How installing EV charge points can spark higher profits 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 2, 2024 11:11

Daniel Lessiter, Head of Business Partnerships at charge point operator Believ, explains how installing Electric Vehicle (EV) charge points can spark higher profits while benefitting members.

Golf facilities are no strangers to electric vehicles. Golf carts, for example, have been electric for years, with the first known attempt at using motorised carts on the golf course taking place in 1932 in America.

Today, however, ‘electric’ has transitioned to the mainstream, notwithstanding that the surge of plug-in car sales is only very recent; with UK electric vehicle registrations increasing from 3,586 in 2013, to 37,092 in 2016, and rising to 59,911 in 2018. ZapMap reported1 that at the end of March 2024 there were more than 1,000,000 fully electric cars on UK roads, so offering EV charging for members, guests and employees seems an obvious choice – but can golf clubs benefit from a new income stream and encourage more on-site member spend in the same process?

Installation insight

At Believ, we recently commissioned a major piece of cross-industry research to uncover the preparedness of business owners to deliver EV infrastructure, and what specific challenges they were looking to resolve. The results were an encouraging sign that the intention is there, with all businesses surveyed having plans to install EV charging infrastructure in some size, shape or form.

Almost nine out of ten (88%) had already started installing or had equipment in place, and most are planning to double their charge point numbers by 2028.

However, the report also uncovered several barriers to progress. A significant 74% are concerned about installation costs, and one in five (20%) worry about return on investment (ROI). Unsurprisingly, three quarters (75%) said they want to generate money from charge points to offset installation costs, but more than two thirds (67%) said they lacked the experience to calculate ROI.

CPOs (charge point operators), such as Believ, offer a fully funded solution that entirely removes the funding challenge from golfing businesses. This not only means that a club does not have to invest capital upfront, but also that it can rely on its CPO partner to predict and report on ROI, and help golf business owners and management to create and secure use cases that are based on a bespoke host-remuneration package.

A tailored approach to increasing revenues

When installing EV charging infrastructure at a golf facility, it is important to consider the specific needs of each site. An experienced CPO will, for example, recommend the right charging speed for the right location and an appropriate number of charge points to suit the specific membership and visitor footfall, as well as laying the groundwork for future demand at the same time. Ensuring charging infrastructure is tailored to the site will optimise its use, and therefore maximises revenues.

By way of example, a golf course, perhaps with overnight accommodation, may need a combination of fast and rapid charge points to meet different visitor needs. A golf driving range may similarly benefit from a blended approach, if the purpose is to increase the dwell time of visitors and encourage greater spend at facilities, such as the pro shop or café. It’s also worth noting that a full charge using a good fast charge point can be around four hours, similar to a round of golf. Overall, getting it right can attract new customers who are looking for a pleasant environment to charge their car, or improve their swing while they wait!

Suitable EV charge points for all golf clubs in the country

In a period of rising operational and energy costs, and depending on where a golf course is situated, some may question whether there are issues surrounding the ability to access sufficient power supplies for multiple charge points.

Believ’s research found that 70% of businesses said that accessing the power grid was a frustration, 70% struggle with inconsistent planning laws, and 74% need specialist help to assess power needs and navigate regulations. However, Believ can overcome logistical and regulatory EV charging installation challenges as the business navigates these challenges every day.

Streamlining the process for golf businesses will speed up the public EV charging infrastructure rollout. Consequently, not only will the deployment of EV charge points across golf courses throughout the UK support its members and visitors with EVs, but looking at the increasing popularity of electric vehicles, investing in EV infrastructure will help to increase sociability of a club, its profits and footfall. It will also help to further sustainability goals and ultimately support the decarbonisation of transport.

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Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick May 2, 2024 11:11
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