Developing a nationwide network of public and private EV chargers is a crucial step in achieving high levels of EV adoption. For electrical contractors, EV charging business opportunities are paving the way for future growth. However, taking advantage of EV business opportunities calls for an updated business model.
On a global scale, the number of EVs on the roads increased fivefold between 2018 and 2022, while U.S. EV sales increased by 25% between Q1 2022 and Q2 2023, reflecting the impact of lower prices and a growing interest in going electric.
The U.S. is currently the third largest market for EVs behind China and Europe, and experts are making optimistic predictions for the future.
Given these predictions, the country will need as many as 28 million chargers by 2030. There are other EV business opportunities to explore, such as the need to increase energy production capabilities, optimize distribution, increase resiliency with storage solutions, or integrate renewables.
We’re currently at the start of one of the most significant energy revolutions in the country’s history, but an estimated 80,000 new electricians will be needed annually to support this movement, and existing contractors will need to update their skills to support these newer technologies.
Electricians need to understand charging habits and preferences to take advantage of EV charging business opportunities. Currently, around 80% of EV charging takes place at home.
At-home charging quickly emerged as the most convenient option due to charging times and speeds. EV owners have access to three options for charging, starting with Level 1 EV charging, which uses a charging cable plugged into a standard 120V outlet and delivers up to 2.4 kWh, translating into charging times of 40 hours or more.
Level 2 EV charging relies on a dedicated 240V circuit that delivers up to 19 kWh, lowering the charging time to anywhere between four and ten hours, depending on the equipment and EV model.
DC Fast Charging, sometimes referred to as Level 3 EV charging, delivers up to 350 kWh and reduces the charging time to less than an hour, but the residential electrical infrastructure can’t support the voltage requirements.
For EV owners, upgrading their home with a Level 2 EV charging station is an ideal compromise since it makes overnight charging a viable option. The demand for Level 2 charging at home is creating EV business opportunities since a qualified electrical contractor is needed to safely wire the charging equipment to the panel or install a specialized NEMA 14-50 outlet to plug in the charging equipment.
In some cases, residential customers will need a panel upgrade to increase their load capacity. EV owners also need peace of mind to know they’re working with a professional who will follow the requirements and best practices outlined in the National Electric Code and local building code to prevent fires and optimize performance.
There are further EV charging business opportunities to explore with commercial and public projects as more businesses offer EV charging as a perk to employees and customers, especially hospitality and destination businesses. Businesses are also investing in fleet electrification to reduce their carbon footprint, creating additional EV charging opportunities for contractors.
The public charging market is growing quickly, with over $20 billion in investments from the federal government. Municipalities, energy providers, automakers, and non-profits are coming together to develop a nationwide network. Over the past three years, the number of public charging ports has tripled to serve EV owners and create modern mobility hubs.
Level 2 public chargers are widespread, with more than 126,000 units currently installed, but commercial and public charging also opens up the possibility of installing DC Fast Charging for a faster and more convenient experience.
These EV charging business opportunities are more complex and require advanced skills to plan for safety, load management, and grid integration.
EV business opportunities are creating a sustainable path for growth, but electrical contractors need to upgrade these skills with certifications and training to ensure they are prepared to enter this new market and establish credibility as a qualified energy transition technology installer.
Beyond possessing a valid electrician license, contractors can learn about EV charger installation via the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Training Program. There are other certification options offered by automakers and charging networks, and some states, such as Illinois, have adopted their own certification programs.
Business opportunities come with a few EV charging station installation challenges that contractors need to account for.
There are no national standards for EV charger installations outside of Article 635 of the National Electric Code, and navigating the highly fragmented local regulatory environment can be challenging. Familiarizing yourself with the local electrical and building codes is a necessity, and you can also advocate for the development of new local standards.
The EV charging market is evolving at a fast pace. As a contractor, you should explore partnerships with equipment suppliers or buying platforms to keep up with the latest innovations.
Installing an EV charger is often the first step in a homeowner’s or business’ electrification journey. As a contractor, you can create value by introducing solutions such as solar arrays, battery storage, energy management systems, and smart panels or assisting customers in planning for the integration of charging for a second EV in the near future.
Commercial and residential customers need a reliable electrification partner who can guide them and help them get more out of electrification. Education about the latest technologies and incentives is important, and contractors can also streamline maintenance by offering plans.
EV charging business opportunities are evolving at a fast pace as automakers adopt the latest innovations. In the near future, more EVs will support bidirectional or V2G charging, turning these vehicles into mobile assets that can supplement the grid with energy.
Another major change is coming to the EV market with the adoption of the North American Charging Standard, putting contractors in a unique position to assist commercial and residential customers as they navigate this change and address potential compatibility issues.
Learning about digital grid components, automated systems, and data-sharing interfaces will also open up new opportunities as more communities adopt microgrids.
Professional development is more important than ever. Keeping up with the latest innovations will help contractors uncover new use cases and offer unique value to their customers, but partnering with established industry leaders who can provide training remains crucial.
Electrical contractors should explore EV charging business opportunities to achieve sustainable growth, but these opportunities require updated skills. Given the growing demand for residential charging and the unprecedented investments in public charging, now is the perfect time to focus on professional development.
Qmerit is an industry leader with a nationwide network of installers, training opportunities, business coaching, and more. By joining our network, you’ll get access to the resources you need to obtain your EVITP certification, an important step in positioning yourself as an electrification partner, and unlock the opportunity to access exclusive commercial and residential projects with premier EVSE and EV manufacturers across North America.
As the most trusted partner for energy transition technology installations and services, Qmerit can help you explore new opportunities as an EV charging installer and help you expand your business offerings to include other electrification technologies such as heat pumps, solar panel integrations, and battery storage.
Learn more about the future of EV charging and contact Qmerit today to build your business for the future!