Why invest in char­ging sta­ti­ons and not in your core business?

Companies sometimes regard charging stations as a sensible investment. They even want to turn them into a business model. But why would you do

Now it feels like I am preaching to the choir and try­ing to con­vin­ce you that you should not invest in char­ging sta­ti­ons becau­se we want to do it for you.

In a way, of cour­se, it is. Pluq would like to install char­ging sta­ti­ons at your loca­ti­on. But with this blog, I main­ly want to pro­tect you from a fiasco.

We have alrea­dy estab­lis­hed that the­re is still a gre­at deal of igno­ran­ce in the world of char­ging sta­ti­ons. As a result, you risk recei­ving the wrong advice. That risk often trans­la­tes into high bills.

  • Con­struc­tion is more expensive
  • More cable was nee­ded than expected
  • No future expan­si­on is envisaged
  • The repa­ving cost more man-hours than anticipated
  • Raw mate­ri­al pri­ces are rising

An excess of 30% is no excep­ti­on, with all sorts of nas­ty con­se­quen­ces. The mal­func­tions in the long run or the pre­ma­tu­re need for expan­si­on mean you have to cough up a hef­ty sum while you have not yet ear­ned back the pre­vious investment.

One of our very first cus­to­mers, the owner of a small restau­rant in Bra­bant, was plan­ning to buy and install char­ging sta­ti­ons hims­elf. After recei­ving several quo­tes, he cal­cu­la­ted that three char­ging sockets would cost him 25,000 euros. All-in. This sho­cked him. Accord­ing to his cal­cu­la­ti­ons, it would take at least six years to earn this amount. If he used this money to reno­va­te two hotel rooms, he could char­ge 20 euros more per night. The upshot was that he left the char­ging sta­ti­ons‘ purcha­se, instal­la­ti­on, and main­ten­an­ce to us.

Why invest in char­ging sta­ti­ons if it is not your core business?

The­re is so much more to it than meets the eye. What do you do if someo­ne dri­ves a char­ging sta­ti­on out of the ground? Do you know about soft­ware updates and modem adjus­t­ments? What do you do when in 2030, over 30% of cars will be electric, and you will need many more char­ging sta­ti­ons to meet the electri­ci­ty demand? Are you able to moni­tor and mana­ge an intel­li­gent sys­tem of char­ging sta­ti­ons that talk to each other?

A lar­ge office com­plex faci­li­ty mana­ger recent­ly told me that he did not want to invest in char­ging sta­ti­ons becau­se the return was too low. Small fruit‘, he said, not worth it. He’d ins­tead invest in upgrading the buil­ding and opted for a full char­ging sta­ti­on ser­vice. He didn’t want to call a mecha­nic every time the­re was a pro­blem. It was a was­te of time.

Free char­ging sta­ti­ons are ide­al for businesses:

  • who have no money but want to offer their customers.a rech­ar­ging service
  • who have money but belie­ve that ‚aty­pi­cal acti­vi­ties‘ should not cost anything.
  • Who wants to invest money in char­ging sta­ti­ons but is afraid of losing focus on their core business.
  • Which have such high tur­no­vers that reli­e­ving them of the bur­den is more pro­fi­ta­ble than the long-term return.

Each com­pa­ny will have a dif­fe­rent argu­ment. From con­ver­sa­ti­ons with cus­to­mers, it has beco­me clear that invest­ments in the core busi­ness gene­ral­ly gene­ra­te more tur­no­ver than an invest­ment in char­ging stations.

As the direc­tor of a the­me park, you should think twice about inves­ting 100,000 euros in a char­ging sta­ti­on with 10 posts or use the money to buy a new rol­ler coas­ter and let a char­ging sta­ti­on spe­cia­list take care of it all for free.

At Pluq, we tend to think it’s a no-brainer…

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