The electric vehicle (EV) market is booming and has been doing so for years. The growing adoption by the general public, combined with both businesses’ sustainability initiatives and governments’ decarbonisation commitments have created an unprecedented uptake of electric cars.
With over 10 million EVs on the road today, it’s safe to say that this growth has rocked the mobility sector, and the rise is far from over; Mckinsey & Company estimates that there will be over 130 million EVs on the world’s roads by 2030.
In line with this growth, the electric car charging market is also thriving. According to the International Energy Agency, there were 1.3 million public chargers available worldwide in 2020, and by 2030 this number is estimated to be well over 16 million.
As the rise of electric mobility continues to surge, forward-thinking companies are opening their eyes to the potential of this market, and beginning to ask, how can my business benefit? Therefore, this article highlights the 3 most common ways in which businesses—big or small—can benefit from commercial electric car charging.
Electric car charging vs refuelling
The experience of charging an electric car is majorly different from having to fill up with fuel. Traditionally, drivers of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles will visit the petrol station when their fuel gauge is nearing empty. With electric cars however, drivers have considerably different behaviour when it comes to how and when they charge their vehicle.
Whilst the majority of charging will take place at home, drivers also want the convenient option to top off their vehicle with charge whilst they park. Think about working on your laptop in a coffee shop or at university. Of course, you can rely on leaving your house with enough charge to last the day, but finding a seat next to that plug socket will definitely make you feel more at ease about making it through the day. By providing electric car drivers with the option of charging at your business, you can help ease drivers’ range anxiety.
Can my business benefit from charging stations?
Not only will providing charging facilities benefit electric car drivers, but, if your business has a location for vehicles to park, it too can benefit from electric car charging. Whilst it may seem obvious for some businesses—such as service stations or commercial car parks—to capitalise on this market shift, in reality, the opportunity is laid out for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
From hotels, restaurants, and supermarkets, to commercial real estate companies, cinemas, and even football stadiums, all kinds of businesses can gain from adding electric car charging facilities.
By tapping into this new market, businesses can increase direct revenue by setting charging fees, offering a convenient service, improving their sustainability reputation, increasing the time customers spend at their location, and attracting new customers looking for a place to charge.
How can my business benefit from adding commercial electric car chargers?
Of course, there are multiple ways to offer electric car charging stations at your location. However, before you decide to enter the electric car charging market, it’s important to consider why and how your business can benefit. To help you think about the possibilities, we’ve listed the three main commercial charging station strategies.
1. Increase revenue
Increasing revenue by adding a new revenue stream to your existing business is the first option most businesses consider when looking at commercial electric car charging stations. By charging your existing customers for, well, charging, you can simply take an asset that you already own or manage—a parking space—and monetise it.
The revenue you can generate is dependent on many different factors, such as the amount of daily charging sessions, the fees and tariffs you set, the type of vehicle your customer drives (and how much it needs to be charged), the type of charger you install, and so on. However, to give you a ballpark idea of how much revenue a charging station can generate yearly, we created a simplified estimation for both AC and DC charging stations.
For example, a location that decides to install four AC charging stations could see an added revenue from EV charging between £900 and £2,025 a month*. And for a business that chooses to install just two high-powered DC fast charging stations could be looking to earn between £2,025 and £5,400 a month*.
*This calculation is based on an average starting fee and tariff per kWh. The low estimate represents a standard location with lower utilisation, and the high estimate represents a popular location with high utilisation. These results are calculated with our revenue calculator and are meant to give a general estimation and are not to be taken as an accurate representation of—or guarantee for—actual revenue generation.
Set up the charging fee structure that is right for your business
How much you earn with electric car charging will depend on the fee structure your business selects. With the technology available today, it’s possible to choose a set-up that compliments specific circumstances. For example, you can charge customers per kWh of electricity used and add a service charge for the convenience of charging. Or, you could choose to set a flat fee per charging session, charge by the minute, or even fluctuate your prices throughout the day.
With the right charging management software, you can easily manage your charging stations and optimise the revenue by basing the fee structure on accurate insights such as average energy consumption during off-peak and peak hours, and by monitoring the charging behaviour of your customers.
By tapping into your electricity network and existing assets, you’re creating an opportunity to increase your revenue, boost the average customer spend per visit, and offer an in-demand service at the same time. For a clearer estimate of the revenue EV charging can bring to your business, download our free revenue calculator or have a more detailed look at how you can make money with EV charging stations.
2. Attract customers
Electric car charging stations not only allow you to service your existing customers, but are also an effective way to put your business on the map and acquire new and quite lucrative customers.
Compared to the general population, electric car drivers are more often highly educated, full-time employed, and the owner of multiple vehicles. Also, they tend to be highly concerned with the environment and more active in looking for places and brands that align with their internal motivations. As more drivers are switching to electric cars, this creates an opportunity for businesses to tap into a highly sought-after market.
When people go through transitions in life—like graduating, getting a driver’s licence, landing that first full-time job, becoming a parent, or even retiring—their consumer habits change and they begin to create new brand allegiances. The same can be said for those who purchase their first electric car.
For instance, imagine an electric car driver that plans to do their weekly food shop at the supermarket. If your business offers them the option to charge their car whilst they are busy shopping, this additional convenience might be the reason they decided to now visit your shop on a weekly basis over your competitors. This creates an opportunity for businesses of all shapes and sizes to gain new, loyal customers who will return to your location to charge.
What’s more, by offering charging facilities on-site, you can attract customers by making your location visible on public charging point maps. As public charging stations are visible online, new customers can find your business whilst planning out their journey ahead of time, or whilst they’re already on the road.
Whether you own a cafe, hotel, small shop, or even a cinema, by registering your business on electric car charging point maps, such as Google or Apple Maps, you can, quite literally, put your business on the map.
Want to see what that looks like in practice? Google search term “electric vehicle charging stations near me” and see for yourself.
3. Build customer loyalty
Having electric car charging points at your establishment can help your business build loyalty with increasingly environmentally-conscious customers.
In line with, or perhaps as a contributing factor of, the unprecedented uptake of electric vehicles is consumer consciousness. Whether it’s sustainability, justice, equality, or several other social and environmental issues, more customers are spending their money in ways that align with their personal views and values.
According to our research, nearly three quarters of electric car drivers say climate change and reducing CO2 emissions is important to them. And for these sustainability-driven drivers, many of them are willing to spend in order to exercise their environmental consciousness.
A recent IBM report found that nearly six in ten consumers surveyed were willing to change their shopping habits to reduce their environmental impact. And for those who say sustainability is very important to them, over 70 percent would pay a premium of 35 percent, on average, for brands that are sustainable and environmentally responsible.
In this case, installing electric car chargers at your location shows customers that your business supports the transition towards sustainable mobility. Even if these customers don’t currently own an electric car themselves, it still sends the message that your business shares the same environmentally conscious values as them. Not to mention that if customers do plan to purchase an electric car in the near future, they’ll be aware that your business offers the option to charge when the time comes.
We live in pivotal times
The transition to electric mobility is undoubtedly one of the greatest transformations taking place in our society right now. It’s noticeable, not only in the rhetoric from governments and car manufacturers alike, but also on our streets.
Whilst many businesses only look to the latest trends within their industry to stay relevant and profitable. They could do both by positioning themselves as a player in the sustainable mobility industry. By tapping into the continuously growing electric car sector with electric car charging stations for business, you can increase your revenue, attract more customers, and build customer loyalty.
Want to know how to offer the right EV charging solution?
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