Benefits of Investing in Commercial EV Chargers for Business Premises

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Commercial EV Chargers Business

With the rise of EVs around the country, EV chargers are slowly becoming ubiquitous and it’s no surprise that you can find an EV charger at every major business. They are a great way to expand your income while adding value to your business.

Statistically speaking, by January 2024, the UK had 53,677 public electric vehicle (EV) charging devices, which is a 45% increase from January 2023 – and by March 2024, the number of charging points had increased to 59,590 across 32,322 locations, which is a 47% increase from March 2023.

EV chargers come in several varieties with super-chargers taking 20 minutes for charging up to 80% of the battery capacity while up to 2-6 hours for regular (fast) and slow charging. From a business standpoint, this is great news because customers can end up spending more time at your business while they wait for their cars to charge. This may result in higher conversion rates for walk-in customers who browse your store.

In this guide, we will go over the benefits of investing in commercial EV chargers for business premises and some key factors to look out for when installing them. Read below to learn more:

WELCOMING THE EV TREND

With EV sales skyrocketing and the government also looking to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040, it is no surprise that you are likely to find customers actively seeking out businesses that provide the complimentary service of EV charging.

EV car manufacturers like Tesla, Ford, and BMW, and even new EV startups like Rivian, Revolt, and Fisker (to name a few) are actively investing millions in the infrastructure required for large-scale EV charging stations.

Businesses stand to gain a lot from this investment because more EV charging stations mean that there will be less friction in the buying decision for electric vehicles since people will have less “range anxiety” knowing that there will be a charging station available for them near their vicinity.

So, by offering customers a charging station at your premises, you can not only increase footfall for your business, but you may also end up driving sales from potential conversions in your store and from the income from the chargers themselves.

BENEFITS OF INVESTING IN COMMERCIAL EV CHARGERS

EV chargers can provide the option for clean and renewable energy, a sentiment that will likely resonate with every modern customer looking to be more responsible towards the environment. As mentioned above, EV chargers charge vehicles at different rates with super-chargers offering the most convenience.

However, even with fast charging, you can expect a customer to spend up to 10-20 minutes at the charging station. So, they can either decide to stay in the car while their vehicle charges, or the more likely scenario, where customers run errands while their car charges at your station.

Retail, wholesale, and restaurants are most likely to reap the benefits of charging stations because customers can browse your store and purchase goods while they wait for their cars to charge.

Here are some of the top benefits of investing in commercial EV chargers for your business premises:

New Customer Segments and Enriching Customer Experience

According to recent statistics, more than 50% of EV charging stations are co-located with retail businesses or businesses where customers are likely to spend more than 30 minutes. Furthermore, EV owners are usually from the younger demographic. According to Statista, Young people between 18 and 29 years old were the age group most likely to consider the purchase of an electric vehicle.

For businesses, this means that you may potentially be able to tap into a new customer segment for your business while also enriching the experience of your existing customer base.

Keeping up with the Trends

Having an EV charger at your business can potentially become your business’s new Unique Selling Proposition (USP). This is Business 101! If you offer something that isn’t available to your competitor, then you will likely drive more traffic to your business.

EV owners regularly plan trips with the intention of charging their vehicles while they make stops. So, installing even one or several chargers can provide your business with a boost and bring in repeat customers who spend more time at your store than at your competitors.

Enhance Employee Experience

According to a statistic, by 2027 there will be an estimated 13.5 million jobs, and half of them are likely to be filled up by younger workers. Combine this statistic with the fact that most EV owners are likely to be young, and you will have an increased demand for EV chargers for employees as well.

Just a decade ago, EV chargers weren’t a demand for employees in the US and the UK, but now, they have become a necessity. Younger employees actively seek out work where they find the most convenience. This includes businesses that provide them with the option to charge their electric vehicles while at work.

COMMERCIAL EV CHARGER TYPES

There are three main types of commercial EV chargers: ‘slow,’ ‘fast,’ and ‘fast/ultra-fast’ chargers.

Slow chargers take the longest while rapid chargers charge a battery up to 80% within 20 minutes. Here is a breakdown for each type of charger:

  • Slow chargers (3.6kW) can take between 6 to 12 hours for a full charge – Ideal for overnight charges.
  • Fast chargers (7kW to 22kW) can take between 3 to 5 hours for a full charge – Ideal for most businesses.
  • Fast and ultra-fast DC chargers (50kW to 350kW), charge batteries to 80% in about 20 minutes – ideal for shopping centres, car parks, and service stations.

COST OF COMMERCIAL EV CHARGERS FOR BUSINESS PREMISES

Commercial EV charging point costs depend on factors like:

  • The charger model,
  • Charging capacity,
  • The number of chargers installed,
  • EV electrical infrastructure,
  • The location of the chargers, and
  • The installation of the chargers.

If we talk about averages, you can expect £2,000 and £3,000 + VAT for installing EV charging stations at a typical business premises.

There are also funding options and grants that qualifying businesses can opt for which can provide them up to a £450 grant under the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

Here are a few common eligibility criteria for businesses looking to install EV chargers:

  • The chargers must provide at least 3kW, with the supply not being affected by charging multiple cars simultaneously,
  • The chargers must have off-street parking used by the business’s staff and visitors,
  • The EV charging points must be installed by an accredited OZEV-approved installer (like Calder Electrical).

If a business is eligible for a £450 grant from the government, then the cost of installation can range around £2,550 + VAT. Furthermore, the income from the charger can also provide you with a steady Return on Investment (ROI) within 3 to 6 years which can easily offset the initial cost of the installation.

The biggest benefit of these chargers is that they are monetised which means that you can directly earn from them and within six years (or earlier, depending on the setup), begin turning a profit from just the chargers.

In other words, if an EV owner doesn’t charge their EV at home and their charging demands range from about 25kWh each charge for 250 days a year, you can charge them for a profit of 4% per kWh. This means that you can make a profit of £1 every day, amounting to £250 gross profit per year.

A great benefit of these chargers is that they have minimal running and management costs with the average cost not exceeding £100 per charger per year. By subtracting the annual running costs from the annual gross profit, you’ll be left with a £150 annual net profit from a single charging point!

As you might have guessed, this profit is incremental and tied to the number of chargers installed at your business. For example, with one user per day, the payback time for the charger can be 6 years, and with two users per day, the payback time can be twice as quick. With three users, you can ramp up the Return on Investment and gain back the initial installation cost within 2-3 years.

From a financial perspective, an ROI of 2-3 years is excellent – not to mention, you will also get a lot of the other benefits that come from the chargers like more footfall, extended stays, a potential increase in business sales, and more.

FUNDING FOR COMMERCIAL EV CHARGERS

Don’t have the means to install an EV charger at your location? Don’t worry! With the help of funding schemes, you don’t have to completely pay for your EV project at your business.

The Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offers a Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) that can be used to reduce costs by up to 75%. The total financial relief is capped at £350 per socket and the grant can be used to claim up to 20 single or 10 double charging stations, which is excellent for medium and large-sized businesses.

BUSINESSES THAT CAN BENEFIT FROM EV CHARGERS THE MOST

EV chargers can be beneficial to various types of businesses. Here is a list of a few businesses that can get the most out of an EV project:

  • Retail stores with parking spaces. Retail stores are frequented by customers who are looking to spend more than 30 minutes browsing for goods. By providing customers with an EV charger for their cars, you can increase their likelihood of coming back again and enhance brand loyalty as well.
  • Offices with spacious parking spaces. If your business is in an area that supports ample parking space, then why not monetise the extra real estate using EV chargers? At the time of writing this guide, 75% of EV owners in the UK are unable to charge their vehicles at work and have to depend on home and public charging stations. This is an excellent opportunity to fill in the gap and gain an advantage over your competitors!
  • Just like retail stores, wholesale stores, supermarkets, and shopping centres can benefit from EV charging points.
  • Leasing firms with electric vehicles. Electric car leasing is the future which is why these companies need EV charging solutions to ensure that their cars are always charged for leasing.

LEGALITIES OF COMMERCIAL EV CHARGERS FOR BUSINESSES

The UK has already begun its plan for an electric future, shifting from traditional gasoline cars to clean and environment-friendly EVs. However, this shift requires an increase in EV chargers. As mentioned above, more chargers decrease the chances of friction in the buying decision for EVs.

There is no doubt that home charging is going to be the primary source of charging EVs, but with 43% of EV owners not having off-street parking, commercial EV charging points are a great and logical solution.

Here are a few legalities to keep in mind when investing in a commercial EV project:

Grid Connection

Rising EV chargers will also strain the grid with experts projecting an extra demand of up to 18 gigawatts. Even though additional transmission level costs are covered by the taxes charged on the electricity supply, additional work required at the distribution level is passed on to the business installing the charging points by the District Network Operators (DNOs).

So, depending on your EV project size, you might have to account for additional costs and legal SOPs as well.

Alternative Fuels Infrastructure Regulations (AFIR) 2017

The alternative fuel regulations regulate hydrogen and electricity to provide these alternative fuel sources all over the country to reduce the dependency on oil as well as to lower the country’s carbon footprint.

The AFIR ensure that the technical specifications for charging points are met according to the BSI standards, which include socket outlets, vehicle connectors, and even customer experience standards. Luckily, most certified installation companies, like Calder Electrical, are well-versed with the latest regulations so you can get your EV project up and running without facing any hindrances.

Safety Laws

Just like any other electrical installation, the quality of installation dictates the efficiency and efficacy of the EV chargers.

To reap the full benefits of EV chargers and to get the most out of the ROI, businesses must go for highly professional installation services to gain maximum benefit.

In every EV project, the installation must be done using the latest technical standards and business owners must ensure that they receive manufacturer warranties providing evidence of its standard. Failure to follow protocol or not keeping up with safety standards for EV chargers can result in legal consequences for business owners.

Installation and Property Planning

Business owners must consider where to install the EV chargers on business premises to avoid any legal troubles from authorities. Wall-mounted EV charging points must follow strict regulations that include the electrical outlet not exceeding 0.2 cubic meters and not facing or being within 2 meters of a highway.

For upstanding EV charging points, the charger hub height cannot exceed 2.3 metres in all areas except residential premises, where the maximum height is 1.6 meters.

CONTACT CALDER ELECTRICAL

At Calder Electrical, we install EV chargers in line with the current regulations and can offer a government incentive to reduce the installation costs for both domestic and commercial properties.

There are various chargers currently in the market and it can be a little confusing to choose the best one for your needs.

We will take out the hassle and provide you with the most suitable and affordable option, ranging from the standard systems to the smart ones that are becoming increasingly popular.

We are authorised and registered OZEV installers and our EV charge points come with a 3-year warranty. We offer all kinds of different options to choose from, such as wall-mounted to freestanding pedestal units with different types of chargers and charging speeds.

Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 3001 for our expert opinion and more information on the benefits of investing in commercial EV chargers for business premises.