging point
Bonus covering 25% of pre-tax costs for fleets and employees
Up to €7,500 per recharging point
Premium covering 50% of costs excluding tax for parking lots open to the public
Short-term vehicle rental
Up to €600 per recharging point
Bonus covering 20% of costs excluding tax for the first 5,000 points
Truck fleets
Up to €960,000 per recharging point
Bonus covering 50% of costs excluding tax for the first 1,000 points

Other financial assistance

In addition to the ADVENIR program, other financial assistance may be available to companies and individuals:

  • Tax credit for private individuals In 2024, a €500 tax credit will be available for private individuals installing charging stations.
  • Reduced-rate VAT Reduced-rate VAT: Charging stations benefit from a reduced-rate VAT of 5.5% for individuals and businesses, reducing the total cost of installation.
  • Regional and local subsidies Some regions and municipalities also offer additional subsidies to encourage the installation of charging stations.

 

Also read → Aid for the installation of charging stations in 2024

What financing options are available to my company?

In addition to available subsidies, there are several financing options for installing charging stations in commercial buildings. These options enable businesses and condominiums to spread the costs over a longer period, making the initial investment more manageable.

Pension funds and special contributions

For condominiums, financing can be provided through the contingency fund or through special contributions. The contingency fund, designed to finance major works and repairs, is a financing method that can be used to cover part of the cost of installing charging stations. If additional funding is required, special assessments can be levied on co-owners.

Bank loans and leasing

As a business or condominium owner, you can also consider taking out bank loans specifically designed to finance your recharging infrastructure. Several banks and financial institutions offer loans at attractive rates for projects linked to the energy transition. The Banque Publique d'Investissement (BPI France) offers loans with reduced interest rates ranging from 1% to 2%.The Caisse d'Epargne offers loans at reduced rates, starting at 1.5for investment in recharging infrastructure for businesses and local authorities. Finally, Crédit Agricole offers loans at rates ranging from 1.2% to 2%depending on the amount and term of the loan, for corporate charging station installation projects. Leasing or renting charging stations is another option, enabling costs to be spread over several years without requiring a large initial investment. Interest rates for leasing charging stations generally range from from 2% to 4% depending on the supplier and the term of the contract. For example, some companies offer leasing solutions with rates rates of around 3% for contracts of 5 to 7 years.

Public-private partnerships

Public-private partnerships can offer a financing solution for large-scale projects. These partnerships enable costs to be shared between public and private entities, reducing the financial burden for each party. Some municipalities may co-finance the installation of charging stations in public parking lots or shopping malls in exchange for public access to the stations:

  • Lyonthe city has collaborated with several private companies to install charging stations in public parking lots.

 

  • Nantesthe municipality has initiated partnerships with local companies to develop a network of charging stations accessible to the public and finance part of the costs.
  • ToulouseIn Toulouse, the municipality has set up a partnership with a private operator to install charging stations in commercial and residential areas, with financial contributions from each party.

Crowdfunding

Participatory financing is a recent option for electric vehicle charging projects. Crowdfunding platforms (Lendosphere, Wiseed, Enerfip) enable companies and condominiums to raise funds from individuals interested in sustainable mobility projects. This approach can also include incentives for contributors, such as reduced-rate subscriptions or priority access to charging stations.

Tax incentives and assistance

In addition to direct subsidies, there are a number of grants and tax incentives to encourage the installation of charging stations. Businesses can benefit from a tax deduction for investments in recharging infrastructure, reducing their corporate income tax. What's more, some regions offer additional tax incentives for environmentally-friendly projects.

Conclusion

Financing options for the installation of charging stations are varied and make these projects more financially accessible. By combining grants, bank loans, partnerships and tax incentives, you can benefit from viable financing solutions tailored to your needs.

Picture of Adrien-Maxime MENSAH
Adrien-Maxime MENSAH

If you believe in the electrification of vehicles, you're already halfway towards your ecological transition. That's why I'm offering you some content on the electric vehicle environment.

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