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How to Make Money On Electric Charging Stations

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June 17, 2023

Electric vehicle charging stations can benefit businesses, but determining how much to charge users is crucial. Several factors, including the EV charger station installation cost, charger type, location, time of day, desired customer base, and profit goals, affect pricing.

Standard pricing models for EV charging stations include pay-as-you-go, monthly, and free charging. Choosing the right option for your business depends on your specific needs and goals.

Monetization Models for EV Charging Stations

There are several ways to monetize EV charging stations, and the pricing model you choose will depend on your goals. The most common model is pay-as-you-go, charging users per kWh used. Monthly flat fees and free charging are other options, with owners monetizing through advertising or sponsorship.

Pay-As-You-Go Model for EV Charging Stations

The pay-as-you-go model is the most common pricing model for EV charging stations. It is easy to understand and use, but can be expensive for frequent users, with costs ranging from $0.40 to $0.70 per kWh.

This model is ideal for businesses that want to consistently cover the costs of their charging stations, especially for companies that don’t expect regular visits from customers, such as gas stations or supermarkets.

Monthly Model for EV Charging Stations

The monthly model for EV charging stations offers predictable pricing for users, with discounts for charging during off-peak hours. However, it can be expensive for occasional users and requires a subscription.

Monthly Model to make money from EV charging stations

Photo by Ernest Ojeh on Unsplash

This pricing model is ideal for businesses where customers can park and charge regularly, such as apartment buildings and gyms. Monthly charging station membership costs vary depending on the location and charger type, with prices ranging from $49.99 for a standard monthly plan, as offered by EVCS on the west coast.

Free Model for EV Charging Stations

The free model for EV charging stations means they are free to use, and the owner monetizes them through advertising, sponsorship, or organic business growth. This model is ideal for businesses that view their charging stations as a long-term investment.

It is also suitable for cafes and grocery stores, where customers can make additional purchases while waiting for their cars to charge. Free EV charging stations are becoming increasingly popular across the United States, as seen on Plugshare’s map.

Businesses considering a free EV charging station model should also explore state grants and incentives to make it feasible.

Fully Funded/Affiliate Model for EV Charging Stations

The fully funded/affiliate model for EV charging stations involves a separate entity providing and operating the charging stations, with the business owner receiving a portion of the profits. This model is ideal for businesses that want to offer charging stations to their customers without any upfront investment or ongoing costs.

ChargePoint’s partner program is an example of this model, allowing business owners to offer charging stations to their customers while taking no cut of the profits. This model is also well-suited for businesses that want to offer charging as a benefit to their employees, such as large corporations or government agencies.

Charge Station Utilization

Other Factors Affecting EV Charging Station Prices

Aside from choosing the right pricing model, several other factors can impact the profitability of EV charging stations. These include:

  1. Charger type: The cost of installation and maintenance varies depending on the charger type. Level 1 charging stations are the most affordable, while Level 3 or DC fast charging stations are the most expensive.
  2. Location: The cost of electricity and permits varies by location, and some areas may offer grants or incentives to encourage EV charging station installation.
  3. Demand charges: Some utility companies charge additional fees for demand during peak usage hours. It’s essential to consider these charges when setting prices for your EV charging stations.
  4. Maintenance costs: EV charging stations require regular maintenance to operate effectively. This includes upkeep of the equipment, software, and physical space.
  5. Ancillary revenue: Consider other ways to generate revenue from your charging stations, such as selling advertising space or partnering with local businesses to offer exclusive discounts to EV drivers.

 

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