There are a number of benefits to installing an EV charging station in your condo.
- Having an EV car charging station on property will increase the property value of your condo’s real estate
- It is an investment in the futureproofing of your facilities as Singapore phases out ICE vehicles that will benefit both the tenants and employees
- There is currently a government grant that helps with the capital costs of installation
- It is an additional course of revenue
There are various options available to have EV charging stations in your condo ranging from full ownership to passing on the ownership to a Charge Point Operator so before you decide, it is best to familiarise yourself with the implications on ownership, profits, and O&M alternatives.
What is a charge point operator?
A charge point operator (CPO) runs and maintains the charging stations. They may or may not own the charge points in part or whole, and their main responsibility is to ensure that the charging stations are operational, and reliable.
What can an operator do for my condo?
The CPO is a primary long-term partner, and therefore their objectives must be closely aligned with your condo’s.
The CPO will give you an indication of how many charging stations to have, where they should be located, the configuration of and electrical requirements for the stations.
The CPO also determines the prices for the charging service which the drivers pay for, the charging capacity of the stations, as well as set the availability of the charging stations.
Decisions a CPO makes:
- What hardware and components to install
- Type of metric unit to charge for the service
- Price per unit - this includes a session start fee, volume-based fee, duration-based fee and a penalty fee
- Type of charger connectivity
- Mode of payment
A charge point operator in Singapore should also ensure that your stations are TR25:2022 compliant with an inspection conducted every 12 months by a licensed electrical worker (LEW).
Can my condo be a CPO?
While some condos will choose to give the ownership of the charging stations to the CPO to have the operator run the charging stations for them, a condo may also choose to retain ownership and revenue of the charging stations by becoming a charge point owner themselves.
An electric mobility service provider (EMSP) allows your condo to become a CPO by providing the required support for the setup and ongoing maintenance of charging stations so that you can continue to leverage on the profits without any hassle. An additional option some EMSP provide, is to also become your CPO if your MCST does not want to own the charging stations. All you need is a full suite service provider.
Eigen as a full suite service provider
A full suite service provider, such as Eigen Energy, allows condos to become CPOs with ease by tapping on the firm’s expertise on the following:
- Design and configure the electrical system
- Install the hardware of the condo’s choice
- Run operation and maintenance of the hardware
- Provide drivers access to the charging network
- Run operation and support of the software
- End-user billing and invoicing
- Provide scalability solutions
- Troubleshoot and customer service
A full suite service provider will also be able to mitigate the hidden costs of EV charging stations. These include delays in permits, late fees, rewiring cost to adhere to changing electrical compliance, site lease, degree of weather proofing, and grid-hosting capacities where a communication between utilities and charge point is necessary.
The benefits of the end-to-end service is the complementary competencies of Eigen, ensures that you do not have to run around looking for multiple firms to solve any issues.
What is the difference between a CPO and a EMSP?
There are some overlaps between the 2 partners. A CPO can be an EMSP, and vice versa. Here's a diagram on the services they provide:
Do I need an operator?
Engaging the appropriate CPO or EMSP provides knowledge and expertise to accelerate the process of installation to get your stations up and running as well as deliver the commercial experience and benefit.
However, if you would like to retain full profits, have transparency over your charging station revenue, and be able to set your own tariff for your tenants, then all you need is a full suite service provider like Eigen Energy.
How to choose an EV charging station partner?
Still undecided on whether you want a CPO as a partner, or an EMSP? Consider the following factors:
Project feedback: Detailed considered and critical market and technical comments and suggestions will indicate if the CPO or EMSP is genuinely interested and should give an early indication of their expertise and collaborative approach.
Responsiveness: How responsive is the CPO or EMSP to initial requests and once in full discussion, are there suddenly delays in getting answers to critical questions or technical support?
Aligned goals: If you are considering signing with a CPO, take into account how the CPO envisage the project, what is their perspective of the ideal facilities configuration for your building, and whether it fits within the scope and budget of your condo’s objectives and goals in the long-run.
Experience: How many charge points does the CPO or EMSP currently manage within the country and region? How long have they been present in the market? Do they possess ancillary competencies that you can tap on should you require the service?
Fees: What is the typical fee structure of management fees and to what degree can these be negotiated? CPO fees are usually a combination of a base fee (sometimes a percentage of total revenue), management fee, and incentive fee (usually a percentage of gross operating profit). While EMSP fees are transactional or subscription based.
Technical services: What is the cost of technical services, and what is the scope of works provided? Is there an obligation to engage specified third party technical professionals and if so at what cost and for what deliverables? Will the contract receive commitment by the CPO for full support on the technical or is it possible to make a separate technical agreement?
Financial commitment: Any financial commitment is very much dependent on the project term, if you are locking yourself into a 10-year contract, consider what are consequences and flexibility should you require to switch CPO. The term of the financial commitment should also take into account the presence of the CPO or EMSP on site to perform the service level agreement that ensures the operation and reliability of the charging stations.
When considering several CPOs and EMSP simultaneously, the selection process can be time-consuming and complicated in the attempt to evaluate dissimilar proposals and diverse attributes.
A third option would be to consider a full suite service provider that will be with you every step of the way, taking on the burden of installation, operations, compliance and support, while ensuring you do not experience a profit dilution of the charging stations on your property.
If you would like to speak to the Eigen mobility team, you may contact them here.