In the last decade, electric vehicles (EVs) have gone from a niche product to a dominant force in the automotive industry. 

In fact, one study by the Edison Electric Institute projects that the number of EVs on U.S. roads will reach 18.7 million by 2030. And with demand growing so quickly, it will take about 9.6 million EV charge ports to support so many EVs on the road.

This growing need for EV charging stations is one of many restaurant trends to set businesses apart from the competition by offering this innovative service to customers on the hunt for a recharge and a meal.

So how can your business take advantage of EV charging stations this year?

How Do EV Charging Stations Work?

Today, most consumers are familiar with Tesla’s supercharger network or have become accustomed to seeing a series of EV charging stations at grocery stores, office buildings, or even in their own neighborhoods.

But the infrastructure behind these EV charging stations and how customers find them involves more than you may think. Here is just a quick example of how some consumers use EV charging stations:

The basics of EV charging stations:

  • A driver looks up an EV charging station using an app or the car’s built-in navigation system.
  • The driver selects the best EV charging station option based on their preferences for speed and cost. Most charging stations charge users by the kilowatt-hour (kWh), with individual stations setting the charging prices.
  • Most stations in commercial locations require users to sign up for an account and either watch an advertisement, have a credit card on file, or prove that they are a customer of the business or car manufacturer. 
  • Because of the time it takes to recharge, many users take the opportunity to shop or dine. If an EV owner already planned to visit a location, having an EV charging station can be a nice bonus.

Key Facts About Installing EV Charging Stations

For businesses considering installing an EV charging station, their biggest decision is the level of charging station they will deploy. 

There are three levels of charging stations:

  • Level 1 Stations: These offer the lowest voltage and, in turn, the slowest recharge, adding “about 3.5-6.5 miles of driving range per hour of charging time.”
  • Level 2 Stations: These are the most common, able to charge most EVs from empty within 4.5 hours.
  • Level 3 Stations: Also known as Direct Current (DC) Fast Charge or Tesla’s Supercharger, these provide the fastest recharge, filling an EV battery at a rate of 75-1,200 miles per hour.

Because of the high voltage they can deliver and their cost to deploy, Level 3 EV charging stations come with one of three different types of EV charging ports, adding another decision for potential providers.

Installation costs vary based on the infrastructure already in place, ranging from $3,000 for Level 1, $600-$12,700 for Level 2, and $4,000-$51,000 for DC fast charging. However, there are tax credits businesses can use to offset the costs of installing an EV charging station, increasing their return on investment.

When balancing these factors, most of the EV charging stations you see at public and commercial locations are Level 2.

The Benefits of EV Charging Stations for Restaurants

With so much growth in the use of EVs, businesses that offer them can quickly see a return on their investment. 

Some other benefits include:

Accelerate Your Transition with Future-Proof Restaurant Trends

Whether it is your business' cash automation, self-service, IoT technology, or tomorrow's innovative vehicle charging stations, keeping up with the latest technology can bring both opportunities and challenges for business owners. 

Partnering with a full lifecycle management solutions provider will make it easy. Want to stay up to date on other technology and restaurant trends? Subscribe to the Burroughs blog.