Life support for electric cars

Electric vehicle charging infrastructure is an increasingly important component of hospital and campus parking facilities, says Dan Lessiter of Believ

Dan Lessiter
20 June 2024
Dan Lessiter
Dan Lessiter

 

With an increasing consumer demand for sustainable motoring and the greater availability of electric models, the number of electric cars in the UK is growing at a rapid rate.

Wherever there is land – a healthcare establishment or educational facility, for example – facilities managers are continually being challenged to make use of that land. With parking, it was about maximising revenues while improving convenience for visitors, staff, patients and students. Now the same challenge – and the same balance between delivering a service and providing an additional revenue stream – applies with EV charging.

However, allocating the funding, management and resources to plan, install and maintain chargepoints poses a significant challenge for facilities managers to overcome. To get them over the line, they need to be convinced that the opportunity is worth the effort, that the infrastructure they provide is dependable, affordable, easily accessible and environmentally sustainable.

Responsible EV chargepoint operators (CPOs) such as Believ can provide this, and also present the  healthcare and education sectors with an end-to-end, fully managed, fully funded EV charging solution – taking the responsibility and task of facilitating sustainable transport in house – leaving facilities managers free to carry out the rest of their day job.

The successful installation of EV charging will not only deliver the convenience and revenues a facilities manager may be looking for, but they are also aligned with an increasing need for organisations to demonstrate their environmental responsibilities.

A fully funded model

During a time of increased energy and operational costs, hospitals and educational campuses may be questioning whether now is the right time to invest in EV charging point infrastructure. Questions including whether it is too expensive and whether the chargepoints will be used enough to justify an installation all arise.

The solutions to these questions lie with the CPOs. Believ recognises the first priority is to take funding out of the equation. It recognises also that a private and fully-funded ‘always-on’ EV charging solution is ideal for supporting the wide-scale adoption of sustainable transport in these two sectors with high footfall.

By delivering a competitive host remuneration package, parking fees are further enhanced with additional vehicle charging revenues without any capital expenditure at all. For example, backed by our parent companies, Liberty Global and Zouk Capital, and utilising our sister company and delivery partner, Virgin Media O2, Believ has the scale and capability to deliver all speeds of EV charging infrastructure at the pace that healthcare organisations and educational establishments need, and without the cost.

End-to-end solutions

Delivering an appropriate EV charging infrastructure for staff who have invested in EVs, and visitors needing accessible parking, is not an easy task, and a comparatively recent challenge for facilities managers within the healthcare and education sectors to solve. It has been made more difficult by labour costs and extensive construction and installation timescales. All of this adds to the challenges of deciphering chargepoint location, methods of funding or chargepoint speeds. These can quickly become an overwhelming task for managers in an industry where free time is a rarity.

This is where good CPOs show their true value. CPOs exist to provide solutions by means of consultation, design and planning. They work closely with facilities managers to identify profitable, sustainable and secure locations for chargepoints to be installed.

By placing stakeholder need at the forefront of every project, facilities managers can benefit from a made-to-measure, end-to-end solution that does not require extensive resource or cause them unnecessary hassle. Whether this comes down to planning the number of EV chargepoint parking spaces needed, the type of chargepoint socket or speed of charge, each solution is tailored towards providing an optimised charging experience for vehicle drivers, meeting EV demand in a reliable and effective way.

Sustainability goals

For many organisations, especially within the healthcare and education sectors, it has become increasingly important to demonstrate active engagement with fostering and encouraging environmental best practice from all stakeholders. Indeed, a clear commitment to sustainability can play a role in attracting and retaining staff and students alike, increasingly so, as being a positive global citizen becomes a greater priority for many people.

A crucial aspect of a CPO’s service involves assisting healthcare and educational organisations in persuading stakeholders about the environmental significance of promoting sustainable travel for visitors and employees, along with the associated long-term financial advantages.

Partnering with a CPO enables healthcare establishments and education facilities to deliver the practical charging infrastructure that their stakeholders will need, now and for the future. But more than this. Investing in EV infrastructure is an effective strategy in mitigating Scope 3 emissions as part of an organisation’s wider environmental and social governance (ESG) ambitions. It will also help accelerate the decarbonisation of transport across the UK and deliver cleaner air for all.

Dan Lessiter is head of B2B partnerships at chargepoint operator Believ

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