B2B charging – Creating a sustainable revenue stream for EV bus operators

Bus operators with EV fleets have made significant investments in infrastructure, but with most vehicles on the road, chargers can remain dormant for most of the day. As a result, some are considering the possibility of allowing others – including fleet operators and even the general public – to charge their vehicles.

Sharing charging in infrastructure could provide a solution to some of the biggest challenges facing EV drivers and operators – as well as providing a sustainable revenue source. In this article, we explore four benefits of B2B charging and provide a case study where it’s already delivering benefits.

Benefit #1:  Creating additional charging capacity from existing infrastructure

Bus operators running EV fleets are unable to use public charging stations and instead will have invested in high-power EV charging stations for their vehicles. While buses will pass through the depot and require recharging throughout the day, there are large periods when the charging one or more of the stations is left empty.

Opening up these EV charging stations to others during quiet periods enables bus operators to maximise the return on investment, using charging stations to their fullest potential. In many cases, bus depots are located in busy urban areas where there is a lack of charging infrastructure, making them a highly attractive solution for commercial fleet operators.

By finding additional charging capacity from existing infrastructure, bus operators are maximising the return on their investments. Knowing that there are new opportunities to optimise usage can give operators who have yet to transition to EVs, or those looking to invest in additional capacity, the confidence to act.

Benefit #2: Encouraging the adoption of EVs by removing barriers to charging

Europe is facing an EV charging crisis that could put the brakes on adoption, say experts. Estimates vary, but we will need millions of new charging points if we’re going to successfully transition from fossil fuels to more sustainable alternatives. This challenge presents a unique opportunity for bus operators with charging infrastructure.

Allowing the public and commercial operators to utilise the EV charging points of bus operators could play a critical role in accelerating the shift to more sustainable transport options.

Using their infrastructure in this way could see bus operators significantly increase the adoption of EVs in our cities, resulting in a dramatic reduction in carbon emissions. This would see them help cities and businesses meet their sustainability goals, playing a key part in creating more sustainable cities.

Benefit #3:  Unlocking additional revenue for eFleet operators

One of the most attractive reasons for opening-up charging stations is the potential to create a new revenue stream. Bus operators have already covered the fixed costs for installing, configuring, and maintaining the charging infrastructure are covered, leaving just the marginal cost of the power to cover. When delivering power, they can charge a premium –which can contribute to overall profit.

Operators can use advanced scheduling and strategies that allow for dynamic pricing based on demand, time of use, and other factors. These strategies enable operators to generate higher revenue during peak demand periods. This can provide a valuable and sustainable additional revenue stream that can make a valuable contribution to the bottom line.

Bus companies can use the revenue to further enhance infrastructure, add additional capacity, or invest in business improvements. This can create a virtuous circle where the initial capital outlay provides an ongoing – and ever-growing – revenue stream.

Benefit #4:  Minimal disruption, maximum efficiency

Businesses face the challenge of maximising the usage of assets without affecting the delivery of their core business. During operating hours, charging capacity is left idle, but what happens when a bus needs charging?  By incorporating advanced forecasting algorithms and real-time data, operators can schedule charging periods that align with off-peak service times. This means that when a bus needs to replenish its power, it can.

To keep charging costs as low as possible, bus operators can also match bus charging times to periods of lower electricity demand. As a result, the business is always accessing energy at the lowest price, with customers free to choose whether to charge or not.

Why B2B charging is a win-win

Europe is facing a huge challenge to cut our carbon emissions. Bus operators can play a crucial role in accelerating the adoption of EVs by enabling business fleets and potentially private car owners to access charging infrastructure. Doing so can generate a sustainable revenue stream that can support operations at a challenging time for all businesses. B2B charging is a win for businesses, operators, the public, and the planet.

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