Americans can expect to see a lot more electric vehicle (EV) charging stations over the next decade as the current administration proceeds with plans to speed up EV adoption and lessen the country’s dependence on gas-powered cars. The strategy includes adding 500,000 new stations nationwide, with locations ranging from highway corridors and rural areas to inner cities.
On a smaller scale, numerous companies across the country are busy installing and distributing equipment to individual clients. One of them is PlugIn Stations Online (PISO), a Valatie, NY-based provider of EV infrastructure and charging across the Northeast.
Since being founded in 2011, PISO has installed more than 3,000 charging ports for businesses, homeowners, and government entities. The company provides authorized maintenance and repair services for several major charging station manufacturers, including ChargePoint, EVbox, Shell Recharge, JuiceBox, ABB, Flo EV Charging, and SWTCH.
PISO supplies, distributes, installs, and services almost every type of EV charging station. It lists numerous services on its website, including remote station troubleshooting, on-site diagnostics and repairs, and ongoing preventative maintenance.
The company has also shown a knack for innovation, having successfully installed what it calls “one of the world’s first” hydro-powered EV chargers operating off 100% clean energy. As Electrek reported, it was installed at PISO’s Valatie warehouse in December 2022. It is located 100 feet from the Valatie Falls Hydropower Plant, which was acquired in April 2020 by a partnership between PISO and VF Hydro.
The hydropower generator powers a first-generation ABB Wall Mount Level 2 charging station, set to 40 amps and charging at a rate of 8 kilowatts. The system equates to roughly 25 miles of range per hour using 100% clean, renewable energy.
“It’s something like a dream come true to see that we’ve successfully connected our ABB Terra AC Wallbox Level II Charger directly to the hydropower generator,” said John Doran, PISO president. “This installation illustrates the feasibility of utilizing clean power and small hydro to transport people.”
Doran is a former educator and electrician who co-founded PISO a dozen years ago with George Muglia, another former educator and electrician. The company’s early business focused on projects with municipalities.
“We started with one contract, and that was approximately 55 stations along the New York State Thruway corridor from Buffalo all the way down in New York City,” Doran said in an interview with ChargePoint. “We made a lot of contacts. I guess one of the reasons that we’ve been so successful is that I’ve always had good partners.”
PISO’s major projects include its work with the Manhattan Transportation Authority Bridges and Tunnels. The agency operates seven bridges and two tunnels in New York City and has committed to adopting EVs in its maintenance fleet and pursuit vehicles. It hired PISO to plan, manage, and execute its charging infrastructure project.
Another PISO project, with the City of Albany’s Office of Sustainability, sought to promote EV driving in the area. The company initially worked with municipal officials to review potential locations and create a citywide plan for charging deployment.
In 2022, the firm entered into another agreement with the city of Albany to review additional sites for a larger phase two deployment. The total value of this phase is $625,000. PISO, Albany, and LaBerge Group submitted a funding application to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for the project to move forward.