Are business EV chargers worth it? Wouldn’t you be wasting money on an expensive charging station? How can your business profit from EV charging installation?
We understand your concerns and would like to address them by discussing the benefits and drawbacks of business EV chargers. Don’t stop reading until you reach our verdict.
Let’s begin with the benefits.
Benefits of Business EV Chargers
As more electric vehicles hit the road, EV owners would be looking for locations to charge their vehicles. Business EV charging provides several benefits that include:
- Attracts customers by improving customer experience
- Generates revenue for your business
- Put your business on the map
- Provides employee incentives
- Supports sustainable initiatives
1. Attracts Customers by Improving Customer Experience
Having an EV charging station in your place of business will enable your customers to charge their vehicles while shopping. This gives them a reason to stay longer and buy more stuff. It also gives them a reason to come back whenever the need arises.
The added value would have a positive effect on your customers and they can refer your business to other potential customers. The more customers you attract, the more income you get.
Customers who are enthusiastic about sustainability (the environmentalists) would be attracted to your business as well. You will acquire loyalty from this customer group who would prefer your business over your competitors who don’t share their values.
Other potential customers include long-distance travellers looking for fast and convenient charging. These travellers will stop by to take a break or have a meal (if you have a restaurant) while recharging their vehicles.
2. Generates Revenue for Your Business
EV chargers add a stream of revenue while attracting more EV drivers to regularly charge at your site. Put EV meter chargers on the electric car charging stations to control who pays for charging and how much is the fee.
You may provide a discount to your employees through the company key card while visitors will have to pay the regular fee. You can offer free EV charging to your employees as an incentive but that will change in the future as more electric vehicles hit the road.
If you’re a property manager, the EV chargers will drive traffic to your tenant’s business. You can always charge visitors each time they plug into your charging station. This gives your tenets extra profit to renew their leases.
3. Puts Your Business on The Map
EV drivers must stop somewhere to charge their vehicles and the demand will only increase as more people use electric vehicles on the road. They can easily find spots to charge their cars using apps like Pod-Point or Zap-Map.
Having an EV charger on your site will feature your business on these apps and make it easy for potential customers (locals or tourists) to locate you. Only 3% of UK supermarkets have charging points so EV drivers have a good chance of finding your business location.
Referencing your business publicly will increase brand awareness and drive more traffic to your site.
4. Provides Employee Incentive
Free workplace charging can increase employee satisfaction and satisfied employees tend to be more productive. It also encourages high-quality employees to apply to your company. By representing yourself as a fair employer, you inspire trust in potential employees with the same values.
The initiative also encourages your staff to purchase an electric vehicle. The act will build your company’s reputation as an eco-friendly workplace that contributes to the preservation of the environment.
5. Supports sustainable initiatives
As more and more people become environmentally conscious and charging infrastructure is growing, confidence in the technology grows. The UK needs 29,000 charging points by 2030 to meet future EV charging demands. About 85% of these are rapid chargers.
A study by Forbes 2017 states that 87% of consumers have a positive impression of businesses that make sustainable efforts, compared to those that don’t. 88% of customers would remain loyal to eco-friendly businesses than a competitor who isn’t.
This upsurge in eco-friendly attitudes is mostly observed among Gen-X and millennials. The younger generations are fundamentally the future. Having a charging station at your site is a call-out to these young people who can become your potential customers.
Between 2018 and 2019 UK electric car sales almost doubled, driving demand throughout the country for the future of transportation. Now the UK government is looking for ways to benefit drivers by providing EV charger grants for customers
One grant, in particular – the Workplace Charging Scheme or WCS, provides discounts for every EV chargepoint you install in the workplace. We discussed more WCS in the later section.
Disadvantages of Business EV Chargers
- Workplace Charging Stations can be Costly to Install
The average cost of an EV chargepoint is generally between £1,000 to £2,500, plus VAT, depending on the model and connections required. There will also be installation charges that include fixing, cabling, and foundations.
The additional costs will depend on the chargepoint’s location and its distance from the electrical source connection. The longer the distance is from the chargepoint to the power source, the more costly it becomes.
Besides the installation, there are, in many cases, annual operational costs and warranty extensions. These will depend on the charger type and your management model. The costs are generally based on the charging station’s utility although they are generally about £250 per charger annually.
We have elaborated more on this in the article How Much is the EV Charger Installation At Home
Other Funding Options for Your Business EV Charger
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) of the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) supports businesses in the purchase and installation of workplace charging stations. The grant can reduce upfront costs by about 75% (£500 per socket) and can be claimed for up to 20 chargepoints (10 for double).
To be eligible for funding, applications must have:
- off-street parking used by the business
- established the necessity of the charging stations
- an EV charger from an OLEV-approved supplier
- an electric vehicle charger installer that’s OLEV-approved
These grants will not be available forever so it is best to check them out as soon as possible. You can read more about these money-saving grants in The OLEV Government Grant: UK’s Future Runs On EVs
- Business EV Chargings Can Affect Your Electricity Bill
The EV charging stations for business are expected to impact your workplace’s electric meter rating and power demand. This is especially true if you’re using fast charging that reaches 350 kW power levels per charger.
EV charging stations can dwarf a building’s big-box power demand with the same meter and peak power demand can increase by 250% according to a study conducted by ELSEVIER.
Areas with cold climates are most susceptible to high-demand charges where the annual electricity bill can increase by about 88%. This is because environmental factors such as temperature can affect charging speeds and demand.
While these figures may seem daunting, you can always manage your workplace charging by assessing and limiting your monthly electricity use. Your electrician can help you make the necessary calculations and adjustments needed to keep your electricity use at manageable levels.
The simple fact remains that an electric car will need charging either at home or on the road. We’re going to see more and more electric vehicles in the future and there will be a need for more EV charging company infrastructure in place, so business EV chargers are feasible.
There are many car owners like tourists who cannot charge at work or at home and it would be convenient for them to be able to charge at shops, supermarkets, and public stations. They will find your site using apps like Zap-Map and become potential customers.
Fast electric car charging while on a road trip is often coupled with meals so your restaurant will have many visitors. Most charging today takes 30-60 minutes, giving your potential customers some extra time to explore your business.
It’s no secret that shops install charging stations to also profit from them. People will want to make use of their time while stopping by to charge and you can think of several ways to capitalize on the opportunity.
And though installing a charging station for your business can affect your electricity bills, you can always charge your employees a bit, and require visitors to pay a regular fee for the use of your charging stations. The profits should more than cover your monthly bills.
As an employee incentive, free EV charging for businesses can increase customer satisfaction and encourage loyalty which can lead to productivity. And lastly, business EV chargers can contribute to the preservation of the environment through sustainable means.
So are business EV chargers worth it? The answer is a resounding YES!
Besides the Workplace Charging Scheme that can grant funding for the purchase and installation of your charging station, you can also save more money with quality and affordable charging units.
Pumpt.io offers some of the most affordable and reliable EV chargers in the market. Imagine having a quality EV charger that provides all your charging needs but at a much lower price!
It all boils down to thinking ahead and making sure that you get the most out of your investment. Check out our quality and affordable EV chargers on our product page before the units are sold out!