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Question

Advice on EV Charging Station Installation & Business Model

Eihab Agladious's picture
IT Manager JEMSK Business Finance and Technology

Looking into operating EV Charging stations very interested in the Energy sector in Egypt. I have a technical and project management background, worked in the Investment Banking sector for over...

  • Member since 2020
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  • Jul 15, 2020
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I need advice on the starting point to move into this specialist industry and specifically in Egypt. I read researcher papers & studies (CEDARE) on the topic, i understand how Egypt is not there yet in terms of infrastructure maturity, policy, regulations, planning and clarity on direction. 

I would like to be part of this future development of EV infrastructure building in Egypt, but I don't know where to start off? Do i need to get  in touch with Charging stations makers? Do I need basic training on EV Charging Stations Installations? Do I need to get in touch with the ministry Of electricity and renewable energy to understand the requirements to get a license for EV stations installations?

Where/who has any advise on how to enter this market?

Thanks

Eihab

 

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Best Answer

I think you first need to determine the source and reliability of your energy supply and at what cost/rate structure you will pay and be paid.  Secondly, you will need to determine if you will need/require battery storage, especially if you plan to utilize solar.  Thirdly, if the EV charging station is to support an electric fleet for government, emergency services, police or military, you will need to have a very high reliable and resilient source of electricity.  Under this scenario, you will likely need to have a microgrid in place with the charging system.

Dr. Amal Khashab's picture
Dr. Amal Khashab on Jul 18, 2020

Excellent observation is to have a microgrid to secure power supply to the charging system.

Eihab Agladious's picture
Eihab Agladious on Jul 21, 2020

Thank you Dr. Amal, would be great to meet you in Egypt learn from you. 

Eihab Agladious's picture
Eihab Agladious on Jul 21, 2020

great observation Howard - source of power, storage requirements and reliability are 3 main aspects in the design of this architecture. Mcirogrids will reduce the reliance on public power supply, cut costs and self sufficient. If a proposed microgrid infra is based on Photovoltaic array, electrochemical storage and integrated grid connection, how are we able to monitor the power supply, customise and manage demand and generation e.g. during peak hours?

 

Agree with Charles, Eihab. Depending on the resources in your community, it might be a good idea to install chargers for larger businesses first to get experience.

Location of the chargers is critical, and like bus or rail lines, the most productive locations will be at the terminus of common trips for retail or business customers/employees.

Offering a convenient app for cellphones users is critical, too. Here in Los Angeles I use Chargepoint, which has been in business for over a decade. It's reliable, easy to find locations, and most importantly: easy to find out whether they're available or not.

Eihab Agladious's picture
Eihab Agladious on Jul 21, 2020

Thanks for the tip Bob, yes agree with you, starting off with large businesses and/or govenment/public locations where there are common and high flow of traffic is a good idea. I need to get some training first. 

I agree with Jim Stack that owning and operating the charging station is difficult financially unless somebody (the government?) subsidizes your business. If you just want to install charging stations you will want to become an electrical contractor and become registered with the local government which handles electrical construction. Jim is also correct that DC fast charger installation is much more involved, expensive, and difficult than AC charging.

Eihab Agladious's picture
Eihab Agladious on Jul 16, 2020

Thanks Charles. Yes i am thinking of taking electrician course which has EV installation module. The rest is still vague to me on how to kick it off

1st of all congradulations on seeing the need and helping provide the infrastructure for the fast growing electric vehicle transition. 

From EVerything I have seen it's hard to make a profit in this area. There are level 2 charging and DC Fast Charging. It's very expensive to install, permit and operate a Fast Charger. So I would work on the Level 2 AC 230-240 volt charging.

   Have Solar PV for shade and power make Level 2 charging much easier and better for profit. Have battery storage can also help reduce or eliminate utility costs. You will need permits . If you make deals with malls and or stores it can help you and them reduce costs and make more profit. 

 

Eihab Agladious's picture
Eihab Agladious on Jul 16, 2020

Thanks Jim

looks from your profile that you are into the business. If I may, do you have any tips on how you started, who are your clients, how you developed the business and the process of getting the license from your local authorities? 

I am interested to run the installations and maintenance of EV stations, which will help and mature the infra to allow EV growth. I can see one of the first things to do is to get training on EV Station installations, I have already been looking around for courses. 

To run the operation, how do you go about sourcing the stations, Solar PV or batter storage, these must be very expensive to stock. What do contractors usually do, partner with manufacturers?

Thanks

EIhab 

Jim Stack's picture
Jim Stack on Aug 19, 2020

Eihab,   

    I just run a non profit education group to tell about Electric vehicles and charging. I used to work as a solar repair tech on inverters, battery systems and test solar panels. I also worked for a while to a Charge Point company selling 240 volt Level 2 chargers and testing and trouble shooting them but just for a few months while a friend was out sick. I also taugh classes in Solar technology for 2 colleges and a renewable energy company as a NABCEP instructor. 

Most of my life , 42 years ,I worked in Telecommunications 1st land line, then wireless and last Satellite com for Iridium. That was lots of on call 24/7 and working night and Holidays.   

    From that I could see it's a hard business to make a profit let along stay in business. 

 

Jim

Business model vary depending who you are (a utility, a contractor installing for businesses or a utility, a charging network operator, a business, a home owner, etc.). Can you provide more context?

Eihab Agladious's picture
Eihab Agladious on Jul 16, 2020

Thanks Benoit, as a contractor to install and maintain EV stations. 

Benoit Marcoux's picture
Benoit Marcoux on Jul 20, 2020

Public charging often runs at a loss, offered as a convenience to customers or subsidized by the state or the utility. However, operating (on behalf of owners, but not owning) and installing stations are more "normal" businesses. 

Installing DCFC is relatively complex and may require utility approvals or permits due to the load involved. Level 2 are relatively simple to install; if installed behind the meter on a business property, you may need additional control equipment to avoid overloading the sevice entrance or to ensure that the business does not pay demand charges. 

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