By 2025, 25% of vehicle sales will be electric. Get ahead of the curve by installing EV charging stations at your business. Here are seven reasons why you should consider installing EV charging stations at your business.
Reasons Your Business Wants to Install EV Charging Stations
1. Environmental Stewardship
While it may be the simplest reason, businesses have an opportunity to do their part to clean up the environment by making it easier for employees, visitors, and customers to charge their electric vehicles. One of the most often cited reasons for not buying an EV is range anxiety — fear of not finding a charging station before the vehicle runs out of power. Providing charging stations can encourage employees, visitors, and customers in the area to make their next car an EV.
2. Workplace Benefits and Amenities
According to Energy.gov, access to electric vehicle charging stations at workplaces doubled between 2012 and 2014, and 90% of employers reported that their stations were in regular use 5 days a week. Five years later, industry experts and environmentalists alike have discovered that the key to putting more electric vehicles (EVs) on the road is to make sure there is enough electric vehicle service equipment (EVSEs) for potential customers to feel certain they will be able to charge their EV regularly.
According to Green Tech Media, EV chargers barely make a dent in an overall electric bill, a general increase of less than 4%.
Corporations and employers are always looking for a benefits package that will attract great employees. Providing electric vehicle charging stations at the workplace as benefits and amenities will attract and retain top talent who are environmentally conscious and comfortable with cutting-edge technology. EV drivers on average are younger, more technology-savvy, and higher income than gas-powered vehicle drivers: employees who will lead a business into the future.
The EV charging stations also send a clear message to staff and customers alike: This business working toward a greener future.
# of Vehicle Sales to be Electric by 2025
3. EV Chargers Put Your Business on the Map
When businesses choose to join the Blink Network, the EV equipment appears on the Blink Map, which electric car drivers utilize to find locations to plug in and charge. The Blink Map is easily accessible to anyone who owns a smartphone through the Blink Mobile app. Some other apps EV drivers are familiar with include:
PlugShare — PlugShare shows locations of charging stations all around the world, and even includes the type of plug each station supports, as well as local restaurants, shopping, and rest areas.
ChargeHub — ChargeHub provides much the same information but has a smaller community. Locations are also limited to the U.S. and Canada. It includes information on finding accessories to charge at home as well.
Chargemap — Based in France, Chargemap includes charging stations all over the world but is particularly useful if visiting overseas. Requires user to create an account.
Open Charge Map — Open Charge Map provides addresses, distance from your home, business contact info, and the number of charging ports, but leaves out reviews and comments.
EV drivers can identify and locate your business as a place to charge their cars. Since the average charge time is around a half-hour, they are also likely to be interested in shopping or dining in the area while they charge.
4. Build a Customer Base
EV owners are usually interested in many different kinds of environmentally friendly products. According to CleanTechnica, 28-40% of EV drivers have a home solar panel. If your business sells solar panels, or any other green product, putting in EV charging stations can encourage possible customers to drop by your business on a regular basis, making them more likely to purchase from you.
5. Build Customer Loyalty
From Walgreens to Target, large franchise stores are putting in EV chargers to encourage EV drivers to come to their location. Businesses don’t have to be strictly “green” to grab the attention of EV drivers who are looking for a place to charge, and maybe a spot to run in and grab a gallon of milk on the way home. Once your business grabs the EV driver’s attention, you will become their preferred destination for anything which may require them to stop on the way somewhere.
6. Start a Second Source of Income
If your company operates a garage, visitors often pay to park there. Charging for using EV services tacks on an additional charge. With little or no effort or additional staff required, charging for parking and EV station usage can provide an additional source of income. Most businesses charge between 39 and 79 cents per kilowatt-hour. Charging for hours of usage, or hours parked in the spot, can also be helpful for getting employees to move their cars once charged and allow someone else to use the charger, as well as keeping gas-fueled vehicles from parking in the spot and blocking the charger. Those who choose to charge a fee will need an EVSE solution with access control.
Soon the fees from charging will more than cover the cost of installation and maintenance. Networking your EV equipment can allow your company to streamline the garage exit process, so drivers can pay for both at the same time
7. Get a Rebate or Tax Break
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, businesses should check out the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. “With this credit, a business’ electricity-related infrastructure and fueling equipment can receive a 30% tax credit up to $30,000.” A tax credit may also be available through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
- California offers the greatest number of options, in fact, the cities of Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Santa Barbara offer their own credits. L.A. offers rebates on all level 2 chargers, Anaheim likewise offer up to $500 for businesses who provide level 2 chargers to employees, and Santa Barbara offers reimbursements of $20,000 for DC fast chargers, and up to $10,000 per Level 2 charger for public entities. The Golden State itself offers financing options, tax breaks, and even grants of up to $6,000 per charger.
- In Colorado, the Colorado Energy Office and Regional Air Quality Council grants can fund 80% of the cost of electric vehicle supply equipment, up to $6,260.
- For Florida, Orlando and the Orlando Utilities Commission offer a rebate of up to $1,000 for the installation and purchase of electric vehicle supply equipment.
- In Illinois, the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity provides rebates for some of the cost of EVSE installation, which a maximum rebate of $49,000, depending on the number of chargers installed.
- In Massachusetts, MassDEP can provide up to 60% of funding for hardware costs.
- In Texas, The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality’s Alternative Fueling Facilities Program covers up to 60% of eligible costs of up to $600,000 on dispensing alternative fuels.
- In fact, almost every state has some kind of rebate offer or tax credits. Each state has different criteria, and businesses can check individual criteria here.
Ready to get EV stations, but don’t know where to start?
Assess Business Needs
An employee survey is a good place to start when assessing current and future demand for EV charging stations. When planning for EV charging solutions, pair the results from your employee survey with projections for future demand.
Ask These Survey Questions
- Do you or anyone in your household own a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) or battery electric vehicle (BEV)?
- If yes, where do you charge your vehicle most often?
- If yes, do you use an EV to commute to work?
- Are you considering leasing or purchasing an EV in the next year?
- Is having access to EV charging at work a deciding factor in your decision to lease or purchase an EV?
- If EV charging is available at your workplace, how likely are you to charge there?
- Do you feel your company should do more to support green energy?
- Do you feel offering workplace charging stations is an important employee benefit?
The Benefits of Networked Service
The next question is whether companies want to manage their own EVSE or hire a vendor to manage it for them. Some companies choose to manage their own charging stations and create a department exclusively for the operation of the charging stations. Responsibilities include: creating reservation systems, time limits, liability waivers for use of equipment, and hiring an employee(s) to operate the chargers and possibly move cars.
Most corporations prefer to leave EVSE operations to a networked service like Blink Charging. Blink handles installation, management, price, and budget for the company for a subscription fee. Another advantage to hiring a vendor is that their EV Chargers can appear on Google Maps, which can increase the exposure and profit of a company’s parking garage when EV owners choose to pay not only a fee to charge, but also a fee for parking. Networked services can also consolidate garage parking credit card machines with EVSE, so customers can pay for parking and charging at the same time, rather than having two distinct and payment systems. Networked chargers also allow businesses to instantly track things like how often their charges are in use and if they should change pricing.
The Blink Charging Advantage
Blink works with smart businesses to be at the forefront of the green energy revolution by installing EV charging stations which attract EV drivers and support sustainability, making your location EV-friendly.
Many companies are choosing to provide EVSE at the workplace to make going green easier for employees, to attract the talent they want to hire, and to inform customers about their positive environmental policies.
A hundred years ago, the automobile revolutionized transportation and changed the way we live and travel forever. Today, electric vehicles are the next step on the road to the future.
Electric vehicles are the future of transportation, and businesses not taking the leap toward it are going to be left behind. Do the right thing for the environment while sending the message to your employees and customers: We care about going green and creating a community for those who also care.
Tomorrow will be here before you Blink. Are you ready?