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How to Build a Profitable EV Charger Business

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How to Build a Profitable EV Charger Business

The electric vehicle (EV) market has reached a tipping point, with analysts predicting the industry will be worth more than $350 billion by 2028. As more consumers opt for electric vehicles, they will need greater access to electric vehicle chargers to make commuting, grocery running or road trips as convenient as using a gasoline-powered vehicle. That demand is fueling a similar boom in the electric vehicle charging market, which is expected to reach nearly $120 billion by 2028.

Now is the perfect time to enter this exciting new market and start your own EV charger business or add EV charging services to an existing business. By offering EV charging services, you're tapping into a rapidly growing market while helping to transition to a greener future. This article outlines what you need—from choosing your business model to selecting the right software and hardware—to succeed in your first 100 days and beyond.

Step 1: Determine your EV charger business model and start with a vertical

Before you can buy the hardware and software you need to start reselling EV charging solutions or build your own EV charging network, you need to identify a business model that will generate sustainable profits.

It's important to decide early on how your business will generate revenue. Will you own and operate EV charging stations and charge each driver per kWh, like gas stations charge per gallon? Or will you provide turnkey services to local businesses looking to operate their own chargers? There's no wrong answer here, but your choice may depend on where you can install your charging station and who you plan to work with.


Most EV charger businesses likely fall into one of four categories:

The charging network would operate like a standard gas station chain (maybe even one trying to break into the EV charging industry). Networks own and operate their own chargers and try to get as much density as possible in an area to serve their customers.

Turnkey installers don't own any chargers, but bring hardware, software, installation and licensing expertise directly to the business, so they don't have to set up EV chargers themselves.

Service providers operate similarly to installers—many often the same organization—but offer services beyond the initial sale and installation. For example, many service providers offer ongoing maintenance, offer financing programs, and even conduct ongoing operation of charging stations for their customers.

Consultants who advise businesses on which chargers and software to choose and how much to install. Like installers, consultants don't own the chargers themselves, but they're also not responsible for installing or reselling the hardware or software.

Once you have determined what your business looks like, you should start by targeting a single vertical market. Starting small early on will allow your business to focus on the best ways to reduce operating costs and maximize profits. Check out the following partnerships to open your first EV charging station:

Apartment buildings, condominiums, strata apartments, or other multi-family housing units.

Commercial real estate buildings for shoppers, office workers or eventgoers.

Hotels and resorts for guests.

Retail establishments, such as grocery stores.

Restaurants or businesses in smaller cities to help travelers between destinations.

Regardless of the choice you take, your EV charger business will provide important lessons in the first 100 days. You'll collect data points such as how much energy drivers need, the times they're most likely to use your network, the costs associated with peak and off-hours charging, and your overall operating costs. This is why it's crucial to stick with one vertical at first - you'll be able to learn and grow within your chosen business model. As you gain more experience, you can expand into other types of businesses or locations.

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Once you've chosen the right business model and decided how to implement it, you can start researching EV software and hardware that suits your needs.

Step 2: Choose the right software to manage your EV network

Once you know where your charging stations will be installed, you can choose a charging station management system (CSMS) to recommend to your customers, resell or use to operate your own network. You may also hear CSMS referred to as "CMS" (Charger Management Software), "Backend" or "Back Office" or even "OCPP Platform".

The software you choose will determine which charging hardware you are able to support, as some platforms only offer limited compatibility with certain manufacturers. It will also determine how drivers connect to your network, and whether you can restrict chargers to registered users or open charging stations to the public.

For maximum flexibility, look for a hardware-agnostic solution like ChargeLab - meaning owners can set it up to work with any hardware solution and use it as a whiteboard under their own brand standard products. Choosing to use a different type of charging hardware may not be that important in your first 100 days, but once you have established a solid foundation for your business, it will be easier to expand into new areas. No matter which software solution you choose, keep grid access and payment information secure and PCI compliant.

While it's usually a better idea to lock down your software solution first, it may not be right for your situation. If you need to pick out hardware first, ChargeLab is happy to help you find the right hardware for your business needs. Our hardware expertise gives us unique insights and valuable partnerships with several OEMs, and we can provide introductions to help you get started.

Whether you want to learn more about how our end-to-end EV infrastructure solutions can get your charging network up and running quickly, or you just need access to hardware manufacturers, get in touch with ChargeLab and we'll point you in the right direction.

Step 3: Choose Compatible Hardware

You found your niche, and you chose the software to run the web. All that's left is to choose the right hardware for your first deployment

If you use a hardware-agnostic CSMS like ChargeLab's to manage your EV infrastructure, you'll be able to choose from a variety of manufacturers and hardware types that comply with the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). At this point, it comes down to choosing the hardware that fits your business model and budget.

ev charger.jpg

Remember that three different charge levels determine the charging speed and power output of the charging station. All EVs can use Level 1 and Level 2 chargers, but some vehicles may not be compatible with the output of Level 3 chargers.

A Level 1 charger is typically used at home and adds about 5 miles of range per hour of charging. They're great for individuals and families who can keep their car charged overnight.

Level 2 chargers can also be found in single-family homes, but they can also be found in residential or commercial buildings and require additional equipment to handle the higher voltage levels. These chargers can provide up to 20 miles of range per hour of charging. Many turnkey installers rely on Level 2 chargers, depending on the vertical they serve.

Level 3 chargers (also known as DC fast chargers) can provide a range of 40 to 200 miles or more in as little as 10 minutes of charging. Many charging networks rely on DC fast chargers to provide drivers with fast charging, and they will often find them on busy highways and other major arterial roads.

Pub Time : 2023-02-25 11:32:33 >> News list
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