Estimating the Cost of Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

With the sale of electric vehicles on the rise, the race is on to build a network of convenient, affordable electric vehicle charging stations to keep the cars running.

In line with U.S. goals to shift away from fossil-fuel burning vehicles, the $1.7 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Law allocated $5 billion to states to build a network of 500,000 electric charging stations across the nation by the end of the decade

The environmental benefits of ​“going electric” are clear. But states competing for a piece of federal funding will need to demonstrate economic benefits related to installing charging stations, including the potential to generate jobs.

To aid that effort, scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Argonne National Laboratory recently launched JOBS EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment). The online tool allows users to quickly estimate the economic impacts associated with the development, construction and operation of electric vehicle charging stations.

“Given the emphasis on electrifying our transportation system, the JOBVS EVSE tool is valuable for determining the job creation potential of installing electric vehicle charging stations for individual states, regions or the entire U.S.,” said Marianne M. Mintz, principal transportation systems analyst at Argonne. ​

The JOBS EVSE model is part of Argonne’s suite of JOBS tools that use anticipated dollar flows within a specific economy to estimate the economic impact of installing alternative technologies. JOBS EVSE was developed with funding from the DOE’s Vehicle Technologies Office. The tool is built on a Microsoft Excel-based platform.

The JOBS EVSE model was developed by Yue Ke, a postdoctoral researcher at Argonne. The model focuses solely on the electric vehicle supply equipment that will be needed by different types of charging stations.

Users can create their own specific scenarios in the JOBS EVSE tool including geographic region, number of charging stations, electricity price and other factors.

The model factors in the charging station equipment, investment, operating costs and revenues for the entire energy supply chain and the related economic growth. The JOBS EVSE tool analyzes the operations and maintenance costs of a charging station for up to 10 years.

Along with the $5 billion in federal funding for charging stations, the infrastructure law allocated another $2.5 billion for local grants, primarily to fill gaps in the charging networks located in rural areas and disadvantaged communities.