How Much Do EV Charging Stations Cost?
There are 41,000 electric charging stations in the U.S. According to Grist, President Biden’s American Jobs Plan calls to construct 500,000 more. Like the drivers of gasoline-powered cars, the 1.4 million drivers of electric vehicles in the U.S. also have to “fill up.”
An electric vehicle (EV) charging station’s cost involves more than just installing a pump. To maximize value and minimize expense, a business must consider networking its station to qualify for many utility incentives. over, a so-called “Smart station” generates operational data to help manage power consumption and ultimately save money.
Cost of a Commercial EV Charging Station
Average EV charging station installation cost for a level two station is around 6,000 per port, according to Future Energy’s data. But several factors affect commercial EV charging station costs: infrastructure, equipment, soft costs, subsidies, and software.
Factor #1: Infrastructure
A charging station supplies electricity to vehicles through its connection to the utility company. But these electrical conduits may require an upgrade, which can cost an average of 12,000 to 15,000, according to Future Energy.
Infrastructure is the primary variable in electric car charging station costs. For instance, connecting to an existing 240-volt circuit may require only a few hours of an electrician’s labor. But installing a dedicated 480-volt circuit could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Why the discrepancy? An electrical upgrade carries associated expenses, including electrical panels, meters to monitor electricity use, or even an additional transformer. An upgrade may also involve boring, trenching, and cement work for power lines.
Because there is rarely a cookie-cutter solution, many businesses work with an approved, experienced partner like Future Energy, as a go-between with the utility company and various contractors.
Factor #2: Equipment
Unlike infrastructure costs, equipment charges are relatively static and depend on the level of charger.
Level one, or residential chargers, cost about 600 for a dedicated 120-volt circuit. However, a home charger is not adequate for commercial enterprises, which need level-two or level-three chargers to handle the load.
The highest specification for a commercial EV charging station is level three, or direct current fast charge (DCFC). Level three stations can charge a vehicle in an hour with 480-volt direct current. Level three stations cost around 40,000 for a single port.
Most commercial enterprises look to install level two charging stations, which run on 240-volt power and provide a compromise between power and cost. A level two electric vehicle charging station costs around 2,500 for a non public facing and 5,500 for a public facing dual-port station—it can charge two cars simultaneously in eight to 10 hours.
Factor #3: Soft Costs
Companies can add value by working with an experienced partner such as Future Energy in designing custom environments and packaging cost of commercial EV charging station extras.
For instance, a customer can choose custom striping of parking spots and signage to go with the charging environment, which can cost around 1,500 but will help elevate a company’s branding.
Also, a business may desire protective bollards—short, sturdy posts that protect the machinery—which cost around 400 each. Or a station may require parking blocks for around 600 apiece.
Future Energy works with a business’s marketing team to facilitate communication with printers, painters, and other contractors to customize EV charging packages for a company’s branding.
Factor #4: Software
To qualify for certain financial incentives, the owner of an EV charging station must install software that networks with the utility company. The utility company collects and analyzes data from networked charging stations to improve the overall system and learn about EV charging demand. Generally, the cost to host this information in the Cloud is around 28 per month for each port.
Cost of Power Management
Beyond qualifying for incentives, businesses who use data wisely can save money in the long term. How? By monitoring peak load, the highest amount of electricity used in a set period, companies can monitor the rate on their electric bills.
Integrating Data Management
Future Energy’s Smart solutions emphasize proactive management of electricity usage through a cutting-edge software platform known as Interface. Interface integrates EV charging stations with existing operational data, communicating with the utility company and managing peak load demand.
Interface helps monitor building management, lighting, digital thermostats, security cameras, and other systems. Thus a company will not inadvertently raise its rate by exceeding peak demand, potentially costing tens of thousands of dollars. Interface works passively in the background, sending real-time alerts.
Finding Incentives to Offset Costs
The sustainability movement has produced incentives and rebates at the local, state, and federal levels that help offset electric charging station costs.
For example, businesses can deduct up to 30% from their federal income tax for commercial EV charging station costs. Furthermore, a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency provides funds through the Electrify America plan, which distributes money from the 2 billion Volkswagen emissions settlement.
In addition, individual states provide incentives. A company can take a deduction on its state income tax and apply for various credits or grants.
Also, local organizations and governments offer monetary incentives. For example, the Joint Utility Commission of New York offers a program called Make-Ready that covers up to 100% of the cost of electrical infrastructure.
Partnership with Future Energy
Working with an approved partner such as Future Energy helps companies navigate the complex landscape of tax write-offs, rebates, and incentives to save money. In fact, Future Energy’s data indicates that commercial enterprises that plan wisely can stack incentives to cover up to 80% of their EV charging stations cost.
How much do EV charging stations cost? Future Energy recognizes an EV charging station as more than just a piece of hardware. Contact Future Energy to help steward your company from planning to managing a Smart EV charging station, saving costs along the way.
Sam DiNello is Chief Executive Officer at Future Energy. He is an expert in the EV infrastructure space and passionate about innovative data-driven solutions that help companies access real-time intelligence for real-time action.
Electric Vehicle Charging Overview
Imagine never having to stop at a gas station again – and instead, having an unlimited supply of fuel available at home or wherever you normally park. For many electric vehicle (EV) drivers, this is a reality. Battery electric vehicles never need gas, and for short trips, plug–in hybrids might use no gas.
EV charging is simple, cost–effective, clean and convenient, particularly when you are plugged in at home – filling up your car, even while you’re asleep.
There are three categories of electric vehicle (EV) charging: Level 1, Level 2 and DC fast charging. Levels 1 and 2 charging use a universal connector that can be plugged into any EV. DC fast charging uses three different connector systems called CHAdeMO, CCS Combo and Tesla Supercharger.
Although EV drivers primarily charge at home, workplace and public chargers are increasingly available in communities nationwide. Use our EV Charging Station Map to find nearby charging stations.
Level 1 Charging
Level 1 is the slowest method of charging but is sufficient for drivers who charge overnight and travel 30–40 miles per day. Charging cables usually come with a vehicle and plug into a standard 120–volt AC outlet with no equipment installation required. Level 1 charging works well for charging at home, work or anywhere a standard outlet is available – and when you have sufficient time to charge.
Level 1 charging uses a standard J1772 or Tesla connector that can plug into any EV, either directly, or through an adapter.
Level 1 charging adds about 3.5 – 6.5 miles of driving range per hour of charging time.
Level 2 Charging
Level 2 charging is considerably faster, but requires installing a charging station, also known as electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE). EVSE requires a dedicated 240–volt or 208–volt electrical circuit, similar to what is required for a clothes dryer or electric range. Level 2 is found at many public and workplace charging stations, but also in many homes. It uses the same standard connector as Level 1 charging, meaning any EV can plug in at any Level 2 charger.
Level 2 charging uses a standard J1772 or Tesla connector that can plug into any EV, either directly, or through an adapter.
Depending on battery type, charger configuration and circuit capacity, Level 2 charging adds about 14 – 35 miles of range per hour of charging time.
DC Fast Charging
DC fast charging, also called quick charging or supercharging, provides the fastest available fill–up. It requires a 480–volt connection, making DC fast charging unsuitable for home use, and not every EV model is equipped for it. Stations offering DC fast charging are found in shopping centers and often along major travel corridors, allowing EV drivers to charge up quickly and take longer trips.
DC fast charging uses CHAdeMO, CCS or Tesla connector systems. Check with your vehicle manufacturer to determine if your car has fast charging capability and what connector systems are compatible with your EV.
Depending on battery type, charger configuration and circuit capacity, DC fast charging can add up to 100 miles of range in about 30 minutes of charging time.
Electric Vehicle Charging Costs
Home Charging CostsThe cost to charge your electric vehicle depends on your vehicle’s battery size and the price of electricity where you live. Most utilities offer time–of–use (TOU) rates that greatly reduce costs associated with charging a vehicle at home by charging during off–peak hours. Contact your utility to find out more. 1
While electricity costs vary greatly, the average cost of electricity in California is about 16.58¢ per kilowatt hour (kWh). 2 At this price point, charging a 40–kWh battery with a 150–mile range would cost about 4.42¢ per mile (or about 6.63 to fully charge). Meanwhile, fueling a 25–mpg gas vehicle at California’s average gas price of 3.11 per gallon 3 would cost about 12.44¢ per mile (or about 18.66 for enough gas to drive approximately 150 miles).
Home charging costs can be offset by hosting your charger on a home charging sharing network. EV drivers can earn money by sharing their home chargers or connect with other hosts to find convenient charging on the go. For more information about how you can earn money by sharing your home charger, please see these popular sharing networks:
Public Charging CostsWhile charging at home is generally preferred, many people also charge their EV at public charging stations. These stations can be free, pay–as–you–go or subscription-based, and are set by networks or property owners. Some vehicle manufacturers, such as Hyundai, Nissan and Tesla also provide complimentary public charging.
One popular public charging network charges members 1.50 per hour to charge on Level 2, and 26¢ per minute for DC fast charging in California. 4 At these rates, charging a 40–kWh battery with a 150–mile range would cost about 8¢ per mile on Level 2, and 9¢ per mile for DC fast charging.
For more information about public charging networks, here are some popular options available in California:
1 A list of utility providers is at https://www.energy.ca.gov/almanac/electricity_data/utilities.html2 https://www.eia.gov/electricity/state3 https://www.energy.gov/articles/egallon-how-much-cheaper-it-drive-electricity4 https://www.evgo.com/charging-plans/
Charging Station Rebates
Rebates for Residential Level 2 Charging StationsMany California utility providers and air districts offer rebates to make home Level 2 charging stations more affordable. Some of the rebates also help to offset the cost of installing the charging station at your home if additional electrical work is required. Find available rebates where you live.
Rebates for Commercial EV Charging StationsProperty owners can take advantage of rebates for installing commercial charging stations for public use. EV charging is a desired amenity for many California drivers and can attract more traffic to your business, improve tenant or employee satisfaction and generate a new revenue stream (fees for charging). Following are incentives that decrease the cost of charger purchases and installation. Visit the websites for more information on program eligibility requirements and funding availability.
Air District Incentives
MFG EV Power network
An overview of ultra-Rapid charging network and Zap-Pay partner MFG EV Power.
Motor Fuel Group (MFG) is the largest independent forecourt operator in the UK. MFG’s charging network, MFG EV Power, currently consists of Rapid and ultra-Rapid charging devices at service stations across the UK.
There is no subscription or connection charge to use MFG EV Power devices. Drivers can pay for charging using Zap-Pay, contactless payment or the MFG app.
MFG network costs
Cost per charge: 79p / kWh
Connection charge: None
Free app download
To discover how much it will cost to charge an EV from an MFG EV Power charge point, head to Zapmap’s Public Charging Calculator. This allows you to select any new or used plug-in vehicle, and tailor elements – such as electricity cost and charge required – for personalised results.
How to use the MFG EV Power network
Access to the MFG EV Power network is via Zap-Pay, contactless payment or through the MFG app.
Finding MFG EV Power points on Zapmap
You can currently find MFG EV Power points on Zapmap by using the network filter. You can use this on the desktop and mobile apps to display only those points operated by MFG EV Power.
Charging types and speeds can be filtered too, showing only those points that are compatible with users’ cars.
Motor Fuel Group (MFG) is the UK’s largest independent forecourt operator in the UK. The MFG EV Power network recently signed up to Zap-Pay, the simple way to pay for EV charging across networks from within the Zapmap app. The charging network will soon be up and running on Zap-Pay and is the fifth network to join Zap-Pay.
The MFG EV Power charging network currently consists of Rapid and ultra-Rapid charging devices at service stations across the UK. Over the next ten years, MFG is planning to invest around £400 million in 3,000 ultra-Rapid 150kW and 350kW EV charging devices across its network.
Your guide to EV charging
A standard home charging station, whether it is a Level 1 (120 V) station or a Level 2 (240 V) station, will provide pass through AC power to the vehicle for charging. The vehicle will convert this AC power to DC power and utilize the DC power to recharge its batteries. The actual battery charger is on-board the vehicle. EV charging stations essentially act as electrical safety equipment that, first and foremost, ensure safety for the user, then the vehicle, and then the power grid. A charging station implements several layers of redundant safety features to protect the user from potential electrical hazards while connecting and disconnecting the station to the vehicle for charging. Once connected to the vehicle the EV charging station will inform the vehicle that power is available and at what level. From that point the vehicle takes over to initiate and take full control of the power transfer, unless an electrical fault occurs, in which case the station will stop the power transfer immediately.
How do I choose the right EV charger for my EV?
Enphase has created an EV charger selector tool to make it easy for you to find the right EV charger for your EV. The tool will recommend a charger based on your EV make and model. Additionally, you can learn about calculating battery charging times and power acceptance rates.
What’s the difference between a Level 1 and Level 2 EV charger?
There are two “levels” of chargers (Level 1 and Level 2) used for home EV charging. They deliver different charging speeds for charging your EV at home. Level 1 chargers are very slow, while Level 2 chargers offer faster charging.
Typically, EVs come with a Level 1 or “trickle” charging station in the trunk of the car for portability. The Level 1 charging station plugs into any standard 120 V household outlet to charge your EV. This delivers a very slow charge and typically provides about 4-5 miles of range per hour of charge. For some drivers this is enough.
Many EV drivers want the option to charge their EV at a faster rate. Level 2, or 240 V, charging stations offer higher speed charging. Level 2 chargers require a dedicated 240 V line to the charging station, and there are various power levels (and, hence, charging speeds) available from Level 2 charging stations. A Level 2 charging station can provide between 16 to 60 miles of range per hour of charge, depending on the vehicle that is being charged and the charging station being used.
To learn more about calculating charging times and EV charge acceptance rates, read our EV charging time article.
What’s the difference between a hardwired EV charger and a plug-in version?
Some Enphase EV Chargers are designed for hardwired installation and others for plug-in installation. The hardwired EV chargers include service wires which are routed through a three-foot flexible conduit with an additional six inches of wire extensions for easy installation into a junction box. With a hardwired EV charger the installation is more permanent, the EV charger can still be moved, but you would need an electrician to uninstall the EV charger and then reinstall it at your new location. Hardwire Enphase EV Chargers are rated for indoor or outdoor installation.
With a plug-in EV charger, it will come with a high-quality, over-molded 240 V plug attached instead of the flexible conduit included with a hardwired charger. The plug length is 12 inches, the longest length allowed per National Electric Code, and this includes the plug itself in the measurement.
Additionally, we offer two different types of 240 V plugs—NEMA 14-50 and NEMA 6-50—with our charging stations. For a plug-in installation, the electrician should verify the wiring and upstream circuit breaker are adequate to deliver the EV charger power rating. The electrician should also ensure the receptacle supplied with the product is installed with the EV charger. This delivers the safest installation for a plug-in charger.
Always use a qualified electrician when installing EV chargers and supporting equipment. To find a local qualified installer, visit our EV charger installer locator.
How do I determine which EV charger will charge my car the fastest?
Three key elements determine how fast an EV battery will charge:
- Battery size and storage, which differs by EV
- Power acceptance rate, which differs by EV
- EV charging station maximum power delivery rating, which varies by EV Charger
To determine how fast an EV charger will charge a given EV, here are the basic rules to consider:
- If the charging station offers less power than the vehicle’s maximum acceptance rate, the charging station would be the limiting factor in determining the charge time.
- If the vehicle’s acceptance rate is lower than the charging station‘s maximum output rate, then the vehicle will be the limiting factor.
- To determine your estimated total charge time, you would take your vehicle battery pack rating and divide it by whichever number is lower, the vehicle’s acceptance rate, or the station’s output rate.
Most vehicles will provide this information through the dashboard interface once you plug into a charging station. You can also get more details about calculating battery charging times and power acceptance rates in our EV charging time article.
Our EV charger selector tool makes it easy to find the right EV charger for your EV make and model.
Are there any rebates or incentives for buying an EV charger?
There are many programs around the country that provide incentives for installing a Level 2 EV charger. Here are the federal, state, utility, and private incentives that we know about: EV charger rebates and incentives by state.
We recommend you contact your local utility or check the US Department of Energy Laws and Incentives website for any other incentives that may be available for installing a Level 2 EV charger.
Do I need an electrician to install an EV charger?
We recommended that you have a qualified electrician install your EV charger because there are certain electrical requirements for the product itself, wiring size requirements, and local electrical codes that an electrician will have knowledge of, which ensures that the charging station will be installed properly and safely.
A qualified electrician can also assess the home’s current electrical infrastructure and advise you if there’s any additional work necessary (for example, an electrical panel upgrade in an older home). Most homes will have capacity available, and the work will merely be wiring the station to a dedicated circuit in the case of a hardwired charger or installing an appropriate and safe receptacle/outlet in the case of a plug-in charger. To find a local qualified installer, visit our EV charger installer locator.
Can I install an EV charger outdoors?
Yes. For outdoor installations we recommend installing a hardwired 240 V EV charger. All Enphase EV Chargers have a fully sealed NEMA 4 enclosure that provides superior protection to the components inside the charger from outdoor elements.
We recommend a hardwired EV charger for an outdoor installation as it provides better weather protection for the connection to power. If you install a plug-in EV charger outdoors, we recommend installing a watertight cover over the plug and outlet combination.
We also recommend checking with a licensed electrician to ensure installing a 240 V plug-in EV charger outdoors meets your local codes. There was a change in the National Electric Code requirements at the beginning of 2017 that allowed plug-in 240 V EV chargers to be installed outdoors, however sometimes local codes can vary.
To find a local qualified installer, visit our EV charger installer locator.
Can I charge my EV when it’s raining or snowing outside?
Yes, the charging head on Enphase EV Chargers are designed to drain water and the inlet on your vehicle is designed to drain water as well. Once the charging head is connected into your vehicle’s inlet, a water-tight seal will be formed.
What is the difference between UL and ETL ratings and why is it important?
These two listings are predominantly about user safety and product quality. UL and ETL are both considered Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratories (NRTL). NRTLs provide independent safety and quality certifications for electrical appliances. UL develops the testing standards and tests to them, ETL tests to UL standards.
Products with UL or ETL listings are recognized as safer than units without these listings. Make sure the logos of one of these testing laboratories are shown directly on the product you purchase to ensure its safety.
An inspector sign-off on a permitted installation in line with the National Electric Code requires that the EV charger be NRTL listed (in the US that is either with ETL or UL). Enphase uses both laboratories.
Will using an EV charger with a higher output current rating than my EV can accept damage my vehicle?
No, using a higher amperage EV charger will pose no harm to the vehicle. EV chargers are a pass-through, electrical safety appliance. The EV is in complete control of the charge and will only take the power it can accept and no more. The actual charging takes place on the vehicle. Our units will supply AC power to the vehicle and the vehicles onboard charger will convert the AC power to DC power and charge the vehicle’s batteries.
For example, a Chevy Volt can take in 3.3 kW for charging and the HCS-40 EV charger can deliver up to 7.7 kW. When an HCS-40 EV charger is plugged into the Volt the station will “tell” the Volt how much power is available through the charger’s communication system. From that point the vehicle will take over, activate the charger and accept the power it wants, up to the limit established by the EV Charger.
Some of our customers purchase EV chargers that offer a higher power level than their current vehicle can accept, which allows them to future proof their installation in anticipation of purchasing a vehicle that could accept more power.
How much energy does an EV charger use when it’s not charging an EV?
Enphase products consume very minimal power when not in use. We call this “standby power,” and the draw on the HCS EV charger for standby power is approximately two watts. For comparison, leaving an HCS-40 EV charger powered up for about 50 days would use the same amount of power as leaving on a 100 watt light bulb for 24 hours (a very small amount).
Enphase EV Chargers do not come with a power switch because the standby power consumption is so low, and a switch could be forgotten, or accidentally not turned on, resulting in your EV not receiving its charge.
How do I know Enphase EV Chargers will work with my EV?
Enphase EV Chargers work with virtually every EV sold in North America. The industry standard connector in North America is SAE J1772. Commonly referred to as a “J-plug.” All Enphase EV Chargers come with this type of connector and can be used with any electric vehicle. While Tesla uses its own proprietary connection interface, they provide a connection adaptor which can also be used with Enphase EV Chargers.
Will an EV charger work with my EV’s onboard timer?
Yes, our EV chargers provide pass-through electricity and will not supply power to the EV unless the vehicle is requesting a charge. The vehicle is in complete control of the charge and if a timer is set within the vehicle the EV charger, even if plugged into the car, will not supply power to the vehicle until the vehicle requests a charge at the scheduled time.
Note: Our HCS products do not currently work with the charging timers of the Nissan Leaf 2023 and Mercedes-Benz EQS 2022-2023.
How do I find public EV charging stations?
You can visit websites such as PlugShare or Google Maps which allow you to search by address, city, or zip code to find stations in your area. Google Maps and PlugShare both show charging stations along with other helpful information from their respective community of users. The services are also available as apps that you can download to your smartphone for a convenient way to search for stations when you are on the go.