As part of our research on the economics of DC fast charging, the Great Plains Institute created a model to calculate the costs and revenue of operating an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Through our work with the EV industry, we’ve often heard charging operators, community leaders, and EV owners express a desire to explore how station operation impacts costs for both EV charger owners and users.
We described in our previous blog post that the economic feasibility of a charging station is heavily dependent on the rates its owner must pay to an electric utility for both energy (total kilowatt-hours over a month) and demand (monthly peak kilowatts). The amount of charging customers each day, and the payments those customers make for charging, are also key factors.
This interactive charging station calculator allows you to set utility rates for energy and demand charges and experiment with customer pricing and utilization scenarios. By adjusting prices and daily utilization, you can find out exactly what it would take to break even or have positive revenue under a specific electric rate plan.
Try out the calculator below, or find the full version here.
GPI’s DCFC Station Economics Calculator
Beginner tips for the charging station calculator:
- On the Charger tab, set how many users might charge at the station each day. For DC fast chargers, you can increase the wattage (kW) of the charger. You can also adjust the amount of kilowatt-hours (kWh) supplied during each charge.
- You can set utility rates for both summer and winter for energy (kWh) and demand (kW) on the Electrical Costs tab.
- How much do customers pay to charge each minute at the station? You can create a business plan for the charger on the Income tab.
- What role does each type of cost play in the economic performance of an EV charger? Click on Cost Components in the Results. You may notice that as power (kW) increases, the share of Demand Charges grows quite rapidly.
Our whitepaper, “Overcoming Barriers to Expanding Fast Charging Infrastructure in the Midcontinent Region,” can be found here.