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There are various costs that need to be taken into account when trying to understand the total cost of running a charging site.  We consider some of these below.

Hardware and installation costs

Installation costs, and the cost of chargepoint hardware, generally form a significant part of the total project cost. The table below shows the approximate cost to purchase and install chargepoints of various power ratings. These costs exclude grid connection upgrades or additional built environment items such as bollards, bay-marking, solar PV, canopies, lighting and CCTV.

Chargepoint typeMax rated powerChargepoint cost across 2021-22 (inclusive of VAT)
Double outlet, fast7kW AC£6,300
Double outlet, fast22kW AC£6,700
Triple outlet, rapid50kW DC£37,300

As you can see, the cost difference between the different powers of AC fast chargepoint is marginal. Installing a DC rapid charger is significantly more expensive.

Ultra-rapid chargers are more expensive again than rapid chargers. The typical cost for an ultra-rapid charging unit is around £50,000-£60,000. Installation costs will also be around £50,000-£60,000.

It should be noted that these costs are historical. In addition to construction cost inflation, there will likely be extra costs associated with meeting new standards, such as those relating to accessible design and minimum payment methods. The cost of civils work can also vary significantly between sites. Costs can also vary in remote areas for both capital and operating costs. It may therefore be appropriate to apply a location uplift factor.

Operational costs

Alongside hardware and installation costs, there are various ongoing operational costs associated with hosting charging infrastructure.

These include:

  • Network operating costs (payment processing, charge point management systems, customer helpdesk, etc)
  • Planned and reactive maintenance costs
  • Asset replacement, technology upgrades and network expansion (explore how these will be funded)
  • Electricity rates
  • Contract management costs

Capacity charges

Capacity charges are for reserved power. Where a variable load, such as a chargepoint or hub is in place, the capacity for the declared maximum load limits what the DNO can offer to other sites nearby. The cost of reserving this capacity is a billable product. Exceeding the declared capacity is a billable event. Careful assessment of the site demands and supply provision costs is therefore required to work out the most cost-effective solution. Early engagement with the DNO/DSO will be required to establish the cost.

The more chargepoints you install at a site, the higher your capacity charge will be. The capacity charge is measured in kVA and is billed monthly. If you exceed your agreed capacity, you will be charged excess capacity charges which can be 2-3 times the standard capacity charge. The potential impact of capacity charges for larger installations, or upgrades to existing chargepoint sites, should therefore be considered.

  • During our engagement activity, Aberdeen city council highlighted that the capacity charge for their site at Frederick Street in Aberdeen rose significantly when they upgraded from a standard-metered supply to a large-metered supply. On this site, the council opted to provide each high-powered chargepoint with its own power supply. This meant each chargepoint could deliver its rated capacity to two vehicles simultaneously. However, it also meant that the site had to be upgraded to a large-metered supply.

    By engaging with the DNO at the beginning of the process, the council was notified early that there would be additional cost implications of this approach. Ultimately, the council decided that the high usage levels expected on the site made it acceptable to absorb the additional costs for capacity charges.