According to Consumer Reports, more than 70% of consumers showed interest in buying electric vehicles (EVs) in the future. The survey reported that the two biggest reasons holding these consumers back are:
- A lack of knowledge about EVs and
- A lack of available EV charging stations near them.
The EV transition has begun, with governments, Fortune 1000s, and the world's largest automakers making significant investments in electric vehicles. While this presents specific challenges, it also provides an excellent opportunity or dealers to bridge the gap for their customers. They not only showcase their new inventory and pre-owned vehicles, but also add greater value and boost revenue while helping reduce operating costs and carbon emissions. This article will discuss the benefits of offering EV charging stations to your customers and how to get an EV charging station for your dealership.
The three types of EV chargers
EVs require regular charging to be used effectively. As per the Department of Energy, EV chargers come in various styles that provide varying levels of power and convenience for different types of electric cars.
It's essential to understand the three different types of EV charging levels (Level 1, 2, and 3), their associated charge rates, and the typical use cases of each when considering electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE).
This uses the standard 120-volt EV charger available in most households. Any regular wall outlet can be used for charging EVs on Level 1 but only provides about 4 to 5 miles of range per hour and is the slowest charging method. Some people find that this is sufficient, as they do not drive very far every day and can leave the car plugged in for many hours to replenish the energy used that day. Plug-in hybrids have smaller battery packs than pure battery electric vehicles have and may be better candidates for Level 1 charging. It's also worth noting that Level 1 charging is mainly restricted to North, Central & South America and Europe as much of the world use a 220-volt electric supply for their plug-in electric vehicles.
Our JuiceBox charging stations are Level 2 chargers, which essentially take in a voltage supply of over 200 volts and will charge a typical EV at a rate between 12 to 60 miles of range per hour, depending on how much power the charger can supply, and how much power the EV can accept. In the U.S., most homes use 240 volts for appliances like a washing machine and dryer, simply putting two 120-volt circuits together, and most commercial properties use 208-volt, three-phase power. Check out our "EV Charging Times" table to see how charging varies across electric car models.
This is also referred to as a DC fast charger or supercharging and is available in a much higher voltage to charge some plug-in electric vehicles with as high as 800 volts. Unlike Level 1 and Level 2, which rely on alternating current, this level depends on direct current. This is the fastest way of charging EVs, but they are not used in individual residences and are typically found in commercial or public charging locations to charge about 3 to 20 miles per minute.
The cost of installation, the nature of the vehicles, and the frequency with which such EVs need charging should also be considered.
While setting up EV charging stations will incur extra costs for customers in the short run, there are several long-term benefits from using them.
The benefits of offering EV charging stations at dealerships
Offering charging stations has many benefits for both dealerships and their customers.
One of the biggest hurdles for customers purchasing EVs is the lack of awareness. This is a relatively new technology, and customers are often worried about the effectiveness of the EVs or the electric car battery lifespan. Below are some expected benefits of offering EV charging stations to your customers.
Offering EV charging stations and educating customers about them while at the dealership provides a great way to retain customers by adding value and educating them about EVs. Dealerships should inform consumers about the benefits of an EV, and if they purchase an EV, the benefits of a smart charger.
This is an easy way to open conversations on various features, such as power requirements, smart charging, convenience and renewable living. In the long run, this can increase the sales of EVs, thereby benefiting the car dealership.
Expand new revenue
With more and more customers looking to buy their first EV, offering EV charging stations is a great way to increase revenue by attracting a new set of EV customers eager to make a purchase and support that purchase over time. Additionally, by providing a facility for EV charging, dealerships welcome the customer and create a way to start conversations on future EV purchases or to sell add-on products, such as residential JuiceBox charging stations.
Increase repeat business
Customers who perceive greater value from dealerships based on their ability to educate and provide additional support for the EV purchase are likely to rely on that same auto dealership for future purchases. That presents a large window of opportunity for dealerships to hone their relationship with these customers and increase retention for future purchases.
Along with these benefits, dealerships can also educate customers on leveraging financial incentives when implementing EV charging stations on their property. Additionally, dealerships can also benefit from financial incentives. For example, a U.S. Federal Tax Credit pays dealerships 30% of the total cost to purchase and install an EV charging station. Starting January 1, 2023, installations must be located in a low-income or non-urban area to qualify. See our resource page here for more information on the potential rebates and incentives available in your area.
Dealerships need to plan for the future
The increase in demand for EVs means a shift from traditional dealerships. In 2020 the International Energy Agency stated about 370 EV models were made available, amounting to a 40% increase in demand from 2019. Additionally, many car manufacturers such as GM, Ford, and others have made pledges to only sell zero-emission vehicles by 2040.
As the market for EVs and sustainable alternatives, in general, continues to grow, dealerships will be forced to embrace EV sales and related technology to continue generating growth.
EV charging stations are a necessity for EV owners, and a lack of such facilities is one of the biggest reasons customers are' reluctant to purchase EVs. This is an opportunity for your car dealership to step in.
Offering commercial EV charging stations has many benefits for a dealership. You might already have many EVs for sale. Offering chargers onsite will allow customers to see proof of concept, relieve anxieties about EVs, and ensure they have a fully- charged vehicle whenever needed.
Apart from this, dealerships also have increased revenue opportunities, and consumers can qualify for financial incentives. By incorporating EV charging stations into your sales process, you are setting up a system that will generate returns well into the future.
Contact us today to learn more about how our EV charging station systems can benefit your business.