5 advantages of electromobility for businesses, real estate and vehicle fleets: How companies benefit from e-charging solutions with photovoltaics
In the Charging Infrastructure Masterplan II1 (Masterplan Ladeinfrastruktur II) of October 2022, the German government already stipulates that electromobility and charging infrastructure will play an important role – concerning existing employee parking spaces at companies and public authorities. The target plan defines that around a quarter of all employee parking spaces in Germany should be equipped with charging infrastructure by the end of 2025. This is also manifested in law, for example in the GEIG2 draft law. Therefore, e-mobility is a significant part of the energy transition, partly because the transport sector still accounted for around 19.4% of total emissions in Germany in 2021.3
In addition to the positive contribution to climate targets and compliance with ESG requirements, e-mobility offers several advantages for companies, e.g. decisive cost savings through intelligent electricity purchasing. If a company's own charging infrastructure is combined with solar energy from photovoltaic systems, companies also benefit from useful synergy effects.
What to expect in this article
The introduction of electromobility in companies and businesses not only brings environmental benefits, but also has a positive impact on economic and social aspects as well as the fulfillment of ESG goals. Charging employee vehicles or the vehicle fleets easily and conveniently during longer downtimes is environmentally friendly. Costs can be saved by smart control of the power supply and thus businesses make use of particularly favorable time slots. It is also possible to obtain most of the electricity from renewable energy sources. We have summarized the advantages of electromobility for companies with photovoltaics.
The benefits of electromobility for your company: How to harness the potential of e-charging solutions and photovoltaics
1. Save costs and use energy efficiently – with intelligent load management
Electricity is generally cheaper than petrol and diesel – even when charging electric vehicles at fast-charging stations with DC (direct current). Implementing an intelligent load management system offers companies the opportunity to save even more costs and increase energy efficiency. But what exactly does that mean? Load management controls the charging times for electric vehicles in various way:
Electricity distribution: it distributes the available electricity to all connected vehicles.
Cheap electricity purchasing: It recognizes times of low demand on the electricity market (the so-called "spot market"). This means that electricity is automatically purchased when stock market prices are low. By that, you benefit from cost-efficient electricity tariffs and significant financial advantages. This is particularly important if you regularly charge large vehicle fleets and primarily or entirely rely on electromobility.
Reduced electricity consumption: It optimizes the use of electricity resources by reducing energy consumption during cost-intensive peaks with high loads.
E-mobility and photovoltaics: Tapping into synergy effects
If you also use photovoltaics for your electricity generation, it is possible to charge vehicles at peak production times of your photovoltaic system, e.g. at noon. Thus, you obtain electricity directly from solar energy. If preferred, you can actually lease PV systems without an initial investment or, depending on your energy requirements, rent out your roof to an external provider. In both cases, the purchase of electricity is regulated through an electricity supply contract.
With photovoltaics, you use your own energy directly on site – in a sustainable and environmentally friendly way. This principle is known as demand response (short: DR), as electricity consumption is not based on demand, but rather electricity demand is directed towards times when more green electricity is available and general demand is lower: generation therefore determines consumption.
Enhance charging infrastructure with electricity storage
By enhancing the charging infrastructure with an electricity storage system, companies or property owners gain even more independence on their premises. The electricity storage unit can be filled with cheap electricity from the PV-system or at times when prices are low on the spot market. This also requires a dynamic electricity tariff to ensure the purchase of green electricity, especially for companies with high energy consumption. As a dynamic electricity tariff increases the proportion of renewable energy in overall consumption, this offers more flexibility and cost benefits.
This is relevant, for example, for companies with transport fleets that rely on fast charging with direct current (DC). There are always subsidies available for this. Until the end of 2023, for example, it was possible to apply for funding from the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport (Bundesministerium für Digitales und Verkehr – BMDV) via the "Electric Mobility Funding Guideline" (Förderrichtlinie Elektromobilität), if all criteria are met (e.g. at least 50 kWp capacity exclusively for DC charging points). Further funding opportunities have not yet been released.
2. Flexibility and adaptability: Act with a view to the future
The integration of charging infrastructure with electromobility strengthens your flexibility and adaptability. Especially when it comes to regulatory developments, you position yourself proactively: if you act at an early stage, you will no longer have to worry about legal regulations coming into force in the future. The German government has already set targets that make companies responsible for e-mobility – and the government also established these targets by law (GEIG)4. In the course of climate protection, the necessary charging infrastructure is to be created by 2030: there is a need for around 2.5 to 2.7 million charging stations5 for the workplace, which accordingly affects the infrastructure of businesses and real estate.
In addition, an efficient charging infrastructure connected to a photovoltaic system contributes to more resilience concerning the constantly changing market: energy resources are produced effortlessly, used optimally and, if necessary, purchased at a reasonable price from the spot market. This not only makes your company a pioneer in electromobility, but also more independent and competitive.
3. Promote incentives for employees, customers and business partners
Free or discounted charging of electric cars at the workplace is tax-free since 2017, and it offers a real benefit for employees, customers and business partners. It is convenient and easy for all visitors to "fill up" their vehicles at e-charging stations on your premises, makes optimum use of downtimes for electric vehicles and saves CO2 with favorable green charging time slots. At the same time, you send a visible signal for more sustainability and environmental protection: as an employer, you are actively shaping the change towards more electromobility, and simply make your location more attractive.
There are various options for the final billing: if a price is set for the electricity, there is the option of either deducting the energy costs from your employees' salary each month, otherwise employees can pay directly at the charging station using an e-charging card – the latter can also be an option for customers and business partners, for example. Alternatively, payment can be made via credit card, EC card or app at modern wallboxes.
A noncash benefit could also arise if employers install wallboxes at employees' homes. In this case, professional advice is highly recommended before starting the actual implementation, and it is important to have a specific plan on how your employee benefits will be structured when it comes to e-mobility. A strong partner will usually take care of the billing, allowing you to keep internal efforts to a minimum.
4. Environmentally friendly: E-mobility and photovoltaics contribute to climate protection
A study carried out by the Fraunhofer Institute on behalf of the German Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (Naturschutzbund NABU) has shown that charging electric vehicles at the workplace has a positive impact on companies' greenhouse gas emissions. This is due to the face that charging at midday, when the electric vehicle is anyhow parked at the workplace, leads to significant CO2 savings: at this time, the share of renewable energies such as PV power from solar energy in the electricity grid is particularly high. If you combine electromobility with photovoltaics, you can also obtain your energy directly from the roof without any detours and simply produce green energy at your location – as explained above. You also save on levies, taxes and charges with PV electricity from your own roof: these include, for example, electricity tax, concession fees and grid charges.
Studies have shown that if all vehicles in rural areas are electrified, approx. three million tons of CO2 equivalents can be saved in an exemplary year with average weather conditions.6 E-mobility and photovoltaics therefore have a positive impact on the environmental balance and contribute to the fulfilment of ESG and CSR criteria, which companies must officially prove.
5. Unlock new business opportunities: Lead by example
The implementation of electromobility offers new business opportunities and tax advantages for companies: the expansion of charging stations can generate additional income, for example companies can make the charging infrastructure on their premises accessible to the public. This can be achieved e.g. through cooperations with local hotels, retailers or logistics service providers in the immediate vicinity. Ultimately, those partners can then offer charging stations to their customers or employees and benefit from cost advantages as well.
Positioning yourself as a pioneer in electromobility also has a positive effect in attracting customers and business partners. Companies that integrate sustainable practices into their business processes and position themselves in a clearly environmentally conscious manner have evident advantages when it comes to forging solid partnerships and maintaining them successfully in the long term.
Depending on the business and product, this also influences the perception of your end customers, since the overarching values of a company are nowadays a factor in their purchasing decisions. With increasing competition, this makes a real difference and can boost the success of your business, while positioning you as a thought leader.
In summary, it is advisable for companies to focus on electromobility at an early stage and integrate a charging infrastructure at their premises. In combination with photovoltaic solutions and further additions such as electricity storage systems, companies not only benefit from cost advantages through cheaper electricity purchases, greater independence and increased attractiveness for employees, customers and business partnerships, but also from a positive contribution to combating climate change. After all, visible and effective signs of sustainability are becoming increasingly important in many respects. In addition, you adhere to legal regulations, since the German government has defined e-mobility as a decisive factor in achieving climate targets.
Are you interested in electromobility and photovoltaics? ENVIRIA would be happy to advise you on the integration of an individual charging infrastructure.
E-mobility and photovoltaics offer several advantages for companies and property owners, yet their integration is not only complex in terms of implementation. Various bureaucratic and regulatory hurdles can quickly lead to high internal costs and distract your employees (or even yourself) from their actual tasks. With PV experts by your side, you can simply hand these time-consuming tasks over. All steps of the project can be handled by one single point of contact, while you simply sit back and relax.
Book a free consultation with ENVIRIA experts now!
1https://bmdv.bund.de/SharedDocs/DE/Anlage/G/masterplan-ladeinfrastruktur-2.pdf?__blob=publicationFile (Source: Status: 25.01.2024)
2https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Artikel/Service/Gesetzesvorhaben/gebaeude-elektromobilitaetsinfrastruktur-gesetz.html (Source: Status: 25.01.2024)
4https://www.bmwk.de/Redaktion/DE/Artikel/Service/Gesetzesvorhaben/gebaeude-elektromobilitaetsinfrastruktur-gesetz.html (Source: Status: 25.01.2023)
5https://www.now-gmbh.de/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/Studie_Ladeinfrastruktur-nach-2025-2.pdf (Source: Status: 25.01.2024)
6https://www.nabu.de/umwelt-und-ressourcen/verkehr/strassenverkehr/31583.html (Source: Status: 25.01.2024)
Content Manager Jan Brendel creates versatile content on the topics of renewable energies, solar and photovoltaics at ENVIRIA. He has worked as a copywriter and author in various industries and has gained a deep understanding of the needs and requirements of companies over the years. Among other things, he has written scientific papers in the industrial and manufacturing sectors (mechanical and plant engineering, logistics, etc.). His passion for music is at least as great as his passion for the energy transition of companies.