Electric cars accounted for around 11% of all new cars sold in the UK in 2021.
With the sale of new petrol and diesel cars due to be outlawed in the UK by the end of the decade, the sale of electric vehicles is only going to become more popular – meaning there’ll be a higher need for publicly available charging stations for those who can’t install one at home.
This could also mean investing more in electric vehicles or your business, or installing EV chargers at your workplace for employees or visitors.
At last count there are more than 570 EV chargers located across 295 locations providing more than 1,096 publicly available chargers.
Installing EV chargers outside your commercial space doesn’t just provide a convenient charge point for users, it can also be used to make you some money.
But choosing the right type of commercial EV charging station isn’t an easy decision.
There’s a lot of factors to consider before making a decision, here’s a few of the main ones.
Where will you install your commercial EV charger?
This will depend on how accessible you want your EV chargers to be.
If you want to restrict them to just your employees or visitors, then you’ll need to install the EV chargers in a place that is only accessible to them – like an employee or visitor carpark.
Otherwise, you’ll have to create a barrier to stop the public using your EV chargers.
If you’re making your commercial EV chargers available to the wider public, you’ll need to make them easily accessible, without restricting other users.
We recommend designating a specific amount of spaces together where you can install your chargers.
What type of chargers should you install?
One key thing to consider is the speed at which you want users to be able to charge their vehicles when using your EV chargers.
Are you looking for something that a user will use over a period of hours (like an employee who can charge their vehicle during the day while they’re at the office) or do you want people to be able to charge their vehicle quickly?
There are three speeds of EV charger to choose from:
Slow EV charger
While these can be beneficial as commercial EV chargers, they’re more typically suited to homes, where vehicles will be charged over long periods (like overnight).
That’s because chargers take between six and 12 hours to fully charge a vehicle.
While this can work in a commercial setting, you’ll need to check the shift patterns of the employees who will use the EV chargers to ensure you’ll get a good return or value on your investment.
Fast EV charger
Fast chargers can typically charge a vehicle within five hours – although this will depend on the vehicle model and the charger you choose.
These are the types of chargers you’ll typically find in commercial spaces as they’re a good compromise between speed and charge and cost.
Most users will be able to charge their vehicles within a couple of hours so they’re good for employees or those working on your site.
They can also be good for public spaces when users will be around for a few hours, so they’re often found in city and town locations.
Rapid EV charger
As the name suggests, rapid chargers can fully charge an electric vehicle quickly, usually within an hour or less.
These types of charges are particularly popular when drivers won’t be in the area for a long time.
Rapid chargers are often found at service stations and supermarkets, where users can quickly charge their cars while shopping or getting food.
Smart EV charger
A smart EV charger can be highly efficient for vehicle charging because it can intelligently manage how the electric vehicle is charged by connecting it to the grid.
The charger effectively communicates with the charging operator, your vehicle and the utility company to charge cars when electricity prices are lower.
However, they’re not always recommended for commercial EV chargers as the efficiency can differ during the day based on prices and other external factors.
How much will it cost?
The cost of your commercial EV charger will be split into two.
- The cost of the charger
- The installation cost
The cost of your charger or chargers will depend on the type of charger you use, how many you need, and whether you choose to install any specific software into the units.
The price of a commercial EV charging unit will usually be between £1,000 and £3,000 depending on the charger you choose.
It’s possible you could get a discount when buying multiple units but this will depend on the supplier.
There’s also government grants available through the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) which can take upto 75% of the cost off your charger.
The installation cost will differ from installer to installer, and will also depend on the overall scope of the project.
How can you make money from commercial EV chargers?
While you might view commercial EV chargers as a cost, the grants available can take away much of the initial outlay to bring this investment down.
Plus, you can actually make money and generate additional income by installing commercial EV chargers.
You can do this by setting charge fees for users with the income coming to you.
There’s also the potential for customers to spend more at your business while they’re waiting for their electric vehicle to charge.
You can adapt your commercial EV charging price strategy over time once you have enough information to assess how users are engaging with the stations and how profitable they’re proving to be.
Get your commercial EV charger from Downtown Electrical
If you want to attract more EV drivers to your business and earn money at the same time, get a commercial EV charger installed with Downtown Electrical.
Our team of fully approved contractors can help you install your EV charger quickly.
We can take you through the process from start to finish, from the initial application (we’ll even help you get any grants you’re entitled to) to consultation and installation of your EV charger.
If you want to know more, arrange a booking