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Local Buildings Become Electric Vehicle Friendly
by Michael Evans   

With the high demand of newly-released electric vehicles, big changes are occurring in the commercial building industry. Plans are currently underway for the installation of electric vehicle docking (charging) stations in both the public and private sectors.

What is Pushing this Drive?

With almost every major manufacturer now in production of electric vehicles, reliable and quick charging systems are a necessity in order to meet consumer demand. Electric vehicles bring numerous immediate and long-term benefits to the table.

Local Buildings Become Electric Vehicle FriendlyThe transition from EVs as an idea to adopting them into society has raised some concerns among the public. Electric vehicles have shorter driving ranges than gasoline-powered cars and require more time to fuel or charge up. The average 110V EV charging unit that comes standard with the vehicle takes a 12 to 16 hours to fully charge.

Although there are cost savings and incentives to driving an electric vehicle, the bottom line is fueling stations need to be conveniently located. So how do consumers cope with this need? The solution is to have rapid charging stations available where they are needed and easily accessible. The charging stations must also be built at an affordable price to the owner. Most auto dealerships are launching electric vehicle models now, so these accommodations need to be taken care of immediately.

Utah-Yamas Controls, particularly its energy services and technologies division, is ready for the EV docking/charging station market and has been contracted to install docking/charging stations for several of their clients. One of their first customers, an early adopter to this technology, is the Canyon Park Technology Center in Orem. The company is planning the installation of EV docking stations at its Orem campus.

"The time has come to adopt this green technology at our park, and we want to be ready to meet our customers’ demands," said Allen Finlinson, general manager of Canyon Park.

Why Join the EV Bandwagon?

The number one reason is to save money. In this case, going green will save green. Car manufacturers are producing electric vehicles that are getting more than 90 miles per gallon. Other big savings are in tax incentives. Owners of electric vehicles may receive a tax credit of up to $7,500. Owners of charging stations receive incentives as well. Currently, tax credits of up to $1,000 can be received on residential charging stations. Businesses may receive 30 percent of their cost up to $30,000.

EV charging stations can qualify for LEED points as well. Commercial buildings of any size, or multi-residential buildings up to four levels, can receive up to three LEED points under the New Construction Sustainable Sites Credit 4.0. Qualified buildings may receive between three and 15 LEED points under the Existing Building Sustainable Sites Credit 4.0.

Lastly, the docking systems are surprisingly affordable, and the efficiency of the systems are increasing. The level II residential and commercial stations can now charge in three to six hours, down from the standard 12 to 16 hours. Charging at level III commercial quick-charge station can take a mere 30 minutes.

So why else are building owners installing EV Stations?

Financial incentives aside, building owners and businesses recognize other needs for installing an EV docking station. One powerful need is branding power. Having an EV docking station installed will label a company green, showing an owner's commitment to the environment. Having an EV station installed at your building will also increase customer traffic. Buildings with an EV docking station will attract EV owners to their business. Vehicle drivers need to dock their vehicles, and during that docking time, they will have the opportunity to traffic the local businesses.

Building owners can offer incentives for their tenants to use docking stations as well. Offering preferred parking spaces for green vehicles encourages others to join the movement for energy independence. Electric vehicles are now a reality, and harboring charging stations will soon be a necessity.

Michael Evans is manager of Energy Services at Utah-Yamas Controls. He can be reached at 801.990.1950.

Photo Credits: Provo City

 

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