Are Electric Car Charging Stations Profitable? — EV Connect

If you’re a retail or hospitality business owner, property manager or developer, landlord or even a city planner in an area where many residents drive electric vehicles, you may be wondering, “Are electric car charging stations profitable?” It’s a valid question and concern, as installing EV charging infrastructure is inexpensive, even with all the incentives and tax credits offered at federal, state and local levels. 

The good news is, there are several ways to earn money from car charging stations. You can charge customers directly to maximize your profits, increase foot traffic to expand profitability at your place of business and even look to outside companies to subsidize the cost of the chargers in exchange for branding on the EV charging stations. Once you begin to explore the possibilities, you’ll see that the answer to the question, “Are car charging stations profitable?” is a resounding, “Yes.” Read on to learn more.

Maximize Profits With Revenue From EV Charging Stations

The easiest way to maximize revenue from EV charging stations is to bill customers for their use. Especially in areas where chargers are in high demand, customers are willing to pay for charging capabilities on the road. One survey from E Source discovered that EV owners were willing to pay up to $3 per hour for charging, and 12 percent were willing to pay $4 per hour — even if it only costs them $0.75 per hour to charge at home. 

Convenience and reducing range anxiety, or the concern that your EV will run out of power when you’re not close to a charger is worth the price of convenient EV charging stations away from home. In fact, 7 percent of EV owners said “price does not matter,” when they need a charge. 

Increase Foot Traffic at Your Place of Business 

Several studies have revealed that EV charging stations attract new customers and increase the amount of time customers spend within a store or restaurant, which leads to increased sales. Charles Satterfield with Atlas Public Policy said during a panel hosted by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions the indirect income from increased foot traffic is “usually more significant than user fees from the charging itself.”  Other than that, it increases customer satisfaction, which often leads to customer retention and overall marketability of your business.

Plenty of Room for EV Owners at a California Hotel

A multinational hotel chain that offers EV charging capabilities at over 3,000 of their locations has seen indirect revenue increases through the installation of EV chargers at many of their locations, including one Southern California location. The hotel owners said the new EV charging capabilities have driven a new stream of overnight guests, along with those who stay in the lounge and restaurant long enough to charge their vehicles and enjoy a meal.

Bishop Ranch Subsidizes Cost of EV Chargers for Faster ROI

Installing EV charging stations has a number of benefits beyond a direct additional stream of revenue for your business, such as attracting high-quality tenants or guests, retaining employees and keeping customers in stores longer so they spend more money. But if you want to see a direct ROI on your charging stations faster, you might consider subsidies. 

Bishop Ranch, a San Ramon, CA, commercial complex with over 500 businesses, including retail and office space, and nearly 30,000 workers, took advantage of a grant from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utility company. Bishop Ranch also partnered with the local Bank of the West to subsidize the costs of installation. The bank has its branding on the EV chargers, which helps showcase the bank’s support of sustainability and adds visibility for the brand. The cost of electricity gets passed directly through the charger. Tenants can choose to subsidize the electricity costs as a perk to workers, or can require tenants to pay for charging. 

Between the grant, local and federal incentives and subsidies, Bishop Ranch paid “very, very little,” for the charging infrastructure. What’s more, Bishop Ranch estimated that their EV chargers will become profitable within five years.

So, not only are EV charging stations profitable, but they also add to your businesses, Choose the right partner that aligns with your brand’s goals and image. EV Connect is here to help you find the path to profitability for your EV charging network. Let’s connect today. 

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist who has written about sustainability and solar for 20-plus years. She frequently covers Tesla and Elon Musk for GoBankingRates.

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