How can parking operators increase revenue by venturing into the EV charging business?

Guest Editor: Max Reznichenko, Partner, Emobility Practice, Codibly

The rapid growth of electric vehicles (EVs) forecasts a global count of 145 million by 2030, compared to 11 million in the 2020s. With 78% of EV owners lacking home charging options, parking operators have a golden opportunity to enhance Average Revenue per User (ARPU) by investing in EV charging facilities. The growing margins and demand in this sector underscore its potential profitability.

Considerations for EV Charging Business Models:

Selecting the appropriate EV charging business model is crucial.

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Ownership (Purchase): This option involves a substantial initial investment but ensures complete control over profits and operations. 

Operational (Rental): Operators can rent equipment, minimising upfront costs but requiring sharing profits with the equipment owner. 

Financing (Leasing): This model offers an intermediate solution with regular payments, suitable for operators looking to balance investment with control.

Additionally, there is a hosting model that involves setting up external charging stations on your premises. However, it isn’t typically the best fit for parking facilities. The main advantage of this model—drawing additional visitors without upfront costs—may not align with the needs of parking operators who already have a stable customer base.

Regardless of the business model you select, utilising a skilled third party to handle the installation and maintenance of charging stations often proves beneficial for most parking operations. This is unless you aim to expand your services beyond basic parking management and require direct oversight of your EV charging network.

Managing an EV charging setup involves numerous considerations, including applying for government incentives, ensuring robust power supply, and maintaining high-quality hardware. Employing a knowledgeable third party can alleviate these complexities, allowing you to concentrate on the primary aspect of your business—the parking facilities.

Choosing the Right Hardware:

Before selecting a vendor, it’s important to weigh the options between two main types of chargers:

AC chargers and DC chargers. AC Chargers are ideal for long-duration stays, being cost-efficient and less demanding on power infrastructure. On the other hand, DC Chargers are suitable for short stays with high turnover, requiring significant power capabilities.

Vendor and Technology Selection:

Reliable vendors are key to deploying effective charging solutions. Here are a few of them:

  • Wallbox Chargers: well known for its wide charging station model range suitable for different operational needs. 
  • EO Charging: providing modern and reliable charging solutions particularly popular in the UK EV market. 
  • ECOFACTOR: a full-cycle company that designs, produces, and manages charging stations in Ukraine and the EU. Their charging stations have shown reliability and resilience in the most stressful conditions.

In addition to traditional charging stations, more scalable and cost-effective alternatives are coming from innovative software and hardware startups. For instance, startups like Juice, partnering with XCHARGE North America on a hardware-level integration, enable seamless EV charging and payment via visual authentication.

Software and Application Needs:

Effective management of EV charging stations requires robust software solutions. Load Management is essential for efficient power distribution among multiple stations. Payment Solutions simplify transactions through integrated payment systems like Google/Apple Pay, enhancing user experiences. Subscription Services facilitate regular usage and foster customer loyalty through manageable payment plans. EV roaming (eRoaming) service enables EV drivers to access and pay for charging at any public charging station, regardless of the network operator or the service provider.

Additional features for your EV charging software that are not specific to parking but remain beneficial include: The capability to customise pricing for each station or connector and to designate them as public or private, particularly advantageous for workplace settings. Comprehensive reporting tools track station utilisation, electricity costs, and revenue generation. Support for a broad array of station models, ensuring full compliance with the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP).

SaaS Systems or Custom Software Solutions?

For ambitious plans involving the installation of over ~500 AC stations within five years, developing your own charger management software could be more economically viable. This strategy not only saves money over time but also allows greater flexibility in integrating third-party software, developing bespoke features for parking management, and optimising the user interface and experience of your applications—all crucial for the successful operation of an EV charging business.

For extensive networks, custom software development can provide tailored functionality, offering long-term savings and operational flexibility: Tailored Solutions address specific challenges and user needs more effectively. Integration and Innovation allow seamless integration with existing systems and the introduction of innovative features.

Guidance in Optimising EV Charging Solutions for Parking Operators:

Parking operators stand to benefit significantly from the burgeoning EV market by integrating charging solutions into their business models. By strategically selecting hardware, software, and business models—and considering custom solutions where applicable—operators can enhance profitability and position themselves as leaders in sustainable transportation solutions. This approach ensures readiness to meet both current and future demands in this rapidly evolving sector.

If you choose the custom development way, my team and I are always ready to help you create top-of-the-market EV charging management software tailored for the parking business.

Codibly, with its expertise in software development and EV innovative solutions, can play a pivotal role in helping parking operators navigate the complexities of integrating EV charging infrastructure. With Codibly’s tailored software solutions, parking businesses can streamline operations, optimise charging management, and deliver seamless user experiences to their customers. By partnering with Codibly, parking operators can unlock new opportunities for growth and establish themselves as industry leaders in the evolving landscape of electric vehicle charging. 

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