Battery technology improvements have lowered the pricing gap between internal combustion engines (ICEs) and electric vehicles (EVs), making EVs more affordable than ever. Assuming continued advancement, light-duty EVs are expected to reach cost-parity with gasoline vehicles by 2025 according to the International Council of Clean Transportation (ICCT).
EVs also offer environmental and health benefits over ICE vehicles including reduced greenhouse gasses and harmful pollutants. State and local leaders across the country have created programs, funded by federal / state incentives and rebates, with the goal of increasing EV adoption and reducing transportation emissions to advance public health. The framework for these programs includes clean energy choices, fleet conversion, and increasing installation of EV charging stations.
Increased EV sales have led to increased pressure for more widespread EV charging and higher battery capacity to both shorten travel distance limitations and reduce charging time. To meet these demands, charging infrastructure is getting faster, charging locations are more accessible, and site amenities are making charging convenient.
GPD has been assisting with the layout and design of these programs for the last six years, providing EV charging solutions across the nation for clients of all sizes, including smaller municipalities, investor-owned utilities, EV manufacturers, and Fortune 500 companies. Our team has designed over 6,000 DC Fast Charging (DCFC) stalls at over 800 sites. To break it down, that is nearly three DCFC stalls installed every day over the last six years! Why is this impressive?
- From parking lot design to electrical coordination, each site requires a full range of services. As a full-service company, GPD provides a one-stop-shop for our clients. Some of the services that go into each site include:
- Many clients are currently implementing large rollout programs. The depth of our technical team has allowed us to deliver a high volume of sites quickly. Our team is scalable and has the expertise to handle deployments of any size. Our largest site to date is in Santa Clara, CA, with over 60 stalls, utilizing both ground level access and a parking garage.
- Each site requires coordination with the utility provider. Through our power and telecommunications work over the past 60 years, GPD has built a national database of investor-owned utilities (IOUs). This has enabled our team to provide a faster, more seamless integration with the power provider, ultimately reducing the project schedule.
- Each site requires a high complexity of design and permitting, as most of these sites are installed in dense, urban corridors. GPD is adept in navigating the challenges of zoning, planning, and permitting throughout the design process. Gleaning information from our retail and telecommunications teams, GPD has built a national database of jurisdictional requirements. In addition, our professional planners have the skills to make permitting recommendations to our clients to remove extra work and push the project to market more quickly.
From starting with just a few EV sites to rolling out entire EV programs, GPD’s energy team has grown rapidly over the last six years. Our team has been involved since the inception of the service, evolution, and innovation. They have shared with us what is new and next in energy design.
What has changed the most since GPD entered the energy market in 2015?
Charging speeds. We are seeing charging speeds approach 1,000 mph (a full charge in approximately 20 minutes with an average capacity of 300 miles). That is getting closer to the ICE station experience. These are huge improvements from Level 2 charging at 50 mph where it would take approximately 6+ hours to charge for a capacity of 300 miles. These fast-charging solutions require consulting and infrastructure planning, which our team is adept at navigating.
What type of charging does GPD implement?
Our solutions range from manufacturer networks, workplace charging, and smart fleet solutions. For example, GPD managed a $10M charging program for one of the nation’s leading EV original equipment manufacturers, providing design for over 525 sites with anywhere from 8-60 spaces per site. Additionally, we managed the charging for over 200 fleet EVs for the Smart Columbus Electrification Program.
What new innovations are we seeing in EV design?
The EV green microgrid is a complex network of solar, batteries, fuel cells, and generators that provide peak shaving solutions engineered by GPD professionals. Consulting regarding energy savings and customer experience are factors our team considers every day.
Where do we see the EV market in the next five years?
With technology expanding and EV batteries becoming more efficient, it seems the goal is to improve the gas station experience. We believe unmanned retail will begin creating comfortable collaboration destinations for EV drivers. The destinations could include free WiFi, outdoor lighting, convenient access, smart charging, food and beverage options, and other features. These new concepts and customer lounges are all visons GPD has delivered for our national clients.
In addition, many EV charging sites have been installed in California and Florida to date. In the next five years, we are expecting to see EV charging expand throughout the nation more rapidly and see denser, more difficult sites as it becomes more widespread. GPD is prepared for this expansion and is ready to support what’s next with EVs!
Interested in learning more about GPD’s energy services? Get in touch with our team.