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How Much Do EV Charging Stations Cost?

How much do EV charging station cost? The cost of installing an EV charging stations depends on the unique requirements and options of the customer. Each Installation cost is different than others. This can be a common question for a potential customer who wants to install EV charging station in his or her home or business.  A realistic installation cost is very important that meet your capability to spend and your unique requirements. Electric vehicles (EVs) are becoming more and more popular and affordable as technology improves and environmental values continue to abound. This is leading to more demand for charging stations both at home and in public locations like universities, retail centers and corporate office parking garages.

In this blog we will explore the costs for the charging hardware infrastructure itself.  That said there are other costs that can vary.  Installation costs can vary depending on many factors at the site.  Plus there are significant tax incentives available from the federal government, as well as incentive programs that vary by state and in some cases from city-to-city.

There are a wide range of EV Charging Stations in various categories and levels all with varying price levels.  Let’s take a moment to review each category:

Commercial vs Residential

The very nature of commercial EV Charging Stations makes them much more expensive than a home charger, such as:

  • Technology to accept payments with RFID cards or credit cards, sometimes have an LCD digital display to interact with customers, provide data tracking capabilities and more.
  • A range of 1-4 charger cords, often with various connector types (CHAdeMO, CCS, Tesla, etc.), to fit the most popular electric vehicles on the marketplace.
  • Larger physical units setup to serve as mini advertising billboards in high-traffic locations.
  • Customization in various configurations to meet the needs of a specific customer.
  • More rugged material to withstand outdoor weather conditions.
  • Pedestal mounting rather than on a wall like a home charger.

On the other hand, residential charging stations are much simpler products with less features and setup just for the needs of that particular homeowner.  As a result, they are significantly less expensive.

Charging Levels

There are 3 different charging levels that offer different speeds of charging.  This also has an impact on pricing of a charging station.

  • Level 1 Chargers run off of standard 110v and a very simple accessories typically included with most electric vehicles. Depending on your type of EV, a Level 1 Charger will take 8-15 hours to fully charge from 0-100%.
  • Level 2 Chargers run off of 240v current and charge at a much faster rate. Depending on your type of EV, a Level 2 Charger will take approximately 4 to 8 hours to fully charge from 0-100%.
  • Level 3 Fast Chargers are much higher end units with their own dedicated electrical lines and can charge many EVs from 0-100% in as little as 20 minutes.

How Much Do These EV Charging Stations Cost?

Residential

Residential Level 1 EV charging stations are essentially free since a cord that allows plugging into a standard 110v outlet is included with nearly every EV purchased or leased.

Residential Level 2 EV charging stations range from approximately $300-$600 depending on the unit you choose.  Some manufacturers offer more features (charge management, SmartPhone compatibility, grid integration, etc.) that push the price up near $900.  This is still significantly less than the early days when these units would easily surpass $1,000.  Installation of a 240v circuit will typically cost around $500 depending on the electrician you choose.

Commercial

Unlike residential charging stations where hardware is the primary investment, commercial stations often have significant installation costs that may exceed the cost of the hardware itself.  The distance to the breaker box, the amount of trenching and boring, and the amount of concrete or asphalt finishing are all variables in the installation.  Multi-connector stations may have requirements for breaker box upgrades.  As a result, commercial charging stations often have 2-4 connectors to provide as much charging revenue to span the initial installation costs.

Level 1 and 2 charging stations can often be found in retail settings, hotels, parking lots, universities and much more.  Level 1 EV Charging Stations range from approximately $1,500 to $3,000.   Level 2 units range from approximately $2,000 to $7,000.  As a general rule of thumb, installation costs for these units may range from 50%-75% of the overall investment for the equipment and installation.  Therefore, the total investment may be between 2x to 3x the price of the EV Charging Station itself.

Level 3 fast charging stations are becoming much more common because they meet the needs of traveling drivers that can justify a 20-minute stop to recharge.  These units are a huge leap forward in cost and electrical requirements.  Equipment is much more expensive and there are often needs to install a 480v transformer at the site.  Government permitting becomes much more cumbersome and time consuming.  Pricing on these units ranges from approximately $15,000 to $35,000 for the hardware itself.  Installation costs are additional.

What Are We Leaving Out?

There are significant cost savings opportunity with government incentives.  Programs exist at the federal, state and city level that offer cash rebates, tax credits and much more.

If you have a commercial charging station and accept payments then there is a need for a subscription with a service such as GreenLots that provide transaction processing, account management and more.  Pricing typically has a modest monthly fee and a per transaction fee.

General maintenance of the product should be considered as well.  Outdoor units may show wear and tear, especially rubber/plastic products in extreme weather situations.