If you’ve driven on any road in the U.S. recently, you’ll have noticed the uptick in electric vehicles (EV) driving alongside you, even though EVs tend to be a bit pricier than their internal combustion counterparts. With many automakers committing to full EV production by the year 2035, it is only a matter of time before every car on the road is an EV. Let’s breakdown the Top EV Charger Companies in the U.S.
As the world shifts towards EVs, one thing that every driver will become familiar with are EV chargers. Although many EV owners will charge their cars at home, there will always be a need for public EV charging stations. Whether people want to charge up while running errands around town, fuel up during a long road trip, or just need to charge their EV while away from home, EV charging stations will be incredibly important for everyone.
As of 2022, the EV charging infrastructure in the U.S. is not ready to meet the future demand for all EVs. With the shift to EVs all but certain, there is plenty of opportunity and existing competition between EV charging companies to build the most expansive and fastest charging networks throughout the country. Whether you’re an EV owner or a business owner looking to invest, here is a breakdown of the top EV charging companies (in no particular order). Finding a location is a struggle for any EV charger company or other type of micro real estate, and the larger companies certainly have an advantage in finding spots.
Tesla is not only the leading EV manufacturer, but it has also worked diligently in creating a vast network of EV chargers across the U.S., Europe, and China. Currently, Tesla owns and operates over 900 charging stations across the U.S. with each station having multiple charging ports making it one of the Top EV Charger Companies in the U.S..
The advantage of Tesla’s charging stations is that they are considered ‘Superchargers’ or ‘Fast Chargers’ which significantly reduce charge times and make long road trips more possible. For instance, Tesla claims that their superchargers can charge a Tesla for up to 200 miles of driving in less than 15 minutes. Tesla’s charging stations have been strategically placed throughout the U.S. so that Tesla drivers always have charging stations within driving distance (barring an unforeseen broken charger).
The downside of Tesla’s charging stations is that they are completely owned and operated by Tesla. For business owners looking to install an EV charger for extra revenue, Tesla is not the best option. However, the Tesla charging station will undoubtedly bring in more EV drivers since the Tesla brand is highly sought after and recognized. The additional downside is that Tesla chargers do not currently support other EVs. While plans are being made to change this, this is something to consider before putting a Tesla charger on your property.
Tesla has it’s own internal EV charger locating team, but there are other ways for companies to figure out where to place their future EV chargers.
Blink’s EV chargers are known for being high-quality and easy to use. Blink manufactures charging stations for parking garages, stadiums, commercial properties, municipalities, and other public areas. Blink’s charging network makes it easy for property owners to stay connected with their EV chargers by leveraging cloud-based technology. This allows EV charger owners to manage their chargers remotely while also gaining invaluable insights on usage information.
One advantage of Blink’s chargers is that Blink currently has a network of over 4,000 charging stations in the U.S. The Blink network expands to 15 different states including New York, Washington D.C., California, and Colorado. However, Blink’s pricing structure can deter some EV owners. Blink currently employs a subscription model where EV owners can subscribe for a lower cost per kWh to charge than non-members.
ChargePoint has one of the country’s largest EV charging networks with over 68,000 charging ports. ChargePoint builds its own EV chargers and is meant for most commercial properties throughout the U.S. ChargePoint makes it easy for EV owners to use their chargers. Drivers only have to register their car using a smartphone app and add a credit card to begin making it one of the Top EV Charger Companies in the U.S. and one of the best chargers for use in an AirBNB or other rental property.
The unique thing about ChargePoint is that the company allows the owners of its chargers to determine the price for charging rates. This is a great option for property owners who can decide to raise rates during busy seasons or make charging free for employees or draw in new customers.
This San Francisco-based EV charging company operates over 700 charging stations across 10 different states. What makes Volta stations truly one of a kind is that they are completely free to use, with no membership required by the EV owner. Volta makes this possible by strategically installing their chargers next to retailers like Macy’s, Whole Foods, and Saks. Additionally, the company can afford to offer free charging because it makes money by selling ad space on its EV charger displays.
EVGO is another EV charger company that has already expanded to much of the U.S. Operating in 34 states, EVGO offers more than 850 DC fast chargers, 1,900 fast chargers, and 29,000 Level 2 chargers. Similar to ChargePoint, EVGO offers EV owners a membership option to obtain preferential pricing.
EVGO is offered in many popular cities and shopping centers such as WAWA, WholeFoods, and Kroger. The already expansive network EVGO has is desirable for many businesses who want to tap into the EVGO’s membership base making EVGO one of the Top EV Charger Companies in the U.S..
Electrify America is owned and operated by Volkswagen, making it one of the few major automakers like Tesla to enter the EV charging market. While Electrify America only has 800 charging stations, it is one of the fastest-growing EV charging companies in the U.S.
Electrify America mostly has its charging stations along interstate routes, making it a perfect place for EVs to charge on long journeys. One benefit of this strategy is that each Electrify America charger is within 70 miles of another one of the company’s chargers. Further, Electrify America is another company that offers a membership for EV owners, giving members reduced prices across America. Currently, Electrify America has charging stations in 17 cities and 42 states, with plans to expand to Hawaii, Alaska, and Canada within a few years.
SemaConnect is one of the largest EV charger companies in the U.S. that includes over 1,900 charging stations with more than 5,800 charging ports. SemaConnect EV chargers are located in more than 20 states such as California, Florida, New Jersey, and even has many locations in Canada. Currently, most of SemaConnect’s EV chargers are considered Level 2, meaning that they can take 10-12 hours to give a full charge. While these are great for residential properties, hotels, and stadiums, these do not offer the fast-charging capabilities that are desirable for more retail spaces.
SemaConnect is another company that offers EV owners a membership option that allows them to cash in on lower charging rates. According to their website, SemaConnect EV chargers are an affordable way to electrify commercial fleets for delivery and other business needs. Since Level 2 chargers are typically slower and cheaper to purchase, this is a great option for businesses who plan to use the chargers solely for corporate vehicles and not customers or employees.
Greenlots, owned by Shell, is another example of a major international company breaking into the EV charging space. As of 2021, Greenlots has over 2,700 charging ports across the U.S. but is expected to grow rapidly as Shell begins to shift gears towards renewable energy. Shell is already huge so, it;s easy to see that Greenlots is one of the Top EV Charger Companies in the U.S.
The downside of Greenlots chargers is that many of the chargers are considered Level 2, giving drivers only a small boost of energy within an hour. However, Greenlots, with the backing of Shell, is planning to expand to mostly Level 3 chargers and expand their network over the next few years. Greenlots is another example of an EV charging company that offers a membership for better charging rates but does not require a membership to charge up.
PowerFlex is a renewable energy company that specializes in the manufacturing of EV chargers, solar panels, batteries, microgrids, and more. The advantage of PowerFlex’s EV chargers is that they’re built to reduce the electrical output needed to charge the EVs on site.
PowerFlex’s EV chargers use a proprietary technology called Adaptive Load Management. This allows their chargers to maximize the delivery of power to EVs while reducing the need to upgrade the existing electrical infrastructure. This patented technology allows businesses to lower the upfront cost when investing in EV chargers.
Currently, PowerFlex has over 2,000 charging stations across California, with most of its chargers being on commercial sites. This is a great option for office buildings, apartment buildings, universities, and other large complexes that want to add solar and EV charging capabilities to their property.
OpConnect is an energy company from Oregon that has a large network of Level 2 and Level 3 charging stations. OpConnect has over 600 charging ports across California, Oregon, and Washington.
Many of OpConnect’s EV chargers are located within the cities to provide full coverage across various areas. The company aims to have charging stations no closer than 1,000 feet in cities to mitigate saturation and expand its network. The same logic is applied to rural areas within OpConnect’s coverage except the space between chargers is around 10 miles apart.
OpConnect, like many EV charger companies, offers a membership for deals on charging rates. However, having a membership is not required to use OpConnect’s chargers.
FLO is a Canadian company that has found recent success in the U.S. While FLO has over 50,000 charging ports in Canada, they have less than a thousand in the U.S. However, with partnerships like Uber in Canada, FLO is on track to grow rapidly in the U.S.
FLO owns and operates mostly Level 2 and Level 3 chargers. While FLO has many similar features such as fast charging and membership services, FLO goes above and beyond for its customer service. FLO offers 24/7 assistance to its members and allows you to build a personal profile that enables personalized notifications like when your car is done charging.
FLO chargers can be installed on residential or commercial properties. This is a great option for businesses located near the U.S.-Canadian border or if you want to encourage your customers to use an EV charger that has a high standard for customer service.
EVCS is an EV charging manufacturer from the EV charging capital of the U.S., California. While EVCS only operates in California, it has over 300 different charging stations across the states. EVCS is also one of the largest owners of DC Fast Chargers within California, with almost 900 chargers that can charge your EV up to 80% capacity in under 15 minutes.
EVCS works with all types of clients including fleet operations, office buildings, commercial properties, apartment buildings, and more. EVCS is still relatively small compared to other companies on this list. Despite its size, EVCS does offer an unlimited EV charging membership, with an offer for the first 30 days free to new members.
Understanding the Future of EV Chargers in the U.S.
With over 44,000 charging stations in the U.S. already, the competition between top companies is already heating up, though there are still millions of spots to place EV charging stations as the EV adoption rate increases. When looking at the different types of companies that exist in the space, there are a few key things to consider.
First, the types of chargers are important. While Level 2 chargers are the most common, they are already becoming obsolete since it can take 10-14 hours to get a full charge. This is a stark comparison to Level 3 chargers (DC Chargers), which can give 80% – 100% charge usually within 15-30 minutes. While Level 2 chargers are great cost-effective options for commercial fleets and residential properties that don’t need to prioritize speed, Level 3 chargers will likely be the future.
The other important factor is the services that each EV charging company offers to its customers and the owners of the charger. Many companies that sell EV chargers allow the owners to access data insights on popular charging times and other metrics to better understand the local market, which is important. Additionally, many companies also offer membership services that offer beneficial pricing to EV owners who continue to use their chargers. Understanding which charging companies have the strongest customer base can be a major factor when deciding which brand to install on your property. And don’t forget to consider insurance if you plan to own the EV charger.