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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