As electric vehicle charging becomes compulsory on new developments, commercial landowners and developers could be in line for a share of the profits.
Mer UK’s Managing Director – public charging, Anthony Hinde, explores the ways that commercial landowners and property developers can generate extra revenue while meeting government regulations for installing and running EV charge points.
It’s fair to say that the EV market is booming. Last year nearly a fifth of all new vehicles sold were plug-ins – that is both fully electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid EVs. Today there are around 450,000 EVs on the UK’s roads, and more than 775,000 plug-in hybrids. This figure is only going to keep growing. Especially as the government has said that by 2030, there will be no sales of new cars and vans powered solely by petrol and diesel, and sales of new hybrid vehicles will be banned by 2035. So, by 2035 any new cars and vans sold will be fully electric. That calls for a lot of charge points around the country. At present, these fall far short of what will be needed. There is a plan for that too, and it’s something that should be of interest to property developers.
The provision of new EV charge points is written into law. From June 2022, building regulations in England require new homes with associated parking, including those undergoing major renovation, to install EV charge points on construction. New non-residential properties, such as supermarkets and workplaces, will also have to install charging infrastructure.
At first, this might look like an additional burden for developers, but there is opportunity too. Putting communal EV charging areas in a residential development could provide an ongoing source of income from residents who pay to charge their EVs. Or the charging area could be sold to a management company as part of the development. On a retail or business site, additional revenue can be generated from a share of the profit on the price the driver pays to charge their vehicle. So, the more EV charging points there are, the greater the revenue opportunity. This is in addition to the benefits that EV charging facilities offer, such as increased footfall, longer stay duration while vehicles charge and enhanced green credentials.
The ins and outs of EV charging installation and operations are not a core competence for many developers, which makes the choice of EV infrastructure partner all the more important. Installing EV charging solutions doesn’t just mean ticking the building regs box. It offers so much more. But it does need to be appropriate to each site, especially to avoid over-installation which can cause local grid constraints. When planned and installed correctly, allowing for a phased roll out in line with increased demand and EV uptake, developers and commercial landowners can optimise the return on their EV charging investment.
Charge Point Operators (CPOs) can offer a range of cost and revenue models for developers and commercial landowners; from fully funded by the CPO, to part-funded, and self-funded by the landlord. Again, it comes down to what is most appropriate for the developer and the development.
The choice of CPO is also an important consideration when there’s a focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies, especially when the incoming regulations are seen in the context of the government’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050. EVs are only truly zero-emission vehicles if they are charged with electricity from renewable sources, so it makes sense to ensure that EV charging installations offer renewable electricity.
Mer is a European EV charging company owned by Statkraft, Europe’s largest renewable energy generator. In the UK, we offer electric vehicle charging for commercial landlords, businesses, local authorities and homes. Our proposition includes zero carbon, 100% renewable energy supply solely from hydro, wind and solar sources.
At Mer, we have a lot to say about the benefits of EV charging for developers, commercial landowners and the environment. To find out more, please download our EV Charging Guide for Commercial Real Estate.