As the electric vehicle charging infrastructure expands throughout the United States, the question of who pays for electric car charging stations must be addressed. Unlike traditional fueling stations, EV charging stations can be installed and operated by individuals, local businesses, utility companies, and public administrations. There are also various types of charging stations, from Level 1 and Level 2 stations to Superchargers that provide a full charge quickly.
Ultimately, this means that the costs associated with installation, operation, and maintenance really depends on the type of charging station and how a person –– or a business –– intends to use it. Let’s examine the costs associated with residential applications, commercial applications, and public or utility applications to help determine who pays for electric car charging stations.
EV Charging in Residential Applications
Most EV drivers take advantage of the time their vehicles are parked at home to recharge their batteries which makes it a fairly straightforward answer as to who pays for an ev charging station. While many electric vehicles can be plugged into a standard AC electric outlet, many EV drivers will opt to install their own Level 1 EV charging station at home. Depending on where you live, the cost of purchase and installation may qualify for reimbursement.
Depending on which state you live in, while it may be you who pays for your electric car charging station, you may qualify for incentives such as a significant tax credit, exemption, or rebate for the installation of an EV charging station in your home. In Georgia, for example, you can qualify for a $250 rebate on your at-home EV charging station. In California, the rebate is up to $1,000 for teachers and first responders.
In addition, many states, including Arizona, California, Hawaii, Texas, and New York, offer reduced rates on electricity used for charging vehicles during certain hours (typically overnight). So for people who do pay for their own electric car charging stations, this helps to reduce the overall strain on the power grid while offering a financial incentive for EV drivers to charge at night instead of during the day. In some states, like Massachusetts, you can actually earn money from your residential EV charging station by enrolling it into the state’s ConnectedSolutions program, which returns unused power back to the grid.
EV Charging for Commercial Applications
The expansion of the EV charging station infrastructure is being largely driven by the investment of private property managers and business owners, especially those who oversee parking lots, decks, and garages. When it comes to who pays for electric car charging stations, for some businesses, including EV charging stations is considered a free perk for employees and clients. Shopping centers and retail outlets who wish to draw the business from EV drivers may install charging stations in prime parking spaces, giving drivers the opportunity to charge for free while they hop from store to store.
So, who pays for electric car charging stations in these instances depends on the situation. A local business owner may choose to cover the cost of installation, operation, and the electricity itself as a way of attracting EV drivers to the business and gaining some positive PR. For a shopping center, businesses which occupy space may be asked to pay a monthly fee as part of their rent to help cover the costs of the EV charging station management, since all businesses in the center could potentially benefit.
In many states, new regulations require that any new commercial construction or multi-unit residential construction, such as apartment complexes, must include EV charging stations. In all of these cases, tax rebates and other incentives may exist to help cover some of the cost of installation for EV charging stations.
Obviously, it’s not always a clear-cut answer when it comes to who pays for electric car charging stations. For instance, many commercial and enterprise applications involve the development of EV charging networks that are operated by a single entity or corporation. For example, in the hospitality industry, a hotel chain may need to operate EV charging stations dispersed throughout the country –– but the management of these charging stations, from tracking the electricity used to maintenance issues to branding the network itself –– requires a robust EV network management solution in order to control costs.
The Role of Utility Companies
Another consideration in deciding who pays for electric car charging stations is the role of utility companies since they are an increasingly important piece in the expansion of EV charging stations. This is, in part, due to the potential upside. Many utility companies are already well underway with adapting their current operations to account for what is expected to be a massive increase in electric vehicles hitting the roads over the next several decades – which will eventually impact the consumption of electricity in their power grids.
Traditional gas stations tend to operate by a standard ‘pay as you pump’ model (an exception to this rule being loyalty programs, such as fuel points earned via grocery stores, etc.). When it comes to who pays for EV charging stations, however, there is no standard model in place – at least not yet. Utility companies will play a unique role in the evolution of these payment models, as they have the existing infrastructure, capital, and other resources necessary to test models on a wider scale than much smaller private charging station networks.
In terms of who’s paying for electric car charging stations and how, some models currently being tested include a single monthly payment which gives EV drivers the option unlimited recharging at any in-network charging station; annual or semi-annual payment structures; and a pay-as-you-charge model that is similar to traditional gas stations.
Maximize Your EV Investment
At the end of the day, who pays for electric car charging stations depends on the type of charging station and the way it is going to be used. When it comes to the development of commercial and enterprise EV charging stations, EV Connect provides the tools and expertise you need to manage those networks efficiently and effectively. Our innovative solutions can help you grow your network intelligently to get the highest possible return on your investment.
From the hospitality industry and educational institutions to large-scale government applications, we’re leading the way for the future of the EV charging infrastructure in North America. If you’re ready to learn more about the electric vehicle revolution and how your business could play a role in determining who pays for EV charging stations, call us at (888) 780-0062, or send us a message online today.