With the introduction of legislation across the U.K. to transition to electric vehicles (EVs), they have become increasingly popular over the past few years. For businesses such as hoteliers, self-catering cottage owners, serviced apartment owners and Airbnb hosts who are looking for ways to attract new guests and increase their revenue streams, providing EV charging points could provide a competitive edge.
However without careful consideration of an appropriate setup costings can quickly spiral out of control; a plug-and-charge set up which is easy in principle may actually be costing you thousands of pounds each year!
The hidden costs of plug-and-charge EV charging points
Although plug-and-charge EV charging points may seem like a convenient option, they are not considered cost-effective.
These charging points do not have any smart billing or management systems in place, which means they are unable to keep track of usage and provide accurate billing. As a result, the running costs associated with plug-and-charge charging points can be staggering in the amount of thousands of pounds per charging point, per year!
1. No usage monitoring
While smart charging points require users to scan a card or enter payment details, plug-and-charge units offer no such functionality and are in essence 'dumb'. While drivers simply have to plug in their car to the charging points to start, this unauthorised use makes them susceptible to misuse or susceptible to users going past 'fair-use' policies.
If you have dumb charging points such as these, without any energy metering or smart billing, you are losing very real potential for lost revenue. In fact, a common complain we hear from hotels and cottage owners is the appearance of the general public turning up to use their charging points.
Apart from that, guests driving the latest EV's come equipped with the largest battery capacities and that can drain a large amount of electricity which can cost somewhere between £20 to £30 pounds for a full charge which is about 20-50% of the cost of a room rate. Depending the guest charging habits, they may charge somewhere between 2-3 times a day which could amount to £40 to £90 pounds per stay. Staggering!
2. Poor guest experience
In addition, plug-and-charge charging points do not offer any remote management capabilities, which means that their status cannot be monitored in real-time. Therefore, it can be challenging to detect any issues or malfunctions promptly by the solution provider. In fact, it is almost always guaranteed that there will not be any support with plug-and-charge charging points.
Although they may be more straightforward to use, they are likely to cause more issues and benefit.
3. Non-transparent pricing
If you do run a B&B and are physically present to collect payments from guests, charging a per-session flat fee can not only result in under-payment from the guest but also over-payment for what they have actually used. Now if you chose to collect payments after they have charged and were able to calculate their energy usage, there is a very real likelihood of missed payments as there is no way of stopping drivers from leaving.
Not to mention, such a manual payment method can be an immense time-sink for yourself or your front of house staff.
The advantages of a commercial-ready charging point
EV charging points have come a long way since the early days of slow and clunky charging point, and now there are smart, connected options that are changing the game. Such charging points offer several advantages that make them increasingly popular with EV drivers. If you have a plug-and-charge device, you will need to find a commercial-ready charging point. Here are a few reasons:
1. Complete monitoring
They often come equipped with features like cloud connectivity to provide real-time data on usage, maintenance needs, and the availability of your venue's charging points. Overall, smart, connected EV charging points offer a level of efficiency and convenience that dumb charging points or wall-socket charging (which as a side note, is a major fire hazard!) can't match, making them a wise investment for anyone in the hospitality business.
2. Guest support
Although some charging points do offer guest/driver support, there are countless that simply do not offer any form of personalised support helpline for your guests. It is crucial to choose a provider that offers unlimited 24/7 charging support for guests.
3. Smart billing
Not only do you get transparent pricing on the platform, each session will have details such as energy consumed and the overall session cost. It's important to choose a charging point that offers automated smart billing to collect payments on your behalf. Otherwise, you simply run into the same issues as a 'dumb' charging point!
Shameless plug: VoltShare's automated payments system increases your venue's operational efficiency and guarantees 0% missed payments. We ensure each charging session initiated by a driver is authenticated with a valid payment card and sufficient funds. Our smart metering feature ensures that drivers and owners alike pays and gets paid with full transparency.
Looking for something more detailed? We have prepared a full guide for holiday cottage owners here.
The hidden revenue behind EV charging points
Much like refuelling your petrol or diesel cars, EV owners very much expect to pay for the cost of charging their cars. If you currently have a plug-and-charge unit, there are additional, hidden costs that can come with them being used on a regular basis.
With a commercial-ready charging point, not only can you cover your costs but you can also ensure you make a small profit for making that initial investment and catering to the needs of a growing population. Such a value-added service is sure to bring you a wider, more affluent guest base.
Based on our clients' data, a commercial ready charging point in the right location and traffic can generate upwards of £2,000 to £5,000 per year in income.
Disrupt your region and be an attractive destination spot
All in all, plug-and-charge EV charging points have significant drawbacks including issues of compatibility and hidden costs that should not be overlooked. The best way to ensure you make the most of your investment is to choose a commercial-ready EV charging point with custom designed signages tailored to your individual needs.
Doing so will provide several advantages such as enhanced charging efficiency, better energy management and improved control with comprehensive monitoring tools for both yourself and your guests. With the many considerations to consider when investing in an EV charging point, it is important to seek advice from experts in the field. So take this opportunity and book a call to discuss replacing your plug-and-charge EV charging point for higher returns and increased convenience.