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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