How to Make Money With Your Home EV Charger

Electric vehicles are becoming more common—1.6 million of them were sold in the U.S. in 2023, representing a 60% increase over 2022. And the federal government is currently working hard to encourage that shift away from gasoline-powered cars and trucks, which means that EVs are likely going to become even more common.

Meanwhile, however, our charging infrastructure isn’t keeping up, despite the priorities of the current administration. That translates to difficulty finding a place to charge your EV or long lines waiting for one to open up—and then possibly waiting hours to get a usable charge if you’re stuck with an older Level-1 charger. If you live in an area where there are relatively few charging stations, you might have opted to install an EV charger in your house. And the good news is that you can turn that EV charger into a small business if you want to make a little extra money.

DIY charger rental

Installing an EV charger in your home is a bit of an investment in terms of both time (you have to make sure your house is ready to handle it, although plug-in chargers that don’t need wiring are available) and money (which can run you more than $1,000, though there are state and federal incentives in place that can lower those costs significantly). While the immediate benefit—being able to charge your personal EV overnight in your own garage or driveway—is pretty obvious, you can milk a little more benefit out of it by renting out your EV charger when you’re not using it.

This could be an informal arrangement: If you have a neighbor or neighbors who own EVs but can’t install their own charger for some reason, you could offer to let them charge at your house for a fixed cost per charge or a monthly payment. This works especially well if you have a wide driveway or a two- or three-car garage and your neighbor can just pull their car in and charge. By placing a power clamp meter upstream from your charger, you can keep track of the power usage and set your rates accordingly.

Sharing apps

If you don’t have any conveniently powerless EV-driving neighbors, you can still make a little passive income from your home EV charger by signing up for a car-charge sharing platform. Apps like EvMatch, Plugshare, or Plugburb let you list the specifics of your charger on a map and set rates (often including additional fees on top of the electricity cost) and other rules (like times when it’s unavailable) for its use. When people need a charge, they search the app, find your house listed, drive over and use your charger. All the billing and payment is handled by the platform.

These apps make it pretty easy to turn your EV charger into a passive income stream because they manage everything. But just because it’s easy doesn’t mean there aren’t downsides.

Downsides

Charging people to use your EV charger might generate some money for you, but there are things to consider before you sign up or start advertising your DIY car charging service:

  • Income. You’re not going to get rich doing this. The average cost per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity in the U.S. is roughly 17.5 cents. According to EvMatch, the average cost to charge a car on the platform is 21 cents per kWh, so your profit margin is not exactly enormous. The average electric vehicle requires 30kWh to go 100 miles, so if your customer soaks up 30kWh per session you’ll make a whopping $1.05 each time.

    Of course, you can make more. The plug sharing platforms usually allow you to set your own rates, so you could charge 25 cents or 50 cents or whatever you want per kWh—though that might drive customers away. You can also charge a flat access fee to supplement each session, bringing your profits up. But no matter what you do, this isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. Instead, it’s best to think of it as an easy way to make some extra pocket money.

  • Security. Renting out your EV charger means strangers will be coming to your home, parking their car in your driveway or garage, and then hanging around for (potentially) hours as they wait for their cars to charge sufficiently. Platforms like EvMatch require people to leave the area while their car is charging (it’s part of their terms of service), but how you’d enforce that if they ignore it is something you’ll have to think about.

  • Neighbors. Your neighbors may not love the fact that you have a parade of strange cars sitting in your driveway, or that strangers are wandering the area killing time while they wait for their cars to charge up.

While you might not get rich renting out your EV charger, there are some other benefits: You’ll be helping to encourage EV adoption, boosting their environmental impact. And if you’ve ever been stuck in an area without a lot of charging infrastructure you know how grateful people will be to find a charger they can use for a reasonable cost, so you’ll be doing your part to make the world a better and friendlier place. And it’s not a heavy lift: If you already have the infrastructure installed, any money you get from it is a bonus.

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