Automobile

Charger installation sparks sticker shock

“I’m not complaining, not really,” he said. “We’re GM dealers and we’re going to do what’s required. I don’t think there’s anybody in Orlando who wants this to succeed more than my family.”

New Jersey dealer Rick DeSilva said he ran into a similar problem with installing chargers at Liberty Hyundai in Mahwah, N.J.

“Rockland Electric Co. said, ‘We’ve got to get you more power’ because what we had coming in from the street wasn’t enough,” he said at the NADA Show.

DeSilva’s son, Mike, is co-owner and dealer manager at Liberty Hyundai. In a phone interview, he said the dealership is “on the hook” to pay for a new, more powerful power line from the street to the dealership.

Mike DeSilva said the utility company is still “months away” from the actual installation. He’s hoping the dealership qualifies for some local incentive money for installing EV chargers, but there’s no guarantee.

He said the dealership decided to go ahead and submit its application to get the chargers installed without waiting for the final word on incentives to avoid missing out on allocations of upcoming Hyundai EVs. DeSilva said they haven’t received an official estimate but have been told the service upgrade will be $50,000 to $100,000 in addition to the cost of the chargers and site work.

Jigar Shah, head of Energy Services for Electrify America in Reston, Va., said he’s not surprised that dealers are running into issues of delay, cost and complexity.

Electrify America, which was formed in 2016, has a network of more than 800 public EV fast-charging stations with more than 3,000 individual chargers in the U.S. and Canada.

Electrify America’s goal is a network of more than 10,000 chargers at 1,800 stations by 2026. Shah said the cost associated with installing fast chargers can vary, especially if there are multiple individual chargers at the same station.

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