May 8, 2023

How to finance EV charging station projects

JuiceBox Pro mounted on JuiceStand Pro in parking lot

What does the future of electric vehicle charging look like? We’re all watching the rapidly growing demand for new EVs, and with that comes the demand for accessible and convenient charging infrastructure. As public chargers increase, property owners and businesses are also trying to get ahead. There are many different financing options to consider, including loans, leases and Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS). Let’s dive into the pros and cons of various options, highlight their benefits and how they’re used to finance EV charging projects. 



If you borrow money from a financial institution to cover the cost of purchasing and installing EV charging stations, then, once the loan is repaid, you own the charging stations outright. This option is great for businesses and property owners who would like to own their assets, at least if they can finance the upfront costs.


Benefits of a loan:

  • Full ownership of the EV charging stations

  • Potential tax benefits through depreciation

  • Access to federal, state and local incentives/rebates


Use case:

A commercial property owner wants to install EV charging stations to attract environmentally conscious tenants and increase property value. They secure a loan, purchase the charging equipment and receive incentives from local and state programs to offset the installation costs. Over time, the property owner repays the loan and benefits from the increased revenue generated by the charging stations.



Leasing involves entering into a contract with a leasing company or finance partner, such as Enel X Way, to use the EV charging stations for a specified period. At the end of the lease term, you can choose to purchase the equipment, extend the lease or return the charging stations. This option is ideal for those who want to avoid the upfront costs and prefer to pay a fixed monthly fee.


Benefits of a lease:

  • No large upfront investment

  • Fixed monthly payments

  • Option to upgrade equipment at the end of the lease term

  • Access to federal, state and local incentives/rebates


Use case:

A small business wants to provide EV charging for its employees but is hesitant to invest in the initial costs. They enter into a lease agreement, which allows them to provide the charging stations without a significant upfront investment. The monthly lease payments are manageable and the business can upgrade to newer charging technology at the end of the lease term.


Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS)

Charging-as-a-Service (CaaS) is an all-inclusive subscription-based model where you pay a fixed monthly fee to use the EV charging stations without having to purchase or maintain the equipment. CaaS providers, like Enel X Way, handle the installation, maintenance and software updates, allowing you to focus on your core business. This option is perfect for organizations that want a hassle-free, turnkey solution for EV charging.


Benefits of CaaS:

  • No upfront costs

  • Fixed monthly payments

  • Maintenance, software updates and customer support included

  • Access to federal, state and local incentives/rebates


Use case:

A city's transportation department wants to electrify their public transportation fleet but doesn't have the necessary resources for purchasing and maintaining charging stations. They opt for a CaaS agreement which allows them to pay a fixed monthly fee and leave the installation, maintenance and software updates to the CaaS provider. This turnkey solution enables the city to rapidly scale up their electric bus operations without worrying about the complexities of the charging infrastructure, contributing to a more sustainable urban transit system.


Loan vs. lease vs. CaaS: Which option is best for you?

When deciding between a loan, lease or CaaS for your EV charging project, consider the following factors: 

Upfront Investment

If you prefer not to make a large upfront investment, leasing and CaaS options may be more attractive, as they typically require little or no money down.



If owning the EV charging equipment is important to you, a loan may be the best option. Leases may also allow you to purchase the equipment at the end of the term, while Caas generally involves using the equipment without ownership.



Leasing and CaaS provide more flexibility to upgrade or return equipment at the end of the contract term. This can be particularly useful as EV charging technology continues to evolve rapidly.


Maintenance and support

If you prefer a hassle-free, turnkey solution with all maintenance and support included, CaaS may be the best option. With loans and leases, you may need to budget for ongoing maintenance and support costs.


Incentives and rebates

All three financing options can potentially take advantage of federal, state and local incentives and rebates. However, the specific incentives available may vary depending on the financing option chosen.


The financing process

Deciding which financing mechanism to use is only the first of several steps! There are many different options available. Here’s how to go about it. 


Step 1: Choose your financing option

Evaluate the benefits of loans, leases and CaaS to determine the best financing option for your project.


Step 2: Assess your needs

Determine the number of charging stations required, the desired charging speed and the installation location.


Step 3: Identify available incentives and rebates

Research incentives or rebates available for EV charging station installations. Programs like the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) initiative offer funding opportunities that can help offset the costs of your project.


Step 4: Partner with a leasing company

Select a leasing company to help facilitate the financing process. Ensure they have experience in the EV charging industry and understand the specific requirements for your project.


Step 5: Apply for incentives and financing

Submit applications for incentives, rebates and financing. Be prepared to provide documentation about your project, such as site plans, equipment specifications and cost estimates.


Step 6: Installation and commissioning

Once financing is secured, work with your chosen EV charging equipment provider to install and commission the charging stations. Some finance partners, like CaaS providers, will handle the entire installation process for you.


Step 7: Ongoing operations and maintenance

Depending on your financing options, you may be responsible for the ongoing maintenance and operation of the EV charging stations. For CaaS options, O&M is handled by the provider. For loans and leases, you may need to budget for maintenance and support costs.


NEVI and its impact on EV charging infrastructure

The National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) initiative is a program aimed at accelerating the adoption of EVs by expanding charging infrastructure across the United States. NEVI provides funding for the development and installation of charging stations, making it easier for property owners and businesses to invest in EV charging infrastructure.


By supporting the growth of EV charging infrastructure, NEVI plays a vital role in encouraging the transition to electric vehicles. This shift not only benefits the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions but also contributes to energy independence and promotes economic growth.


Available programs, incentives and rebates

There are various programs available to help offset the costs of installing EV charging stations. These include federal tax credits, state and local rebates and utility company incentives.


Collaboration with finance partners for a successful EV charging project

Working closely with your finance partners is crucial for a successful EV charging project. Here are some tips for effective collaboration:


  1. Maintain open lines of communication: Regular communication with your finance partner ensures that everyone is on the same page and can address any issues that may arise during the project.

  2. Provide accurate and timely documentation: Finance partners require specific documentation, such as site plans, equipment specifications and cost estimates, to facilitate financing. Ensure that you provide accurate and up-to-date information to streamline the process.

  3. Seek expert advice: Your finance partner likely has extensive experience in the EV charging industry, so don’t hesitate to ask for their advice on best practices, available incentives and other aspects of the project.

  4. Stay informed: Keep up-to-date with the latest news and trends in the EV charging industry, and share relevant information with your finance partner. This ongoing exchange of knowledge can help ensure that your project stays on track and remains competitive in the market.


Financing cost of EV charging stations cost

Financing EV charging stations through loans, leases or CaaS can help businesses and property owners meet the growing demand for EV infrastructure while minimizing upfront costs and operational complexities. By understanding the benefits and use cases of each financing option, you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your needs and goals.


As the shift towards electric vehicles continues, investing in EV charging infrastructure is not only an economically sound decision but also a commitment to a cleaner, more sustainable future. By partnering with experienced providers and taking advantage of available incentives, you can ensure the success of your EV charging project and contribute to a greener, more electrified transportation landscape.


Whether you choose a loan, lease or CaaS for your EV charging project, remember that collaboration with your partner is key. With their support and your commitment to a more sustainable future, you can bring accessible EV charging to your community and help pave the way for a cleaner, greener tomorrow.


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