Investment in the electric vehicle (EV) sector has continued at pace as technology improves, infrastructure expands, and we see costs come down as the second-hand EV market matures.


As barriers are overcome and momentum has picked up, EVs continue to be a growth industry worth investing in. To continue this trajectory of growth and investment, charge point operators need to continue to be incentivised and the path to new EV developments must be smooth, efficient, and profitable. What, therefore, are the challenges which operators need to be aware of and seek to pre-empt to deliver the infrastructure required to encourage greater take up of EVs?


Grid Connection

If we assume that a suitable location has been found and the landowner is on board, one of the first things charge point operators need to consider is how they will connect to the National Grid via the relevant distribution network operator (DNO) – both physically but also capacity-wise. If there is insufficient electrical capacity, battery storage facilities might need to be explored, or the charge point operator may consider installing a renewable source of electricity adjacent to the EV charge points. This has been the solution for several charge point operators across the country, helping to counter some critics’ arguments that EVs run off electricity produced by fossil fuels. 

On the physical side of things, operators must consider whether grid reinforcement works, or an easement to lay a cable from the point of connection to the charge point will be required. Charge point operators need to tread carefully where a new or upgraded connection is necessary, as the time required to complete such an upgrade may well detrimentally affect the installation timetable – potentially to such an extent that the project becomes unviable. 

If a cable easement is needed, initial surveys and due diligence should be carried out at an early stage to ascertain the likely route of this cable and particular attention must be paid to any third party land rights which are encroached. Separate land rights will need to be negotiated with any third party land owners which will add time and costs.

As such, charge point operators need to carefully consider their proposed locations in conjunction with the local electricity network available before any further steps are taken.

Land Rights

Together with a viable grid connection, land rights (i.e. a lease, licence and/or cable easements) are the foundation of an EV development, providing the tangible asset against which a funder would be willing to invest. Charge point operators should seek to negotiate a lease of at least 15 years, which tallies with the current predicted lifespan of most charging stations but also provides funders with a reasonable time period over which to expect an income stream with a quantifiable rent. This, together with a grid connection, provides funders with the necessary security to enable them to provide debt funding to charge point operators. 

It is important to note that EV leases are a far cry from standard commercial leases and require specialist knowledge on both the part of the charge point operator and the landowner. In our experience, negotiations end up being unnecessarily protracted when the landowner is not represented by a solicitor with experience of EV leases and the associated funder requirements. However, the industry has sufficiently matured to allow for a market precedent to be universally accepted amongst experienced professionals, providing funders with the necessary certainty to invest in EV projects.




EVs and their infrastructure continue to be a safe bet for future investment as they offer a crucial stepping-stone towards net zero. However, to attract the necessary investment to enable further expansion of EV infrastructure and technology, charge point operators must carefully consider the risks before committing to further development. If you would like to discuss any of the topics mentioned in this article, please do get in touch with our team or find out more here on the work we do with EV  charging infrastructure. 


This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at June 2024. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

Date published

05 June 2024

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