Skip to Main Content
Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier
BlogsPublications | January 8, 2024
2 minute read
Ahead of the Curve Auto Supplier

The Future is Electric, but What About the Charging Stations?

Those familiar with the automotive industry have certainly heard the phrase “the future is electric.” With most automobile manufacturers deciding to electrify their fleets within the next 10-20 years, one obvious question is “Where will EV drivers find charging stations?” As it stands, we will need many more charging stations to satisfy the growing demand. As a result, local businesses and retailers are considering adding EV charging stations to their parking lots. Would you?

There are benefits to installing EV charging stations at your workplace or retail store. First, it would serve as an incentive to employees or customers by offering an added benefit to those who drive EVs. The ability to charge an EV while at work provides a convenient solution to your employees and mitigates range anxiety. Likewise, many retailers may consider EV charging stations to enhance customer satisfaction and could incentivize customers to spend time in your store while charging their EVs. Second, depending on the location of the business and the utility provider, your business may be eligible to receive rebates to offset installation charges or discounted rates for electric service.

Here are a few important considerations before you commit to installing EV charging stations at your business:

  1. Location. EV charging stations require designated parking spots and additional space for charging equipment. Placing the charging stations near the entrance may be more appealing to visitors, but placing them near the outskirts of the parking lot may be more feasible depending on the charging station company’s equipment. Installation of charging stations will likely reduce the overall number of parking spots, so be sure to check the local zoning regulations with respect to the required parking ratio.
  2. Maintenance. Responsibility for maintaining charging stations is likely a shared obligation of your business and the charging station company. These obligations should be clearly articulated in the agreement with the charging station company upon installation.
  3. Liability. What happens if something goes wrong? There are multiple known risks with EV charging stations, including electric shocks, fires and cyberattacks. EV charging stations may expose your business to liability of all kinds, but these risks should be shifted to the charging station company to the extent that the risk arises from defects in the charging equipment. Similar to maintenance obligations, the agreement with the charging station company should include provisions to protect against such risks, including limitation of liability and indemnification provisions.

If you are interested in installing EV charging stations, it is critical to consider all factors to ensure your obligations and rights are clearly defined and incentives are maximized. Warner’s attorneys are equipped to counsel companies on these factors and assist in contract negotiations. If you have questions related to this or any other automotive issue, please contact Andrew Reside or your Warner Automotive Industry Group attorney.