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eMobility

How to charge for charging—5 EV charging models for your hotel or store

May 28, 2019 | Sam Bourne

 

If your location has a parking lot, odds are you’ll need to install some EV charging stations soon. The population of EV drivers is growing every day, and they strongly prefer doing business places where they can charge up. If you hope to capture and retain this valuable, ever-expanding demographic, charging stations are a must.

Learn why EV drivers make the best customers >>>

One thing you’ll need to consider, however, is exactly how you want to manage your charging stations. There are a few different methodologies and no “one-size-fits-all” solution for station management—it really depends on what you want to get out of your set up.

 

So let’s take a look at the primary ways various retail location configure their charging stations.

  Note: Get creative! The perfect solution for your location might never have been done before.  


1) Charging by kWh

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You pay for the energy your charging stations consume—why not get a little help from the EV driver? Setting up a billing structure based on kilowatt hours (kWh) used is a simple and effective way to help offset the cost of operating your stations. Here's how it works:

Example:
Car-Battery-icon-01-01
 Set price—$0.30/kWh 
 30kWh x $0.30/kWh = $9.00 

 Configurations this works with:

- Networked stations (e.g., Greenlots, EV Connect, Everon)

 Pros: Cons:

- Simple for the site host and the EV driver

- Directly recover your usage costs

- Doesn’t prevent cars from “camping” at chargers

- Not a solution in markets where you cannot resell energy

 

  


2) Charging by time

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EV chargers provide the most value while in use. If someone is camped out in a spot after their car is charged up, they’re costing you money. So why not charge them for it? Setting up a billing structure where cars pay based on the amount of time they’ve been plugged in is a great way to incentivize people to free up charging spots once their car is full up.

Example:

Car-Battery-icon-01-01
 Set price— $2.25/hour 
 30kWh charge (at 7.4kW output) = ~4 hours 
 4 hours x $2.25/hour = $9.00 

Configurations this works with:

- Networked stations (e.g., Greenlots, EV Connect, Everon)

 

Pros: Cons:

- Legal everywhere

- Deters drivers from “camping” when full

- favor cars with faster onboard adapters (faster charging = less time = lower cost) 


3) Charging combo! (kWh + time)

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In locations where you can bill by kWh, but still want to deter people from taking up charging spots once their full, here is one solution—a billing structure where the driver pays for the energy used AND the time spent plugged in.

 

Example:
Car-Battery-icon-01-01
 Set price— $0.15/kWh & $1.15/hour 
 (30kWh x $0.15/kWh) + (4 hours x $1.15/hour) = $9.10 

 Configurations this works with:

- Networked stations (e.g., Greenlots, EV Connect, Everon)

 

Pros: Cons:

- “Fair” method for billing EV drivers

- Deters drivers from “camping” when full

- Harder to find the “sweet spot” for pricing

- Not a solution in markets where you cannot resell energy

- Slightly favors cars with faster onboard adapters (faster charging = less time = lower cost)

 

 


4) Flat rate

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The simplest method for collecting revenue from your charging stations—one fee, same for everyone. With this type of billing, you can even get creative with it and collect the money yourself (i.e., a fee upon entry or a fee to use the access card). This way, you can get generate a little extra revenue while keeping your stations network-ready.

 

Example:
Car-Battery-icon-01-01
Set price—$9.00 per charge
No math! It’s always $9.00

 

Configuration works with:

- Networked stations (e.g., Greenlots, EV Connect, Everon)
- RFID-only (network-ready with access cards)
- Plug ‘n Charge (network-ready with no access cards)

 

Pros: Cons:

- Revenue-collecting with network-ready stations

- Ultimate pricing transparency

- Doesn’t favor cars with faster onboard adapters

- Doesn’t deter drivers from “camping” when full

- Fee does not reflect energy usage—not always “fair”

- Fewer robust Smart Charging features (with network-ready options) 

 


5) Free charging

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For a site host that is looking to give customers convenience without asking anything in return, free service is a simple, no-nonsense solution. This option works with every configuration and is a great way to start attracting EV drivers to your location—because who doesn’t love free stuff?

Example:
Car-Battery-icon-01-01
 Set price—FREE! 
 No math—it’s free!! 

 

Configurations this works with:
- Networked stations (e.g., Greenlots, EV Connect, Everon)
- RFID-only (network-ready with access cards)
- Plug ‘n Charge (network-ready with no access cards) 

Pros: Cons:

- EV drivers will love you

- Less station management and operational cost (network-ready chargers)

- No billing or revenue generation

- Fewer robust Smart Charging features (with network-ready options)

  

 

Still not sure what you want to do? Check out our EVBox hospitality bundle and learn more about how you can get the most out of your new charging stations! Are you ready to join the rEVolution?

 

Get the Hospitality Bundle

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