Derwent Estates

PROJECT: A feasibility study for the roll-out of EV charging infrastructure at retail locations

Challenge: The Derwent Group is owned by a charitable foundation which manages a portfolio of 13 retail and 6 business parks primarily in the North of England. The organisation has historically installed charge points at one retail location and wished for a realistic assessment of the feasibility of rolling out a more extensive charging network on the rest of their properties – concentrating primarily on their retail parks. They were keen to understand the extent of investment needed, the potential demand and the business case for roll-out of EV charging including the level of fees that they could implement to support the initial outlay.

What we did: We began by undertaking a review of anticipated demand in the localities of the retail and business parks. This included a review of usage data of their existing posts; analysing EV uptake figures in the multiple locations as well as a review of existing provision nearby. From there we were able to design a site assessment criteria which scored each of the 19 locations against key criteria which allowed us to gauge the potential demand at each site. From there a list of six priority sites was provided with rationale for each.

Exploring the business case at each location was critical for Derwent Estates to understand the extent of their initial outlay and opportunity to cover ongoing costs. Through modelling potential usage against EV growth in each area we developed a calculation of likely energy requirements which allowed us to put forward our recommendations on the quantities of charge points at each location. The numbers put forward considered incremental growth over time to 2030.

Finally, we investigated the impact of fees and provided a business model to Derwent Estates which took into account the need to cover ongoing costs as well as providing a service to drivers at a price they would be willing to pay. We also commented on nearby infrastructure and the costs of the potential competition.

The final report, which was presented to the Board, also covered the EV and charging landscape to provide enough background to allow for an informed decision on the next steps.

The result: Having considered the investment required, Derwent Estates will begin a roll-out programme of EV charging later in 2020 concentrating on priority locations.


“It was important to us to undertake an independent assessment of our sites as our main concern was that we could potentially invest in under-used assets. What Zero Carbon Futures provided us with was a realistic and feasible view on the potential demand and opportunity at our locations and provided us with a manageable plan to allow us to provide an EV charging service to our customers.”

Peter Gilliland, Head of Property Management


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