In the last ten years, the number of Electric Vehicles (EVs) sold in the United States has risen from a few thousand a year to over 300 thousand a year. Those EV owners are planning trips–short or long— based on the availability of a charging station. A business owner, regardless of the industry, can benefit and even profit from the growing trend towards electric vehicles by installing a public EV charging station.
1. Attracting the green crowd
In a competitive world, business owners must seek out every way possible to attract new customers, retain loyal customers, and separate themselves from the competition. Studies indicate that consumers who consider themselves “green” have a tendency to seek out businesses that share their values as well as have heightened loyal to those businesses. With the installation of EV Chargers at a business, regardless of the revenue model, consumers will favor that business over similar businesses without that amenity.
2. Putting your business on the map
In a competitive world, business owners must seek out every way possible to attract new customers, retain loyal customers, and separate themselves from the competition. Studies indicate that consumers who consider themselves “green” have a tendency to seek out businesses that share their values as well as have heightened loyal to those businesses. With the installation of an EV charger at a business, regardless of the revenue model, consumers will favor that business over similar businesses without that amenity.
While the number of EVs on the road continues to grow, there is a gap in the availability of charging stations. EV owners are significantly more focused on charging station availability than the driver of a gas-powered vehicle. That has led to online services and apps that locate public charging services. From the AAA to Google, charging stations are now a part of any online map:
Having an EV charging station at a business gives customers another way to find that business.
3. Keeping customers longer
The amount of time a customer spends in a store or business will vary, but the longer a customer spends in a business (as long as it’s not in a line) the greater likelihood of greater sales. Providing the additional service of EV charging, a customer has a positive reason to stay longer. Depending on the charger installed, it will take about an hour’s charging time to provide a reasonable increase in range, the average 40-minute shopping trip has become profitably longer.
4. Creating a new revenue stream
There is certainly a value in providing an EV charger to your business as strictly an added value for promotion, enhanced reputation as well as improved customer loyalty and satisfaction. And, it can be a new revenue stream. Actual revenue will depend on how busy the station is, how long customers are plugged in, and what the business charges over the cost of electricity. It is safe to say that a charging station with moderate use could generate gross revenue of $1,000-$7,000 a month*.
5. Pay less for the power you sell
The solar electric vehicle charger.
There are hidden advantages to an EV charging station when a business is powered by solar. If a solar system is already generating surplus electricity not used in the operation of the business, the need for grid-supplied power to operate the charging station is negligible. Powering the EV charging station with solar saves on electricity costs and has the added value of enhanced reputation, increased customer loyalty, and added visibility in the green community. Additionally, a new solar system is eligible for tax credits, further lowering the cost of electricity to power the EV charging stations.
Whether you’re considering the change as a marketing initiative or a new revenue stream, the addition of a public charging station to a business location can have immediate and long-term benefits for a business. While there are infrastructure costs associated with an initial install, long-term operating costs are minimal when compared to other marketing or revenue stream additions, especially when installed alongside solar power.
The experts at Michigan Solar Solutions can advise you on the best EV charging system for your business. Michigan Solar Solutions is a commercial and residential solar installer and electrical contractor serving Michigan’s lower peninsula. We have been creating healthier, more energy-efficient, and earth-friendly living spaces and businesses for fifteen years. Contact us today for a business solar consultation.
*This range is based on a number of assumptions and factors. Based on a 25 kWh full charge for a standard Electric Vehicle, and a retail charge of $0.45/kWh. A full charging session would cost $11.25, with the low end of monthly gross revenue based on 88 full sessions a month. The retail charge is a median rate based on a study of EV costs and commercial charging rates in Michigan.