Cities & Buildings Opinion Tore Harritshøj - 27/September/2023

Private infrastructure owners can turn charge points into cash points

Organisations all over Europe are investing in charge point infrastructure for their electric vehicle fleets. This infrastructure could be a source of revenue and additional public charging capacity, says Tore Harritshøj of EV charging platform provider Spirii

Elevate your listening experience, try our app – iOS / Android

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the position of FORESIGHT Climate & Energy

Keeping private charging infrastructure off-limits to the EV-owning public means leaving cash on the table

Buses, coaches, company cars, delivery vans, taxis: across Europe, vehicle fleets are going electric to cut operating costs and contribute to a more sustainable future.

At the same time, the owners of these fleets—from private companies to public administrations—are investing in charging infrastructure.

The upfront costs of these charging systems are high and fleet owners may wonder if there are other ways to offset this investment. Indeed, two significant business opportunities beckon.



The first, and most obvious source of income, is to open the charging infrastructure up to the public. This may sound odd to fleet owners wishing to guard their vehicles and associated assets—and in some cases, it might be impractical to let third parties use your charging infrastructure.

For instance, if it is in the middle of a busy bus depot or if local regulations require charge point operators to register as energy suppliers.

But most of the time, giving others access to your charge points is a straightforward affair.

A charge point platform provider can show drivers when and where they can use this infrastructure. The owner gets to decide how many charge points are open to the public, and at what times, so enough capacity to service the fleet is retained. The owners can also set the charging price for public use.     



Alongside this obvious source of income, there is also a potential charging revenue stream that most fleet owners are not even aware exists. Unlike petrol and gas fuelling, EV chargers are essentially an extension to the grid, which means they can provide valuable grid services.

An example is demand response programmes where a grid operator compensates electricity users for reducing their consumption during high-demand periods.      

EV charging operations are particularly suitable for demand response because they can quickly downscale, delay, or completely turn off the electricity capacity in their networks.

For grid operators and utilities, demand response provides a cost-efficient method to handle peak power demand and alleviate grid strain without resorting to expensive infrastructure upgrades. For charge point operators, this presents a chance to earn additional revenue.

Both revenue streams mentioned here can be captured with a minimum of fuss with the support of a smart charging platform.



As for the expected returns, these will naturally depend on a range of factors, such as the type, number and location of charge points offered up, the time they are available, and the pricing of the service. However, in the case of one taxi firm in Copenhagen, its charge point utilisation more than doubled after the infrastructure was opened to the public.

The revenues have been so good that the taxi firm now sees EV charging as a commercial opportunity rather than a cost. This is likely to be the case for most fleet owners who have invested in fast chargers, which are in demand across most EV markets and currently command a significant premium from the driving public.

Beyond the attractiveness of the business case, here is also the societal good that opening charging up to the public can achieve. At a time when global temperatures are already around 1.1°C above pre-industrial levels, the energy transition needs all the help it can get.



Vehicle electrification is a vital part of that transition, yet today the availability of charging points remains a barrier to EV adoption in many places. This could be largely overcome by freeing up private charge points when not in use.

According to the analyst firm Berg Insight, there were 4.5 million dedicated charge points across Europe in 2021. This is almost ten times the 479,000 public charge points that were estimated to be in operation in the European Union last year.

Freeing up just a fraction of those private points for public charging could go a long way toward simplifying life for millions of EV owners while making money for infrastructure owners in the process. •

If you have a thoughtful response to the opinions expressed here or if you have an idea for a thought leadership article regarding an aspect of the global energy transition, please send a short pitch of 200 words outlining your thoughts and credentials to:     


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related articles

Smart EV charging would bring grid stability and fairer prices

The rise in demand from electric vehicles (EVs) will put untold pressure on the already constrained grids. Supporting and expanding smart charging infrastructure will not only stabilise the grid but also provide fair prices to customers at times when energy bills are high, says Torben Fog of Spirii

Read more

Grid operators should plug into the EV charger potential

Vehicle electrification is key to decarbonisation but represents a challenge for the grid. Utilities and electricity network operators should be talking to charge point operators to get ahead of the issues, says Tore Harritshøj of Spirii

Read more

The grid-saving power of demand response

The advent of mainstream electric vehicle (EV) adoption brings new sustainability opportunities alongside challenges to the power grid. But, according to Torben Fog from EV charging platform Spirii, there is an innovative—and profitable—solution at the intersection of these conflicting factors

Read more

A new direction for transport electrification

Cutting emissions from road transportation is a major part of the energy transition. Electrification promises to transform the way we move people and things around

Read more

Understanding start-ups

In the latest episode of Energy Enablers, Tore Harritshøj from platform provider Spirii talks about how start-ups can navigate the expensive world of the energy transition

Read more

Transport needs a tax on the source of energy, not the kilometres

A proposed tax on Danish road users is misguided and difficult to enforce. Taxing the type of vehicle would help increase the uptake of electric-powered trucks in the haulage sector, says Joakim Bansholm Nilsson from Volvo Denmark

Read more

The dawn of the second-hand market for batteries

As the first generation of EVs begins to reach the end of its operational life, the car market is examining what to do with the batteries held within. With the demand for batteries set to increase in transport and other sectors, experts are examining how recycling and reusing old batteries can continue to support the energy transition

Read more

The bumpy road to urban electric buses

The economic argument for switching from diesel to electric is gaining strength

Read more

An EV future is in our hands

On World EV Day, the stage is set for electric vehicles to become the mainstream mobility choice, as long as the main actors play their part, says Frank Mühlon, head of ABB’s Global E-Mobility Infrastructure Solutions

Read more

Electrification of road haulage will be battery driven and is headed for delivery earlier than expected

Decarbonisation of haulage fleets within cities and on highways is reaching a tipping point as technology improves

Read more