Electric vehicle charging stations are a crucial part of BMW EV ownership. We’ve covered a lot of aspects of BMW EV ownership so far – charging and long trips, for example – but haven’t talked a lot about ownership of the charging station itself. No less critical than picking the right electric vehicle, shopping and choosing charging stations can be a tiresome process.

This series of EV-related articles is brought to you by ClipperCreek powered by Enphase. ClipperCreek has been a pioneer in the EV charging market since 2006 with Level 2 AC charging stations. You can catch our first three articles here: Buying Your First BMW EV, BMW EV Ownership: Terminology, Charging, and Battery Health, How To Get Tax Rebates for Installing a Home EV Charger and BMW Electric Vehicles Ownership: Planning Trips – Short and Long.

A reality of EV ownership is that most charging takes place outdoors. Almost all public charging stations are open-air. And while you may have room for your charging station in your garage at home, having a smaller garage may force outdoor charging. And that assumes you have a garage at all! Thankfully, charging outdoors means you’re still in the EV game.

Outdoor Charging Stations for Personal Use

iX3 Outdoor Charging

Outside charging at home has some drawbacks, but it shouldn’t prevent you from installing a home charger. Charging outdoors allows you to charge your vehicle in the rain, sleet, or snow, and many companies design their charging stations to drain water. The opposite is true, too. Even in extreme heat with direct sunlight, charging stations are safe and generally reliable. Although, as a current Arizona resident, I’ve learned the hard way that you might want to keep an oven mitt handy.

The biggest negative to charging outdoors is the climate’s effects on your vehicle’s battery. Extreme hot or cold temperatures will cut range from your EV. An excellent way to defeat this is to precondition the car every time you charge.

One benefit of outside charging is saving room in your garage, if applicable. Outdoor charging also makes it easier to charge vehicles that aren’t yours – maybe a friend is visiting and needs to charge their EV, too. It also makes for a great way to utilize a charging station that offers dual plugs – like the HCS-D40 Dual Charging Station.

Outdoor Charging Stations for Commercial Use 

BMW i4 EV outdoor charging

Outdoor public charging has a lot of benefits for consumers and businesses. It’s worth considering installing an outdoor charger if you have the space. Business owners have a lot of motivation to install charging stations where they can, including:

  • Federal and state tax rebates and incentives
  • Producing new customers likely to patronize your business while their vehicle charges
  • Generating community goodwill by offering a service
  • Increase property value

When combined with other benefits, these small factors can add up to a considerable increase in business. Furthermore, outdoor EV chargers are typically low maintenance and require little capital beyond the initial investment. In fact, the only recognizable downsides pertain to the initial investment, which will likely require a professional electrician’s expertise and could be expensive, depending on your budget.

EV Charging for Companies with Fleet Vehicles

BMW 530e outdoor charging
Photo by Tom Moloughney

EVs make a ton of sense as fleet vehicles. Boasting less mechanical complexity and naturally torquey powertrains perfect for hauling and towing, an EV fits perfectly into even the most formidable fleets. So while chances are good that you don’t have a fleet of electric BMW vehicles to charge quite yet, you might soon. With deliveries already underway for Tesla, Rivian, and Ford fleet EVs, futureproofing your business with a fleet EV charging station is a great way to get ahead of the competition.

Low initial cost, rugged and durable construction, a long-term promise of sustainability, and low refueling costs are just some of the benefits of utilizing a fully electric fleet.

Conclusion: Get Charging!

iX3 Charging

Ultimately, there’s no better time than now to get on board with electric vehicles. Enhancing the charging station infrastructure by adding your own outdoor charging station is a great way to help your community and embrace the in-process electric vehicle future.