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EV Strategy: Future-proofing Your EV Forecourt – Q&A with Zuber Patel

Zuber Patel of Mer UK, answers queries from forecourt owners about power availability, financial models, the benefits of developing an EV forecourt, and more.

Business man using workplace EV charge point

As of the end of 2023, there are around 975,000 fully electric cars on UK roads and around 1,560,000 plug-in cards.

As more EVs appear on UK roads, traditional fossil fuel forecourts are an ideal location for electric vehicle (EV) charge points. . Forecourts are perfectly positioned to offer EV charging: Zapmap’s most recent survey of 4,300 drivers revealed that motorway services are the most popular charging locations in the UK, with 55% of respondents indicating they regularly stop at motorway services to charge.

If you are a forecourt owner or operator, you may have questions about installing EV charging on your site as you begin to consider this new stage in developing your business model.

In this blog, Zuber Patel, Senior Business Development Manager at Mer UK – Public charging, tackles commonly asked queries around:

  • Investment in EV charging infrastructure ,
  • Long-term leasing of EV charge points,
  • Earnings potential,from your infrastructure
  • And demystifies more concerns around installing EV charging on a forecourt



Making the Investment

‘I don’t have the capital to fund my EV charging solution. What can I do?’

Whilst forecourt owners can take a self-funded approach to an EV charging solution, which will see them fund the supply, installation and maintenance of the infrastructure and receive all the revenue, this is not the only option for your EV forecourt. Mer offers several financial models for our EV charging projects.

  • ‘Charging as a service’ (CaaS): You are not responsible for any upfront capital costs, and instead pay off the asset through a monthly re-payment plan whilst also receiving an income from the infrastructure. Once the costs have been repaid, you can either continue to work with Mer or choose to operate the infrastructure independently from us.
  • Fully funded: Mer fund a turnkey solution, which includes the consultation, design, installation, warranty, and maintenance.
  • Hybrid: You co-fund the supply, installation, maintenance, operation and management of the charge points with Mer.


‘The agreement term with Mer can be as long as 15 years. Anything could happen in 15 years, and I am not confident I want to commit for that length of time.’

We offer a charger refresh during the term, which limits the possibility of having obsolete infrastructure on your site. If the market moves during your term, there may be a possibility to upgrade and update the hardware in line with driver demand if the right grid enforcements are in place.

Following the end of your contract term with Mer, you will have an existing contract for the power connection. You will have the choice to adopt or terminate this connection, irrespective of what you do with the EV chargers. As the owner, you are free to decide what you wish to do with the power connection after the end of the contract, without having to pay an additional cost to obtain the connection.

Power and charger location

‘I don’t know where the nearest point of connection is, or whether I will need to upgrade the power supply to my site and bring in new connections.’

Mer can take care of all of this and ensure the process of installing infrastructure is simple and hassle free. As part of our full turkey solution offering under the fully funded model, we liaise with the networks and the distribution network operators (‘DNOs’) to investigate grid connections and understand power availability. If there is limited grid availability, we will work to find a solution so you can realise your EV charging goals.


‘I am concerned about the space available on my forecourt for EV chargers. Will I have to take out petrol/diesel pumps to install the EV infrastructure?’

Mer’s approach is to remain flexible and creative when designing and planning the infrastructure on a forecourt. Whilst EV charging is a new asset to your forecourt, there is no expectation to remove your ICE refuel pumps immediately. EV chargers are an addition to your site, and can sit alongside the refuel pumps.

If there is a definitive restriction for a hub of charge points, we can reduce the number of bays in the initial install, and subsequently assess utilisation once they are in the ground. This will hopefully increase the customer’s confidence in the infrastructure and could influence future decisions around creating space for additional charge points by removing fuel pumps.

Mer is looking to develop partnerships and work with forecourt owners on an ongoing, long term basis. As such, we tailor our solutions to the individual site, using data from the chargers to advance the development over an extended period.

Is it worth it?

‘What about the earning potential of the chargers; are the benefits worth the investment?’

Whilst driving an EV might not be the norm at this moment in time, petrol and diesel vehicles will begin to see a phase out in line with Government goals to reaching net zero. Considering this, EV chargers are only an asset, adding more value to a forecourt.

According to recent Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) figures, total electrified vehicles now account for

The electric era opens a whole new market for forecourt owners to capitalise on. To not install EV chargers on your forecourt is to alienate a growing percentage of drivers and will eventually see your customer base decrease in the long term.

The subsequent benefits should make becoming an EV charging provider attractive, and this is not only because of the fact there will be more drivers visiting the forecourt to charge. Because charging an EV typically takes longer than refuelling a traditional internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, forecourt owners can expect increased footfall into on-site amenities, and therefore increased spending in the amenities.