Business models for solar powered charging stations to develop infrastructure for electric vehicles


Electric power must become less dependent on fossil fuels and transportation must become more electric to decrease carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. Increasing availability and accessibility of charging stations is predicted to increase purchases of electric vehicles. In order to address the current inadequate charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, major entities must adopt business models for solar powered charging stations (SPCS). These SPCS should be located in parking lots to produce electricity for the grid and provide an integrated infrastructure for charging electric vehicles. Due to the lack of information related to SPCS business models, this manuscript designs several models for major entities including industry, the federal and state government, utilities, universities, and public parking. A literature review of the available relevant business models and case studies of constructed charging stations was completed to support the proposals. In addition, a survey of a university's students, staff, and faculty was conducted to provide consumer research on people's opinion of SPCS construction and preference of business model aspects. Results showed that 69% of respondents would be more willing to invest in an electric vehicle if there was sufficient charging station infrastructure at the university. Among many recommendations, the business models suggest installing level 1 charging for the majority of entities, and to match entities' current pricing structures for station use. The manuscript discusses the impacts of fossil fuel use, and the benefits of electric car and SPCS use, accommodates for the present gap in available literature on SPCS business models, and provides current consumer data for SPCS and the models proposed.

Publication Title

Sustainability (Switzerland)