EV Charger Rebate Programs 5 Facts for Business Owners
Some businesses build electric vehicle (EV) charging stations to serve their own EV fleets. Others install public charging stations to attract new customers, or as a value-add for the people they already serve. And many companies hope to create a new revenue stream with commercial EV chargers.
Regardless of why you’re building EV charging stations, however, you have a common challenge: How do you fund the project?
The good news is that, with a $7.5 billion federal investment in EV charging infrastructure, there are more funding opportunities than ever. Many of that federal funding comes in the form of grants, as we’ve explained in a previous post. But federal grants aren’t the only way to finance your EV charging station.
The U.S. is also full of EV charger rebate programs that can help bring down the cost of installing an EV charging station. In fact, according to Briteswitch — a company that helps businesses secure rebates — financial incentives for EV chargers are available across more than 60 percent of the United States.
You might have noticed that this statistic refers to certain areas, those geographic parts of the country that are covered by some sort of commercial EV charger rebate program. It’s true: The types of EV charger rebates you can get depend heavily on where you’re located.
That’s just one of the peculiarities of today’s funding ecosystem for EV charging stations. There are lots more. By way of introduction to the topic, here are 5 facts about EV charger rebates. If you plan to build a commercial EV charging station, this information can help you get your project funded.
5 Key Facts About EV Charger Rebate Programs
Rebates for EV chargers come from a variety of sources. Each program has its own rules and requirements. And if you research EV charger rebates, most of what you’ll find will relate to residential programs, not funding for commercial EV chargers.
These five facts provide an introduction to the topic of EV charger rebates for commercial EV charging stations, whether you’re charging a delivery fleet or starting a new infrastructure business.
1. Utility companies provide most of the rebates for EV chargers.
So where do you go to find rebates for commercial EV charging projects? Your first stop should be your local utility company. According to Briteswitch’s data, utility providers offered 77 percent of all EV charger rebate programs in 2022.
Many of these utility companies have programs specifically for commercial EV charging stations. For example, in Missouri, electric and gas provider Ameren may help to fund up to half the costs of an EV charger installation.
As of summer 2023, Ameren was offering rebates of $5,000 per Level 2 charging port, and four times that for DC fast charge ports. While the details and the figures will be different, a utility company near you might offer a similar rebate.
It makes sense for utility programs to offer these incentive programs. They have a business interest in speeding along the transition toward electric vehicles, after all.
2. Other sources of EV charger rebates include local, state, and federal funding programs.
Of course, utility providers aren’t the only organizations offering rebates for EV chargers and related equipment — and these other interests may be investing more in such incentives.
Between November 2021 and March of 2022, the percentage of utility-backed rebate programs decreased by 10 percent. It’s not that rebates disappeared; it’s that states, cities, and counties began to offer a higher percentage of them, says BriteSwitch.
3. You’ll probably have to wait 8-10 weeks to receive rebate funds.
Unfortunately, few funding programs for commercial EV charging infrastructure pay out immediately. They’re not “point of purchase” rebates, which essentially lower the price tag for equipment as you place the order.
Instead, rebate providers often send a check to qualified recipients 8 to 10 weeks after the EV charging station is complete — and all the applications have been received and verified. Keep that in mind as you plan your budget.
4. Nearly half of EV charger rebate programs were directed toward Level 2 commercial charging stations in 2022.
In an infographic dated July 2022, BriteSwitch — a company that is, as you might have noticed, the best and often only source for information about EV charger rebates — offered a pie graph reflecting the types of chargers that get rebates.
Level 2 commercial chargers were colored in red. Nearly half of the graph, certainly over 45 percent, was red, demonstrating that most EV charger rebates went toward Level 2 charging stations at the time of the infographic’s creation.
Maybe one fifth of these rebates went toward DC fast charge installations, with the sizable remainder funding residential chargers. As we’ve noted, Level 2 chargers are well-suited to many commercial charging applications; that’s probably why they receive the bulk of the funding.
5. You can get multiple rebates for the same EV charging stations project.
You don’t have to stop with just one EV charger rebate. According to Electrical Construction & Maintenance (EC&M), these funding programs “may be stackable.” Whether or not a single funder will give you multiple rebates remains to be seen. But you can typically receive incentives from the various sources that are out there.
For example, you could get a large rebate for purchasing chargers themselves. Of course, chargers are just one small part of an EV charging installation. You might also get a rebate from your state, and that rebate could cover the charger support equipment you need to complete your project.
What sort of charger support equipment? If you’re installing Level 2 chargers, you can’t build your charging station with two essential elements: EV charger stands and cable management solutions.
EV Charger Handling Equipment from Solus Group
Level 2 EV chargers usually don’t ship as free-standing units. They’re designed to be mounted to a wall or support of some kind. For most commercial EV charging stations, that means a dedicated charging stand.
Charger stands must accomplish several goals at once. In addition to simply supporting charging equipment, they must:
- Protect chargers, cables, and related equipment from damage
- Simplify access to charging equipment during use
- Minimize footprint while serving as many users as possible
- Provide long, dependable service life in outdoor environments
- Supply a strong return on investment for charging station owners
EV Charger Pedestal and Cable Management Kits from Solus Group meet these goals and more. Heavy duty steel construction withstands impacts, while a weather-resistant powder coating makes these stands appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. Each pedestal has room for up to two Level 2 EV chargers, while an extremely narrow footprint helps to minimize space.
Of course, EV charging units aren’t the only equipment you need to protect. EV charger cables face risks at a commercial EV charging station, too. They also create risks, as cables in pedestrian areas can trip users.
That explains why the National Electrical Code (NEC) requires cable-handling solutions in EV charging installations, wherever charging cables are 25 feet (7.5 meters) or longer. Cable management provides protection and convenience with shorter cables, too, however.
EV Charger Cable Retractors from Solus Group consist of auto-retracting reels that keep charger cables elevated between uses. Choose wall-mounted or stand-mounted models; either way, a steel, powder-coated housing guards the retractable reel in any weather.
These Cable Management Kits are also included, pre-integrated, into EV Charger Pedestals. An EV Charger Pedestal and Cable Management Kit provides a turnkey solution for housing your Level 2 EV chargers. A commercial EV charging station may start with applying for EV charger rebates, but it also requires support equipment like EV Charger Pedestals and Cable Management Kits from Solus Group.
For more information on EV Charger Handling Equipment from Solus Group, call us at 314-696-0200 today.