Charging Station Providers for Electric Police Vehicles

Police Fleet Professional Magazine

Every fleet professional knows that having reliable vehicles at the ready is critical for operational success in order to protect the public. Today, police departments need to plan for the future, keeping in mind their vehicles’ longevity and impact on the environment. One of the biggest issues facing agencies today is whether to transition to electric vehicles and/or hybrid electric vehicles…and how to do it effectively. New York City, for example, recently purchased 1,250 electric vehicles and they will transition to all electric by 2035. As the number of police departments adding electric vehicles (EV) and hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) to their fleets continues to rise, so do the number of charging outlets across the country.

In May 2023, the United States had over 138,000 charging outlets for plug-in electric vehicles (EVs). A considerable number of these chargers are found in California (with almost 44,600 public and private power outlets). Powered by lithium batteries, EVs need to be recharged at intervals that vary according to the size of the battery and speed of the charger. Most police agencies use the 240-Volt Level 2 chargers, which can refill a large battery that is half full up to 80 percent in a few hours. Direct current (DC) chargers are much faster than regular alternating current (AC) chargers and can take less than 20 minutes to charge an electric car up to 80 percent. The average EV can travel about 250 miles on a charge today, but others can go much farther and it is predicted that their range will be up to 500 miles in the near future.

Some charging station providers are working directly with police departments to help them with their electric vehicle charging needs. As more and more police departments replace their gas-powered vehicles with electric vehicles, it is important to know the who, what, where of charging stations. Many companies are now providing this essential service for public safety. Below is a look at some of the providers and their plans for implementing charging stations throughout the United States.

Siemens Industry Inc.
Based in the Orlando, FL area, Siemens Industry Inc. is working with OEMs, energy providers, fleet operators, companies, cities, and end customers to make electromobility a reality. In addition to products, they offer complete solutions for electromobility that combine many years of expertise, innovative software, and high-performance products.

The adoption of electric vehicles is rapidly increasing. With that comes the need for electric vehicle smart charging infrastructure to support a variety of facilities, such as police departments, office buildings, retail shops, hospitals, airports, universities and colleges, parking garages and parking lots, schools, hotels, apartment/condo buildings, as well as along highway corridors. Deploying smart EV charging technology at commercial facilities helps reduce the carbon footprint and energy consumption. It also demonstrates forward-thinking technology that meets the needs of customers today and well into the future.

The VersiCharge AC EV chargers are ideal for a cost-effective electric vehicle charging solution. They have a user-friendly app, flexible communication connections, open payment options, secure billing, faster charging, OCPP, and more.

VersiCharge AC electric vehicle chargers can be connected directly with back-end systems, making it scalable and cost-efficient for police departments. Compatible with all common EVs and applicable charging standards, the VersiCharge offers delayed and planned charging, plus secure billing and open payment options for customer convenience. Other features of the VersiCharge AC Level 2 EV Charger include OCPP back-end; indoor and outdoor rated (NEMA 4/ IK 8); three-year warranty; 20-foot cable with integrated cable management; easy-to-use app; and cloud-based services available for easy management.

EV Connect
EV Connect, a leading provider of electric vehicle (EV) charging management solutions, and Skycharger, a leader in EV charging, joined forces to offer a Fleet-as-a-Service (FaaS) program that provides fleet operators with new financing and service options for EV charging. In response to a call for zero-emissions goals by the Corporate Electric Vehicle Alliance and NAFA Fleet Management Association, the FaaS program offers fleet operators a way to acquire, deploy, and maintain EV charging infrastructure with no upfront costs. This comprehensive, operating expenses-based service model provides a cost-effective solution for fleet managers looking for a hassle-free and cost-effective option for managing electric, or zero-emission, fleets.

The FaaS program offers EV charging at a monthly cost, including the cost of electricity. It also comes as a “full-stack approach,” which simplifies the entire process, from installation to driver support. Through turnkey EV charging solutions, FaaS customers benefit from expert consulting at every phase of the electric vehicle supply equipment’s life cycle, from site planning to deployment, operations, and management. Skycharger customers also benefit from the EV Connect Shield program, which provides central management of charging station operations and maintenance, including station hardware, software and networking, technical field service, as well as parts sourcing and replacement.

SCIpact
Founded in 2020 by Michael Bartlett, SCIpact’s goal is to provide sustainable, creative, and impactful solutions for the issues facing facility managers today, including rising energy costs, renewable energy and sustainability trends, and fleet electrification. Through SCIpact’s experience working with the federal government, they have developed relationships with numerous Fortune 500 companies and federal contractors. This allows them to provide economical and high-quality products and services nationwide to all levels of government (federal, state, and local) as well as commercial and industrial clients. Electrification partners include SemaConnect, InCharge, Apadana, and Charge Point.

The expert team at SCIpact offers a unique set of skills and experiences within the EV market, providing turnkey solutions from planning, permitting, installation, service, and training.  SCIpact’s leadership has helped guide and develop several programs and installations within the federal government. SCIpact’s VP of Federal Development, Daniel Bakke, has installed EV charging stations with the NAVY, DECA, ARMY, USAF, USMC, GSA, VA, & USPS. In the last five years, Bakke has provided guidance to the federal government on developments, changes, and planning guidelines for the federal government through industry day events, conferences, and one-on-one consulting.

SemaConnect/Blink Charging
In June 2022, SemaConnect was acquired by Blink Charging (still operating as SemaConnect).

Whether a fleet is already electric, or planning to add electric vehicles, how and where the fleet charges are necessary components of a successful EV program. Whether an officer charges their electric police vehicle at a depot center, along their route, or at home, Blink has fleet charging solutions with detailed fleet reporting functionality.

The Blink Fleet Program allows agencies to adopt the technology necessary for a green future. Notable features include:

  • Bringing sustainable practices and green initiatives to your agency
  • Building on existing EV charging infrastructure
  • Maximizing savings on cost with power management controls
  • Reducing CO2 emissions along heavily traveled routes
  • Saving an average of 35% on lifetime vehicle maintenance cost
  • Managing and reporting fleet usage with Blink Network services
  • Creating a reliable and ready fleet system

District Fleet
District Fleet offers custom fleet management and advanced e-Mobility solutions. They align an agency’s specific requirements with innovative strategies and technologies, delivering best-in-class results for fleet managers. District Fleet has a full portfolio of fleet solutions designed to help optimize fleet operations, including vehicle accessories, add-ons, emerging vehicle technologies, and fleet management techniques that can help save time and money, as well as the environment.

Since they understand the unique demands law enforcement agencies have when it comes to safety, performance, and reliability, they can customize a solution for any department. Their turnkey fleet electrification services help agencies define requirements and develop a streamlined procurement process to purchase and deploy Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).

Installation planning involves helping agencies identify site specific requirements and develop a formal installation plan. This step is designed to address electrical service requirements, communications, security, billing, and GOV versus POV usage requirements.

EVSE site assessment can be an onsite visit or virtual and identifies and determines installation location, electrical service requirements and availability, specific site requirements, safety analysis, and more. Utility coordination involves assessing local grid infrastructure, metering, billing, and customer service to help avoid costly expenses later on. District Fleet assists agencies in choosing a portfolio of fast, safe, secure, and reliable EV Charging stations and smart management software. Site preparation includes the installation and/or modifying of electrical services based on a fleet’s electrical plans.

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