By Jeff Eriks,Cambridge Companies

Optimize your EV charging station construction with a design-build approach. This method streamlines the process, reducing time and costs while ensuring your charging station is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

In recent years, there has been a significant demand for electric vehicles (EV) and Hybrid electric vehicles (HEV). Concerns regarding the use of fossil fuels and emissions,  coupled with the push from the Biden administration to ensure that 50% of all car sales are electric cars by 2030, are key factors to this increase.

Currently, there are about 2.4 million plug-in Electric vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles on the road in the US, from brands like Tesla and Toyota. However, the number of public electric vehicle charging stations is not sufficient in most states. California leads the way with over 13,000 chargepoints. New York comes in at a distant second with 2700.

Given the increase in demand for electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies, a wider charging infrastructure is also needed to keep these vehicles running. In the coming few years, the demand for EV charging solutions and EV charging station installation is going to rise significantly. Mckinsey estimates that the total expenditure to build EV charging stations  by 2030 could be in excess of $35 billion. $5 billion has already been earmarked in the climate bill that was passed in 2022.

But how do you go about constructing a high-quality EV charging network? What should you look for when selecting charging station contractors? This blog will take a look at these aspects in greater detail. Read on!

What should You be Considering Before You Design an EV Charging Station?

Designing and building an EV charging station can be a more complex task than you think, especially when you are looking at large-scale installations. Here are some key points to consider before designing an EV charging station:

  1. The types of EVs that will be using the charging station. There are different types of connectors for different types of EVs, so you’ll need to make sure your charging station can accommodate the cars that will be using it. Understanding the different connectors that the various brands use and having options to use multiple connectors will make the charging station convenient a wider range of EV owners .


  2. The number of cars that will be using the charging station. This will affect the size and capacity of the chargers you need to install. This will depend on the location and the number of electric cars that are likely to be passing through the area and using the station.


  3. The location of the charging station. You’ll need to consider site proximity to power sources, ease of access for users, and the number of EV owners in the area when choosing a location for your charging station.


  4. The type of charging you want to use. There are Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 chargers, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. For example, Level 3 DC fast chargers offer the fastest charging speeds, but not all batteries are compatible with them – while using a lower charging level will take more time to charge a vehicle. You will want to choose the right charging system depending on the vehicles you are expecting to service as well as the number of vehicles you expect to use the station daily.


  5. The construction timeline and budget for the project. Designing an EV charging station can be a large undertaking, so it’s important to have a clear understanding of your timeline and budget before getting started. This will help your contractor design and build the EV charging station, while mitigating potential time and cost overruns. 

What are the Key Steps Involved in Building an EV Charging Station?

With the right contractor team and effective planning, building an EV charging station can be a seamless process. Let’s take a look now at the key steps involved:

Choose the Right Location

As emphasized throughout this blog, the location of your EV charging station is critical to its success. You’ll want to consider foot traffic, visibility, and proximity to other amenities when choosing a location. While it may be difficult to establish the exact number of electric vehicles that are passing through at any point, locations near to existing gas stations and rest areas could be great to consider.

Work with Experienced Professionals

Working with the right team of contractors, with experiencing designing and building EV charging stations, is critical. Talk to a range of contractors to understand their portfolios. Do this to identify who can best meet your needs when designing and building the station.

Understand Your Power Needs

Before starting construction, you’ll need to understand your power needs. Level 1 AC power charging won’t be sufficient for a public charging station: it would take hours to charge any EV completely.

 Level 2 charging with a higher output power rating of 11 kW or 22 kW will be needed – even Level 2 chargers can take 1-2 hours to top up a 25kW EV battery. If you plan to service commercial EVs with 100 kW batteries, you’ll want to consider supporting Level 3 DC fast charging.

You should get a clear understanding of power availability in the area as well as applicable regulations. You’ll need to work with the power supply company to get the required AC power to your charging station: this will require special equipment and electrical panel installation as well.

Follow all Code and Safety Requirements

There are a variety of codes and regulations that apply to EV charging stations. Regulatory compliance is a vital factor. Given that you are dealing with high-power electrification, you will need the help of experienced electricians to ensure that all safety parameters are fully met. There is really no room for error and only high-quality workmanship can ensure this.

Test, Test, Test

Once your chargers are up and running, be sure to test your station out thoroughly before making it available to the public. This will help ensure that it’s safe and reliable for everyone who uses it. Test using the various configurations and power outputs, as well as different cars and batteries to ensure that everything works as intended. 

How does the Design-build Approach Simplify the Process?

A design-build approach will help streamline the construction process and measurably reduce costs. One of the biggest advantages of design-build is that you work with a single point of contact who is responsible for the entire construction process. A design-build team will work collaborative, right from the first day. This’ll prevent processes from getting siloed and ensure consistent, two-way communication between your organization and your contractor team.  

This has significant benefits including lower costs and reduced turnaround time during construction. Design-build can be hugely beneficial if you are not just focused on one charging station, but want to scale to a whole network across various locations.

What should You Look for When You are Choosing a Contractor?

When you are choosing a contractor to design and build your EV charging station, there are a few things you should keep in mind. First, you want to make sure that the contractor has specific experience in EV charging station installation services. Take a look at their portfolio of work to identify EV charging projects they’ve worked on in the past.

You will, of course, also need to confirm that the contractor can implement the project within your budget.  

How does Cambridge Companies Use the Design-build Approach to Reduce Construction Cost and Time?

At Cambridge Companies, we have been at the forefront of design-build construction projects spanning range industries and locations across the country. We have vast experience implementing turnkey construction projects, and delivering these on time and cost-effectively

We use the design-build approach to understand your requirements and bring together a winning team that has the right mix of experience to effectively design and build your station. We take end-to-end responsibility for the project and work with you as true partners to deliver the project within budget, using high-quality materials and techniques.

Get in touch with our experts today to start planning your EV charging station project today!