Can you recoup the purcha­se of char­ging sta­ti­ons in 3 years?

Organisations are increasingly being told they will recoup the cost of purchasing and installing electric charging stations within a few years. This advice is

Let us start at the begin­ning. To make a simp­le cal­cu­la­ti­on, you must first defi­ne the goal. 

  • Why do you want char­ging stations?
  • What do you want to achieve?
  • How many char­ge points do you need?
  • Whe­re will they be placed?
  • How do you see the future of e‑mobility?

Once you have ans­we­red the­se ques­ti­ons, you auto­ma­ti­cal­ly come to the prac­ti­cal mat­ters whe­re money is involved.

The cal­cu­la­ti­on we are about to do is com­plex and con­sists of sto­ries. This is becau­se the­re are many variables.

The purcha­se of char­ging stations

Char­ging sta­ti­ons and pil­lars come in many shapes and sizes. In addi­ti­on, the qua­li­ty varies. In the world of char­ging sta­ti­ons, it is safe to say that the more expen­si­ve ones are bet­ter qua­li­ty and, the­re­fo­re, less pro­ne to failure.

A rea­son­ab­le char­ge point with a dou­ble con­nec­tion (for two char­gers simul­ta­ne­ous­ly) will cost you at least 3500 euros. If you want ten, you can quick­ly get to 35,000 euros. The­se are char­gers with a maxi­mum capa­ci­ty of 22 kilo­watts. The pri­ce of fast char­gers is higher.

The instal­la­ti­on of char­ging stations 

Now it gets exci­ting. The instal­la­ti­on can be a black box. Much depends on the exper­ti­se of the instal­ler and the way he loo­ks at things. If the car park is a hund­red metres from the meter box, it will be expen­si­ve any­way. Cables are cos­t­ly, as are exca­va­ti­on work, the fixing of cable ducts (in par­king gara­ges), and the meter box con­nec­tion. Repa­ving is also a cost to consider.

It pays to ask for quo­tes from dif­fe­rent par­ties and com­pa­re them with each other. It is impos­si­ble to cal­cu­la­te what the instal­la­ti­on and con­struc­tion of char­ging sta­ti­ons in your car park will cost. The­re is no fixed formula.

We usual­ly cal­cu­la­te bet­ween 50,000 and 70,000 euros for ten char­ge points.

Main­ten­an­ce of char­ging stations

A char­ging sta­ti­on is a rela­tively new pro­duct. How the units behave in the long term is hard­ly known. Manu­fac­tu­rers often give a 3‑year war­ran­ty. We will have to wait and see what hap­pens after that

Plea­se note that not all faults are cove­r­ed by the gua­ran­tee. Pro­blems with pay­ment soft­ware and the card rea­der, for examp­le, are for your own account. Hiring a ser­vice engi­neer can easi­ly cost 500 euros. If a char­ge point or column breaks down after five years, repla­cing the device is also an extra cost item. Pro­blems with under­ground cab­ling often cost even more.

The yield of char­ging stations

Against all the cos­ts, the­re are, of cour­se, reve­nues. You may char­ge a surch­ar­ge per loa­ded kWh that you can deter­mi­ne yourself. You dis­count the purcha­se and instal­la­ti­on cos­ts in the surch­ar­ge plus the pro­fit you want to make, for example.

The­re is a catch… How inten­si­ve­ly will your char­ge points be used? Will cars be refu­el­ling all day long, or will the char­ge points ‚only‘ be used for a few hours a day? The fewer kilo­watt-hours char­ged, the lon­ger it will take for you to reco­ver your investment.

The result

It is not easy to do the maths. The­re are sim­ply too many varia­bles. The big­gest gain is that you offer char­ging sta­ti­ons so that visi­tors have ano­t­her rea­son to park their EV or hybrid at your loca­ti­on. Only the future will tell if and when you will earn back your investment.

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