Understanding the Cost of Running Commercial EV Chargers in the UK

by | Nov 6, 2023 | Editorial

 

With the UK electric Vehicle revolution increasing every day. Businesses are having to cater to a new type of customer because of the increasing demand. As a business I’m sure you know the importance of running costs of any new investments so to help better guide your decision we’ll delve into the various aspects that contribute to the cost of operating commercial EV chargers in the UK.

 

1. Infrastructure Costs

The biggest foundation of any EV charging network is the infrastructure. Installing charging stations, electrical connections, and related equipment can be a significant upfront investment. For businesses, the choice of charging technology, such as AC or DC chargers, and the power output (kW) will greatly affect these costs. The biggest item that can affect pricing is your current power supply, and if you need an upgrade but there are ways to minimise this cost. To see some of the ways check out our blog on saving money on your EV charging installation. Or to understand the basics of EV charging click here.

 

2. Energy Costs

Electricity is the lifeblood of EV charging (It’s in the name), and its cost can be a significant factor in the operating of commercial charge points. Businesses need to consider the energy tariff they’re on, as well as any demand charges that may apply during peak usage periods. Additionally, you may want to explore renewable energy options to help align with the sustainability goals of both your business and the UK, to learn more about renewable energy check out our blog on integration here. Most companies will offset the energy costs of EV chargers by setting tariffs on the chargers at the price of the energy or slightly higher allowing for this expense to be void.

 

3. Maintenance and Repairs

To ensure that your chargers are compliant for public use you will have to undertake regular maintenance. Being essential to keep chargers operational. This can and usually includes software updates, physical inspections, electrical works and addressing any wear and tear. Maintenance costs will vary depending on the complexity and age of the charging equipment, most installers have maintenance services they can offer you, helping keep your charger running day to day. Click here on how to best maintain your EV charger.

 

4. Operational Costs

Operational costs can include but are not limited to expenses related to running and managing the charging network. This involves administrative costs, customer support, and any fees associated with the payment gateway or third-party services. These costs are usually also offered by installers allowing these jobs to be done by an installers staff, usually requiring a monthly subscription.

 

5. Scalability

As the demand for EV charging services grows, businesses might need to expand their network. This scaling may come in years’ time but it is an important aspect of the process. You can undertake a feasibility study with some installers, like Greendawn. That gives you in depth data of your projected future charging needs to help prepare now. Scaling up can involve additional installation costs and possibly more infrastructure investment.

 

6. ROI and Revenue Generation

The main way you will make your money back from these costs is with the return on investment (ROI) from your charging network. This is a crucial factor to consider when looking at the costs of your installation. You should consider how much revenue your chargers generate from users and how long it takes to recoup the initial investment. This figure can he hard to define with no prior knowledge, but some installers offer services that can help better define this figure and give you an accurate timeline based off different tariff prices and usage data. To learn how to monetise your changepoints click here to read our guide.

 

7. Other revenue generation

Depending on factors like your charger purpose and the charger itself you may be able to recoup more revenue from the installation of the chargepoint/s. One way that it usually overlooked is the attraction on eco conscious customers. Having charging at a good tariff price will bring EV drivers to your business often becoming regulars helping you build a relationship and brand loyalty with them. The other way you can generate revenue is pretty new technology, with some EV chargers like the new NIDEC DC chargers Being pre-installed with advertising boards allowing you to sell the space to other businesses bringing in more revenue.

 

Conclusion

Running commercial EV chargers in the UK can involve a large range of costs, from infrastructure and energy expenses to ongoing maintenance and regulatory compliance. Being aware of the cost landscape allows you to make informed decisions and position your business for success in the evolving world of electric mobility. By keeping these factors in mind, you can better navigate the cost of operating commercial EV chargers and ensure that your business continues to thrive in the green energy revolution. While these costs may seem overwhelming there are a large range of ways you can receive these services at a reduced cost, for one example check out our funding guide here, or the current grants available here. To get started on your EV charging journey click here.

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