The new bipartisan $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) includes $7.5 billion for electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, with an emphasis on arteries of transportation running through communities that are considered disadvantaged or rural. Through the creation of a national EV charging network, this historic legislation represents a monumental shift for electric vehicles. The bill that was passed is expected to boost EV adoption in a major way. Future (non-bipartisan) legislation is expected to include additional EV subsidies that were stricken from the original bill, which effectively creates a national EV charging network.
The implications for EV charger installation are not all entirely obvious. As EV ownership steadily increases, owners of these vehicles will expect charging stations to be everywhere they are accustomed to traveling. Government-subsidized stations will not come close to fulfilling the entirety of the need for them. Correspondingly, EV charger installation cost will be a critical factor for those businesses aspiring to meet the needs of their clientele. It will be important for such businesses to limit installation cost to a level that will make it financially viable to offer these stations to users.
Under an amendment introduced by Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) to the Clean Energy for America bill, the current federal EV tax credit of $7,500 could increase by more than 66 percent, to $12,500. Such additional incentives for consumers to purchase EVs would undoubtedly be a boost to EV charger installation.
Traditional global automakers such as GM, Ford and Volkswagen seem eager to participate in the EV trend, committing billions of dollars toward adding numerous zero-emission models to their offerings. While Tesla expands its U.S. production capacity with a new plant in Texas, various EV startups have cumulatively have raised billions of dollars with the goal of getting into production mode as quickly as possible. Enhanced levels of EV charger installation will therefore increasingly become an inevitability, in response to consumer demand.
To understand EV charger installation costs, it is necessary to begin by acknowledging that just as not all electric vehicles are made equally, neither are all electric chargers. This is due in part to the reality that different EVs need different Kilowatt hours (kWh) charging time. Some EV chargers disburse more kilowatts than is the case with others.
Of the three levels of EV chargers, level 3 charging—known as supercharging—represents the highest tier currently available. Although some superchargers can fully charge EVs in less than 25 minutes, this is not recommended for each refueling session, for the reason that it may result in damage to an EV’s battery pack. This is a dynamic relating to EV charger installation cost of which providers need to be aware. This is because of the direct association between installation cost and charger levels.
Chris Jones, a senior VP of government relations and counsel for the National Grocers Association (NGA), issued a statement reflecting the relationship between the growth in EV ownership and EV charger installation.“As EV usage expands in the coming years,” he said, “grocery retailers will be equipped to offer this valuable service and added convenience to shoppers.”
From multiple perspectives, then, it becomes clear that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will have critical ramifications for the future of EV use in the United States and, with that, the corresponding growth and omnipresence of EV charging stations throughout the country.
Its no secret that the electric vehicle market will explode and have hockey stick growth as Rivian had its first vehicle roll off of its production line on September 15th 2021. Elon Musk was quick to critique the vehicle manufacture as he said, “You should focus on making your first factory work before you worry about building a second.”
Tesla, the leader in electric vehicle production has been known for its leadership in the EV space as the company open its book of patents to other car manufacturers as long as it planned to use them in good faith. The reason is the car manufacturer wants to spread the adoption of super charger and level 2 charger use among consumers. The more consumers that require level 2 and level 3 chargers, the more business, apartments and retail centers will include them in their construction. The foreshadowing of car manufacturers producing commercials advertising for their new fleets makes it interesting to think about what the future 10-20 years of vehicle production will be.