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Read more articles in: Blog, Carl Jones, Commercial, News

Considering setting up EV charging stations? Here’s what commercial landlords need to know

The surge in electric vehicle (EV) usage in the UK, with over 840,000 fully electric and 520,000 plug-in hybrids on the roads, is undeniable. This green transition has spurred a high demand for EV charging stations in various commercial settings including retail parks and hospital car parks, highlighting the growing need for a strong EV infrastructure.

As the sector evolves, numerous EV charging providers have stepped in to manage the installation, upkeep, and operation of these stations, including handling driver payments. In cases where charging is complimentary for visitors, providers may bill landlords, banking on the increased foot traffic that free charging services can attract.

Leasing to EV charging providers

If you’re contemplating leasing space on your commercial premises to EV charging providers, crafting a detailed lease agreement that outlines the responsibilities and expectations of both parties is vital. This agreement should address current and future needs, encompassing aspects such as:

  • Determining the necessity for planning consent for the station’s construction
  • Understanding site-specific planning conditions, such as parking space allocations
  • Establishing rights for electrical cabling installation and maintenance
  • Setting terms for regular maintenance, including cable repairs and replacements

Before sealing the deal, ensure that all these elements are negotiated to safeguard your interests. Given the substantial investment required to establish an EV station, providers often prefer long-term leases, ranging from 10 to 20 years. It is advisable for landlords to consider a performance-based rent structure, which is influenced by the station’s net profit, although this can vary based on the location and the provider.

Building flexibility into lease agreements

As the EV market progresses, there might be a need for additional parking spaces or even relocation of the charging station within the premises. It’s crucial that the lease outlines the financial implications of such changes, including potential rent-free periods during downtime.

The agreement should also stipulate conditions under which the lease can be terminated, such as reduced usage due to external factors, and address matters concerning equipment removal and possible acquisition by landlords post-termination.

To stay competitive, providers will likely seek to upgrade their facilities over time. Therefore, leases should grant them the autonomy to enhance the station’s features and technology. It is essential for both parties to maintain a degree of flexibility in the lease terms to adapt to the fast-paced changes in the EV market.

Seek expert guidance

If you’re considering this venture and need advice on drafting a lease agreement, feel free to consult us for expert guidance. Whether you’ve been approached by an EV charging station operator or are exploring potential offers, we’re here to assist you in navigating the legal intricacies.

For further assistance in setting up EV charging stations, contact us today.

Carl Jones

Director - Head of Commercial Department

I qualified as a Solicitor having completed my training with Mander Hadley in 1992 and am a member of the Law Society Property Section and The Warwickshire Law Society.