Installing an EV charging station in your business can help you attract new customers and increase customer loyalty. It can also provide an additional source of revenue.
While the initial costs of an EV charging station may be high, they can save you money over time. Especially when using a Level 2 aftermarket solution, which can charge your vehicles up to 8x faster than the standard home chargers that come with EVs.
1. Reduced Electricity Bills
Installing an EV charging station requires significant upfront expenses. These include construction, concrete work, and electrical work to accommodate new infrastructure. Installation costs also include permits and taxes. These initial costs are offset by the lower energy bills associated with charging EVs.
EV drivers often search via their smartphone apps for businesses that offer EV charging stations. They are likely to spend more money while visiting your business, which can boost sales. You may even choose to monetize the charging station by charging customers a fee for use.
When you provide EV chargers to your customers and tenants, it’s a great way to show your company’s commitment to an environmentally friendly future. The fact that your business is contributing to a more sustainable world makes you appear more trustworthy and ethical in the eyes of your customers.
Depending on the type of EV charging station that you purchase, you will need to determine how much power you want it to deliver. Typically, Level 1 equipment provides enough charge to meet most daily driving requirements. If you need more speed, you can opt for a Level 2 charging station that offers up to four hours of charge per visit. For longer trips or EVs with larger batteries, a Level 3 charger can be installed to reduce travel times and enable long-distance trips. We can help you efficiently balance the available power capacity across your EV charging stations to maximize cost-effectiveness.
2. Increased Customer Loyalty
EV drivers are actively seeking businesses with charging stations, so if your establishment has one, you’re already ahead of the competition. Aside from offering a modern amenity, installing an EV charging station demonstrates a business’s commitment to a greener future. This is a big selling point for value-based consumers who want to support companies that share the same environmental concerns.
In addition, EV owners tend to spend more time at retail stores while their car charges. This additional foot traffic is a great opportunity for retailers to attract shoppers and generate more revenue from the same customer base.
Additionally, the EV charging station can be used to promote other offers, such as discounts on merchandise or coffee or a free-charge session, in exchange for signing up for a loyalty program. These promotional messages can be displayed on a tablet, TV, or projection screen near the charging station for easy updatable content. This centralized hub can also help to grow your virtual Rolodex by collecting email addresses from EV drivers to be targeted with future promotions through digital marketing campaigns like email blasts and direct mail.
Providing personalized experiences can significantly increase customer loyalty and boost repeat business. Customizing EV charging station access through features like priority access, scheduling and reservation systems, and curated content can make a customer feel valued and understood. This type of customization can lead to increased customer retention, decreased churn rates, and improved competitive edge.
3. Increased Revenue
Aside from generating electricity to charge EVs, commercial EV charging stations can also provide a steady stream of revenue. The most common method is to charge a user fee, which can be adjusted based on time of day, occupancy, or other factors. Depending on location and fee structure, an EV charging station can earn as much as $27 per hour of usage!
Another source of revenue is to sell ad space on the EV chargers’ screens. With the average charging session lasting about 30 minutes, this is a great opportunity to reach an audience of drivers with targeted messages. In fact, this has been a successful strategy for restaurants and malls that have incorporated EV charging stations into their parking lots.
The ancillary benefits of commercial EV charging stations make them an attractive investment for many types of properties. Workplaces can use EV charging stations to attract and retain top talent, while shopping centers and business districts can increase customer spend by encouraging them to stay longer while they charge up their cars. Additionally, universities and hospitals can meet sustainability goals while promoting employee PEV adoption and improving local air quality.
While monetizing EV charging stations can be highly profitable, it is essential for property owners to understand local EV ownership and adoption trends before investing in them. To maximize ROI, commercial property owners should focus on estimating usage based on known EV models of their employees, customers, and guests.
4. Reduced Greenhouse Gas Emissions
In addition to the financial benefits, commercial EV charging stations help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. EV drivers plug their cars into Level 2 chargers that use 240V circuits, similar to those found in homes for clothes dryers or stovetops. They supply an average of 25 miles per hour of charge and can be found in parking garages, recreational areas, apartment buildings, workplaces, and some public venues.
Level 3 chargers, referred to as DC fast chargers, use high-powered 400V circuits and can recharge an EV to 80% in under an hour. These are most often seen at public charging stations and are usually located near highways or bus depots. When a business installs EV charging stations, they can also choose to power them with renewable energy from solar or wind.
Consumers and employees are increasingly concerned about the impact of climate change, and they want to see businesses making a commitment to sustainability. Installing EV charging stations is a great way to demonstrate your organization’s environmental responsibility, and it can also attract and retain customers and employees.
In addition, many states and utilities incentivize EV Charging station installations with EVSE (Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) programs. For example, Michigan’s Consumers Energy PowerMIDrive program reimburses up to $5,000 for EV Charger installation at businesses. If you are interested in installing an EV charging station at your business, have a licensed electrical contractor visit to conduct a site assessment and determine if your current electrical system has the capacity for additional loading or if a service upgrade is required.
5. Increased Security
Commercial EV charging stations are designed with safety in mind. They have ground fault protections that shut off the power supply when they detect an excess of current and emergency shut-off switches that stop energy flow immediately. These features are great for preventing electrical shocks. They are especially important in public places where people are more likely to be in and around the EV chargers.
Supermarkets and grocery stores are popular locations for EV chargers because they are frequented by people who often need to charge their electric cars. Installing EV charging stations outside your business can help attract these consumers and keep them loyal to your brand.
You can also install EV charging stations in parking lots, restaurants, and shopping centers to attract EV drivers who want to park and enjoy your offerings while their vehicle charges. This will encourage shoppers to stay longer, resulting in more revenue for your business.
In addition to creating additional revenue, commercial EV charging stations can enhance your property value and make it more appealing to environmentally-conscious customers or tenants. This is because it shows that your business or organization takes steps towards a sustainable future and reduces carbon emissions. You can even get a tax credit for installing charging stations, which will offset some of the upfront costs. These tax credits are available through 2022 and may vary from state to state.
6. Reduced Range Anxiety
Range anxiety has been a significant barrier to EV adoption. While advances in technology and a growing charging infrastructure have helped ease this concern, it remains a valid concern for many drivers. Drivers are concerned that they will run out of battery power and that there won’t be a place to charge their vehicles when needed.
Having access to reliable level 2 EV charging at home, work, or public spaces is one of the best ways to help alleviate EV range anxiety. This allows drivers to charge their fleet vehicle overnight and start each day with a full battery. This model also reduces energy costs by eliminating the need to drive back to the company depot in order to top up.
Additionally, EV charging stations are becoming more common in restaurants and retail spaces. These locations can provide a much-needed charging option for customers and visitors. This provides businesses and organizations with an opportunity to increase sales and foot traffic while contributing to a more sustainable future. For those looking to install an EV charging station, there are a number of options available, including federal tax credits that can shave up to $1,000 off the cost of installation. Additionally, many utility and government programs offer rebates that can further reduce the cost of a commercial EV charger. Contact us today to learn more about our EV charging solutions, or use our online Charging Station Builder and Vehicle Specs tool to find the perfect solution for your business.