How Does EV Charging Help My Business Increase Revenue
When planning a restaurant opening, the first step isn’t buying a refrigerator. Likewise, businesses that seek to install electric car chargers shouldn’t FOCUS on the piece of equipment itself.
Instead, Smart businesses start by identifying their objectives.
Ultimately, electrification goes beyond the installation of EV charger hardware to enhance brand perception. How does EV charging help your business increase revenue? It’s through the experience you offer potential customers.
Increase Revenue by Taking Advantage of Government Incentives
To encourage businesses to install EV chargers, the government has made it as easy as possible to take advantage of tax credits. Incentives can cover 100% of electric car charger installation costs.
Building EV Charging Solutions in Disadvantaged Communities
The Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 reinstated the tax credit for electric vehicle charging stations in an “eligible census tract.” According to the Internal Revenue Code Section 30C, an eligible census tract refers to a community that meets one of these criteria:
- The poverty rate is at least 20%.
- The median family income does not exceed 80% of the statewide median family income.
Businesses can receive up to 30% of electric car charger project costs, capped at 100,000 per charger. This benefit includes allocation of a proportion of electrical system upgrade costs to each charger.
That means if your business installs six chargers, you qualify for a 600,000 credit.
It can be difficult to determine if your business qualifies, especially if you operate in more than one location. There are more than 85,000 eligible census tracts in the United States, and zip codes often contain several tracts.
Future Energy’s consultants have developed systems and practices to assess our clients’ qualifications. The analysis is tricky, involving many data points that help determine eligibility.
Participating in the National EV Charger Network
In November 2021, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act allocated 7.5 billion in federal funds toward the development of a national EV charger network. The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) program opens the door for businesses to capitalize on these block grants.
Each state has its own distribution plan. Congress’s minimum requirements stipulate that NEVI funds are used for EV charger installation within one mile of a US interchange and not within 50 miles of another interchange.
Plus, the business must install at least four direct-current fast chargers (DCFC), each with a minimum of 100 kilowatts of charging capacity. Businesses are eligible to receive up to 80% of the project cost, capped at 500,000.
Future Energy helps our clients determine if they qualify and gets them to the front of the line for funding.
For example, we helped a global automotive manufacturer determine that 78 of its dealership franchises could be eligible for NEVI funds.
As an early EV adopter, the manufacturer enhances its brand as a hot spot for DCFC charging along US highways.
Beyond the two new federal programs, there are pools of money available at the state and local levels. Future Energy’s Financial Incentive National Database (FIND) tool helps our clients identify 99% of all available money for EV charging station installation.
Selling Unused Tax Credits
Under the Inflation Reduction Act, a business that can’t take full advantage of the available tax credits can sell them to another entity. Thus nonprofits or other entities that lack the “tax appetite” in that particular year can still profit from the credit available from the EV charging project.
Increase Revenue by Attracting and Retaining Customers
Much like a convenience store in a gas station, EV chargers help draw customers into your business. The EV charging station company ChargePoint found that EV charging increases customer dwell time by an average of 50 minutes.
Drawing Loyal Customers through EV Charging Solutions
Yet increased dwell time is only a small part of the reason EV charging installation helps businesses boost revenue.
Increasingly, EV charging stations are becoming a public expectation.
Say there are two competing grocery chains: one adopts EV charging solutions and one doesn’t. As consumer demand for EV charging continues to rise, the business that adopts EV charging now will have a competitive edge in the years to come.
Understanding the Value of EV Charger Availability
As EV use becomes more prevalent, drivers are looking for places outside the home to charge. Naturally, they prefer locations where they will be parked for a significant amount of time, such as the workplace or shopping mall.
In fact, 57% of drivers are willing to pay a premium to use a public charger, according to the Electric Vehicle Council.
Similarly, 58% of renters are willing to pay more to live in a place that offers EV charging, according to Multifamily Executive. Owners of multi-unit dwellings can attract tenants by offering EV charging stations.
Improving the Workforce by Offering EV Charging
As businesses compete to attract skilled workers in a tight job market, EV charging can help attract potential employees. Plus, Future Energy can help your business forecast the needs of your current workforce.
For example, a New York business surveyed its 400 employees and determined that 40 people drove electric vehicles. All wanted to work with Future Energy for EV charging solutions.
Future Energy asked a different question first: What is your vehicle plan for the future? We found that 200 employees had plans to drive an EV by next year, so we helped the client develop a new, proactive EV charging plan.
Create your own Electric Vehicle Charging Station business plan for free using the Business Plan Builder
The free business plan template builder is divided into a few easy to follow steps.
Free Business Plan Builder
The free business plan builder template is provided by UKStartups.org to help you develop your own business plan. For step by step guidance, see the 5 steps below.
Once completed, the result will be a clean, professional plan that will help you start your own Electric Vehicle Charging Station small business in the UK.
When you have completed your Electric Vehicle Charging Station business plan, the next step will be to find available funding that will help, or to speak with a funding adviser who will assist you each step of the way to securing the needed funds to make your Electric Vehicle Charging Station business startup.
If you are looking to limit your startup costs when starting up a Electric Vehicle Charging Station small business in the UK, this free business plan builder tool will be it.
Starting a Electric Vehicle Charging Station business is only one of the ways others have used this free business plan tool. There are hundreds of different ideas you can start, and if you need guidance, do reach out to a UKStartups expert to get the needed assistance and guidance.
Step 1. Your business information
To develop a proper Electric Vehicle Charging Station business plan with the free business plan builder template, it is important to answer each of the questions about your business to the best of your abilities.
What is your business? What are the products/services you provide? Who are your customers? What are your goals…etc?
Having a clear explanation will help you create a in-depth business plan that you can actually use to start the Electric Vehicle Charging Station business and to apply for needed funding to cover your startup costs.
Step 2. Projecting your revenues/income
The Electric Vehicle Charging Station industry can have great results. Planning and projecting the financial figures to approximate what you will make each year is crucial to building a strong business plan.
What do you think your business will make from each of its products/services? Simply list your products/services, enter the appropriate financial figures (costs and expenses).
If you don’t have the figures, in many cases it is recommended to do a a bit more research on other Electric Vehicle Charging Station businesses locally and within your own region to get an idea of potential revenue. You can do your best to estimate the figures and growth potential.
If you need assistance in projecting, you can always contact UK Startups funding experts for the help.
How to install electric vehicle (EV) charging stations for your business
As the number of electric vehicles (EV) rises, so is the demand for charging stations (Electric Vehicle Service Equipment or EVSE) from customers and employees.
Workplace charging in Canada
Get a list of EV charging incentive programs, equipment manufacturers and electric contractor associations across Canada.
Below, this article will introduce EV basics and discuss how to assess demand and capacity to see if charging stations are right for your business. Then, it’ll explain how to begin with the selection, installation, and budgeting for EV charging stations.
The basics of workplace charging
Types of electric vehicles—there are two main types of electric vehicles.
Charging stations— these work because they are connected directly to an electrical distribution panel or electrical outlet. Most charging stations come equipped with one or two charging cables, often referred to as charging “wands.” Each charging cable can charge one vehicle at a time. Once a driver plugs the cable into their car, a light indicator comes on notifying the driver that A) a secure connection has been made and B) the car is now charging.
Some other features you might see on a charging station include a credit card/RFID reader, a cord management system that prevents the cables from falling to the ground when they are not in use and/or a digital screen with instructions on how to use the station, information about the charging session (duration, energy used, charging speed, etc.) and/or other content.
3 most common options for installing workplace charging
- Buy the charger outright and operate it yourself (either install a dumb ( non-networked ) charger or install third-party operating software).
- Create your own network of chargers (if you want to pick a supplier from a list of EV charger manufacturers).
- Ask a network to install their charger on your property. The network owns and operates the equipment and pays a small land lease fee back to the property owner.
Below, we put together a guide for installing workplace charging grouped into five steps. It would be most useful for businesses interested in options 1 and 2. but it presents a simple summary of the installation process that could benefit option 3 as well.
Step 1: Assess the demand for EV charging stations in your business
Before you put money and time into installing EV charging stations, make sure that it’s right for your business and its people.
Assessing demand from your employees—Surveys are a useful tool to determine existing demand for EV charging within the workplace and to better assess future demand.
Here are questions you can ask employees to assess existing demand:
- Does the employee already have an EV? If so, what EV type (fully electric or plug-in hybrid), make and model?
- Does the employee think that EV charging at work is required?
- Would the employee use EV chargers if they were available?
- Would the employee pay a fee? If so, determine an acceptable price range.
- What is the distance of the employee’s daily commute?
- How many times during the workday does the employee move their vehicle?
- Is the employee interested in participating in an employee working group for workplace charging?
You can also ask employees questions to assess future demand:
- Is the employee considering purchasing an EV in the next 12 months?
- Would the availability of EV charging at work increase the likelihood of the employee purchasing an EV?
Assessing demand from your customers—Customers and visitors to your business are harder to predict. There are third-party survey companies that can help you ask questions, or you can do your own research about EV adoption rates for your province and client demographic. The important thing is to think ahead: even if your customers and visitors do not own an EV now, how likely are they to buy one in the next year? The next five years? In 2021. one out of every twenty new cars registered were zero-emission vehicles (5.2%). Would installing EV chargers at your place of business offer an amenity to your customers that would give you an advantage over your competitors?
Step 2: Assess the capacity for installing EV charging stations
Next, take stock of your infrastructure to see if the project is feasible.
Several factors affect the difficulty of the project: whether you own and operate the property, whether the property is located inside an urban area, the accessibility of electricity, etc.
Ownership—the installation would be easiest if you own the building. If not, then contact the property owner or facility manager to discuss the project.
Parking capacity—do you have the space in your parking lot to accommodate the chargers? It is important to note that once the parking spot has been designated for EV charging, non-plug-in cars cannot park in that spot. Local bylaws often enforce this. It is a charging spot, no longer just a parking spot. Similar to a gas pump, you would not park your car beside a pump and walk away to do grocery shopping. Here are some factors that will help you determine your workplace charging parking capacity.
Frequently asked questions
The short answer is, “it’s complicated.” The long answer is that while you can charge a fee for using the stations, it is unlikely to recover the installation and equipment costs within a few years of use (i.e., you are unlikely to turn a profit through charging alone).
One way to think of EV chargers is that they are an investment for the future: the number of EVs on the roads is rising. By 2035. the Government of Canada will require 100% of new cars and trucks to be zero-emission vehicles. Installing charging stations can help you attract and retain employees, as well as boost customer traffic to your business by attracting the growing number of EV drivers.
Almost. The biggest split is between Tesla and non-Tesla EVs.
For Level 1 and 2 charging—as a standard, all non-Tesla EVs use the SAE J1772 connector. Tesla cars require an adapter, but they can also use the SAE J1772. This means that all EVs in North America can use any charging station with the standard J1772 connector.
For Level 3 (DC Fast Charge)—for high-speed charging, there are three different connector types: CHAdeMO, Combined Charging System (CCS), and the Tesla connector.
The CHAdeMO standard originated in Japan and was used on the Mitsubishi i MiEV and Outlander and the Nissan LEAF. Because the LEAF has been in the North American market for over 10 years. almost all the DC fast chargers currently installed include a CHAdeMO connector. Most DC fast chargers continue to be equipped with CHAdeMO. Tesla vehicles can use CHAdeMO with an adapter.
The CCS standard was developed in North America and combines the J1772 charging inlet for L1 and L2 with charging lugs for L3, all in one neat connector. All other non-Japanese-manufactured cars use CCS. Tesla can use CCS with an adapter.
Tesla Superchargers are installed and maintained by Tesla. Non-Tesla EVs cannot use them.
Yes, although the carbon footprint would be the lowest in a province that has the most renewable energy. Even in a province with a larger amount of fossil fuel-generated electricity in the mix, such as Alberta, it is still more energy efficient to drive an EV. Compared to gas-powered cars, EVs are more efficient at converting electricity into forward motion. The efficiency of energy conversion from on-board storage to turning the wheels is nearly five times greater for electricity than gasoline, at approximately 76% and 16%, respectively. If both an EV and a gas-powered car travel 100 km. the EV “burns” less fuel overall vs. gas for the same distance.
Technology moves fast. What if I install EV charging equipment and it goes obsolete, or the company goes out of business in a few years?
What you want to do is avoid stranded assets.
Technology continues to move quickly, and the last thing you want to do is buy EV charging equipment that will be obsolete in a couple of years. Smart-networked EV chargers use a software operating system that is sometimes proprietary to the machine. If the network that operates your machines uses proprietary software and goes out of business, the machine may stop working. Thus, a useless stranded asset. Most of the reputable EVSE manufacturers use an operating system called OCPP or Open Charge Point Protocol. An EVSE using OCPP as its operating system can be controlled by any network that also uses OCPP as their operating system. This way, if your network goes out of business, you can choose another that uses OCPP to run your machines. This eliminates the risk of a stranded asset.
Turning fleets green
Fleets contribute substantially towards greenhouse emissions, and their electrification has become critical to organizations such as Amazon that want to meet sustainability goals. To that effect, Brian Palmer shared, “Our customers want us to be leaders in the fight against climate change and be leaders in sustainability.” Amazon has committed to using 100% renewable energy by 2025 and reaching net-zero carbon by 2040. Fiercely dedicated to these sustainability goals, he highlighted the many challenges companies face when electrifying their fleets.
EV charging software can offer solutions to these challenges.
With a suitable charge point management solution, businesses, whether they are a large fleet operator or a charge point operator, can improve the reliability of their charging infrastructure, leverage data to reduce downtime, and track energy consumption.
Fleet operators can track and plan for the electricity consumption of each vehicle while having a clear picture of the whole fleet’s energy usage. A Smart software solution also allows employees to charge their EV at home and receive reimbursements for the electricity consumption by the employer.
Do EVs spell catastrophe for the grid?
Electricity demand from EV charging is expected to grow by 30% per year. Contrary to popular belief, energy specialists have concluded that the grid will cope with the exponential demand from EV drivers. However, the unpredictable peaks in demand, which will come from simultaneous charging by EV drivers, can potentially destabilize and disrupt grid operations.
Operators should rely on Smart technologies that will limit the impact of charging on the grid. Smart energy management can reduce grid stress, reduce investments in upgrading grid infrastructures and mitigate potential disruptions. Smart charging, for instance, allows EV charging to occur when the grid has a surplus capacity or reduced demand by using algorithms to read grid load and shift demand. While hardware plays a vital role in power management, significant challenges require Smart software solutions.
Fiona Howarth agreed, stating, “Smart technologies enable us to use the infrastructure better. In terms of the grid, we can use it in the middle of the night when the grid is underutilized.”
They also help balance the grid when there is an oversupply of green energy. V2G technology returns the energy stored in EV batteries to the grid through bi-directional charging stations, reducing the need to increase power generation to support EVs. In Octopus’s V2G trial with 130 Nissan Leafs, drivers are testing this technology and are working with the local grid to make this possible.
The panelists agreed that grids would remain stable with careful planning, even when more charging stations are connected.
“Advanced tech solutions [including] Smart hardware and intelligent software can solve most… of the challenges you meet in charging … increase the benefits of transitioning to #EVs.”
Flexible tariffs increase participation in grid management
Smart energy management allows fleet operators to profit from flexible tariffs where customers can opt-out of charging when energy demand is high and be compensated for doing so.
Time-varying tariffs incentivize load adjustment. Customers can adjust their electricity consumption voluntarily (automatically or manually) to reduce their energy expenses while benefiting the grid.
Fiona Howarth highlighted the considerable opportunity of flexible tariffs stating, “customers reduced their peak consumption by 47%” by using flexible tariffs.
Leveraging data from the charging network can provide opportunities to make predictions and provide insights to optimize transport.
Fleet operators can leverage the data accumulated from their charging stations to improve overall network reliability. Data analysis can enable proper planning of the EV charging infrastructure and determine the locations that will have the most impact, promoting EV ownership and usage.
Europe will have 130 million electric vehicles on the road by 2035 according to a joint report from EY and Eurelectric. The report’s projections show that Europe’s EV fleet will grow to 65 million (currently, less than 5 million) by 2030 and will need 65 million chargers to power them.
“We have reached the point of no return in terms of EVs” is Orlin Radev’s stance on the future of e-mobility. To keep the momentum going, we must make charging convenient and affordable while minimizing its impact on our electrical grid. Business leaders such as Amazon, who electrify their fleets, set a great example and will undoubtedly encourage others to transition to electric vehicles.
For further details and insights from the panelists, please watch the recording of the debate below.