Below we’ve compiled some common questions and answers regarding the installation of level-2 destination chargers in Saskatchewan.
Q: What is level-2 destination charging?
A: Level-2 destination charging is a 208-volt (three-phase) or 240-volt (single-phase) charging option for electric vehicles. It ranges from 16-amps on a 20-amp circuit all the way up to 80-amps on a 100-amp circuit. Electrical code requires that electric vehicle charging equipment only utilize 80% of circuit capacity. Most electric vehicles available today can utilize 30, 32 or 48-amps for level-2 charging. Drivers will prioritize locations that can charge their vehicle faster.
Q: What locations are good for level-2 destination charging?
A: Destinations! Level-2 charging can take several hours so it’s best-suited for overnight stops like homes, hotels and motels and also daytime stops like workplaces, malls, theaters, museums, parks, beaches, arenas, stadiums, ski hills and other tourist spots. For examples where charging should take less than 90 minutes, DCFC or level-3 fast charging is more suitable.
Q: How do I pick a charging spot with low install costs?
A: The most variable element for the install cost of EV charging is cable length and whether any of that cable needs to be trenched underground. Longer runs require larger gauge, more expensive cabling and trenching requires special equipment and additional labor. Selecting a parking space along the outside wall of your building near an electrical panel with sufficient capacity will help reduce costs. The grant will cover up to $2,000 of related costs, additional costs are the responsibility of the applicant.
Q: What is “ICEing”?
A: While charging spaces are often conveniently located near main entrances to reduce install costs, this can also lead to an undesirable event called “ICEing” with “ICE” standing for “Internal Combustion Engine”. This is when a non-plug-in vehicle parks in a charging space, preventing the use of the space by EV drivers. This can also happen when plug-in vehicles park in the space but fail to connect to the charger or when a driver fails to move after their vehicle has been fully charged. Signage and longer charging station cables that can reach other nearby spaces can help with these problems but some policing may also be required on your part. If EV drivers lose confidence in the space and worry they may become stranded then you will see reduced traffic.
Q: What else makes for a good charging spot?
A: We recommend picking a convenient spot but not the most desirable in your lot with good visibility for safety and comfort. You may choose to review existing charging spaces on the prairies via PlugShare to learn more.
Q: How do I advertise my charging space?
A: There are several mobile and web apps that EV drivers use to plan trips and find charging spots. The most important one is PlugShare, where it’s important to have a complete and informative listing with pictures and maintain a good rating. Other dedicated apps include ChargeHub and ChargePoint and this functionality is also being added to Apple Maps and Google Maps. We will also assist with marketing on SaskEV social media channels.
Q: Can I charge for use of my charging space?
A: The rules of the charging grant require that charging be offered for free to drivers for the first year. This should help bring new EV drivers to your community and electricity costs are typically low, usually less than $1 per hour of use depending on charging speed. After the first year, you may decide to start charging for use of the space. This will typically require the purchase of a more expensive “smart” charger that can handle billing for you. Some charging operators choose to start with a less expensive charger initially and then replace it with a smart station (while reusing cabling and other infrastructure) once usage rises. If you are going to charge to charge, we recommend pricing of $2 per hour or less for level-2 destination charging in Saskatchewan.
Q: Where can I buy a charging station?
A: Commercial stations should be hard wired. There are many models available from many suppliers in Canada. Check the “EV Charging” page on the SaskEV website for more detail. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Q: I’m not ready for a charging spot, what else can I do to support EV drivers?
A: You can also register NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 5-15/20 outlets on PlugShare and other apps for use by EV drivers. These will be less desirable for drivers than a dedicated level-2 station but they will still be appreciated.