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How to Profit From EV Charging Stations

Updated: Jun 29


 

A white car with a green lightning bolt, linked to a leaf and a dollar coin by arrows.

Cleantechnica reports electric vehicle (EV) sales reached 1,119,251 units in 2023, which was 7.2% of all auto sales. This sales volume was up from 760,329 in 2022. Predictions are for the electric vehicle market in the USA to reach $82.8 billion in 2024 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next five years of 18.20%.


EV charging solutions


One thing is certain, all those EVs hitting the road need EV charging stations! This creates an opportunity for clever entrepreneurs to capitalize on this trend by establishing profitable EV charging stations.


There are 3 levels of EV charging stations


  • Level 1: Standard 120V AC electrical outlet


  • Level 2: 240V AC


  • Level 3: 480V DC


Level

Voltage

Power

Charging Time

Distance

Level 1

120V - AC

1.2 to 1.4 kW

one hour

two to five miles

Level 2

240V - AC

3.3 to 19.2 kW 

one hour

ten to 60 miles

Level 3

480V - DC

50 to 350 kW

20 minutes

60 to 200+ miles


Typical uses for level 1 charge are leaving an EV plugged in at home or while parked for many hours at the office. A level 2 system is commonly used in parking garages, shopping centers, and for standard public charging stations. A level 3 system converts AC to DC current for direct to battery rapid charging with strong power. This type of system is used for commercial applications and is usually found along highways and major travel routes to provide fast charging for long-distance travel.


Initial planning and investment in an EV charging system


Successful entry into the EV charging business starts by conducting thorough market research and engaging in strategic planning. Identify high-demand locations such as urban centers, highways, and commercial hubs. Evaluate the proximity to existing charging stations to identify competitors and estimate your potential customer base.


Steps for analysis of your location


  • Step 1: Conduct a market analysis and traffic flow count.


  • Step 2: Evaluate proximity to other charging stations nearby.


  • Step 3: Estimate revenues based on potential customer base and EV ownership density.


Only about one-third of the goal of the national infrastructure of EV charging stations has been achieved, so there is plenty of room for more EV charging installations. When a location is well-selected, it may be highly profitable, especially when associated with a destination (such as a shopping center) favored by EV owners. An excellent strategy is where the goal is to use the rapid charging station as an attractor and make extra profits on the other items purchased by the customer, while their EV is being charged.


Costs, funding, and incentives


Cost considerations are crucial. Initial investments include purchasing and installing charging equipment, which can cost from $2,000 to $50,000 per station depending on the type. Additionally, budget for ongoing maintenance, electricity costs, and operational expenses.


Government incentives can significantly offset the initial costs. Various grants and subsidies are available at federal, state, and local levels to encourage the development of EV infrastructure. Tax incentives and rebates also provide financial relief. Explore partnerships with businesses and local governments, which might offer financial and logistical support.


Electric vehicles charging at a sunny, tree-lined station.

Choosing the right equipment


Selecting the appropriate equipment is vital for operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. Considerations include charging speed and compatibility with different EV models. 


Be aware of the requirements for operating public EV charging stations in the northwest.


EV charging stations across the northwest


NetZero Energy has the specific expertise and experience needed for installations in the northwest and the challenging environments of Oregon, Washington, and Alaska.


EV charging Oregon


Oregon's diverse climate, ranging from coastal to mountainous regions, can affect installation and operation, particularly in areas prone to extreme weather. Upgrading the electrical grid to support the increased load from multiple rapid charging systems can be costly and time-consuming.


EV charging Washington


Identifying and securing suitable locations with adequate electrical capacity can be challenging, particularly in rural or remote areas. Assessing the environmental impact includes determining the source of the electricity. Naturally, there is a preference for the use of green, renewal electrical energy sources.


EV charging Alaska


Harsh winters with extremely low temperatures can affect the performance and reliability of charging equipment. Batteries and electronics can be less efficient and more prone to failure in wintry conditions. Heavy snowfall and ice can obstruct access to charging stations and require more frequent maintenance and snow removal. The electrical grid in parts of Alaska, particularly in remote and rural areas, may not have the capacity to support additional load from EV chargers.


Setting up your charging station


The setup process involves several steps. Work with Netzero Energy to secure necessary permits and comply with local regulations. Prepare the site with the required infrastructure, including power supply and internet connectivity for smart charging solutions. Collaborate with experienced contractors and engineers to ensure a smooth installation process. Prioritize safety and compliance with industry standards to avoid legal issues and ensure user safety.


Pricing strategies


Effective pricing strategies balance profitability with customer attraction. You may find offering charging at near-cost is an effective loss leader to earn profits from the up-sell. This is the profit model of gasoline stations that may sell gasoline for minimal profits or even at a loss to attract traffic and to earn profits from the purchases made by a customer at the associated mini mart.


Pricing models include:


  • Pay-per-use, where customers pay based on the amount of electricity consumed or the time plugged in to the charging system or a combination of these methods. Having to pay for the time plugged in encourages a customer to move the vehicle from the charging station when it is recharged.



  • Subscription-based models offer unlimited charging for a monthly fee.



  • Free charging (with a minimum purchase) can attract customers to nearby businesses. 


Analyze competitor pricing to set competitive rates and consider offering discounts or loyalty programs to build a regular customer base.


Monetizing the charging station


Revenue generation extends beyond charging fees. Consider advertising opportunities on digital screens or physical ads at the charging stations. 


Partner with local businesses to offer joint promotions, driving traffic to both the charging station and the business. Utilize technology to enhance customer experience and increase revenue, such as mobile apps for locating your charging stations, reserving a charging slot, and making payments.


Ready? Set? Charge!


The growing EV market presents a lucrative opportunity for entrepreneurs willing to invest in charging infrastructure. With careful planning, strategic investments, and effective management, EV charging stations can become a profitable business venture. 


As the world moves towards a more sustainable future, early adopters in the EV charging industry stand to gain significant rewards. Contact Us to get the conversation started with the NetZero Energy experts about how you can profit from EV charging stations.


 

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