Building an EV charging business has never been easier, but what are the key benefits?
The global transition to electric vehicles moves faster every single day. Every time a driver decides to purchase a new EV instead of a traditional petrol or diesel-powered car, we move one step closer to a world of fully electric transport – and a more sustainable future.
But every new EV driver presents a challenge: that’s one more person who needs reliable access to EV charging solutions wherever they go.
To smart entrepreneurs, that burgeoning demand presents a great opportunity. Building an EV-charging business is a fantastic way to grow new revenue streams while also becoming a key part of the eco-friendly movement. But how profitable is EV charging really? How do you get started with setting up your business? And what are the main challenges?
What are the benefits of running an EV charging business?
Meet growing demand
There are already a lot of EV drivers out there looking for more places to charge, but if EV business owners know one thing for sure, it’s this: they’ll have a larger customer base tomorrow than they have today.
Government legislation around the world is starting to pave the way for EVs to become the norm, so while there’s already a high demand for charging solutions, and charging infrastructure in particular, it’s a market that’s only set to grow over the coming 15 years – and grow massively.
Gain green credentials
Running an EV business will put you at the forefront of the green transport revolution, which means you’ll be able to grow your revenue while also knowing that you’re making a positive difference to the future of the planet. If, on the other hand, providing charging is just one part of an overall business portfolio, then it’ll help offset and lower your overall carbon footprint.
Supplement other business types
EV charging can help add additional revenue to a bunch of complementary business sectors. Store and restaurant owners, for example, can encourage more people to visit – and to stay longer – by adding EV charging stations to their existing parking spaces. Similarly, owners of residential or commercial property can build new revenue streams by adding public chargers to parking spaces for residents and visitors or selling private ones to homeowners.
Enjoy hassle-free operation
With the right charging solutions and the right tools (like the Spirii platform), the day-to-day operational side of running an EV business can be a breeze. With an intelligent, interconnected platform underpinning all your chargers, you’ll be able to manage everything, from pricing and availability to any downtime troubleshooting, fully remotely – with 24/7 help and support from our industry experts.
How in demand are EV chargers?
EV charger demand directly correlates with the number of electric cars on the road, so if we’re looking to figure out just how much demand there is for charging infrastructure, it’s worth looking at what the next few years’ worth of car sales will look like.
Recent research by the International Energy Agency (IEA) cites that one out of every seven passenger cars bought in 2022 was electric – with more than 1.5 million people buying new EVs across the US and Europe in 2022 alone. All told, the industry saw a global year-on-year increase of some 60%.
But that shouldn’t come as a surprise; countries around the world are in the process of phasing out new fossil-fuel car sales through government legislature – and that legislature is making the car industry move quickly to adapt, with a total industry spend expected to exceed $1 trillion by 2030.
Most countries are targeting 2030-2040 as a deadline for ending fossil fuel car production, and that’s also influencing customer decision-making. The outcome is that EV car sales will continue to rise, and the number of EV drivers on the roads will balloon in turn. All of which will only be boosted by a gradual reduction in the cost of electric cars to end consumers.
For EV charging businesses, that means a natural increase in potential customers, and in many locations EV ownership is already outpacing public charger availability (read about when it's a good time to install more chargers). That means that right now there’s a window of opportunity around charging infrastructure that can be solved by enterprising new business owners.
Naturally, most drivers will want to have chargers installed at home, which is another market that charging businesses can tap into. But a growing demand for home charging doesn’t mean that the demand for public chargers will diminish, for two key reasons:
- There are plenty of homes around the world where it’s just not possible to install a charger – either because homes don’t have driveways, or because drivers don’t own the property themselves.
- Cars are mobile! People will always need to be able to charge when they’re away from home, so there will always be demand for readily available public EV charging solutions.
Are EV charging stations profitable?
If you do it right: hugely!
There are obviously initial setup costs to consider, but in short time you can expect a healthy profit from EV drivers who choose to charge using your hardware. Depending on the tools and eMobility know-how of your operation, you could have covered those setup costs within a couple of years – or even months.
But what makes owning EV chargers even more reliably profitable is the option to switch to Dynamic Pricing.
Dynamic Pricing solves the issues that arise from the fact that energy prices fluctuate – especially in a difficult socio-economic climate – by letting EV charger business owners set a profit percentage per kWh that rises and falls alongside energy costs.
Here’s how that looks in action: imagine that at 9 am the local cost per kWh is €0.2, but at 9 pm it rises to €0.6. With Dynamic Pricing, you could adjust your pricing to match the market and set a 20% or your selected fixed premium on top of the real-time cost.
On a traditional fixed rate tariff, your customers would be paying well over the odds at 9 am, while you’d be running at a loss by 9 pm. With Dynamic Pricing, though, EV owners can choose to charge when the rate is cheapest – and you’d be sure that you’ll always benefit from that pre-determined 20% operating profit.
So… Is investing in EV charging stations a good idea?
As the old saying goes: “During a gold rush, sell shovels.”
We know that the global market for electric vehicles is growing at an astonishing rate and that – in just a few short years – we’ll arrive at a point where every new car that rolls out of every single showroom the world over will probably be electric.
Those cars (and their owners) will need as many convenient places and ways to charge as fossil-fuel-guzzling cars do today, and that presents an unrivaled opportunity for people looking to build new revenue streams from emerging markets.
What’s more, EV charger businesses are greener businesses; it’s selling the means to enable a transition to clean energy and sustainable transport.
Those core tenets combined make entering the EV market as a Charge Point Operator, charge point seller, or EV Network Operator a hugely worthwhile investment.
By providing tomorrow’s transport with essential infrastructure you’ll be able to build a successful business while also making a positive difference to the planet.
Starting and EV charging business – what are the challenges?
We do see some EV businesses fail to expand alongside this customer base because they struggle with the new technology and skills required to navigate this new field of business.
To both entrepreneurs and consumers, eMobility is still a brand new industry and this means many lack common understanding or knowledge about both opportunities and obstacles to pay attention to.
Among challenges are many quite practical ones like the ability to install chargers, connect them to the grid, or to manage them intelligently, and thereby expand a businesses with the speed needed. It can simply be an issue to get charger locations fast, to get the “right” ones, and to keep the chargers up and running.
Also, legislation and market regulation seem to be one step behind making EV charging convenient for both business makers and drivers. However, both local and international authorities are starting to catch up with the many drivers and EV businesses in need of better conditions.
This means that inexperience and slow installation processes count as main obstacles in the field. Read more about challenges across the eMobility sector.
As in any field, there will be some possible ‘wrong’ steps to take, but with the right tools eMobility businesses are set to grow with incredible speed.
At Spirii we can help businesses mitigate risks and opportunities thanks to our rich industry expertise and 24/7 support.
How do you actually start an EV charging company?
Ok, so you’ve weighed up the pros, cons, and costs – and now you’re convinced that owning an EV charging business is a great next step for you and your business portfolio. How do you actually get started?
The good news is that getting up and running doesn’t have to be difficult, even if you’re brand new to the industry.
It all starts with choosing the right hardware and software partner. And this is where Spirii can help make things easy, no matter how big or small your desired setup.
Spirii allows Charge Point Operators and business owners to pick and choose solutions that work for them – mixing and matching across hardware and software as needed, and with custom branding if desired.
Let’s say you want to set up a business selling home chargers. Spirii makes it really easy to create a web shop that incorporates your branding but uses our hardware and software to connect the dots. And the same is true for public charge points: we’ll help you seamlessly manage your charging network and provide smart and easy access to it.
Backed by our know-how and future-proof tools, we keep everyday operations super simple thanks to four key factors:
1. Certified hardware
EV charging businesses can choose to either provide their own chargers and attain Spirii certification, or to onboard, or purchase chargers from one of our many certified partners. The certification ensures quality, reliability, and ease of use – and means that you’ll be sure that the hardware your customers use day in, day out is meant to stand the test of time.
2. Tools for operating your business
Our platform is a full-service enabler, meaning you will be able to build, scale, operate, and grow your EV charging business with just us. You can offer EV charging for any requirement and industry, with both end-user interface and operating backend included.
The Spirii platform is built on an intelligent, connected architecture: with intuitive dashboards and features, you’ll be able to change charger settings, take and monitor payments, track usage, issue discounts and vouchers, and adjust pricing – all from one place, and all without delay. Spirii’s tools have been designed from the ground up to ensure profitability, simplicity, and reliability.
3. Access to charging and Payment
As a part of the Spirii platform, you can grant easy access to your charge points with our user-friendly app. You’ll give your EV drivers the very best way to charge, with seamless payment options and insights – alongside easy charger searching and navigation that integrates with the world’s most popular mobile mapping solutions. The Spirii Go app also unlocks access to a large roaming network of 280.000 of chargers across Europe.
4. 24/7 support
Running an EV charging business can seem daunting, which is why we know that being able to speak to an expert at any time, day or night, is so important. At Spirii, we don’t just send new EV-charging business owners into the wild to fend for themselves. Instead, we’re always available at the end of the phone to help you and your EV-driving customers with any questions or challenges.
Learn more about how Spirii can help you start or expand your business.