The electric vehicle (EV) sector continues to grow by leaps and bounds. The International Energy Association expects demand for EVs to grow 35% this year. That’s after already having a record-breaking year in 2022. With this surge in growth, comes the need for additional charging infrastructure, leading more businesses to contemplate whether they should invest in EV charging stations (commonly referred to as Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure or EVCI) for their facilities.
If you are considering adding EV chargers to your property here is what you need to know.
It’s all about utilization
The single biggest driver to EVCI profitability is utilization- the more a charger is used, the better the economics are for all parties. This is partly why fleet electrification is so popular. If a delivery company switches their trucks from gas powered to electric, you can easily forecast the savings/revenue for the project because you know exactly how much charging those trucks will need every day.
Next to that are publicly available chargers in high traffic areas. If you own property in a publicly accessible commercial space, there are ways to easily estimate how much those chargers will be utilized every day using traffic data. These projects also often have high returns on investment.
What if I just want to offer EV chargers as a perk for my tenants?
“Workplace Charging,” as it’s often called, can be a great amenity to your facility. On-site EV chargers not only encourage EV adoption by current tenants, but it can also attract more educated employees. A survey by CarMax/Cleantechnica found that over 70% of EV drivers are college educated (vs the US average of 38%). And if you pair your EV chargers with onsite solar PV, you can reduce your overall net operating costs. Together, these factors combine to raise the overall value of the property.
Synergies with solar
Speaking of solar PV, paring EV chargers with onsite solar can enhance your investment even further. This is, of course, the cleanest and greenest way to charge up electric vehicles. But the benefits go beyond carbon reduction. By tying EV chargers with solar systems, you not only reduce the costs to charge vehicles (solar power is almost always cheaper than grid power), but you also get cost certainty over the lifetime of the system. While prices for grid power will inevitably rise over time, the cost for solar power is fixed. This makes forecasting costs and revenue for the property much easier and more accurate in the long run.
There are numerous incentives for electric vehicle infrastructure right now
Public opinion and political will for electric vehicles have never been higher. And with that comes a plethora of incentive programs aimed at building up the nascent market. Most are aware of the various rebates for purchasing electric vehicles, but many do not know that electric vehicle charging infrastructure also benefits from robust rebate programs and tax incentives. In particular, any charging station that is open to the public and near a highway can get a significant portion of the upfront cost offset by federal funding provisioned in the recent Inflation Reduction Act. And many states and local municipalities offer additional incentives for EV infrastructure.
There are many ways to pay for EV chargers
At SolarKal, we talk regularly with our EV partners and one of the common themes we hear is the willingness to engage in flexible commercial structures to meet the needs of sites hosts, and owners. So, whether you want to own the system outright to maximize returns or engage in a revenue-sharing structure to reduce risk, there are partners out there who will work with you to find the right balance of risk and reward.
This is the best time to invest in EV Charging Infrastructure
The EV revolution is here and continues to grow quickly. But that means it won’t be long before the EV market reaches parity with combustion engine vehicles and will no longer need support from public agencies. The generous incentives we are seeing now for EVCI won’t be around forever, so this is a great time to install EV chargers and take advantage of the lucrative programs. On top of that, EVCI providers are hungry to grow their business and willing to work with clients to create flexible commercial structures that are win-win for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to add standalone EV charging stations or charging stations paired with solar PV, SolarKal is here to be your trusted guide in navigating this new and exciting field of clean energy.