The consumer mindset is steadily shifting in favor of electric vehicles (EVs). In 2022, the proportion of global car buyers who planned to purchase a fully battery-powered or hybrid EV passed 50% for the first time.
As more drivers make the switch — or plan to in the near future — savvy business owners are paying attention. More EVs on the road means more demand for charging, and this presents a unique opportunity for business owners to offer a solution that benefits both their clientele and their business: offering EV charging stations on-site.
There are a few different ways to approach providing charging stations for your customers or the broader public, though. Choosing the right EV charging business model for your company comes with a few key considerations. In this article, we’ll explore some key questions and a few potential ways to set up this new aspect of your business.
Key Questions To Consider for Your EV Charging Business Model
Before you install EV charging stations at your business, there are a few important questions to consider:
What’s the ultimate goal for installing EV chargers? Are they designed to produce additional profits for your business or to attract new clientele, tenants, or customers? This will dictate how much you’re willing to invest and what you charge for utilization, if anything.
What’s the typical dwell time for your customers? This will determine the best type of charger — standard level 2 or DC fast chargers (DCFCs). If people tend to stay at your business for an extended time, you can get by with level 2 chargers, but if you tend to see fast customer churn, DCFCs may be a better (albeit more expensive) bet.
Who will own the charging stations? Depending on your business’s location and state and utility programs available in your area, you may have various options for how to structure ownership — from full third-party ownership by a utility or charging station provider to full ownership by your business or somewhere in between. This will affect your upfront costs and long-term profit potential.
What Rebates are Available? Rebate options abound, so reading up on incentives and updates to government programs like the 30C tax credit is crucial to making sure your business is getting all the help it can when installing EV charging. When in doubt, get in touch with an EV Connect expert and we can walk you through the available incentives!
Ultimately, there are various ways to set up your EV charging station business, regardless of how you answer the above questions. However, your answers will help you decide on the best EV charging business model for you.
3 Ways To Set Up Your EV Charging Station Business
Although there are plenty of ways to tailor your own EV charging station setup to fit your business, it ultimately comes down to one of three main options.
3.) Offer EV Charging as an Amenity
The number of EVs in the U.S. is expected to grow from 2.4 million in 2021 to 26.4 million by 2030 — representing more than 10% of the cars on the road at the end of the decade. If you own a business that relies on a commercial or residential tenancy or otherwise has a consistent flow of customers, including charging stations at your business is a smart way to attract new EV drivers to your property.
Regardless of whether you decide to set up a pricing policy to charge a fee or offer free charging time, this setup can help you grow your revenue by ensuring you maintain a consistent stream of customers independent of your main business. Plus, you have the added benefit of increasing traffic to your main business by having an amenity like EV charging. It’s a win-win scenario.
This EV charging business model works best for:
Property owners and managers of multi-unit complexes.
Commercial real estate owners and landlords who lease space to other businesses, including retail stores and office space.
Retail store owners.
Hotel and hospitality property owners.
2.) Use Your EV Chargers as a Marketing Tool
Installing EV charging stations at your business does more than simply attract current EV drivers. It also sends a valuable marketing message to all eco-conscious consumers — a message that says your business cares about sustainability and environmental issues.
Sustainable business practices are becoming a core concern for many consumers. Consider the following data from a 2022 IBM survey of 16,000 global consumers:
51% of respondents said environmental sustainability had become more important to them over the past 12 months.
Half said they’d paid a premium for products that were branded as sustainable or socially responsible.
Three-quarters said they wanted to do more to reach their sustainability goals at home, and two-thirds said they would apply for and accept jobs from companies committed to sustainability.
Advertising campaigns and marketing speaking about your sustainable commitments can only go so far. Installing EV chargers and offering them for free or at a discount to the public is a way for you to put your money where your mouth is and grab the attention of an increasingly eco-minded consumer base. That’s why EV Connect’s EVoucher program is a great way to attract new customers and stimulate your existing customer base. By offering special discounts and incentives for customers, employees, or tenants, can be a great way to increase utilization.
3.) Leverage EV Chargers To Boost Profits
If profit is your primary concern, EV charging stations can help in that arena, too. The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) renewed the 30C Tax Credit for installing EV Chargers. These, along with any state or local credits and incentives available in your area, can help your business reduce the upfront costs of installing equipment. EV Connect makes it easy to find and apply for incentives. Not to mention, our services can be applied through every step of the process, from application to installation to maintenance and beyond.
Besides mitigating costs, you also must carefully consider your charging model when you’re aiming to maximize profitability. Compare the benefits of flat-fee versus metered billing structures, and weigh your pricing against the average in your area and the level of demand you anticipate from your clientele.
How EV Connect Can Help
Regardless of which EV charging business model you choose, EV Connect can help you navigate every stage of the process. From maximizing tax credits and incentives to helping you evaluate pricing models, we can ensure you maximize your ROI.
Reach out today to learn more about how EV Connect can help you set up EV charging stations for your business.