me energy Ladestatation auf dem Flughafen Tegel. Foto: me energy

Premiere for the leasable charging station: leasing charging infrastructure instead of buying it

More and more companies are integrating electric vehicles into their fleets and vehicle fleets. To ensure that the electric vehicles are always ready for use, a corresponding charging infrastructure is necessary. This can be purchased from various providers, including additional services, and then installed on the company premises. For commercial users of a charging infrastructure, however, it does not always make sense to purchase charging stations straight away. me energy now makes it possible to lease DC charging stations quickly and easily. That’s what’s behind it.

A guest article by Alexander Sohl, me enegry, in the current eMove360° magazine in german language. Read on here or download free of charge.

This is how companies can lease charging stations:

Similar to company vehicles, companies also have various options for leasing charging stations. The lessor remains the owner of the station in both leasing variants. We distinguish between two different forms:

Operational leasing: This is the short-term leasing of an asset without necessarily specifying the duration of the contract. This is similar to renting. In contrast to renting, the lessee can use the asset like an owner. In return, however, the lessee bears all the risks, rights and obligations that are usually borne by the landlord in the case of a lease. The lessee is therefore liable for damage and failure of the product. In addition, the lessee must maintain the product and carry out any repairs himself.
Note: From an economic point of view, this model always makes sense for lessees if the period is short or cannot be planned and their own investments in charging solutions are not worthwhile. After termination of the contract, the charging station is returned to the provider and then to the next customer.

Finance leasing: This form of leasing, on the other hand, has fixed contract terms that cannot be terminated during the basic rental period of the charging station. The economic risks and ownership are similar to those of operating leasing. The contract and contact person for the customer in the case of finance leasing is usually a bank or another leasing company. These finance companies buy charging stations from the manufacturer, for example, and then “lease” them to the customer. Over a period of 72 months, for example, the lessee pays X amount per month. At the end of the contract period, the charging station usually has a residual value of 10-30 percent. For this so-called final instalment, the lessee has the choice of buying the charging station himself or can offer the product to the manufacturer for repurchase. This gives the lessee additional flexibility to switch to a newer model. One thing is certain with finance leasing: the charging station must be fully amortised at the end of the lease.

Advantages of leasing a DC charging station

Companies benefit from a whole range of advantages when leasing compared to buying or renting. Of course, leasing has tax advantages on the one hand, but at the same time it provides more transparency and calculability. This speaks for the financial leasing of charging infrastructure:

Tax advantages: Anyone who leases a mobile fast charging station can consider it a mobile asset. This has the advantage that the station is not listed in the balance sheet and does not have to be depreciated in the long term. This in turn has the further advantage that the leasing only affects the income statement and does not reduce the company value, but only the profit. This results in practical tax advantages for most companies. By comparison, the problem with other grid-based charging solutions is that the investment amount is deducted from the enterprise value.

In line with demand: The leasing period of a DC charging station from me energy can be stretched between 3 and 7 years, depending on demand. The costs are thus based on the term chosen by the customer. The depreciation period of the charging station as a mobile asset can be chosen between 7 and 8 years. Here, the classic leasing rule applies that at least 40 percent of the depreciation period is selected as the contract term, up to a maximum of 90 percent. me energy therefore offers classic terms of between 36 and 72 months for the Rapid Charger 150. If charging infrastructure is purchased by the company itself, it must also take care of the sale itself.

Higher liquidity: When making a major purchase, companies usually have to pay a large sum at once. This invested money is no longer available for other investments – regardless of whether it is a cash payment or a loan. With leasing, on the other hand, lessees can calculate monthly with constant costs and also realise other purchases financially. In addition, the fast charging stations are new devices and possible repairs as well as maintenance and operation of me energy are already included in the leasing rate.

Lower risk: The low monthly charge significantly reduces the risk of obsolescence and the investment. The lessee can also react much more flexibly to economic, political or technical developments. The leasing instalments are also easy to calculate and, with full-service leasing including maintenance, all costs are included transparently right away. This means that there are no unpleasant surprises due to repairs.

More flexibility: The bottom line is that leasing mobile charging infrastructure for companies means that the capital is literally not sunk into the ground. As easily as fast charging stations can be relocated, it is also possible to plan with them from an economic point of view. The financial risk of leasing is significantly lower than that of purchasing.

The combination makes the difference – leasing e-vehicles and charging stations

Nowadays, hardly any companies decide to buy company vehicles, preferring instead to lease them. We ask ourselves: why only lease vehicles when you can lease the fast charging station at the same time? This also opens up completely new possibilities for leasing agencies. What used to be diesel transporters are gradually being converted to electric mobility. For example, e-transporters can be combined for about 500-600 euros per vehicle and the respective monthly leasing rate of the matching charging station. With the partner network for vehicle leasing, consisting of major automobile manufacturers and fleet outfitters, me energy can precisely analyse the charging needs of companies and determine how many vehicles and charging stations are necessary. Companies can then lease their e-vehicles for three years, for example, and then lease newer models for a further three years after expiry. Over the period of six years in total, the corresponding charging solution can also be leased from the same contact person.

Leasing of charging infrastructure on balance

Leasing is generally a widespread and popular financing model among companies. Not only does it have a lot of advantages from a business perspective, it also makes it easier to switch to modern and sustainable vehicle fleets. Since me energy offers the only truly leasable fast-charging station, there are interesting opportunities for companies in particular. The combination of charging station and vehicle leasing in particular stands out from the competition. Instead of investing a lot of money in the purchase of e-vehicles and charging infrastructure in the short term, both can be easily bundled as a leasing model.

10.10.2022   |  

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