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EV charging station business models for the workplace [2023 update]

Last Updated: 3/11/2023

Last updated on March 24th, 2023

Broadly speaking—and depending on the needs and goals of your company—there are two main EV charging business models suitable for the workplace. 

Workplace EV charging business models

  1. EV charging as an employee benefit  

    Employees have access to EV charging without paying for it.   

  2. EV charging as a way to generate revenue  

    Employee or visitor, whoever uses the station pays to charge their vehicle based on a standard tariff and the conditions you set.  

For example, employees could benefit from a discounted rate, while customers and visitors could pay full price. This method has the benefit of generating additional revenue for the company and can open up the charging infrastructure to customers or visitors.

While each model has its advantages and drawbacks, which is right for your organization will depend on several factors. In most cases, charging management software is recommended to handle EV charging sessions and transactions hassle-free.

This article explores the two most common EV charging business models for the workplace and explains how they could benefit your organization.

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More of your employees will start driving electric cars

Across the world, the electric vehicle (EV) market is booming, Where sales had already doubled in 2021, the sales increased further by 60 percent in 2022, surpassed the 10 million milestone for the first time, and now account for 8.3 percent of the global car market, we are unquestionably shifting towards electric mobility, and workplaces are no exception. 

Many organizations that offer a company car to their employees are now looking into electrifying their fleet. Not only is this a more sustainable option, but it is also economically more viable in the long run. Indeed, while EVs seem more expensive at first glance, did you know that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an EV is –in many cases– already lower than that of an ICE vehicle?

But even if your organization doesn’t have a fleet of its own, it can still make sense to install EV charging stations at your facility.

EV charging at work

That’s right, as people increasingly switch to electric mobility, more of your employees will inevitably start to drive electric cars. Therefore, offering EV charging at your workplace could very well help attract new talent and boost employee satisfaction

One of the main appeals of driving an EV, is the theoretical ability to charge where and when you park, saving the trip to a gas station.

While for many drivers, home charging will be most appealing, workplaces are the runner-up in the most desired location for EV drivers to charge their vehicles. 

Man using EVBox Liviqo AC business charging station to charge his car at the office.

Help employees make the switch to electric mobility

Your employees, especially those in urban areas, might not be able to get a charger at home. Whether it’s because they lack a personal driveway or parking space, or live in apartment complexes, where getting a personal charger connected to their meter box can be challenging.

For these employees, considering switching to electric mobility is more difficult as they have to rely entirely on public charging infrastructure. With range anxiety being present combined with a current need for more charging infrastructure, many are hesitant to take the leap. The opportunity to be able to charge at work might make the difference.

That said, charging at the workplace doesn’t have to be offered as a free service, even if you offer EV charging at a discounted rate for employees, you could use it as an additional revenue stream. 

But besides offering EV charging facilities to your workforce, there are even more factors to consider that might prove to be beneficial to your business.

Happy colleagues during a meeting.

EV charging at your workplace for visitors

Many businesses' parking lots are used to park the cars of more visitors than just their employees. Whether it’s clients, business partners, or customers, they will all increasingly drive electric and would welcome the ability to charge at your office. 

Depending on the location and use of your office, it might even be worth opening up a few parking spaces to the general public and –by doing so– generating revenue from charging sessions, attracting new customers, or even both. 

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EV charging business models

Let’s dive into the different business models for offering EV charging at your organization.

1. Free EV charging at work

As a workplace, you could consider offering EV charging at the workplace as an employee benefit. An employee benefit is any additional compensation offered by a company to their employees on top of their salary, or, in other words, an EVP - the employee value proposition. 

Benefits are a crucial factor in attracting and retaining top talent and can help a company stand out from its competitors in the eyes of job applicants. Indeed, a study by global analytics firm Gallup found that 71% of workers consider a company’s environmental record when deciding on an employer. 

Of course, offering free EV charging to your employees is not the sole solution to employee happiness, nor is it the only employee benefit your organization should consider, but it might be the benefit your employees will truly appreciate.

A businessman holding a smartphone to start his EV charging session.

2. Workplace EV charging to generate revenue

While offering EV charging as an employee benefit has its advantages, another approach is to offer charging as a paid service and even open up the stations for use by third parties. Doing so can add an additional revenue stream to the company and compensate for the price of electricity used. 

Depending on the type of business and location, installing publicly-accessible EV chargers can put a business “on the map”, by directing EV drivers to them and potentially cross-selling or upselling their other offerings while their vehicle charges. Beyond guests and customers paying for charger use, companies can also offer a discounted fee for employees who want to charge their vehicles, which can still boost employee satisfaction.

Different tariffs could be suited, depending on your circumstances:

  • One option is to charge users a flat rate per hour or per day, regardless of the amount of electricity consumed.
  • Alternatively, users can be charged based on their energy usage, ensuring everyone pays their share.

These two approaches can also be combined by charging a fixed initial activation fee and then having users pay for the amount of electricity used. In any of these cases, employees can benefit from a discounted rate compared to visitors, or you could even set maximum time slots or available electricity for free charging.

An overview of elements needed to estimate the gross revenue one can make from a charging session. It shows the average energy usage per charging session ( 25 kWh), Energy cost per kWh ($0.10), Marked-up price you charge the driver per kWh ($0.45), and the estimated gross revenue per charging session ($11.25). A disclaimer below the table reads:  Data provided above is an estimation based on average market usage and changes depending on the region.

Whether EV charging is used to generate revenue or as an employee benefit, there are some considerations businesses need to take when installing charging infrastructure.

Especially if multiple user groups are involved, the charger needs to be able to accept different payment methods or settings. This can quickly lead to growing complexity that is challenging to manage manually; in most cases, charging management software is recommended to handle all these transactions hassle-free.

Charging management system software for workplace EV charging

In today’s digital age, access to data and insights is crucial for good decision-making. Many modern charging stations are more than just a piece of hardware and offer connectivity to software management systems.

A good charging management software allows you to easily manage your assets, set different charging tariffs, and learn from driver behavior. 

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Charging management software also helps increase energy efficiency by optimizing consumption. Smart charging functionalities, such as load balancing, ensure that the charging station never pulls more than the set current from the grid and that the available capacity is intelligently distributed across all charging stations. 

When it comes to invoicing, smart charging software can ensure costs are easily and accurately attributed to the right stakeholders. By automating payment and reimbursement, this solution cuts out manual accounting work and ensures a smooth invoicing process regardless of the user.

Finally, charging management software can streamline reporting, easily generating actionable insights into charger status, charging patterns, and energy consumption, helping companies make more informed business decisions and optimize their energy efficiency.

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The rapidly growing need for EV charging infrastructure

As EV adoption grows, consumers’ mindset is changing, with almost half of drivers considering buying an electric car and we need sufficient charging infrastructure to match the increasing demand.

According to ChargeUp Europe’s State of the Industry report. The total stock of EU charging points will increase sharply from about 3 million today to close to 30 million by 2030, with the share of workplace chargers expected to grow from 10% today to 15% in 2030.

In the US, the International Council on Clean Transportation found that public charging, including workplace charging, will need to grow to 2.4 million non-home chargers to support the path to EVs becoming 100% of new car sales nationwide by 2040. And in the UK, Workplace chargers play a key role in the country’s transition and have been reported to already outnumber public charge points.

Workplaces around the world find themselves in a unique position to enter a new market and satisfy employees, attract new talent, or even add an additional revenue stream.

Read more about workplace EV charging in our complete and free guide or check out our workplace charging solution.