Charged Up: The Rise of EV Charging Stations
Imagine working at a company that has just been asked to examine the benefits of your company’s fleet of vehicles going electric. How prepared do you believe your company would be? What are some of the concerns you would have? What are some ideas that you would consider?
One such consideration is the Electric-Vehicle (EV) charging station.
As the electric vehicles market has grown, so too has the charging station market. In fact, it is expected to record a CAGR of 38.45% during the forecast period, 2019-2024. While this growth can be attributed to incentives and state-sponsored programs, as well as the declining cost in batteries; it also has another interesting contributor from large companies.
Consider the aforementioned hypothetical large fleet of company vehicles. This theoretical exercise is a real-life scenario for several companies throughout the U.S.
So, quite simply, what are the benefits to electric vehicles for a company?
Well, apart from the obvious decrease in environmental footprint, let us examine three lesser known advantages:
Savings & Resilience
Company fleets that are partially or fully electrified will enable you to access government subsidy funds and leverage tax benefits. Owning the cars themselves has its tax own advantages: As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, buyers of EVs can benefit from a tax credit of $2,500 to $7,500 depending on the size of the battery.
Another often overlooked saving point is the energy resilience that having an electric fleet can offer in emergency scenarios. Investing in chargers that are bi-directional, in other words that are ‘two-way’ and can convert and direct energy both into the car and out of it back to its source, means that EVs plugged into your charging infrastructure can act as a source of energy (via their battery storage) during power-outs or shortages.
Installing your own charging stations on site will give you access to a high volume of useful data, for example C02 savings, kWh-usage, energy costs and charging point activity. Such data can be used to inform internal reports, tax declarations and logistics and marketing plans to boost accuracy and make implementation processes more effective. Having your own chargers also means that such data does not need to be bought from a third party or filtered by one, meaning that your employees, business owners and fleet managers can have direct access to data insights. They can, therefore, use it in the most agile and flexible ways to gain insights into various aspects of your business.
Many EV charging stations can offer branding, advertising, and cross-promotional opportunities – sometimes visibly tied to the station’s user interface. Marketing opportunities include in-store cross promotions, general branding and awareness building, and third-party advertising, such as in-store supplier discounts. For a relatively nominal cost per store or site, a company – retailer, QSR chain, or employer – can strengthen its branding and public goodwill by incorporating clean transportation into their infrastructure and building on their long-term sustainability objectives.