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May 3rd, 2014 by Rocky Mountain Institute

Originally published on Rocky Mountain Institute. Advertisement

By Josh Agenbroad and Ben Holland

Electric vehicles seem to have finally gained a

solid foothold. With continued adoption, there Top Stories On CleanTechnica
will be an increasing need for access to charging locations. We recognize that many drivers
today do most of their charging at home, but many others still require access to a robust China Continues Massive Solar
Installations With 10.52 GW In
nationwide charging station network before even considering the purchase of an electric
July, Already Exceeds 2020
vehicle. But high costs of equipment and installation are currently impeding the build-out of Target
such a network. Therefore, cost-effective solutions are needed to ensure future
investment in charging stations. Toyota (Still) Banks On Lithium-
Air Energy Storage For Next-Gen
EV Batteries
We recently interviewed over a dozen companies involved with charging station
infrastructureincluding utilities, automakers, cities, research institutions, and charging 97-Year-Old Man Rides In A Tesla
Model S (Video)
station companiesto pull back the veil on current EV charging station infrastructure costs.
From there, the next post in this series can then explore charging station business models
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and strategies to reduce those per-station costs. Powered Biofuel Factory &
Carbon Sequestration Unit
Weve broken down the cost into several categories: 1) the actual charging station
"Base-Cost Renewables" Will See
hardware, 2) other hardware and materials, 3) electrician and other labor, 4) mobilization,
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which we define as time for the electrician and others to prep and get to the worksite (often
including an initial on-site consultation), and 5) permitting. Alphabet Is Developing Clean
Energy Storage Based On Molten
This is a look at raw infrastructure costs. We did not include: a) general and administrative Salt Technology
overhead, which can easily contribute 20 percent or more to costs but which also reduce
rapidly with experience, b) other miscellaneous costs, such as wage requirements for
federally funded projects, which can add 1525 percent to costs, and c) financing (and other Keep up to date with all the hottest cleantech
costs of capital/debt) for charging station owners. news by subscribing to our (free) cleantech
daily newsletter or weekly newsletter, or
keep an eye on sector-specific news by getting
Similarly, we dont include federal, state, and local EV charging station incentives that could
our (also free) solar energy newsletter,
reduce per-charging-station infrastructure costs, such as the federal EV charging station electric vehicle newsletter, or wind energy
infrastructure tax credit that expired at the end of 2013, Connecticuts EV charging newsletter.
station grant program, and the plug-in EV charger rebate program with the city of
Anaheim, CA.
Quick News
When charging at home, many EV owners are content to charge overnight plugging into Investors Warn Asian Factory Farms Risk
Financial Food Poisoning of Global
their regular home 120V outlet using level 1 equipment that is included with the vehicle. Food Supply Chain
However, for those who desire level 2 speed or other features, a typical installation will cost by Andrea Bertoli on August 16, 2017 at 10:15 PM
a little over $1,000 (Figure 1). Over half of that cost is the charge station itself.
Manufacturers are now offering level 2 home chargers for as low as $450, down from well
over $1,000 in the early days. More expensive stations offer additional features like charge MODE by Duryea Technologies Makes
management, smartphone compatibility, or even grid integration. Biogas a Better Option
by Sponsored Content on July 1, 2017 at 11:09 AM

Installation by an electricianinstalling a 240V circuit from an existing breaker panel and

making the connection to the stationaccounts for most of the remaining cost, including
materials, labor, and mobilization. A new breaker panel isnt usually required, but in some Helsinki Bikeshare Program Triples After
Successful Launch
older homes or if the existing panel is full will add approximately $500. by Andrea Bertoli on June 9, 2017 at 10:10 PM 1/8
8/23/2017 EV Charging Station Infrastructure Costs | CleanTechnica


Public stations are more expensive than home chargers and costs vary over a larger range
depending on the type of installation, number of stations, and site specifics. Our New 93-Page EV Report!

Single-port charging station hardware usually costs about $2,300, but can be as high as
$6,000 for some features and brands. Public stations are heftier and often pedestal
mounted. Extra features include LCD screens, advanced payment and data tracking
communication, and dual-port power routing capabilities.

Unlike home stations, where hardware is the dominant cost, installation is the major
contributor to public station cost (6080 percent of total). Distance to the breaker box is
usually the most important factor for determining installation cost, typically ranging from 50
to 100 feet. Runs longer than 150 feet are usually too expensive to justify station installation.

Parking garage installations are the easiest and most economical public charging stations
and typically cost about $6,000 (Figure 2). Conduit and wiring can be wall mounted.
Curbside and surface lot stations tend to be much more expensive than parking garage
installations (Figure 3) because they frequently require costly ($25$100/ft) trenching or
directional boring to run conduit and wire to the station.

Installing a multi-port station, or multiple stations at once, reduces the cost per charger
(second column of Figures 2 and 3), but demand must exist to justify the extra capacity.
Cost is reduced mainly because a single trench/bore, conduit, and wire can be used to
service the adjacent stations. Multiple stations are more likely to require a breaker box
upgrade, and the feeder wire that is run from the box to the stations will be slightly more
expensive, but the added cost can be divided across the extra stations. There are other
efficiencies in mobilization, repetition, permitting, etc.
30 Electric Car Benefits


Level 3 stations allow much faster charging and many in the industry suspect they will
eventually overtake Level 2 as the predominant method. However, their current cost is an
order of magnitude higher than a Level 2 charger (Figure 4), costing $50,000100,000 per

There are two main contributors to their high cost: 1) expensive equipment and 2) frequently 10 Top Solar Facts
the need to install a 480V transformer. Level 3 station hardware can be an order of
magnitude higher than Level 2, although Nissan has recently designed a station with slightly
lower capacity for about $13,000. Transformer cost adds $10,00020,000, but with some
searching locations that dont require a transformer can sometimes be found. Electrician and
other labor and material costs for level 3 chargers are only slightly higher relative to other

Permitting, mobilization, and project overhead can also be much higher for a level 3 station
40 hours of time or an additional $10,000 would not be unusual. In one case, getting
approval required attendance to a city planning commission meeting plus additional
conversations with the city fire chief.


Data and payment communications and capabilities can also have a significant impact on
cost. Some packages are subscription-based and cost about $250 a year. For instance,
ChargePoint offers a service plan that allows station hosts to set pricing, monitor usage, and
enable drivers to locate and reserve stations online or through a mobile app. These costs
vary depending on the intelligence of the station and the desired business model of the host
or operator. There are valid arguments for and against installing stations with networking
intelligence, which well explore in future posts.

We didnt include maintenance costs in our analysis, but studies suggest about $300 for a
public Level 2 station and $1,0002,000 for a Level 3 station. 2/8
8/23/2017 EV Charging Station Infrastructure Costs | CleanTechnica
In the next installment of this series, well take a look at strategies and business models that
can help to reduce these per-station infrastructure costs, thus making it more economically
viable to realize a nationwide network of public EV charging stations.

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV
drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

Tags: Anaheim, chargepoint, Connecticut, Level 1 station, Level 2 station, Level 3

station, Nissan, US

About the Author

Rocky Mountain Institute Since 1982, Rocky Mountain Institute has advanced
market-based solutions that transform global energy use to create a clean,
prosperous and secure future. An independent, nonprofit think-and-do tank,
RMI engages with businesses, communities and institutions to accelerate
and scale replicable solutions that drive the cost-effective shift from fossil
fuels to efficiency and renewables. Please visit for more information.
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JamesWimberley 3 years ago
Most of the world has 220-240v mains voltage, so home chargers should work out a
little cheaper than in the USA. Here's a UK vendor offering one for 629 ($1060), so
no saving yet.
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480v is rare in residential distribution, but much more common at workplaces. Many
employers and retailers will therefore soon be able to offer level 3 charging at
reasonable cost. These are not very elaborate gear (compared to say a washing
machine) and the price should drop fast with mass production.
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CaptD > JamesWimberley 3 years ago

James - And once the charger is connected, that business could also allow
others to use it when it was not needed by the Companies own vehicles,
which would lower their total costs, while at the same time attract customers
50 Tips For Trolling EVs
that might come to recharge and shop while they are waiting. Parking lots,
shopping malls, golf clubs, country courses and even some truck stops are
all perfect candidates since they already have commercial electrical service.

Bob_Wallace Community Manager > JamesWimberley 3 years ago

" These are not very elaborate gear (compared to say a washing machine)
and the price should drop fast with mass production."

I suspect the curbside costs are way out of line not so far out in the future. 3/8