An electric vehicle charging station, which is also called EV charging station, electric recharging point, charging point, charge point, and EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment), is an infrastructure that supplies electric energy for the recharging of electric vehicles.

According to IHS Automotive, the global production market for pure electric and plug-in hybrid electric (PHEV) vehicles is expected to grow significantly between 2014 and 2020. The global EV Charger (EVC) market is forecast to grow from more than 1 million units in 2014 to more than 12.7 million units in 2020.

The report shows that the deployment of the charging stations are dependent on a highly variable price range. The price can range from $395 USD for a simple domestic wall box to more than $35,000 USD for a DC charging station. This figure does not include installation costs that could add $10,000 in the case of a DC charging station, depending on its location and accessibility.

Steps on How to Start an Electric Charging Station Business

1. Conduct Market Research

If you are considering starting an electric charging station, you would need reliable market research to maximize profits from the business. The first step in the market research process is to develop market-based research questions in line with your overall business goal and objective.

a. Who is the Target Market for Electric Charging Station?

The target market for an electric charging station are those who own electric cars and bikes in and around the location where you have your electric charging station.

b. Is Electric Charging Station a Profitable Business?

Yes, the electric charging station is a profitable business. Available data shows that an average electric charging station can make around $240,000 (USD) and above per year gross. No doubt, in the coming year, the industry will be highly profitable because of the increase in ownership of electric cars and bikes.

For example, to support the electric vehicle stock of 26 million in the United States in 2030, public and workplace charging will need to grow from approximately 216,000 chargers in 2020 to 2.4 million by 2030, including 1.3 million workplaces, 900,000 public Level 2, and 180,000 direct current fast chargers.

c. Are There Existing Niches in the Industry?

No, there are no existing niches when it comes to the electric charging station because electric charging station is a subset of the automotive industry.

d. Who are the Major Competitors?
  • ChargePoint
  • Shell
  • BP
  • Hyundai
  • RWE
  • Siemens
  • EVBOX
  • Blink
e. Are There County or State Regulations or Zoning Laws for Electric Charging Station?

No, there are no county or state regulations or zoning laws for electric charging stations for now, but players in this industry are expected to work with the existing regulations governing similar businesses in the county where their business is domiciled.

f. Is There a Franchise for Electric Charging Station?

Yes, there are franchise opportunities for electric charging stations, and here are some of them;

  • Blink Charging
  • Charge Point Franchise
  • Telsa
  • ChargePoint
  • Shell
  • BP
  • Hyundai
g. What Do You Need to Start an Electric Charging Station?
  • A Feasibility Report
  • Business and Marketing Plans
  • Business Licenses and Permits
  • A Well-Equipped Electric Charging Station (Charging Plugs and Transformer)
  • Source of Electricity
  • Insurance
  • EIN (Employer Identification Number)/Federal Tax ID Number.
  • A Corporate Bank Account
  • Employees
  • Operational Capital (For Ongoing Expenses)
  1. Choose a Memorable Business Name

When looking to start a business, before you can begin to file the necessary documents with the constituted authorities or start your website, it is necessary that you come up with a name that you will be recognized with. It is essential that the name you come up with can easily be pronounced, is unique and easily memorable.

Some of the catchy business name ideas suitable for an electric charging station business are;

Creative Electric Charging Station Business Name ideas
  • Green Network© Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Next Level® Electric Charging Station, LLC
  • Future Solutions® Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Future Solutions® Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Bob King™ Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Fast Charge™ Electric Charging Station, LLC.
  • Nile Division© Electric Charging Station, LLC
  • Swift Charge® Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Star Line© Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Move Ahead© Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Dray Danton® Electric Charging Station, LLC
  • Charge House® Electric Charging Station, LLC
  • Latitude Connect™ Electric Charging Station, LLC
  • First Port© Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Pantex Chap® Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Power House™ Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Speed Link™ Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Laneways Best© Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  • Air Max® Electric Charging Station, LLC
  • JT Mark™ Electric Charging Station, Inc.
  1. Register Your Business

a. What Type of Business Structure is Best for Electric Charging Station?

Even though there are several options such as sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company (LLC), and corporation, when it comes to the business structure of an electric charging station, the one that most players consider is an LLC.

It is common to consider an LLC because providers want to protect themselves from lawsuits. Please note that an LLC will need an EIN if it has employees or if it will be required to file any of the excise tax forms listed below. Most new single-member LLCs classified as disregarded entities will need to obtain an EIN.

b. Steps to Form an LLC
  • Choose a Name for Your LLC.
  • File Articles of Organization.
  • Choose a registered agent.
  • Decide on member vs. manager management.
  • Create an LLC operating agreement.
  • Comply with other tax and regulatory requirements.
  • File annual reports.
c. What Type of License is Needed to Open an Electric Charging Station?
  • General Business License
  • Zonal Permits
  • Signage Permit
  • Operational State Facility Inspections for your facility
d. What Type of Certification is Needed to start an Electric Charging Station?

You don’t need any certifications to start an electric charging station.

e. What Documents are Needed to Open an Electric Charging Station?

These are some of the basic legal documents needed to legally run your electric charging station in the United States of America;

  • DBA
  • EIN
  • Business and liability insurance
  • Federal Tax Payer’s ID
  • State Permit and Building Approval (For your electric charging station)
  • Certificate of Incorporation
  • Business License
  • Business Plan
  • Employment Agreement (offer letters)
  • Operating Agreement for LLCs
  • Insurance Policy
  • Online Terms of Use
  • Online Privacy Policy Document
  • Contract Document
  • Company Bylaws
  • Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
f. Do You Need a Trademark, Copyright, or Patent?

If you are considering starting an electric charging station, usually you may not need to file intellectual property protection or trademark. The nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.

  1. Cost Analysis and Budgeting

a. How Much Does It Cost to Start an Electric Charging Station?

The startup cost for an electric charging station is not uniform. Factors such as the number of charging plugs, the size, brand and model of charging plugs, and other related service offerings will affect your startup cost. But basically, an electric charging station will cost from $200,000 – $600,000 to start and that can easily go higher depending on your overall business goals and objectives.

The cost of a single port EVSE unit ranges from $300-$1,500 for Level 1, $400-$6,500 for Level 2, and $10,000 to $40,000 for DC fast charging. Installation costs vary greatly from site to site with a ballpark cost range of $0-$3,000 for Level 1, $600- $12,700 for Level 2, and $4,000-$51,000 for DC fast charging.

b. What are the Cost Involved in Starting an Electric Charging Station?
  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits as well as accounting services – $1,200.
  • Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $80.
  • The cost for hiring a business consultant (writing of business plans inclusive) – $4,500.
  • Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation, and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $12,400.
  • The cost of accounting software, CRM software, and Payroll Software – $1,500
  • The cost for leasing a facility (long term lease agreement) – $105,600.
  • The cost for facility remodeling and installation of electric charging plugs and other equipment – $50,000.
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $500
  • Phone and utility deposits will cost – ($2,500)
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $50,000
  • The cost of store equipment (cash register, security, ventilation, signage) – $3,150
  • The cost for the purchase of office furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Sound System, tables and chairs et al) – $8,000.
  • The cost of launching an official website – $600
  • Miscellaneous – $2,500
c. What Factors Determine the Cost of Opening an Electric Charging Station?
  • The size of the electric charging station (number of electric charging plugs to start the business with)
  • The choice of location
  • The required licenses and permits
  • The cost of hiring and paying a business consultant and attorney
  • The cost for branding, promotion, and marketing the electric charging station
  • The cost for furnishing and equipping the facility
  • The cost for insurance policy covers
  • The cost for registering the business
  • Cost of recruiting and training your staff
  • The cost for the purchase and customizing of uniforms, shoes, and caps for your employees
d. Do You Need to Build a Facility? If YES, How Much Will It Cost?

It is not compulsory to build a new facility for your electric charging station, but if you have the required finance, it will pay you to build your own parking facility and administrative office. The truth is that building or reconstructing a facility will give you the opportunity to come up with a facility that will perfectly fit into your overall business goals and vision.

e. What are the Ongoing Expenses of an Electric Charging Station?
  • Electric bills
  • Utility bills (internet subscriptions, phone bills, signage and software renewal fees et al)
  • Salaries of employees
  • maintenance
  • Insurance
  • Marketing costs
f. What is the Average Salary of your Staff?
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner) – $68,000 Per Year
  • Admin and HR Manager – $48,000 Per Year
  • EVC Station Manager – $48,000 Per Year
  • Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer) – $42,000 Per Year
  • Accountant – $38,000 Per Year
  • EVC Technicians/Attendant – $28,000 Per Year
  • Security Guard -$24,000 Per Year
g. How Do You Get Funding to Start an Electric Charging Station
  • Raise money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
  • Raise money from investors and business partners
  • Sell shares to interested investors
  • Apply for a loan from your bank/banks
  • Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from, government, donor organizations, and angel investors
  • Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends.
  1. Write a Business Plan

a. Executive Summary

Future Solutions® Electric Charging Station, Inc. is a fully registered and licensed Electric Vehicle Charging station that will be located along a busy community in Los Angeles – California, U.S. We will operate a quick-charge station (fast charging system) that is greater than 40 Kw and delivering over 60 miles (100 km) of range in 10–30 minutes.

Our chains of EVC stations that will be scattered all around major cities in the United States of America will adopt full service, minimum service, and self-service as it suits the location. We will also run a convenience store, car wash, vulcanizing services, wheel balancing services, wheel alignment services, and other related automobile repair.

b. Products and Service
  • Providing fast charging system and battery swap for electric vehicles and bikes
  • Selling electric vehicles – related spare parts
  • Providing electric vehicles repair services
  • Providing wheel alignment, wheel balancing, and vulcanizing services
c. Mission Statement

Our mission is to develop a highly successful and profitable chain of electric vehicle charging stations with state-of-the-art facilities and the latest technology; a business that will not only meet the needs of her clients but also supersede their expectations.

Vision Statement

Our vision is to operate chains of electric vehicle charging stations all across major cities in the United States of America.

d. Goals and Objectives

The goals and objectives of our electric charging station are to provide the means for owners of electric cars and bikes to charge their cars and bikes and also to support the green and renewable campaign.

e. Organizational Structure
  • Chief Operating Officer (Owner)
  • Admin and HR Manager
  • EVC Station Manager
  • Marketing and Sales Executive (Business Developer)
  • Accountant
  • EVC Technicians/Attendant
  • Security Guard

Marketing Plan

a. SWOT Analysis
Strength:
  • Excellent operational history
  • Ability to innovate within the shortest time frame
  • Accurate estimates with no hidden costs.
  • Experience and trained professionals.
  • Large electric charging facility.
  • Excellent customer testimonials.
  • Reliable and efficient electric charging plugs and service.
Weakness:
  • Not enough clientele to run at full capacity immediately
  • Owner is new to large scale marketing
  • Will need a loan to build our facility
  • Owner is currently running the business solo
  • Lack of economies of scale.
Opportunities:
  • Growing number of electric cars and bikes owners in the United States.
  • Build upon existing clientele
  • Online market, new services, new technology, and of course the opening of new markets.
  • Favorable government policies especially as it relates to the banning of petrol-powered cars in favor of electric cars.
Threat:
  • Loans diminish profitability until they are paid off
  • First year will be financially tight while we gain customers and pay off loans
  • Competition in the area could increase
  • Management of employees requires time, money, and efforts
  • People have not fully embraced this technology
  • Economic downturn
b. How Does Electric Charging Stations Make Money?

Electric charging stations make money by charging clients for;

  • Providing fast charging system and battery swap for electric vehicles and bikes
  • Selling electric vehicles spare parts
  • Providing electric vehicles repair services
  • Providing wheel alignment, wheel balancing, and vulcanizing services
c. Payment Options
  • Payment via bank transfer
  • Payment with cash
  • Payment via credit cards
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via mobile money transfer
  • Payment via bank draft
d. Sales & Advertising Strategies
  • Introduce your electric vehicle charging station by sending introductory letters to electric vehicle and electric bikes owners and other stakeholders in and around your city
  • Advertise your electric vehicle charging station on national dailies, local TV stations, and local radio station
  • Promote your electric vehicle charging station online via your official website and all available social media platforms
  • Continuously Improving the performance of our brands
  • Hire the services of experts to make your brands the first choice in your city
  • Making your first impression count positively
  • Make use of attractive handbills to create awareness and also to give direction to your electric vehicle charging station
  • Adopt a direct mailing coupon marketing approach
  • Position our signage /flexi banners at strategic places
  • Create a loyalty plan that will enable you to reward your regular customers
  • Engage on roadshows within Your neighborhood to create awareness for your electric vehicle charging station.

Financial Projection

a. How Much Should You Charge for your Service?

Generally, most electric charging stations charge an hourly rate for charging electric cars and bikes. While electricity costs vary, the average price in California is about 18 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). At this price, charging an electric car such as the Nissan LEAF with a 40-kWh battery with a 150-mile range would cost about $7.

b. How Much Profit Do Electric Charging Station Owners Make a Year?

It depends, but available report shows that on average, an electric charging station should net more than $240,000 per year assuming it has steady clientele and the industry is just kicking off.

c. What Factors Determine the Amount of Profit to Be Made?
  • The capacity of the electric charging station (number of electric charging plugs owned)
  • The types of related service and product offerings
  • The location the electric charging station is covering
  • The management style of the electric charging station
  • The business approach of the electric charging station
  • The advertising and marketing strategies adopted by the station.
  • The number of years the electric charging station is in business
d. What is the Profit Margin of an Electric Charging Station?

The profit margin of an electric charging station is not fixed. It could range from 25 percent to 55 percent depending on the rate of electric charge per kWh.

e. What is the Sales Forecast?

Below is the sales forecast for an electric charging station. It is based on the location of the business and other factors as it relates to such startups in the United States;

  • First Fiscal Year: $240,000
  • Second Fiscal Year:  $480,000
  • Third Fiscal Year: $1 million
  1. Set Up your Office

a. How Do You Choose a Perfect Location for Electric Charging Station?
  • The demography of the location especially as it relates to the number of people that own electric cars and bikes
  • The purchasing power of businesses and residents of the location
  • Accessibility of the location
  • The number of electric charging stations in the location
  • The local laws and regulations in the community/state
  • Traffic, parking and security et al
b. What State and City is Best to Open an Electric Charging Station?
  • Los Angeles, California
  • New York City, New York
  • Miami Beach, Florida
  • Port Allen, LA
  • Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Atlanta, Georgia
  • West Sacramento, CA
  • West Chester, Ohio
  • Austin, Texas
  • Westbrook, ME
  • Idaho Falls, Idaho
c. What Equipment is Needed to Operate an Electric Charging Station?

You should be prepared to purchase charging plugs, electric measuring meters, transformer, safety gadgets et al. You will also need computers or laptops, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.

  1. Hire Employees

When it comes to hiring employees for a standard electric charging station, you should make plans to hire a competent chief executive officer (you can occupy this position), admin and HR manager, EVC station manager, marketing and sales executive (business developer), accountant, EVC technicians and attendants.

  1. Launch the Business Proper

Most electric charging stations will prefer to open their doors by organizing an opening party to officially launch the business. You can choose to do a soft opening if you are operating on a low budget or you can go for a grand opening party.

The bottom line is that with a proper launching of the electric charging station, you will be able to officially inform people in your city that your electric charging station is open for business.

a. What Makes an Electric Charging Station Successful?
  • Choose a good location
  • Hire only competent, hardworking, and trustworthy staff
  • Throw a party before officially opening the electric charging station
  • Be deliberate with your marketing sales approach
  • Encourage the use of word of mouth to promote your electric charging station
  • Leverage on all available online and offline platforms to promote your electric charging station
b. What Happens During a Typical Day at an Electric Charging Station?
  • The business is open for the day’s work
  • When customers drive, they are attended to
  • Schedule maintenance of equipment are carried out
  • Marketing/website upkeep
  • Supply ordering
  • Administrative duties
  • The business is closed for the day
c. What Skills and Experience Do You Need to Build an Electric Charging Station?
  • Good driving skills
  • Customer services skills
  • Interpersonal skill
  • Logistics and material handling skills
  • Business management skills
  • Bargaining skill
  • Work experience in an electric charging industry
  • Work experience in managing electric power
  • Experience in managing people
  • Experience in business administration
  • Experience in handling related electric charging software.