If you’re thinking about adding an electric vehicle charging station to your parking lot, cost is probably one of the foremost considerations in your mind. How much will it cost to buy units? How much to install them? What are the maintenance and operating costs associated with them?
In today’s market, a lot of different factors play into the cost of electric vehicle charging stations. Today we’re going to look at four key variables to take into consideration.
The Hardware You Choose
Different brands and models of EV chargers come with different feature sets and costs. Each has its own pros and cons; from a big-picture standpoint your goal is to evaluate the various factors with user satisfaction and profitability in mind. Your goal isn’t necessarily to cater to as many different types of electric vehicles as possible, or to have the best chargers money can buy, or the greatest number of chargers on your lot, but to invest the amount of money that will earn you the best return on your investment.
At EV Connect, our experts can give you the advice you need to find the best hardware for your particular location and situation. We support and offer a wide range of Level 2 charging stations from the top manufacturers, including EV-Box, BTC Power, EVOCharge, and AeroVironment.
The Layout of Your Lot
How should EV chargers be configured throughout your parking lot? That’s an important question to consider when determining the cost of electric vehicle charging stations. Generally, you’ll want to situate your charging slips at the cheapest location in your lot where EV drivers will still use them, meaning the charging station must look visually appealing, feel safe, and be sufficiently convenient to the business (when applicable).
Clustering and lot surface improvements are also a consideration. In a recent study, Tompkins County, New York discovered: “The price of a charge station varies depending on electric infrastructure need and layout of the site itself. When your charge stations can be grouped together, it is less expensive for networking and getting electricity to the stations. Their location also affects any cement and asphalt work, which can elevate the price.”
At EV Connect, we can give you the answers you seek by providing you with a free assessment of your property and give you a personalized quote. With clients such as Yahoo!, Marriott, ADP, Electrify America, and the City of Los Angeles, we have established ourselves as the best place to find solutions for EV charging stations.
The electrical capabilities at your parking lot will also factor materially into your costs, as you may need to limit your hardware based on infrastructure capacity, or else contract improvements for your lot’s electrical service.
The Tompkins County report found: “Networked stations [like EV Connect’s] use cellular communication to report and track the real-time status of the charging station. AC Level 1 and 2 charging stations cost between $500 and $5,000 per charging port depending on type and features. […] AC Level 1 stations use 120V to provide up to 2 kW of charging, resulting in 3 – 5 miles of electrical driving range per hour of charging. AC Level 2 stations use 240V to provide up to 19.2 kW, resulting in 10 – 20 miles of electrical driving range per hour of charging.”
This leads into the key operating cost of EV chargers, which is, of course, electricity.
This is where it helps to understand both the parking patterns on your lot and also your electric service rate tiers. If you get charged at a higher rate for using a lot of power at once, especially during the daytime, then you are incentivized to spread out power consumption as much as you reasonably can, or else charge more for faster chargers or for charging during peak hours. Tiered pricing can potentially boost profits by implying that your lower rates offer added value and your higher rates offer added convenience. EV Connect’s flexible and robust management platform enables you to vary your pricing on a daily, hourly, or by-user basis.
On the other hand, if your customers tend to park on your lot for longer, you could price your EV charging by time instead of power consumed.
Consult EV Connect for Expert Advice
It’s interesting to think about how the cost and usage patterns of electricity can potentially drive your entire pricing model, and this is just one of many such considerations EV Connect can help you explore. Contact us today for a free consultation and to learn more about your specific circumstances.