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5 Things to Consider When Funding Your EV Project





When planning your EV charging project, the most critical consideration is how you’ll pay for it. Funding is fundamental! In this article, we’ll talk about some of the most important components of the funding puzzle.

As you begin to plan, you’ll find there are many financial options available - from utility incentives and grants to rebates and tax credits. Each of these options is unique to the organization that provides funding in these instances and often - organizations will have a list of qualifying requirements that your project must meet for full or partial funding.

Let’s look at the five most important funding considerations:

Location, Location, Location

Where will your installation be located and whom will it serve?

If your EV charging project is situated in a publicly accessible space, you could be entitled to more funding opportunities than if you design it for a private location. In addition to public use, installing chargers in a location that serves underrepresented communities can net you more funding for the project. This includes Multi-Unit Dwellings (MUDs) whose renting populations don’t have access to charging stations. It also includes Disadvantaged Communities (DACs) which are communities facing disproportionate effects of poor environmental conditions. See if your community qualifies as a DAC here.

Plug and Station Type – Faster is Not Always Better!

When searching for charger types, you’ll find an assortment of options: level 1, level 2, and level 3 fast chargers. Of these options, some may qualify for additional funding. In the case of U.S. federal grants for EV charging infrastructure, deciding to install a level 2 charger over a level 3 fast charger could save you more money on the installation in the long run. It’s all about identifying how stations will be used.

Are you designing for a workplace where your employees will be parked continuously for 6-8 hours? Are you installing at a Multi-Unit Dwelling where the users will be charging overnight? Or are you installing at a retail location or doctor’s office where patrons seek a quick charging turnaround of one or two hours? These dwell-time factors need to be taken into consideration as you select a charger type. And in evaluating the needs of your clientele, you may just find yourself more funding in the process.

Local Utilities

In order to install charging stations, you must have a utility grid network that can support the draw of their power. For a level 1 charger, the draw is only about as much as a standard household outlet, and the existing grid at your location would likely handle the station easily.

The infrastructure needed to support level 2 or level 3 chargers is more advanced and may require upgrades. Funding is available to support the power grid upgrades necessary depending on station location and the extent of upgrades required. As such, your utility capacity should be one of the first things you think about before designing your EV charging installation.

Amenities & Revenue

Site hosts have the option to add their EV charging services as a free amenity or charge for use. In either case, your charging stations can attract new patrons who come to your location to use them.

If you choose to charge money for service, you can generate bonus revenue by opening your EV chargers to the public and allowing everyone to utilize your parking spaces. In doing so, you can charge patrons a set rate by the Kilowatt Hour (kWh) and receive the benefits of traffic driven to your location. Plus an increased possibility for project funding in public locations.

If you choose to add EV charging as a free amenity, you may see increased revenue from patronage at your location. A 2021 study by the Fuels Institute has shown increased dwell time of customers using EV charging. Those EV customers spent on average $1 per minute when shopping. Travelers will go out of their way to give you more business if they know they can reliably charge their vehicle during their time at your establishment.

Timing - How Quickly do you Want This Done?

Lastly, the timing of your project needs to be considered before you determine the scope of work and how it will be funded. Do you need to get the project completed within a specific timeline? If so, you may want to investigate what utility incentives would be a good fit for you.

Do you have time to wait and apply for funding opportunities? If so, you may be able to access more funding options like grants, which have their own deadlines and unique qualifiers. Keep in mind that you can always combine funding opportunities in order to minimize your out-of-pocket investment.

Conclusion:

Before finalizing your EV charging project, be sure to consider the location, plug/station type, utility capacity, revenue generation, and project timeline. Partnering with industry experts can help you sort out your project's unique needs. In working with the funding team of experts at Livingston Energy Group, you can be sure that we will help you obtain funding opportunities based on your considerations and reduce the overall cost of your EV charger installation.

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