Demand has exploded for EV charging stations

Albany Electrician says demand has ‘exploded’ for electric vehicle charging stations

By Mike De Socio  –  Digital Editor, Albany Business Review. Nov 6, 2019 Updated Dec 4, 2019, 2:18pm EST

When [John Doran]( founded PlugIn Stations Online in Albany in 2011, installing electric vehicle charging stations was a niche market. There were fewer than 30 electric vehicles on the road in the Albany region and about 700 in the entire state. Eight years later, the number of electric vehicles has shot up, and his business has grown accordingly.

“2019 has exploded, and from what I’m hearing from industry insiders, 2020 is going to make my head explode,” Doran said.

PlugIn Stations Online has installed more than 200 electric vehicle charging ports so far this year at locations around the state, including Latham, New Paltz, Hudson and Buffalo, just to name a few. Each charging port costs about $5,000, and most stations include two ports.

Doran said the charging stations are increasingly popular for office buildings, apartment complexes and municipalities. There are now about 3,000 electric vehicles registered in the Albany region and 43,000 across the state.

“It’s unbelievable how much more interest there is in the vehicles and the stations,” Doran said.

He attributes the interest to more people realizing electric vehicles are fun to drive, cheap to maintain and better for the environment.

There’s also a lot more funding available. National Grid offers grants that can pay for the infrastructure to support charging stations, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority can pay for the charging station itself.

“It’s gotten to the point where it’s so overwhelming, the amount of work that we’re getting, it almost sells itself,” Doran said.

Some of the jobs Doran has landed recently include:

Doran entered the electric vehicle industry as an electrician who wanted to start his own business but do something different.

Business was slow in the beginning, but it eventually picked up and his company installed the first electric vehicle charger in the Albany region, at the Holiday Inn Albany. (That charging station has since been removed).

Now Doran’s company is working on four or five jobs at any given time. PlugIn Stations Online recently won a contract with the New York Power Authority that will allow the company to bid on projects along the New York State Thruway.

The vision, Doran said, is to put fast-charging stations at rest stops along the Thruway [that would allow drivers to charge]( up to 80% of their electric vehicle’s battery capacity in 20-30 minutes.

“People are starting to discover that electric vehicles really are the wave of the future,” Doran said.


This story has been updated to clarify that the region’s first charging station was at the Holiday Inn, not the Hilton, in Albany.

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