Electric vehicle charging stations can be a boon for many businesses. Multi-unit dwellings can attract and retain tenants, while employers can increase employee satisfaction, productivity, and recruitment and retention rates. Shopping malls and other retail establishments can bring in new customers, while restaurants and hotels can increase foot traffic and boost their bottom line. But before you can reap the benefits of owning an EV charging station, you need to determine how much to charge users for their use.
There are many different ways to price your EV charging station. The best option for you will depend on several factors, including:
- The type of charger you have installed
- Your location
- The time of day or week when a charge is most needed
- The types of customers you want to attract
- Whether you want to make a profit or simply cover the cost of charging
Some standard pricing models for EV charging stations include pay-as-you-go, monthly, and free charging. Let’s take a closer look at each option to see which might fit your business best.
Monetization Models For EV Charging Stations
There are a few different ways to monetize your charging station, and the price you charge users will depend on the model you choose. The pay-as-you-go model is the most common, which charges users per kWh used. The monthly model is another option, charging users a flat monthly fee. Finally, some charging stations are free to use, and the owner monetizes them through advertising or sponsorship.
The pay-as-you-go model is the most common pricing model for charging stations, with the advantage of being easy to understand and use. However, this approach can be expensive for users if they need to charge their cars frequently. The average cost per kWh ranges from $0.40 to $0.70, meaning many drivers using pay-as-you-go chargers could spend up to $10, $20, or even $30 for a full charge.
The pay-as-you-go model is ideal for businesses that want to quickly and consistently cover the costs of their EV charging stations. It is especially well-suited for companies who don’t expect visitors to return regularly; a gas station alongside a highway or a supermarket in a metropolitan area, for example.
The monthly model is predictable for users, offering discounts for charging during off-peak hours. However, it can be expensive for users who only need to charge occasionally, and it requires a subscription. The monthly model is ideal for owners of apartment buildings, gyms, or other businesses whose customers can park and charge at the same location regularly.
Monthly charging station membership varies depending on location and charger types. For example, west coast-based EVCS charges $49.99 for its standard monthly charging plan.
The free model means charging stations are free to use, and the owner monetizes them through advertising, sponsorship, or organic business growth. This model is perfect for businesses comfortable viewing their charging stations as a long-term investment.
The free model is also great for cafes and grocery stores, which can easily convince drivers to make additional purchases while they wait for their cars to charge. Free EV charging stations are becoming increasingly popular across the United States, as evidenced by Plugshare’s map.
If you’re worried about the feasibility of a free EV charging station model for your business, be sure to take a look at your state’s grants and incentives.
Fully Funded/Affiliate Model
Image by Freepik
The fully funded/affiliate model is a charging station business type in which the charging stations are provided and operated by a separate entity, giving the business owner a cut of the profits. This model is perfect for businesses that want to offer charging stations to their customers without any upfront investment or ongoing costs.
For example, ChargePoint’s partner program allows 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 perk or benefit to their employees, such as large corporations or government agencies.
Other Factors Affecting Charging Station Prices
Before you settle on a monetization model for your charging stations, you’ll want to take a complete inventory of the costs that will affect your bottom line. This ensures your charging stations become profitable as quickly as possible. Here are a few factors to consider:
Three chargers are available for electric vehicles: Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3. Level 1 chargers are the least expensive but charge the slowest. Level 2 chargers are more expensive, but they charge faster. Level 3 chargers are the most costly, but they charge the fastest.
The cost of installation will vary depending on the location. Rural areas will be more expensive than urban ones, and charging stations in high-traffic areas will be more costly than those in low-traffic areas.
The cost of providing charging will also vary depending on the time of day. Peak hours (during the day) will be more expensive than off-peak hours (at night).
There are a few additional costs to consider when setting up your charging station. The first is the cost of the electricity itself, which will depend on the price of electricity in your area. Additionally, you will need to factor in the cost of maintenance and repairs. Finally, if you’re planning on monetizing your charging station, you’ll need to factor in the price of marketing and advertising.
The charging station market is still in its early stages, which means there is no one-size-fits-all solution for monetization. The best way to determine the right price for your charging station is to experiment with different pricing models and find the one that works best for your business.
Are you interested in learning more about monetizing your EV charging station? Join us at the upcoming EV Charging Summit & Expo!
Featured image by jcomp on Freepik.