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  • Sarah Lozanova

Upselling Existing Solar Clients: Adding Electric Vehicle Charging Stations



Many solar shoppers are excited to join the clean energy movement. Often, they are captivated by the idea of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on fossil fuels to slow climate change. These are many of the same concepts that are attractive to electric vehicle (EV) owners. Now, many solar installation companies are also installing EV chargers for homes and businesses, expanding their sustainability offerings.


Solar installation companies can often upsell customers to install EV chargers at the same time as a solar PV system. This can make your solar projects more profitable and streamline operations.


Benefits Of Combining Solar PV Panels And EV Charging Stations

Solar power and EVs are a winning combination. If EV drivers charge from an electrical grid that has a lot of coal and oil power plants in the energy mix, it increases the emissions related to driving compared to using renewable energy. Thus, vehicle electrification powered by solar electricity is an excellent choice for our planet and emissions reduction.


And, charging with the sun is a great way to lower fuel costs and get the greatest value out of a photovoltaic system. Larger systems are typically more cost-effective per kilowatt-hour of electricity due to economies of scale. So, adding a bit of additional solar energy capacity and installing an EV charger makes financial sense for consumers, especially in the long run.


Many EV drivers are thrilled to gain energy independence by generating the electricity they use to drive. Much of the oil we consume in the United State is imported from other countries, and many people prefer home-grown energy and supporting the local economy.


How To Upsell Clients To Add Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

If EV charger installation is a new service in your business model, it might take a bit of time to get used to upselling the EV charger options and seamlessly incorporating them into your marketing strategy. Following these upselling approaches can help you kick your sales into high gear.


Upselling Technique 1: The Future Is Electric

General Motors plans to only offer electric vehicles by 2035 and automakers are coming out with numerous new EV models annually. Tesla, Rivian, and legacy automakers are scaling up EV production and opening new manufacturing plants.


In California, Governor Newsom created an executive order only zero-emissions cars and passenger trucks will be sold in the new car market by 2035. Amazon has an order to purchase 100,000 electric delivery vans by 2030. Clearly, the future of driving is electric, and many corporations are electrifying their fleets. If your solar clients don’t currently drive electric cars or plug-in hybrids, they likely will relatively soon.


If solar shoppers are unsure if they will soon own an EV or plug-in hybrid, the answer is likely yes. There are now so many options available, from compact cars to powerful pick-up trucks. Recent legislative changes and automotive manufacturer announcements can help clients realize just how prevalent EV technology will become over the next few decades.


Upselling Technique 2: Take Advantage Of EV Tax Credits

Currently, there is a tax credit of up to $7,500 for plug-in electric vehicles to encourage EV adoption. This significantly reduces the cost of purchasing a new electric car, SUV or pickup truck. And, legislation like the Build Back Better plan could increase the incentive to $12,500 if the EV was manufactured in the US and meets certain criteria. Even though many EVs do cost more than gas-power vehicles, these incentives reduce the total cost of ownership.


Upselling Technique 3: Think Systemically

Mechanical systems usually integrate better when there is a comprehensive plan. Ideally, this involves considering energy storage capabilities for greater resiliency, taking advantage of net metering with the electric utility, and optimizing electric bill cost savings over time. If you size the solar system for the household’s current use, it can increase when adding an EV charger. If the homeowner wants to be net-zero, this means the existing system needs to be upgraded.


Therefore, if a customer goes solar now but wants to expand the system later and add an EV charger, it can add additional costs. For example, if the inverter is undersized for more capacity, it might need to be upgraded. The solar panels might not be as symmetrical if more modules are added on later, or there might be a visual difference with the new solar panels.


To avoid this, it is best to help clients plan for future energy needs when designing a clean energy system.


Upselling Technique 4: Simplicity

Having a solar system installed does cause some disruption around the home. Many PV shoppers are busy and like the idea of having all the required work done at one time. Adding an EV charger now streamlines the process for both you and them.


Upselling Technique 5: Convenience Of Level II EV Chargers

Some EV owners may think using a Level I charger at home is adequate and that upgrading their charging infrastructure is unnecessary. Unfortunately, Level I chargers are slow and are therefore not conducive for many households. It can take 24 hours to fully charge the vehicle. Installing a Level II charger significantly reduces the time required to charge.


Many people thinking about purchasing an EV have range anxiety and want to make sure the EV can meet the majority of their driving needs. Faster home charging is a great way to help overcome this issue. In addition, the growing network public charging options are an excellent way to charge on the go.


Upselling Technique 6: Competitive Advantage For Businesses

As EV ownership increases, so will the need to charge these vehicles. Many EV drivers really appreciate it when companies and organizations have chargers available for patrons and employees. This is an excellent way for businesses to stand apart from the competition.


The Importance Of Staying In Touch With Past Clients

If you complete high-quality work, past client referrals will be one of the very best sources of leads for your solar company. If EV charger installation is a new service offering, past customers probably won’t refer you for this type of work if they are unaware you now serve this new market.


Let your clients know you are installing EV chargers. Writing an e-newsletter and social media content is an excellent way to spread the word. Likewise, some PV companies offer a referral bonus to past customers. Even if they don’t specifically recommend you for EV charger installations, it can help boost solar sales to stay connected to past clients.


Help Clients Prioritize Renewable Energy

Many solar installers are interested in expanding their services to help new customers charge EVs and reduce their fossil fuel energy consumption. This can increase sales and help customers take advantage of clean energy.


Interested in learning more about entering the EV charger installation market? GreenLancer EV is an online marketplace for EV charging station permits, designs, and engineering services.