We’re starting to hit that sweet spot with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations – most of the early bugs have been worked out and the cost-benefit analysis is becoming very reasonable. Plus, you can still sneak in as an “early adopter” of EV charging, getting an edge over your competitors by providing an extra service to draw in customers and employees.
Major auto manufacturers are focused on an electric future, and consumers are on board, as evidenced by the fervent hype for Ford’s F-150 Lightning electric truck and its potential applications. Consumers are increasingly seeing the benefits of EVs, especially with gas prices skyrocketing across the country.
If you’re considering a fleet of electric vehicles for your business, or testing out your own EV, your first consideration is how to recharge the batteries. There are numerous benefits to installing an EV charging station, but what if you don’t have the cash on hand? Between the tax incentives and financing options, it’s easier than you think to buy electric vehicle charging stations.
The Benefits of Adding an EV Charging Station
One of the biggest concerns most people have about buying electric vehicles is not having enough charging stations. If an EV battery dies, getting it back on the road isn’t as simple as adding a couple gallons of fuel to a tank. An opportunity here is that there are already more than a dozen apps for finding EV charging stations and installing an EV charger puts your business on those maps!
The benefits to adding a charging station go beyond simply being a star on a map, of course. Here are some great reasons to add yourself to the list of EV charging station companies:
- Encourage customers to spend more time at your business. While customers wait for their car to charge, they’ll spend more time at your business, and are more likely to check out products and engage salespeople to learn about what you offer. This can easily lead to more sales and higher revenue.
- Attract and retain talent. By providing EV charging for your employees while they work, you’ll stand out as an employer of choice. That’s important if you want to bring in the best and brightest talent.
- Increase property value. Commercial real estate with EV charging stations is more desirable, and therefore can make your property investment more valuable for you.
- A more resilient power grid. Smart chargers help ease the load on the power grid, thereby contributing to the resilience of your community’s electric utilities.
- Environmental benefits. Emission regulations across the nation are expected to become more stringent, which will increase the demand for electric vehicles. EVs contribute to cleaner air, lower health concerns, a quieter environment, and a more sustainable way of living, which is why the government is doing the following…
- Tax incentives and rebates. Congress is expected to pass federal tax incentives for EVs in 2022, with the American Jobs Plan calling for 500,000 additional EV chargers by 2030, and $15 billion allocated towards making this a reality. The EPA also has a grant available to help fund EV chargers. And individual states have many incentives as well. In Michigan for instance, EV chargers qualify for Michigan Saves financing, plus Consumers Energy offers rebates for EV chargers (up to $5,000 per Level 2 charger and up to $70,000 per Level 3 fast chargers).
By positioning your business as a leader in EV adoption, you’ll rise above your competitors. Consumers are increasingly rewarding businesses that prioritize sustainable energy by spending their money where their values are.
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Everything You Need to Know About EV Charging Installations
One of the great things about adding an EV charging station to your commercial property is that it’s typically not a complicated install. The footprint of a charging station is generally very modest (about 4 ft wide) and should be easily accommodated by an existing parking lot.
That said, some EV charging can put a heavy load on the power grid, so the planning stages are important for making sure the charging station has adequate power support. One way to potentially counteract that is going with a smart charging station that uses advanced technology and software.
Types of Charging Stations
The first step is to choose the type of charging station best suits your goals and budget.
- Level 1: A 120V system, this is typically a residential charging station. Vehicles charge in 24-40 hours, and the total install cost is under $1000.
- Level 2: A 240V system, this is a common commercial charging station choice. Vehicles charge in 8-10 hours, and the total install cost is around $6,000 – $10,000.
- Level 3: A 480V system, this is usually used in high frequency applications like car dealerships or rest areas. Vehicles charge in 1 hour, and the total install cost is around $50,000 or more.
The different charging station types scale quickly, with commensurate cost, so it’s important to analyze your projected usage to make the best decision.
Choosing the location for your EV charging station is an important step, because of the power considerations. You may need to contact your local utility company to bring in extra power to help handle the electrical needs of a charging station.
In this step, coordinating with contractors helps you plan the layout of the charging stations. A contractor can help you take into account any weather considerations for your station, protective barriers, accessibility accommodations, and plans for future expansion as needed. Some financial incentives require Wi-Fi-connected smart chargers, which allow you to monitor usage and reduce electrical draw during peak hours. With this plan, you can get realistic estimates of your total costs.
Collate the cost estimates with tax incentives, rebates, and grants. Even if you can pay cash for your EV charging station, financing might be a better option due to the predictable monthly payment, rather than making a big capital expenditure.
RELATED: Get These Tax Benefits With Commercial Equipment Financing
Final Paperwork and Installation
Business approvals, local permits, and incentive applications all need to be finalized and approved, then the install can begin. Construction and deployment are the steps you’ve been waiting for!
How to Make EV Charging Fit Your Budget
If you’ve decided an EV charging station would be a great addition to your commercial property, one of your biggest concerns may be cost. One Level 2 charging station might sound affordable, but what if your analysis concluded that it would be better to install several Level 2 stations? Costs can rise considerably, depending on your scenario.
You don’t need to make your budget fit your desired upgrades. Instead, you can make EV chargers fit your budget with affordable financing. Traditional lenders don’t usually have the flexibility or discernment to realize the benefits of financing commercial equipment like EV chargers. Independent lenders like Team Financial Group don’t have to adhere to bank rules, and can work with you to find an affordable, flexible solution.
Team Financial goes above and beyond for our clients. We want to hear all about your business so that we have a full understanding of your unique cash flow situation. That enables us to find solutions to help you grow. Plus, we may be able to offer you 0% down financing and a same-day approval.
Our team has experience with technology leasing, and a huge range of equipment financing so that no matter what kinds of upgrades your business needs the most, we can help. We’ve partnered with Michigan Saves to help fellow Michiganders take advantage of the benefits of renewable energy. (If you’re not located in Michigan, we can still help you achieve your renewable energy goals!)
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Partner with Team Financial Group to Electrify Your Future
The simple fact of the matter is that electric vehicles are going to become increasingly mainstream in the coming years. Some businesses will be poised to reap the benefits of providing EV charging to their customers and employees – why not yours?
If you have more questions about financing EV charging equipment, or you’d like to hear how Michigan Saves can benefit your business, let us know! You can call our office at 616-735-2393 or fill out our online contact form. We’d love to help you position yourself as a leader in the EV charging space.