August 29, 2023 Huen Electric Leads Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Collaboration
MYR Group subsidiaries work together to design and construct EV charging stations at dealerships across U.S. and in Canada
Electric vehicle sales are already climbing, and federal incentives passed in recent years are expected to further accelerate vehicle electrification. Supporting the volume of electric vehicles (EVs) expected to be on the roads in the next several years will require a huge increase in charging infrastructure.
Harnessing the power of MYR Group’s network of companies, several of our subsidiaries are supporting the clean energy transformation by working together to design and construct electric vehicle charging stations at auto dealerships across the U.S. and in Canada.
While our subsidiaries often collaborate on electrical construction projects, Don Egan, MYR Group’s Chief Operating Officer of Commercial & Industrial, said this is the first national collaboration for a single customer that involves so many of MYR Group’s companies.
Led by Huen Electric’s Renewables Division Manager Jeff DeSocio and his team out of Syracuse, N.Y., this unprecedented collaboration includes six MYR Group subsidiaries: CSI Electrical Contractors, E.S. Boulos Company, Harlan Electric, Huen Electric, Sturgeon Electric and Western Pacific Enterprises.
These MYR Group companies are also working with 25 industry partners operating in different regions. To locate and engage those external partners, DeSocio discussed geographic coverage abilities with the MYR Group subsidiaries and then reached out to high quality, established IBEW contractors to discuss the possibility of working together on the project in other parts of the country.
“Most were more than happy to partner with us,” Huen Electric Project Manager Ryan Cabiles said. DeSocio spent months vetting interested companies to assemble the right external team.
In Front of a Major Opportunity
More than 26.4 million electric vehicles are expected to be on the road in 2030 in the U.S., according to the Edison Electric Institute. Keeping them moving will require nearly 13 million charge ports, including more than 2 million public ports. Yet, there are just over 140,000 public ports in the U.S., according to Department of Energy records.
One industry working to expand charging infrastructure is the auto industry. As auto manufacturers expand their EV portfolios, many want to add charging at dealerships including all the “big three” U.S. car makers: General Motors, Stellantis and Ford.
General Motors’ is not only assisting its dealerships with the cost of charging installations, it also announced a program with Pilot and Flying J gas stations to build a national fast charging network. Stellantis, the owner of Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands among others, wants its dealerships to have charging capabilities by early 2024. The Ford Motor Company established EV certification guidelines (including charging stations) for its dealers and roughly two-thirds of them have agreed to join the program.
The tremendous need for charging infrastructure presented an opportunity for MYR Group’s businesses.
MYR Group’s reputation as an industry leader and national presence helped Huen Electric secure the extensive project for an energy consulting and infrastructure software company which was helping prepare auto dealerships for electrification.
“MYR Group being in the top #3 electrical contractors in the country played a big part, and so did its geographic footprint,” Cabiles explained. “A venture like this probably wouldn’t have been an opportunity we [Huen] could engage in if not for the fact that we’re part of MYR Group.”
The customer is working towards the installation of more than 10,000 charging units at car dealerships across the U.S., and MYR Group’s companies are at the forefront of many of those construction opportunities.
Pre-planning for Efficiency and Success
Even before getting all internal teams and outside partners engaged in the project, DeSocio and Cabiles spent months developing the necessary scope of work, policies and procedures, cheat sheets and check lists to enable project efficiency and success.
They considered countless scenarios that might be encountered, so that ready solutions would be available to all collaborators. They also selected software applications all the partners would use (Procore and Smartsheet) which provided real-time information gathering, sharing, and project tracking and management.
Once all partners were established, the Huen Electric team held multiple meetings with each partner from the leadership level to field staff. They discussed processes, procedures and the resources they developed to equip everyone for success as they began to perform site audits across the nation, develop design plans for each site and supply construction cost estimates to auto dealerships.
Bob Matijevic, a Huen Electric senior project manager in Illinois, praised his colleagues for setting up a “really good” process for all collaborators to follow.
Cabiles oversaw close to 1,000 site audits.
Each audit involved a design-build approach. Field staff from each MYR Group subsidiary and external partner visited dealerships in their area to gather all the necessary information about existing electrical infrastructure. They considered whether or not the number of chargers planned for that site would require additional electrical service, planned out additional service needs and location, and took pictures of the site. Entering all this data in the software tools gave Cabiles real-time information at his fingertips to assist with any challenges that arose during this process.
From there, the designs and cost estimates for constructing the chargers were developed and submitted to the local dealerships. Those that choose to proceed with installing EV infrastructure then have the choice of hiring Huen Electric and its collaborators to perform construction, or another contractor.
Project collaborators have moved into the construction phase with 100 projects across 26 states.
By joining the collaboration, Matijevic’s district benefited by learning the EV charger installation process in-depth and building relationships with local auto dealerships that could call on them for future work.
Harlan Electric’s Rochester Hills district was eager to expand its EV infrastructure work capabilities and excited to join the collaboration. Harlan Electric Operations Manager Chad Pioletti said having support from Cabiles at Huen Electric was critical to success on an installation in Auburn Hills, Mich.
“We’re grateful to all the districts and our non-MYR Group partners who are involved in this ongoing collaboration. We couldn’t succeed without this team effort,” said DeSocio.
With the collaborative processes developed, efficiencies discovered, and that knowledge shared across so many of our companies through this project, all of them are better equipped than ever to provide electric vehicle infrastructure services to a wide range of customers.