The number of electric vehicles (EVs) on the road more than tripled in the past three years. EV charger availability is already a factor for drivers in choosing retail shops, hotels, or their next apartment. Depending on where they are in the world, many businesses have already felt the pressure to meet EV drivers’ new expectations. Luckily, installing EV chargers doesn’t have to be a costly process if you know your EV charging incentives. For those in the industry, knowing the most popular programs is key to closing sales and scaling deployments.
We highlight a few of the most popular programs in this article, along with some food for thought if you’re still not sure about installing EV chargers for your business.
"Are you sure I need EV chargers at my business?”
You may have already heard this from potential prospects. Our answer? We’d say so (and not just because ChargeLab is an EV charger software provider). As concerns about climate change become more urgent, the world is trending toward vehicle electrification as a way to mitigate carbon emissions. Businesses across industries will need to participate in the transition if they want to meet customer expectations. The pitch for business owners is that now is a good time to get ahead of the curve.
But while lessening environmental impact is the long-term goal, businesses that install EV chargers may see more immediate benefits, including:
- Additional revenue: Even if you decide to offer complimentary charging to customers, you have the option to open your EV chargers to the greater public for a fee, which opens a new revenue stream. (Incidentally, opening your chargers to the public is also often a requirement for receiving government rebates.)
- Brand appeal: Installing and actively promoting that you offer EV charging as an option signal to your customers that you’re dedicated to sustainability—a more pertinent point than ever since 49% of participants in a global survey expressed concern about climate change.
- Cost savings with EV charging incentives: Local governments, utility companies, and business groups offer EV charger incentives in the form of grants, subsidies, tax credits, and rebates. In other words, there’s free money (or money back) that you can use to drive environmentally-conscious consumers to your business.
Calculating the ROI for EV charger installation
For prospects that decide to move forward with an installation, it’s important to help them determine how many chargers make sense, and which locations will see maximum benefits. You should recommend they do a bit of market research on the demand for EV charging in their area. It’s also crucial to consult with an electrician about the installation costs for their specific infrastructure. Power management is essential to balance loads and maximize safe energy output—plus, they can help you avoid costly infrastructure upgrades.
Another important consideration is figuring out whether Level 2 or DC fast chargers (Level 3) make sense for each deployment. This decision will depend on the project budget and traffic patterns at the locations. For example, a hotel in a somewhat secluded area may benefit from a higher ratio of Level 2 chargers for guests arriving by passenger cars, while a busy mini-mart located near a busy thoroughfare with lots of commercial traffic may benefit from investing in Level 3 chargers.
Then you’ll want to look into EV charging station incentives for the area, including any local rebates. Once you have an estimate of the costs and the amount the site can expect to recuperate, determine a pricing structure that balances profits and driver satisfaction. It may take some time to crunch all the numbers, but it’s well worth it to get the most accurate forecast.
How to install EV chargers the easy way
By far the most convenient way to get an EV charger project off the ground is to work with an EV solutions provider—someone who will do the research, install, and run the charging stations for you. This is a key part of the value proposition you should communicate to prospects. There are a couple of reasons for this:
- Experienced providers can qualify for more rebates than any individual business, especially if your chargers can be classified as a public works project.
- Solutions providers are experts in their field and can guide the permitting, rebate application, and installation process with relative ease.
- You’ll have someone to turn to when something goes wrong, whether that’s a payment system not working or chargers requiring standard maintenance.
If you’d rather run the charging stations yourself, there are grants you can apply for as an individual business. We outline a few of them below.
Types of EV charging incentives available to businesses
While many country-wide (US and Canada) EV purchase incentives and EV charging installation incentives are available for public projects, programs for individual businesses are mostly allocated through state and local governments, as well as regional advocacy groups. The surest way to find out which EV charging incentives are in your area is to spend some time on the websites for your city and state governments and to talk to representatives of local utility companies, industry associations, and community leaders. While getting EV charger installation funded is a boots-on-the-ground kind of endeavor, we rounded up some of the larger EV charging programs below.
California Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Project grant (US)
This program is run by the California Energy Commission and the funding for the grant is allocated to building EV charging infrastructure in underserved, low-income, or tribal communities in the northern and eastern parts of the state. Businesses with locations in these areas can apply for a cost-share of 50% for the project. Applicants are required to install at least four DC fast chargers and can receive funding for up to 20 sites.
Since California has the largest share of EV drivers in the US, adding EV charging stations is a particularly pertinent idea for businesses in the Golden State. Small, local rebates also abound (for an example, take a look at this EV rebate program from the City of Pasadena). To find rebates in your area, use this search tool.
The Good Energy Program, Yukon (Canada)
Businesses located in Yukon can apply for a rebate of up to 75% of total costs, up to a maximum of $7,500 per installed charger. Eligible recipients include multifamily residences and commercial building owners. The grant also applies to businesses who lease their building as long as they have written permission to install the chargers from the building’s owners.
Energy Improvement in Rural or Remote Areas Funding Opportunity (US)
A part of the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas (ERA) program, this grant funds projects that improve access to EV infrastructure in remote, rural areas. The grant received $1 billion through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, but the individual amounts awarded vary by project scope and need. You should also be mindful of any deadlines and award limits, since the ERA allocates funds during specific application windows.
Zero Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (Canada)
Canada’s ZEVI program provides funding for EV infrastructure with the aim of creating transportation corridors across the country. It’s important to note that the funding is limited to delivery organizations and charger operators (so you’d need to own and operate the chargers yourself in order to qualify). The grant covers 50% of total project costs up to $5,000 per Level 2 charger or a maximum of $100,000 per DC fast charger.
Charge NY Program (US)
The Charge NY initiative offers many different EV charger incentive programs for multifamily buildings and workplaces. The application requirements and grant amounts depend on the program and use case of the project. For a more detailed overview of the rebate program, take a look at this summary.
Transition énérgetique Québec rebates (Canada)
Workplace sites and multifamily building owners in Québec can receive a rebate that covers 50% of total installation costs, up to $5,000 per Level 2 charger. The rebate tops out at $25,000 per organization per year. The specific requirements vary by business type, so be sure to read the requirements closely before applying.
BC Hydro EV charger rebates (Canada)
Businesses in British Columbia can get a rebate for 50% of total install costs, up to $2,000 per Level 2 charger, including five free hours of support from an EV charging advisor. There are also additional rebates available to businesses under the EV Ready Plan.
Additional rebates available through utility companies
Public utility companies (such as Southern California Edison and PG&E) offer EV purchase incentives for consumers and businesses, but some utility companies may also aid you with charger installation fees if your EV chargers are available to the public. If you want to learn more about available incentives for EV charging stations, you may want to read this article next.
Power up with ChargeLab
ChargeLab makes running an EV charging station less cumbersome with hardware-agnostic charging station management software that provides 24/7 support and complete control over payment processing and load balancing of your chargers—all in one easy-to-use dashboard. Want to see how it works? Reach out to our team for a demo.