September 27, 2022

Are EV Charging Stations Profitable?


3 Min. Read

An EV charging station is an amenity that can make your multifamily or commercial property significantly more appealing. Due to the upfront cost of the installation, it is important to consider the ROI of the project. Are EV charging stations profitable? Let’s take a closer look at costs and revenues.

How much does an EV charging station cost?

While DC fast charging provides impressive charging speeds of around 30 minutes for an 80% charge, the most practical EV charging stations to install are Level 2 chargers. These devices require a dedicated 240V circuit.

The cost of installing a Level 2 charger for a multifamily or commercial property will generally be higher than the cost to install the same charger in a single-family residence. Depending on your electrical system, you may also need to pay to upgrade your main electrical panel with a new one to accommodate the additional charging load.

Some utility companies or localities also require you to add a dedicated meter, and you might have to pay for updates to your parking structure to improve accessibility.

The good news is that states and utility companies offer over 300 different programs to help offset the cost of installation, ranging from rebates to reduced electric rates.

Exploring different pricing models

Are EV charging stations profitable? This modern amenity can become an additional source of revenue for your property.

Among private EV charging station owners, 14% restrict their access to a specific group. This practice will likely become more commonplace as the charging infrastructure continues to grow.

Factor the installation cost into the rent

Increasing rent can be a way for multifamily property owners to cover the cost of the installation project and ongoing maintenance costs. With rent going up by 8% on average in 37 states between August 2021 and August 2022, it is possible to offset the cost of installing an EV charging station while offering competitive rent prices.

Charge a flat fee for users

Although EV adoption is on the rise, distribution is currently unequal, with California accounting for 42% of registered EVs. Charging a flat monthly fee can make sense for multifamily properties in areas with limited EV adoption. An optional flat fee can appeal more to tenants than a rent increase.

Commercial property owners should also consider this subscription-inspired model. Another benefit you can offer with this payment model is offering different usage tiers to accommodate varying charging needs.

Adopt an hourly model

Charging an hourly rate can be advantageous if you already have the infrastructure in place to enforce it. For commercial property owners who already manage a paid parking infrastructure or utilize trackable scan cards to access amenities, charging EV drivers by the hour is an approach that makes sense.

EV chargers can unlock other forms of value

Billing EV owners to use your chargers will generate revenues, but this electrification project will create value in other ways as well:

  • Positioning your business or rental property as an environmental leader can open up new opportunities.
  • For commercial properties, EV chargers can increase awareness of the business and bring in more traffic.
  • A Level 2 EV charging station can help a rental property stand out and make it significantly more appealing to tenants who own an EV or to the 52% of car buyers who are considering an EV purchase.
  • Cities like Seattle or Ann Arbor are requiring new buildings to include EV charging. As more cities adopt similar measures, investing in an EV charger now can help you prepare for future requirements.

Find out more about installing a Level 2 charger

Qmerit takes the stress out of vetting charging station installers to start growing your infrastructure. Our mission is to make electrification accessible and affordable. We can help you manage the EV transition and discuss ways to offset costs through utility incentives and financing. Contact us today to learn more.

Author: Tom Bowen

Tom Bowen

President, Qmerit Solutions and Commercial Electrification