Rates of electric vehicle interest and ownership are at an all-time high. With that in mind, now is the time to invest in highway corridor and travel center EV charging stations. Drivers all across the country need fuel as they transition from gas to electric vehicles. Drivers need easily accessible charging when they’re at home AND when they’re traveling.
Supply, however, is not meeting this demand. In many regions of the country, you can only find EV charging stations near large cities. As a result, many electric vehicle drivers must either make alternative travel arrangements or plot out long-circuitous routes to find accessible charging. If you’re interested in expanding the capabilities of your highway corridor hospitality facility or travel center, it’s time to turn to the expert. We’ll help you with everything regarding what to expect, where to start, and the economics of installing highway stations.
Look No Further Than LilyPad EV
LilyPad EV is building the fueling network of the future and has pioneered charging station planning and installation since 2009. We offer extensive electrical expertise with trusted trade partners to provide effective, well-thought-out solutions to meet your EV charging project expectations—no matter your industry.
We’ve worked with over 400 companies across 37 states and have installed charging stations at over 1000 locations nationwide. Our stations have charged EVs more than 2 million times. Our services include comprehensive consultation for your EV charging needs, site surveying, project management, and professional EV charging station installation. With this expertise, you can rest assured that installing EV charging stations in your highway corridor and travel center facilities is a good investment.
However, you shouldn’t just take our word for it. We want to give you as much information as possible to make educated decisions for your highway fuel or retail business. That’s why we want to explain everything you need to know about why you should install charging centers at your highway corridor and travel centers.
Read on to learn more about what to expect, how to get grants, and the benefits of travel center EV charging stations. That way, you can maximize your customer base, improve your return on investment (ROI), and future-proof your business.
Why Install EV Charging Stations Now?
It’s essential to recognize the opportunity posed by the EV Charging industry. 2021 is an exciting time for investing in EV charging stations, especially along major highway corridors and at travel centers.
Interest in electric vehicle ownership is at an all-time high, and there are already nearly 2 million electric vehicles on the road across the country. Equally significant, reporting shows that many US automakers say that they plan to transition to producing at least 50% electric vehicles by the year 2030.
At the same time, there are continuing large developments in electric vehicle technologies. This includes significant improvements to battery range making electric vehicles an increasingly attractive option for consumers, transportation services, and utility providers. As a result, it’s only a matter of time before electric cars become a significant customer base in your market.
You may ask yourself, “why not wait?” The answer is simple: grants and tax incentives. Federal, state, and local governments offer an array of grants, rebates, and incentives to support businesses looking to install and maintain EV charging stations. These programs may very well expand under provisions in the recent 1.5 trillion-dollar US Infrastructure bill.
As the market develops and EV charging at highway corridors and travel centers expands, these incentives will disappear. Acting now means that your travel center or highway retail facility can benefit from these grants and incentives for years to come. Not to mention the profit that comes from an expanded customer base.
The Benefits of Travel Center EV Charging Stations
With changes coming to this market, travel centers and highway corridor retail and service facilities must stop thinking of themselves as only petroleum providers. This mindset limits the profitability and sustainability of your business. Instead, it’s time to recognize the potential of being fuel providers.
The first step in this transition is to better understand EV charging stations’ benefits to your highway corridor service facility or travel center. Beyond just being a practical upgrade for the future, EV charging stations provide you the opportunity to make money on all aspects of your travel center or highway corridor location.
Expand Your Customer Base
The immediate benefit to upgrading your highway travel center or retail facility is an expanded customer base. Without EV charging stations, you are losing out on EV driving customers who won’t stop at your location. Without meaning to, you have limited your fuel revenue.
Conversely, including EV charging stations can attract EV driving consumers to your location and literally put you on the map.
Electric vehicle drivers have far fewer options for vehicle charging. Adding EV charging stations to your location means that your travel center will appear on the maps EV drivers use to plan their routes or look up nearby commercial charging stations. This makes you both more noticeable and more likely to draw traffic from electric vehicle drivers.
Increase Foot Traffic
One argued downside to electric vehicles, the time it takes to charge an electric car, can actually benefit your business. Fast DC charging stations can add up to 250 miles of driving per hour charged, with some topping off your vehicles within 20-30 minutes. While customers may need to wait longer for a charge compared to filling a gas tank, this also means they are spending more time at your travel center, convenience store, or retail facility.
Though only fueling stations and convenience stores would need to make use of a Fast DC charging station, those 20-30 minutes can prove valuable. People will spend that additional time walking around, purchasing goods from your location, or visiting adjacent businesses, like attached restaurants and shopping centers.
The longer people are there, the more likely they are to spend more money at your location. With increased traffic along highway corridors and at travel centers, you may benefit from an increase in foot traffic at your location.
Access Grants, Rebates, & Incentives
Another considerable benefit, especially when discussing your ROI, is access to governmental programs. These grants and tax incentives make up most of the resources you’ll have to help cover the cost of installation and maintenance. For example, the IRS provides a tax credit to businesses that install EV charging stations equivalent to 30 percent of the installation cost, up to a cap of $30,000.
Additionally, many state and local governments also provide EV charging station incentives. Some utility companies also offer incentives for installing EV charging stations at your travel center or station location. Since utility providers benefit from people using more power, they may provide incentives for businesses considering installing travel center EV charging stations.
No matter the source of your incentives, you should make a point of consulting your accountant. Your accountant can help confirm if you qualify and should pursue these avenues to bolster your ROI. Many struggle with the complications of this process, so you should make sure to leverage the assistance of skilled professionals. ChargePoint, our trusted industry partner, has a comprehensive guide to EV charging incentives region by region.
If you need something more hands-on, you should reach out to LilyPad EV. We will set up a meeting to go over your charging needs and how best to maximize your ROI.
Get Ahead of the Competition
It’s worth mentioning that the last significant benefit to investing in EV charging stations at your travel center or highway corridor location is time-sensitive. In the near future, many highway-adjacent retailers, service stations, and travel centers will offer EV charging. Acting now will put you ahead of the competition.
Though some larger gas station or C-store chains are lagging, many see the benefits of expanding into the EV charging market and are strategizing. 7-Eleven, for instance, is planning on adding hundreds of new EV charging stations at locations nationwide by the end of 2022.
Taking steps to upgrade your business now can help with your sustainable growth into the future, well after larger chains start transitioning into the electric vehicle marketplace.
How to Make the Most Out Of EV Charging Station Installation
So, knowing the benefits EV charging stations can offer your travel center or fueling station, how do you take advantage of this opportunity? We encourage you to approach this conservatively. EV charging stations can be a significant expenditure, and you should treat this as what it is: an investment. Consult your accountant and take advantage of every incentive and grant you can to maximize your ROI.
LilyPad EV would never encourage you to jump into an investment without being fully informed. That’s why we’ve got three quick tips for you to make the most out of your highway corridor and travel center EV charging station installation. Make sure when you pursue installation that you keep these in mind for optimal results.
1. Dip Your Toes
Don’t jump into installation dozens of charging stations. Make a point of identifying demand in your area. In short: plan. You may only need a handful to see significant business benefits. In this case, installing a smaller number of stations now to max out your state or utility company incentives, getting real-world experience, then expanding later as demand and profitability suggest may be to your advantage.
Also, don’t just look at the benefits of investing in EV charging. Analyze its potential impact on your business holistically.
If you’re a sizable regional chain, we recommend getting your feet wet with a few charging stations at a few selected high-traffic stores so you can gain experience. That way, when demand increases in your market or you see an opportunity to install stations at additional locations, you will better understand how to deploy more stations moving forward.
2. Install General Stations
Focus on general charging stations that service the most electric vehicles. Choosing proprietary charging stations, like Tesla EV charging stations, may sound exciting. However, it’s detrimental to your business long term. You want to service the broadest number of electric vehicles possible with your investment, and proprietary chargers only make that more difficult. This is especially true as the rest of the industry progresses with standardized charging station technology.
Though there are many great EV charging station hardware developers, we would be remiss to mention our trusted business partners at ChargePoint. They are leading the way in implementing new charging stations for every type of charging use and have the largest EV charging network in the country.
Their stations are tested, well constructed, and have high utility. Not to mention, ChargePoint has a broad portfolio of distinct types of commercial stations to meet the spectrum of your travel center’s EV charging needs.
3. Pick Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing
There’s a lot that can go into the installation of travel center EV charging stations. Too much trust in inexperienced providers can impact the success of your investment. As a result, it’s critical you find someone experienced.
At Lilypad EV, we take care of the charging stations so you can take care of your business. That’s what you deserve from any installation partner. It’s important to find someone who has experience, is reliable, and can support your EV charging stations long after the sale. Additionally, looking for a supplier with expertise in a breadth of industries means they’re adept at adjusting to dynamic situations and business needs. Little details like this can highlight the difference between dependable EV charging partners from unreliable installers.
If you can’t count on turnkey service from your installers, it may negatively affect your business. We hang our hat on doing right by our customers, and you should expect no less from any potential installer you bring onto your travel center EV charging station project.
LilyPad EV: Done Right. Done Smart. Done Fast.
The knowledge we’ve gained from over a decade of installing EV charging stations makes LilyPad EV an unmatched advisor in all things EV charging. We’ve been here since the very beginning of the EV market, and we offer optimized expert turnkey solutions to meet your EV charging needs and benefit your business.
As EV charging infrastructure becomes more common, you will need to equip your highway adjacent locations to meet commercial electric vehicle charging demand. That’s why LilyPad EV is the right choice.
LilyPad EV will always act in your best interest. We listen closely to your needs, understand your goals, offer expert advice, and work tirelessly for your benefit. This is how we provide the EV charging station products, design, and installation options necessary to meet your project’s goals.
Now more than ever, investing in the EV charging market can provide unbeatable value to your business. With the current need for electric vehicles growing, we want to make your travel center EV charging station installation a success.
Contact us today to learn more about how LilyPad EV’s commercial EV charging stations can futureproof your highway corridor service station and travel centers.