Venture Capital companies and Investor Owned Utilities (IOU) invest in electric-vehicle charging infrastructure. Some stations include covered solar panel charging stations. In addition, cities across America are implementing electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in downtown areas and suburbs, fostering support for electric cars.
This green energy-momentum is very visible. But, will this market ever complete with gas stations? Lawmakers in Washington passed a bill to allow electric power utilities and IOUs to invest in the electric vehicle charging sector. These investments receive the usual rate of return approved by the PUC.
Regulators in many states have not prohibited investor-owned utilities from selling electricity at retail charging stations. Can anyone envision pulling into a Shell or BP Station to find electric vehicle charging stations situated near the air compressors? When will the changes in the automobile industry be reflected in the gas station industry? Electric cars travel 75 to 179 miles on a charge. This problem currently prohibits cross-country travel in electric vehicles.
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There are over 23,000 charging stations in the U.S. This infrastructure cost investment exceeds $130 million. These infrastructure costs decrease as technology improves and public support increases. Large areas across Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California are great states for this new investment.
Utilities operate large transmission and electrical grids and invest in major infrastructure projects. Thus, they are ideal investors and backers for building out charging station networks. Investors could include automobile companies with large electric vehicle divisions.
This type of investment is permissible in the deregulated subsidiaries of Electric Investor Owned Utilities like ConEd Solutions, NRG, and DTE Energy Investments. The returns can be higher, and often better or more efficient technology can be found in this area of venture capital. The return on investment in small and medium-sized towns could be 8% to 12%. Many cities will want to own and control these investments. Data generated from these stations will help city managers place more as demand increases.
The green energy markets are expanding in the commercial and industrial business. Imagine major corporations installing many EV recharging stations as part of their annual employee goodwill expenditures. This will happen soon.
Will pension fund money enter into this sector? Hedge funds and other energy investment investors will enter this arena as the electric vehicles market matures. Ford, Toyota, and Tesla are selling many electric vehicles. This makes sense in a country filled with environmentalists and a nation determined to do the right thing in moving our auto industry forward.