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Grants available from state to help pay cost of vehicle charging units

Synopsis

Submit applications by September 9 for a state grant that can help property owners pay for half the cost of an electric vehicle recharging unit.



Key takeaways

  • Property owners can apply for grants to pay for half the cost of electric vehicle (EV) charging units. Applications must be submitted by September 9.
  • These grants are available from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Federal tax credits and some local utility rebate programs can also help cover costs.
  • In addition to saving on the costs of the units, property owners can charge for the service and make money.
  • Texas ranks third in sales of EVs in the country. By 2030 it’s estimated that 14 percent of sales and 15 percent of the fleet will be electrified. That could be almost 4 million electric vehicles in Texas.

Grants are now available from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) for a limited time to pay for half the cost of electric vehicle charging units.

Applications must be submitted by September 9.

Property owners have five years to install chargers after receiving a grant. The cost of installation and upgraded electrical service is not included. Federal tax credits that can offset up to 30 percent of the total cost are also available, and a number of local utilities offer rebates as well.

Electric vehicle owners need a place to plug in to recharge their cars at night and may seek apartments that offer charging stations.

Electric vehicle charging units can be a profit center. Not only can property owners recoup costs of the units, they can charge for the service and make money.

How significant is the EV market?

Electric Vehicles (EVs) are rapidly becoming a significant share of the new car market. In May 2021, electric vehicles made up 13 percent of all passenger cars sold and 3.2 percent of the light-duty market share. That’s more than double the percentage of sales of EVs in May 2020.

Texas ranked third in sales of EVs in the country. By 2030 it’s estimated that 14 percent of sales and 15 percent of the fleet will be electrified. That could be almost 4 million electric vehicles in Texas.

The EV boom is just starting. By 2022 over 200 EV models will be available, including eight pickup trucks and a lot of electric SUVs. By 2025 there will be more than 500 models on the road.

For more information, review this Q&A.

Are there major chains that are installing charging infrastructure?

Yes. Companies like Breit, Perfect, XXX and CCI installed chargers.

See complete list of applicants here.

How do you apply?

This slide presentation covers the steps to apply for the grant.

Is there a link to the grant application?

Yes. The grant application can be found here.

Can I apply for grants to install chargers at more than one location?

Yes. A maximum of two plug charging units may be included in each application, and no more than 50 chargers will be accepted from the same applicant every three months. However, many applications come from LLCs with similar names and different addresses.

How much money is there?

$10 million has been appropriated, only $4 million has been requested and so $6 million remains.

Have any apartment communities applied?

About one-sixth of the applicants appear to be apartment communities but it is hard to tell if there are others because most of the applicants are LLCs or charging companies.

How much will a system cost?

Property owners will have to put in a two-plug unit on a podium or on a wall mount. The hardware costs about $5,000 and the state will pay $2,500 toward the cost of the charger and installation costs. Most apartment communities start with two units or a total of four plugs. Installation will cost $4,000-$8,000. The federal tax code allows for a 30 percent credit for the cost of the unit and installation. So state and federal government incentives and credits will cover roughly half the cost.

Are electrical upgrades required?

Maybe. Level 2 charging stations operate on 220 volt which is commonly used in laundries. However, it may be costly to run wiring from the electric box to the parking area. If major wiring upgrades are needed, it may be cheaper to add additional breakers and conduit now and install more charging units later as demand increases.

Will a charging unit increase your electric cost?

Yes, but it will depend on your rates. At 10 cents per kilowatt hour, it costs between $5 and $10 to fully charge an EV.

If property owners get a grant, can they charge a customer and make money off selling charging services?

Yes. Property owners can specify a charging unit with a point-of-sale credit card reader and assess a fee for use.

Can a property owner contract with a company to install and manage the charger?

Yes. ChargePoint, EVgo (a Shell subsidiary) and Blink are the big three companies providing this service.

How long after applying for the grant does a property owner have to install the chargers?

Five years, so property owners can apply now and install some or all later. Property owners must agree to operate stations for five years after installation.

Will the chargers become outmoded?

Sure. The technology is changing rapidly but will likely have at least a five-year lifespan. The cost of upgrading a charging head is insignificant once the stand and electrical services are installed.

Is there a sample application?

The state doesn’t offer a sample filled-out application nor can TCEQ release successful applications until after the grant round is closed—but the grant application is pretty simple.

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