EV Research

7 Tips on Moving from Concept to Execution with EV Charger Installations

The case for EV charging for businesses, facility and fleet managers continues to grow. EVs have lower energy and maintenance costs, and offering EV charging is a powerful incentive to attract employees and customers who drive electric.

However, making the decision to initiate a charging process is just one piece of a bigger puzzle. Once you have determined the type of chargers that make the most sense for your needs, careful planning is a must do. Our conversations with organizations who have successfully implemented EV charging programs of their own have provided a few tips for ensuring a successful process.

Tip 1: Incentives might be available! Take time to learn about possible tax credits and rebates: Federal and many state governments and local utilities offer a range of incentives to help you cover the cost of your EV charger stations. The Federal Consolidated Appropriations Act (the CAA) signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020 extends through the end of 2021 a federal tax credit of 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing EV charging stations (up to $1,000 for residential installations and up to $30,000 for commercial installations). The credits are retroactive through 2018. President Biden is also pledging to expand EV infrastructure by 500,000 chargers by 2030 and expand federal tax credits for EVs to cover more brands at a higher volume of credits.

Depending on where you live, you may also be able to get significant financial assistance from your state. In Massachusetts, for example, the Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) provides grants for workplaces and multi-unit dwellings. For non-residential sites installing Level 2 charger that is accessible to the public for at least 12 hours a day, MassEVIP can provide up to $6,250 per port, and a maximum of $50,000 for hardware and software costs per site. You can look up state tax credits and rebates for your state on the US Department of Energy website.

Tip 2: Engage your power company: Your power company can be a valuable resource when it comes to planning an EV installation. Many power companies provide rebates for Level 2 chargers and can keep you informed about state and federal incentives. They can inform you of the limits of the electrical grid at your location so that you don’t exceed capacity. Your power company may also be able to refer you to reputable installation EV charger installation companies and provide you with incentives to use your EV charging equipment during off-peak hours.

Tip 3: Decide Whether to Charge to Charge: While some businesses decide to provide charging for free, others decide that their EV charging program will be easier to manage by charging a nominal fee, which helps cover the cost of electricity, opens up availability of the equipment to more drivers, and may be viewed as more equitable by those who don’t drive EVs. Fees can also be adjusted during off-peak periods using charger software. Experts recommend that even those looking to provide charging as a benefit (workplaces, malls) set a rate just above the local residential electric rate unless they know they have more chargers than will be used. That way people looking for a freebie won’t camp out, and the equipment will only be used by those who need it – and, given they need it, will appreciate the reasonable rate.

Tip 4: Consider (and plan for) recurring software fees: EV charging software can help you manage charging times for employees and encourage charging during off-peak hours. It can also help you keep track of how many drivers are using your chargers and for how long, as well as promoting the availability of fee-based charging stations for public use, thereby driving some incremental revenue. Management software also helps keep the equipment available for those that really need it. That said, costly recurring monthly EV charging software fees can add up over time, possibly reducing or eliminating economic benefits to your organization. In the end, deciding whether to go with “smart” chargers is a decision you should consider carefully, depending on your circumstances.

Tip 5: Site Selection Matters – Choose the charge location carefully:Siting your charging station(s) is dependent on several factors. Putting the chargers close to electricity may save money in the short term, but it is a decision that will have consequences for years to come. Should EVs be given the most desirable spaces in your lot? How will that be perceived by other drivers, particularly if parking space is limited? Unless it is far less expensive to put charging spots in desirable spaces, experts say it’s best not to do so. Also consider factors such as lighting for night use, visibility, in-out ease, and 24/7 availability. Make sure your EV spots feature signage clearly identifying them as EV-only parking to discourage traditional vehicles from parking in them.

Tip 6: Plan for Success: Based on charge installations to date, entities have found that when it comes to EVs and charging, the old cliche holds true, if you build it, they will come. After current charging is at capacity, what happens next? When you set up the wiring for chargers, consider adding extra capacity so that you can scale without ripping up concrete and asphalt again. If you have more EV drivers than charger plugs, you’ll have to manage that in a way that keeps EV drivers from feeling they are the victim of a bait and switch. One way to provide more flexibility is to make sure that each charger is accessible from multiple parking spots, not just one.

Tip 7: Consider how EV Drivers will Find Them: Depending on who the chargers are intended for, you might want to post public signs (including on nearby highways), list the chargers on PlugShare, or highlight them in your company newsletter.

These are a few key factors to consider when planning an EV charger installation. What are your charger questions and experiences? We’d love to hear from you.

(Thanks to EV Technical Consultant Chad Schwitters for his contributions to this post.)  

MIT Researchers: Electric Vehicles Save Money

EVs save you money

EVs save you moneyEvidence keeps piling up that supports the economic argument in favor of electric vehicles (EVs) over traditional internal combustion engines. We’ve cited a recent Consumer Reports EV study and our own data analysis showing how EVs save money. And now, according to the New York Times, researchers from MIT have reinforced that EVs cost less in the long run than traditional petroleum-powered vehicles: 

Jessika Trancik, an associate professor of energy studies at M.I.T. who led the research, said she hoped the data would “help people learn about how those upfront costs are spread over the lifetime of the car.”

For electric cars, lower maintenance costs and the lower costs of charging compared with gasoline prices tend to offset the higher upfront price over time. (Battery-electric engines have fewer moving parts that can break compared with gas-powered engines and they don’t require oil changes. Electric vehicles also use regenerative braking, which reduces wear and tear.)

An interactive tool developed by the MIT Trancik Lab allows you to compare emissions and monthly costs of traditional and electric vehicles at The contrast is stark, with EVs (in yellow) dominating the category of vehicles combining the “win-win” of cost efficiency and low emissions. 

Dot graph of vehicles and emissions by type

President Biden has said he will propose rebates that will help consumers replace their older, traditional vehicles with cleaner new ones. He also says he wants to expand national EV infrastructure by installing the hundreds of thousands of new charging stations required to make EVs accessible to more Americans, regardless of where they live. 

Click here to read the full New York Times article

Tim Allik is Communications Manager for Recharge America

Electric Vehicles Save Money? Yes – and Consumer Reports Details How Much

Consumer Reports EV Study / Recharge America

Consumer Reports EV Study / Recharge AmericaYou may have read that electric vehicles (EVs) cost more to purchase, but that the cars can actually save you money over time. That assessment often comes from comparing what can be higher purchase costs for an EV to the fuel costs they later save (EVs are much more efficient than gasoline cars). How should you factor that into a purchase decision? More precisely, how can you weigh future savings against purchase costs, particularly if there are any other cost factors between EVs and traditional cars, like vehicle maintenance, or even resale value, that would make sense to better understand at the point of purchase? Combining all of those elements would produce a single number that makes it easier to compare the total cost of an EV to a traditional gas car.

A recent study gives us a “cost advantage” number to do just that.


There have been a few high-quality comprehensive looks at costs, but now there is a recent study by a well-known resource: Consumer Reports. Their October 2020 study demonstrates a good grasp of both the automaker and consumer aspects of the market and provides a comprehensive look at EV costs and savings.

Their numbers are subject to all the usual caveats – no one can predict the future, fuel costs may vary in your area, and specific costs related to specific vehicles depend on how far you drive, etc. Moreover, the Consumer Reports study solely examines owner costs; benefits to the grid and society, which are significant, are left for others to calculate. (For example, Recharge America examines some of those numbers at


The study examines many different situations that confront potential vehicle owners and presents a wide range of numbers to accommodate them. The bottom line: the average EV has a total lifetime “cost advantage” of $6,000 to $10,000 over a comparable traditional gas car.

That means that for an individual owner weighing their options between two vehicles, owning the EV will come out roughly $8,000 ahead over its lifetime even factoring in the likely higher initial cost for the EV. Consumer Reports has already made the initial price difference part of its overall study calculation by converting those future savings to today’s dollars.  The EV will still save that owner $8,000 when compared to a comparable traditional gas car, despite what will likely be a “lower” initial price tag for the gas car.

If you drive more than the study assumes, you can save even more. And if you drive a larger vehicle (like an SUV or pickup), you can save even more. Perhaps best, if you compare the EV to a traditional gas car that matches its performance (which would mean a more expensive vehicle given how much better EVs perform than traditional alternatives) the study shows that consumers save even more.

Another interesting twist in terms of consumer benefits – the EV cost savings accrue over time, meaning that the longer you keep it, the more of the benefit you will reap. The good news is that this is a boon for used EV buyers, who can save far more money as a percentage of their purchase, yet the average new-car buyer still comes out ahead in most cases. Even in the few cases where they do not, the cost differences are small, yet they are still receiving the many benefits from driving electric – a smoother, quieter, more convenient car with class-leading performance.


We offer a link below to the full report for those wanting to explore further. Here we present two of the easier-to-understand study charts that spotlight savings available to consumers. The first (CR Table 4.1) compares the total cost of owning several popular EVs to the best-selling gas car in their class. Note that CR calculated larger savings than these; but because the savings are in the future, they “discounted” the future savings at 3% per year. That means these savings are directly comparable to the money you spend to buy the car today. They are saying that in terms of ownership costs, the EV is this much cheaper than the gas car, even though the highly-visible price tag cost may look higher.

Costs of EVs compared

The second (CR Table 4.4) shows similar savings numbers over the vehicle lifetime and for the first owner. In this case, however, they are comparing to a gas car in the same class that has similar performance to the EV (these vehicles are more expensive because EVs feature better performance). These higher-end gas cars cost more both to purchase and to fuel, so the savings are larger. Note that the substantial vehicle lifetime savings mean that used vehicle purchasers, which account for most people in the US car market, often time save almost as much as the new car purchaser while confronting lower initial vehicle costs.


The Consumer Reports study includes:

  • Actual purchase costs, not just MSRP
  • Financing costs
  • Incentives – the federal $7,500 tax credit for cars that are eligible
  • Reasonable vehicle lifetime assumptions – 200,000 miles over 15 years
  • Depreciation based on real data. Excluding compliance vehicles, and included a weighted average for state incentives, EV depreciation appears to be identical to gas vehicle depreciation
  • Maintenance costs based on real data. EVs cost almost exactly half as much as gas cars to maintain from CR’s data; and they cite other sources that report even lower EV costs
  • Future gasoline costs based on recent US Energy Information Administration baseline projections
  • Electricity costs covered both at-home charging and trip charging at DC fast-charge stations
  • A reasonable range of gas car comparisons in each class – each EV was compared to the best-selling, best-rated, most efficient, and most-similar performance gas vehicle in its class

Their study does not include sales tax, registration fees, insurance or charging station installation, as these numbers can vary widely based on location and owner characteristics.


EV Cost savings:

  • “Overall, these results show that the latest generation of mainstream EVs typically cost less to own than similar gas-powered vehicles, a new development in the automotive marketplace with serious potential consumer benefits.”
  • “For all [of the 9 most popular] EVs analyzed, the lifetime ownership costs were many thousands of dollars lower than all comparable ICE vehicles’ costs, with most EVs offering savings of between $6,000 and $10,000.”
  • “Overall, these results show that many EVs on the market today can provide consumers the two features they say they most want improved in their next vehicle—lower fuel and maintenance costs—in addition to the feature the auto industry advertises most often —performance—all at a lower overall cost.”
  • “Savings really ramp up when buyers seek an ICE vehicle that achieves the same acceleration performance as an EV.”

Used EVs:

  • “For ICE vehicles this used-car savings is partially offset by higher expected repair and maintenance costs for older vehicles, and the need to continue to pay for fuel, which makes up a large fraction of the total lifetime ownership costs for ICE vehicles. However, as shown in the previous chapters, EVs significantly reduce these costs, while their biggest drawback—higher purchase prices—is partially offset by depreciation.”
  • “While new EVs were found to offer significant cost savings over comparable ICE vehicles, the cost savings of 5- to 7-year-old used EVs was found to be two or three times larger on a percentage savings basis.”

DC Fast charging:

  • “Owners of EVs with a range of 250 miles or greater will be able to do 92% of their charging at home, needing only six stops at a public fast-charger per year.”



Fact sheet:


Chad Schwitters is an EV Technical Consultant