Scottish SMEs can make money in year one from Electric Vehicle charging

Cecilia Routledge (CTEK)

BUSINESSES that install Electric Vehicle (EV) charging in their car parking could recoup their investment in less than a year and enjoy profits in year two and beyond.

Businesses can generate revenue from EV chargers by charging drivers for the power they use, applying a percentage margin over the cost electricity price.

For a medium sized business currently paying 28 pence per kWh1 for its supply, charging drivers the current average UK public medium/fast price of 49 pence per kWh2 at two chargepoints for six hours each day will generate first year revenue of £23,543 and costs, including installation, of £20,328.

In year two and beyond the revenue will again be £23,543 but the costs, including maintenance, will be just £16,427 leaving an annual profit for the business of £7,116. 

Any business with its own car parking could consider such an investment. Destination businesses including hotels, restaurants, pubs, cafes, gyms and shops could see their footfall and dwell time increase as well as non-charging revenue from additional sales, such as food and drink at leisure venues. 

Global vehicle charging specialist CTEK has identified a trend for more EV drivers to charge away from their home, partly driven by wider take-up of EVs by people with no off-street parking.

A survey conducted for CTEK by YouGov revealed that only 56% of EV owners are now charging at home (down from 78% in 2021), with 20% charging at shopping centres, 20% at work, 11% at hotels and 8% at restaurants.

Cecilia Routledge, CTEK’s Global Director Energy and Facilities, said: “As the number of EVs on Britain’s roads continues to grow, we are seeing a significant shift towards destination charging. This presents considerable opportunities for visitor-focused businesses to make money from EV charging as well as attracting more customers.

“The cost of electricity has gone up but is expected to fall in time and EV drivers are used to the current prices they pay for public and destination charging, just like the much publicised increase in home electricity bills.”

CTEK research has also found EV drivers charging little and often wherever they stop, which presents real opportunities for businesses to earn revenue from EV charging. Daytime users of destination chargers are plugged in for, on average, 20 minutes. 

The average private car travels less than 200 miles a week, and the 50 kW of power needed for this can be obtained in just 4.5 hours of 11 kW AC charging. This means that, for destination chargers, a medium rate 3.7 to 22 kW AC (alternating current) charger is usually more than adequate. 

Cecilia said: “Our research shows that, on average, businesses installing a dual EV charger that’s used for six hours a day could start to see a return on investment in under a year, with annual profits of more than £7,000 from year two onwards3.”

Dual socket chargers like CTEK’s Chargestorm Connected 2 (CC2) are particularly suitable for small businesses, because only one installation is needed to provide EV charging for two vehicles, from the same unit.

And for hotels, B&Bs and other premises offering overnight accommodation, EV charging facilities are really becoming a ‘must have’, with availability of EV charging becoming a key booking criterion for EV drivers. Hotel booking sites are increasingly including EV charging as a search filter, and installation of EV charging facilities will put them on the map for the growing number of discerning EV drivers looking for a place to stay. 

The Government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) was extended last year to provide grants of £350 per EV charging socket to small accommodation businesses like B&Bs and holiday lets. This means that a dual socket charger like the CTEK CC2 will qualify for two WCS grants, totalling £700 for each charger installed. A list of chargers that are eligible for these OZEV (Office for Zero Emission Vehicles) grants are available on the website.

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