This group brings together the best thinkers on energy and climate. Join us for smart, insightful posts and conversations about where the energy industry is and where it is going.

Question

What Guidance Do You Suggest for a Small EV Charging Infrastructure Company Regarding the Federal Infrastructure & Jobs Act Opportunity?

Diane Cherry's picture
Principal Diane Cherry Consulting, LLC

Diane Cherry is a woman owned small business providing clean energy consulting services for local government, clean energy companies, non-profits and educational institutions. Her projects and...

  • Member since 2020
  • 57 items added with 14,021 views
  • Mar 14, 2022
  • 672 views

Good Afternoon - I am working with a private EV charging infrastructure company who sources and installs level 3 DC fast chargers, 350kW and places them in locations the company believes they are going to be used frequently. The business model is to own and operate the chargers, possibly also the land underneath, and pay for charges and the equipment.  From what I can glean from the new federal law, the money flows directly to states and states are supposed to submit plans by Sept. 1st via the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Formula program.

Since the law is so broad, it's a bit hard to pinpoint the best way for this business to target. It is a small business. What general or specific guidance do you suggest for business development? 

 

 

Your access to Member Features is limited.

Hi Diane,

 

It looks like the money will flow to the state Departments of Transportation (DOTs), so your best bet is to get to know the people at the DOTs. They'll will issue the solicitations probably late this year or early next year, and the contracts will be awarded in 2023.

 

If I had advice, I would say this is not for the faint of heart for a small business. You'll likely have to put up 20% cost share and the period of performance is -- let's say -- lightning fast. The business would be advised to work out site host agreements, utility arrangements, and order equipment well before the solicitation hits the streets. Otherwise, you won't be able to install and commission the equipment in time. Is that risky? Yes.

 

The other little matter is the problem of the business model. Just because you can buy equipment and install it nearly for free, doesn't mean you can operate it and maintain it and make money. Even the large players like EVgo and ElectrifyAmerica have trouble with the operational business model. When you install 4 x 150kW DC chargers, you'll also run into demand charges in many utility service territories, which will severely cut into your operational budget. 

 

It's an exciting opportunity. Just go in with eyes wide open.

Diane Cherry's picture
Diane Cherry on Mar 18, 2022

HI Charles, this is very helpful. Part of the issue is ownership of the EV Charging Infrastructure and in the Southeast we have a vertically integrated business model of utilities and it makes the geography challenging. Thanks for your words of wisdom -

Tap Into The Experience of the Network

One of the great things about our industry is our willingness to share knowledge and experience.

The Energy Central Q&A platform allows you to easily tap into the experience of thousands of your colleagues in utilities.

When you need advice, have a tough problem or just need other viewpoints, post a question. Your question will go out to our network of industry professionals and experts. If it is sensitive, you can post anonymously.