As charging stations or EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment) become more prevalent outside your neighborhood theatre, grocery store or your workplace, the discussion arises of how to charge for the public "plugging-in."

Since most EVSEs are installed on the load side of the meter, many business owners are trying to determine how to recover cost for allowing charging on their property, or in the case of a municipality, in the public right-of-way or other public parking lots.

There are several models for collecting revenue for charging your PEV when not at home. Some models include swipe cards such as a credit card or prepaid card and communication such as you can charge once you have "unlocked the charging station with your card."

Others models suggest including the cost of the charging in the price for parking, since most EVSEs will be placed in highly visible spots close to buildings where the electric service originates.

Some businesses and public entities are not charging for the cost of plugging in at this time and are in the process of evaluating how to recoup the cost of the infrastructure and utility energy cost.


Rates for charging your plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) will depend on several factors, including:

  • all electric (BEV) or plug-in electric (PEV)
  • Your utility provider
  • The electrical rate for your utility
  • Special PEV rates or Time-of-Use (TOU) rates available from your utility

Select your electric utility provider to read the information pertaining to you:

Consumers Energy
DTE Energy
Indiana Michigan Power Company
Lansing Board of Water & Light
Upper Peninsula Power Company
Wisconsin Public Service


Infrastructure: The cost and method for installing infrastructure for public use will vary greatly depending on several factors, including but not limited to: proximity to electric service, locations of EVSEs (charging stations) whether in a parking garage or curbside, private parking lot or public rights-of-way, and exposure to elements and such things as snow plows.

Since most of the charging stations would be installed in established areas, disturbance and restoration of sidewalks, curbs, road and green spaces also will be required.

Permitting and Inspection: Permitting and inspection varies by jurisdiction. Permitting typically will be handled by the electrical contractor hired to install the EVSE (charging stations). Training electrical contractors and inspectors is a key aspect to streamlining the installation of EV charging. Current efforts are underway by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) / International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) to train and certify electrical contractors and inspectors in Michigan and across the U.S.

Building Codes and Standards: Building codes need to consider the addition of an EVSE to the home and be flexible to address cost savings where practicable while maintaining the highest level of safety at all times.

Charging Station Hardware: There are various EVCSE hardware providers today, all offering charging solutions for level 1 and 2 charging at home. Each charging station has its own electrical requirements (e.g. amperage, voltage, wattage). It is critical that the customer understand their vehicle's on-board charging requirements before installing level 2 charging.


Auto: Electric vehicles are slightly higher to insure, which is consistent with insuring hybrid vehicles.

Potential PEV owners should confirm insurance information with their home and/or auto insurance providers, as the level of premium may shift over time.