Public support, innovative business models could boost EV charging

Press Release
November 6, 2015
Contact: Marty Niland,, 703-516-0600

Public support, innovative business models could boost EV charging

WASHINGTON – New business models can make publicly available electric vehicle (EV) charging projects profitable for private businesses, but public support in the near term is still needed, according to a report released by the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES).

The report, Strategic Planning to Implement Publicly Available EV Charging Stations: A Guide for Businesses and Policymakers, draws on research from a two-year initiative, in partnership with the National Association of State Energy Officials (NASEO) and with funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Program, to develop innovative finance mechanisms that can speed the deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and fueling infrastructure.

The comprehensive guide answers questions that private investors and state and local agencies, such as state energy offices, may have in deciding whether and to what extent they should invest in publicly available charging infrastructure.

Financially viable charging projects can be developed by incorporating indirect revenue streams. For example, an automaker and an EV charging station operator could share the revenue generated by the additional EV sales that could come from expanded charging. Retail businesses could co-host a charging site, sharing the costs and attracting new customers.

Even with these business models, some projects may still not be profitable soon enough for investors, given uncertainties about demand for charging, upfront costs of equipment, and unusually low gasoline prices. The guide shows how near-term public support such as grants, low-interest loans, and vehicle purchase incentives can make public charging projects an attractive investment.

“As with many new technologies, EV charging will need creative business models and public support to realize the environmental benefits of electric vehicles,” said Nick Nigro, a C2ES senior advisor and lead author of the report. “With this support in the near term, new business models that capture indirect revenue can gradually make publicly available charging projects profitable for private businesses.”

“A growing number of state governments are integrating transportation electrification into statewide energy planning and policy development,” noted David Terry, Executive Director of NASEO. “This guide highlights important strategies to help policymakers optimize public investments and leverage private capital in the EV market.”

Read the report at: /publications/strategic-planning-implement-publicly-available-ev-charging-stations-guide-businesses

Learn more about the initiative: /initiatives/alternative-fuel-vehicle-finance

About C2ES

The Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization promoting strong policy and action to address our climate and energy challenges. Learn more at