There are many benefits to installing EV charging stations on your property: for one, they’re great for reaching sustainability goals and helping speed the transition away from fossil fuels. Second, they can attract employees, customers, tenants, and even passers-by to your business. Unfortunately, many assume the costs of installing and maintaining EV stations would make them unviable for their business.
There are many ways to make installing EV charging stations affordable. Largely, these are grouped into two categories: incentives that help refund or pay for installation and maintenance, or cost-reduction programs that knock down the charges before they even hit your bank. Together, these programs can help launch you into the EV charging world.
We’ll be covering some of the most common forms of each cost-reduction method. Note that some of these will be specific to EVConnect, as we’ve made a focused effort to make EV Charging more affordable for more people.
Generally, the highest-dollar methods of reducing the start-up costs of installing electric vehicle charging stations come from incentives and rebates. These come in many forms: federal, state, local and even at the level of your utility company. But, all are worth exploring if you hope to install EV charging stations.
There are a bevy of federal incentives available to those interested in installing EV infrastructure on their property, and more are being added and upgraded every day. As a result, it’s usually best to google “federal EV incentives” when you’re starting your project, to ensure you’re as up-to-date as possible.
That said, there is a current gold-standard that most people can use in most circumstances. This is the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. This is a tax credit that allows you to recoup 30% (up to a maximum of $30,000) of the cost for electric vehicle charging station purchase and installation. If you are installing chargers at multiple locations, all locations count toward the credit. What’s more, this tax credit is being extended and expanded as part of the Inflation Reduction ACT. After January of 2023, this maximum will increase to $100,000. On top of this, those who apply to this program may be eligible for a further $1,000 tax credit.
State and Local Government Incentives
Many states offer their own financial incentives to help businesses recoup electric vehicle charging station costs. What’s more, the number of states offering such incentives, and the amounts offered in those incentives, are continuing to rise. In some states, incentives may even cover up to 100 percent of the cost for electric vehicle charging station purchase and installation. While some state websites can be difficult to navigate, EV Connect can help you find the incentives available from your state government.
Some of the best state incentives can be found in California and New York. The California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project offers dozens of different rebate programs. Meanwhile, New York has a bevy of state programs.
Everything we just said about utility-based incentives for electric vehicle charging station costs also applies to local governments, especially the governments of large cities. Most local governments work to offer financial incentives through utility providers, but some cities offer financial aid directly.
Utility Company Incentives
Many electric utility companies offer financial incentives to help businesses in their service area cover their costs for electric vehicle charging stations on their property. This is particularly common for utility companies in large metropolitan markets of states like California that are trying to encourage more drivers to switch over to electric vehicles. These programs come and go, as does available funding, so you should check with your power company to see what incentives might currently be available to you.
EV Connect’s products and services are currently approved for over $2.6 billion in active utility and local government incentive programs supporting EV charging for businesses. Some of these large utility programs include:
SCE Charge Ready — This Southern California Edison program makes $432M for qualifying Multifamily, Public Sector, Workplace, Business, and Commercial Properties. Properties can receive rebates for each connector installed (must install at least 4 to qualify). The program started in 2021 and runs through 2025 or until qualifying funds are exhausted.
SDG&E’s Power Your Drive — Offered by San Diego Gas and Electric, this program is a great way to offset the cost of charging stations and help eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. The one time rebate covers 100% of charger costs (with coordinating price caps for multifamily and workplace charging).
BGE EVsmart Program — Targeting mulitfamily property owners, Baltimore Gas and Electric is offering substantial rebates for those installing Level 2 and fast charging stations. Eligible owners could receive up to $30,000 in rebates while funding lasts.
Check out the full list of utility company incentives by state on our website.
While incentives help put money back into your pocket or pay your fees for you, cost-cutting programs slash prices at the source. They’re (usually) programs offered by EV Charging providers that defray or eliminate some of the cost of installing EV charging hardware. But they also have one major strength over the incentives listed above: they can also help reduce maintenance costs.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t mention an important part of the cost-cutting power of EV Charging stations: energy management features. These can go a long way towards reducing the overhead power costs of maintaining an EV charging station, in order to widen the profit margin for your business. With EV Connect’s Energy Management features, businesses can reduce their utility bills, avoid electrical infrastructure upgrades, participate in Demand Response (DR) programs to earn money, fulfill incentive requirements, and help maintain the stability of the grid. Not only do these features save money, they also benefit the environment by reducing unnecessary energy usage.
Charging as a Service (CaaS)
“Charging as a Service” (often shortened to “CaaS”) are programs where, instead of paying a large up-front fee for installing and maintaining EV charging infrastructure, you pay a regular monthly subscription fee that covers commissions, management software, and most or all maintenance. This drastically reduces the up-front cost of installing EV charging infrastructure.
While CaaS is especially renowned for its ability to lower the cost of entry into EV charging, its real value comes in its ability to help you recover from unexpected changes. Normally, you’d be on the hook for maintaining your EV equipment. That means that, in case of an unexpected disaste, you’d be left with the bill. Not only that: you’d have to arrange to have someone come see the station, which involves coordinating with other vendors and incurring a bevy of unpredictable costs and hours of time burned. CaaS programs prevent that by covering such repairs under your regular subscription fee.
EV Connect Shield and other Comprehensive Warranty Programs
If one doesn’t want the subscription fee but still wants to be protected from the unexpected, another option is to find a provider that offers a comprehensive warranty program, like EV Connect Shield. These are programs that, in some sense, offer the security benefits of CaaS while giving you the freedom of ownership. These programs aren’t your typical “replace-and-forget” warranty plan. Rather, they cover every operational and maintenance cost associated with your EV charging hardware. From finding labor to monitoring the health of your hardware, these programs cover you completely and ensure that you’ll never be left hanging with a huge repair bill.
Learning From Your Provider
The list of programs capable of slashing your EV charging station costs to nearly nothing is always growing. While this gives you more options, it can also result in a bit of confusion. As such, your best bet can sometimes be to go right to the people who know these programs best: EV Charger providers, themselves. EV Connect, for example, offers a list of financial incentives to learn about the resources available to you to offset the cost of electric vehicle charging stations.
Nevertheless, these programs will often be grouped into one of the categories above: incentives on the federal, state, local, and utility levels, and cost-cutting programs that come from the provider, themselves. In tandem, these programs will help more business owners to get into this ever-growing field.