5 Reasons Why Your Business Should Have Electric Car Charging Stations
In 2017, Bloomberg published a report that estimated electric vehicles will make up 54% of all new car sales by 2040. The estimation seems to be on track, since electric cars are becoming more and more popular on US roads. This means not only cleaner air and less reliance on foreign oil, but also that people – employees, customers, clients, etc – will be looking for more convenience when it comes to electric car charging stations.
While many people charge their electric vehicles at home, overnight, the growth in the number of cars and owners shows that a good portion of people may be looking at more convenient alternatives and could make decisions on the lack of alternatives as well. By offering electric car charging stations at your place of business, you can be the number one choice for these consumers, which is especially important if you run a business such as a restaurant or a hotel.
The decision can bring financial benefits as well, as you could qualify for rebates and tax breaks. There’s many tools and best practices available to you, as a business owner, when it comes to planning and installing EV charging stations, many of which are based on the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Workplace Charging Challenge. From 2013 to 2017, the DOE partnered with organizations that decided to provide EV charging stations to their employees. There are many reasons why you should consider this investment, and here are the top five.
1. Employee Attraction and Satisfaction
Wages, health insurance and catered lunches are no longer the only perks people are looking for when deciding to work for an organization. Flexible hours and remote work have already made their way to the top of prospective employee’s preferences, and soon enough electric car charging stations will be a serious incentive. While working from home has become the norm over the last year, not all jobs can be performed remotely, and as we slowly make our way towards a new normal, more and more offices and businesses are reopening their doors.
Providing your employees with the means to charge their electric cars is a great way to incentives future hires, but also to satisfy current employees. You are basically creating a positive work environment, by making their lives easier, which may attract them back to the office.
This type of investment is positive not just for your employees, but also for your clients or customers. As mentioned above, if you manage a restaurant, cafe, or a hotel, you may increase your customer base by providing electric car charging stations in your parking. But that’s not where it ends. EV owners are environmentally conscious, which means they’re generally interested in all sorts of eco-friendly products. So if your business sells green products, like solar panels for instance, having EV chargers at the establishment can only help build your customer base.
More than attracting new customers, this investment can help build consumer loyalty. Large franchise stores like Target and Walgreens have used EV charger installation as a means to encourage customers to return to a certain location on a regular basis. Once you become the preferred destination of EV owners, you’ve gained their loyalty.
2. Environmental Stewardship
All businesses should do their part in cleaning up the environment. Providing your employees or your customers with EV charging stations is just a small step in that direction. Range anxiety was cited as one of the most common reasons why people don’t buy electric cars. By having more locations and alternatives, customers and employees may feel more comfortable making an EV their next car purchase.
Not only that, but both customers and employees are looking at a company’s stewardship these days. They want to know what you stand for, what your role in the community is, how you promote sustainability, and more. The EV charging stations can be just one component of your commitment to sustainability.
3. Industry Leadership
Even though electric cars have become more and more popular over the recent years, they are still considered relatively new technology. Companies who embrace new technology are often seen as trailblazers. You want your business to get in on the trend now, so you can be considered a leader, rather than when it becomes mandatory or when everyone else has done it, so you’ll be considered a follower.
Industry leadership is not just about showing you care about the environment, about your employees and your customers. It’s about showing your company is looking towards the future, rather than looking backwards.
4. Putting Your Business on the Map…Literally!
There are many tools for EV owners today to find charging stations near them or at a certain location. These are basically maps that show drivers where they can charge their cars. When businesses invest in electric car charging stations, they can also choose to collaborate with these companies and put themselves on the map.
Blink Network is such an example, where the EV equipment from your business appears in the Blink Map and EV drivers can find your location to plug in and charge. Plug Share is another example, an app that shows charging stations all over the world. It also shows the types of plug supported at each location and what type of business it is, such restaurants, shopping, etc.
There are many such tools, including Charge Hub, Chargemap or Open Charge Map, so it becomes quite obvious the audience reach such a collaboration can have. It is a great way to put your business on the map, literally speaking.
5. Rebates or Tax Breaks
As mentioned in the beginning, businesses can take advantage of rebates and tax breaks when looking to invest in electric car charging stations. These can be both at federal and state level:
- Federal – the US Department of Energy recommends that businesses look into the Alternative Fuel Infrastructure Tax Credit. This can give a business a 30% tax credit up to $30,000. Businesses can also qualify for tax credits through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities.
- State – California is one of the states that provides the greatest number of options when it comes to rebates. In fact, cities like Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Anaheim have their own tax credits. The State itself offers tax breaks and financing options, as well as grants up to $6,000 per charger, while the cities of LA and Anaheim offer rebates for all Level 2 chargers. Santa Barbara offers $20,000 reimbursements for DC fast chargers, and up to $10,000 for Level 2 chargers.