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How landowners can seize the opportunity of Electric Vehicle Charging

  • United Kingdom
  • Real estate
  • Real estate sector

10-03-2021

According to a statistical release by the Department for Transport in December 2020, registrations of Electric Vehicles (EV) increased by 171% in 2020. Contrast this with only a 26% increase in new public charging points installed between Q2 of 2019 and Q2 of 2020 and it becomes clear that demand for EV charging points is surging. Some estimates suggest that the we will need as many as 25 million public charging points by 2050 in order to meet demand, and that’s just in the UK.

With the ban on the sale of petrol and diesel engines to come into force in 2030, this surge in demand for EV and charging point infrastructure is likely to persist, presenting a range of opportunities for landowners.

  • Slow Chargers - Residential and commercial sites are suitable locations to host slow chargers. These typically charge an EV battery from empty in around 12 hours and could be installed on streets and driveways of new residential developments. They could also be installed at commercial property developments such as offices or business parks where employees can charge their EV cars whilst they work. Government grants are available to facilitate the roll-out of charging at new housing and commercial developments. Furthermore, it is becoming more common for conditions to be imposed on planning consents to require that EV charging infrastructure is installed as part of the development.
  • Medium-Fast Chargers - Retail and office space with parking spaces for customers and staff are ideal locations for fast or rapid chargers which can charge an EV battery in one to four hours. Landowners can benefit from income from the chargers (whether it be through owning the charge point infrastructure and selling the electricity, or through leasing space to an installer and receiving a rent) and also increasing footfall at such locations and futureproofing their sites. It is also of benefit to corporate social responsibility initiatives.
  • Fast/Rapid Chargers - New ‘EV Forecourts’, akin to a petrol station, host rapid charging stations which are capable of charging an EV battery from empty within 30 minutes. Landowners in strategic locations will be able to host such forecourts. Requirements for a strategic location include (i) abutting an adopted highway with 20,000 plus vehicle movements per day, (ii) being positioned close to a suitable grid connection, (iii) not being limited to incompatible planning constraints, and (iv) being at least 0.5 acres. Landowners could benefit from significant rents for hosting EV Forecourts with rents of up to £100,000 per year over a 20 year term.

The moment beckons for landowners to galvanise into action as this surge of opportunity is limited. Competition for grid connection is increasing and there is a finite number of opportunities in strategic locations (especially true for EV Forecourts). The ‘early adopters’ in the market could benefit greatly from the rewards.