ACV facts & figures
As the push towards electric vehicle adoption expands across the U.S., there’s a growing need for support infrastructure—and this growth leads to opportunity. Providing EV charging stations can help car dealerships meet demand and improve the customer experience.
By having charging stations readily available, dealerships can efficiently service EVs while ensuring that vehicles are charged and ready for their owners when the service is completed. This integrated approach streamlines the entire service process and enhances customer satisfaction.
If you're a car dealer selling EVs, you may be looking at this potential and wonder, how much does a commercial EV charging station cost?
What Is a Commercial EV Charging Station?
There are three different types of commercial EV charging stations: level 1, level 2, and level 3 (commonly known as “DC fast charging.”) While level 1 is the standard for home charging units, public charging stations usually have level 2 chargers, using 240V. The DC chargers use 480V and represent the fastest way to charge electric vehicles.
The Use of EV Charging Stations in America
According to S&P Global, there are 126,500 level 2 and 30,487 level 3 charging stations across the U.S. today. This doesn’t include the 16,822 superchargers and destination chargers run by Tesla.
S&P also predicts that the EV market share of new vehicles is likely to reach 40% by 2030, representing more than 28 million vehicles, which underlines the need for rapid development of charging stations across the country. The research suggests that the US will need around 2.1 million level 2 chargers and 172,000 level 3 chargers nationally by 2030. Note that this is over and above the number of residential units that consumers install at home. Clearly, this represents an opportunity for those who want to install commercial EV charging stations and particularly for EV sellers.
Thirty-five states have signed on to get federal assistance and access some of the $7.5 billion earmarked by the administration under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The president has pledged that the government will pay to install 500,000 charging stations within this legislation.
What It Takes to Build a Commercial EV Charging Station
If you want to build a commercial EV charging station at your dealership, you need to consider level 2 or level 3 chargers. Level 1 chargers are the cheapest but only suitable for home deployment. There are many factors to consider when budgeting, including permits, ongoing maintenance, and installation costs.
The infrastructure expenses will likely be the bigger component of starting up. These costs are also affected by how much you need to pay to deliver power to the charging station in the first place. If you have to run a new power supply from the mains to your building, you should factor in the labor and material costs of buying and installing the concrete, electrical conduit and wire, and electrical panels.
Installation expenses will vary depending on how many chargers you install, the manufacturer, and output levels. You also need to figure out landscaping, lighting features, and other aesthetics to prepare the structure for operation. Then, you may need to add the cost of permits and applicable taxes.
According to WattLogic, the cost of the charger itself could vary:
- $7,000 for a level 2 charger featuring 48A, 200-240V AC and 4 to 8 hours of charging
- $75,000 for a level 3 charger featuring 250A, 480V DC and 15 to 30 minutes of charging.
There are several options in between these two extremes. The final cost will depend on the number of chargers and the installation work. Still, it could decrease when you consider any incentives or utility rebates you may get when you install a commercial EV charging station.
Financing Options for Commercial EV Charging Stations
You may also be able to finance the solution in one of three different ways, but you would be passing on the cost to consumers instead of offering the EV charging stations as a value add.
1. Turnkey Installation
You can choose a turnkey installation where the providing company covers everything. You’ll work with a company that handles all the design, product selection, permits, incentives, rebate management, and installation.
2. Monthly Subscription
This option helps you avoid all the upfront costs. You would need to compare this to potential revenues as you would charge people for the service, but this could represent a separate income stream. However, you may also want to offer charging for free as an enhancement to your customer service offering.
3. Cost & Revenue Splitting With a Provider
You can get the EV charging company to install the station for you and operate it commercially. They will collect the revenues and share the money with you instead. As a further variation, the company might split both the cost of installation and the revenue with you, which will typically give you a higher share of that revenue.
How a Commercial EV Charging Station Could Benefit Your Dealership
It seems clear that there will be significant demand for new commercial EV charging stations in the decade ahead. Here are three ways you could benefit by adding a commercial EV charging station to your dealership.
1. Shows Your Dealership’s Commitment to Industry Progress
By showcasing their dedication to reducing carbon emissions and supporting the EV revolution, car dealerships can enhance their brand image and differentiate themselves from competitors.
2. Enhance the Customer’s On-Site Experience
By providing charging infrastructure, dealerships can transform these waiting periods into valuable customer engagement opportunities. They can create comfortable and welcoming spaces with amenities such as lounges, Wi-Fi access, and refreshments, making the charging experience enjoyable and convenient. This not only enhances customer satisfaction but also presents an opportunity for dealerships to showcase their latest models, accessories, and services.
3. Expand Service Department Offerings
By fostering long-term customer relationships. EV owners often require ongoing maintenance and support, and by being the go-to location for charging, dealerships can establish trust and loyalty. They can offer additional services such as EV-specific maintenance, battery health checks, and exclusive discounts, ensuring customer retention and repeat business.
How Can You Move Forward?
If you want to install a commercial EV charging station, consider the installation cost, the likely demand in your area, and the financing options available. You may also be able to take advantage of the money put forward by the federal government.
Increase Your Stock of EVs to Anticipate Demand
As you search for more used electric vehicles to meet the growing demand, why not work with ACV Auctions? We are the leading online car auction for dealers and will help you to source vehicles nationwide with trust and transparency.
You will get the most up-to-date wholesale pricing in the market, underlined by real-time data, and we will ship any vehicle, regardless of where you buy it. Register with ACV Auctions to look at our selection of electric vehicles, and to get started today.
1. EV Chargers: How Many Do We Need? Retrieved in July 2023 from https://www.spglobal.com/mobility/en/research-analysis/ev-chargers-how-many-do-we-need.html.
2. How much does a commercial EV charging station cost? Retrieved in July 2023 from https://wattlogic.com/blog/commercial-ev-charging-stations-cost/
Aug 30, 2023