As electric vehicles gain traction in the U.S., more and more companies are looking to make the consumer transition to electrification easier. Some companies are making some surprising moves, like Bank of America. The bank has announced that it will allow customers to bundle financing of EVs and chargers to make EV ownership easier. That makes BofA the first national bank to offer such a program.
Under the plan, customers looking for auto financing for their EVs can go to Bank of America and finance both their EV and their charger together. Fabien Thierry, head of Consumer Vehicle Products for the bank, said it’s all about making EV ownership easier and making the transition to EVs more appealing. “We aim to help people ‘go electric’ by providing financing for this critical accessory, which allows clients to charge their vehicles in their own homes and at convenient times,” he said.
It’s a welcome program, as every little bit helps. EV chargers aren’t cheap. Level 1 charges can be had under $1,000, but labor alone can cost nearly double the price of the charger itself; faster chargers can cost well over $1,000. And none of this takes into account the potential cost if your home needs to be rewired to handle the charger. It can be a big investment.
Fabien Thierry also stated to Automotive News that he believes the bank is “among the first” to offer a program like this. “Bank of America has been supporting the electrification, and we’ve been saying that we want to be one of the EV financing leaders,” he said. He’s right.
While states like Vermont and California have programs that can help people pay for or finance EV chargers, no one has thought to bundle the financing of an EV together with a charger. Small regional banks and credit unions offer EV financing that some claim is special, but it’s hard to determine just what makes their EV financing different from regular vehicle financing.
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While Bank of America pointed out in its release that it has been taking actions to help consumers transition to EVs — like partnering with Polestar and Lucid to set up their in-house finance companies — there was one lingering question I had: can consumers just finance an EV charger alone, or can they only do that in conjunction with EV financing? I reached out to Bank of America for more information.
A rep for the company informed me that the bundling of the EV and charging can be done if a dealer participates in their program. Customers also won’t be able to just finance an EV charger alone. You can only finance the price of the EV charger if it’s done with an EV.