Fastned Figures Out How To Make Money On Public Charging? First 2 Stations Break-Even

APR 8 2017 BY MARK KANE 23

Fastned charging station

Fastned happily announced a milestone on its road to profitability in the fast charging business for Europe this week.

For the first time, the Dutch company was able to achieve operational break-even for the first two stations in March.   So just 56 more to go!

Nissan LEAF at Fastned fast charging station

Now to be fair, that doesn’t mean profitability yet, but overall costs directly related to those stations (operating expenses, such as the purchase of power, grid connection fees, licence costs, land lease, cleaning and maintenance costs) are covered from revenues.

More stations out of the total 58 installed are expected to reach operating costs break-even later this year.

The milestone is truly a significant achievement, but at the same time does show how difficult the business model for public DC is, as EV adoption is (relatively speaking) sky high in Fastned’s home market (6% market share in Netherlands in 2016, 10% in 2015), and the company was founded in February of 2012.

The next step would be to cover central costs of the network and then… profits.

“Fastned, that is building a European network of fast charging stations, saw its first two stations break-even in March. This means that the operating expenses, such as the purchase of power, grid connection fees, licence costs, land lease, cleaning and maintenance costs were covered by the revenues generated at those stations. Fastned expects that more stations will pass the break-even point in the coming months.

The operating costs per station are limited. All 58 Fastned stations are unmanned and centrally managed from the head office. The next financial goal is to also cover these central operating expenses. Since these costs remain relatively stable when new stations are added to the network, the costs per station will decrease when new stations are added to the network. The final step to profitability of the company is also to cover depreciation and finance costs.

The Fastned stations are prepared for strong growth of the number of electric cars. The capacity can easily be expanded by adding more and faster chargers to each station. The low operating costs and big capacity result in significant earning potential of each station.”

Put some clothes on guy!

Bart Lubbers, co-founder Fastned said:

“After five years of investing it’s great to see the first stations break-even. This is a real milestone. It is a compliment to the whole Fastned team and the 1,600 people that have invested in Fastned at an early stage. Revenues are growing at all stations, supported by the mega-trend of increasing number of electric cars.”

Hat tip to Brandon!

Categories: Charging

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The catch with these news is, that EV owners using their services have to pay a totally unfair rate for the energy to make that happen. Fixed base rate per month and high costs per charging minute (time, not amount of energy!) make charging there way more expensive than using gas. It really shouldn’t be that way. Of course building a charging infrastructure costs a lot of money, but they got a lot of incentives from the European Union. I really have to say that I’m glad we can use the Tesla Supercharger Network instead.

By Fastned you pay per kWh, not per minute. The fixed rates are needed for the maintance of the stations and chargers (such a station cost more than €200.000,- including grid connection). But standing out of the rain, free WiFi, solar panels and the great design (it’s like the mc donalds sign in The Netherlands) is defentily worth it.

tesla supercharging stations also cost $200k…

Please define ‘a totally unfair rate’

Hint: How much does a soda cost in a restaurant?

You pay for the service, not the energy.

Would have been interesting to hear their price per KWh vs the price a residential user pays in that area.

Still waiting for a truly public charging station in eastern Ontario to see what they’ll charge.

The rates are:

€0,59/kWh without subscription
€0,35/kWh + €9,99/month
€0,19/kWh + €29,99/month
€99,- /month unlimted charging

Tesla supercharger costs €0,20/kwh. Avarage price for a houshold is €0,18-€0,27/ kWh.

Reijer, Thanks for your informative posts!


Funny how people complain about the costs compared to home charging. When I eat at a restaurant I don’t complain about the cost of my meal vs cooking at home. I understand that the restaurant has to cover costs and make money. D.C. charging is a real value compared to running out of power away from home. Expect to pay for that convenience. Once we have competition in the market we’ll see what happens.


You have made a very good point about costs and convenience Dave!
Eating at home compared to eating at a restaurant is a perfect example!!

About costs, last year some time I did some research on what the rates are for various DCFC providers around the world to come up with an average.

All rates are figured for a 10 kWh / 20 minute charge:

Ecotricity is $6.50
Blink is $5.50 is $5.40
EVgo is $9.95
Clever is $8.20
Fortum is $6.00

Average is right around $7.00, which comes to $0.70 per kWh.

Dave S: you missed the point. We know that paying for a service has a cost. The way to assess value is to see how much it is vs the residential rate. You wouldn’t pay $100 for a hamburger at a takeout joint because the value isn’t good but we are happy paying 2-3 times what we could make it at home.

When it starts to be be more expensive than gas as was pointed out above, then that’s two strikes against it.

We can’t fill our gas cars at home so you can’t really compare the two. Most of us don’t need to charge away from home.

BRAVO! My sentiments exactly. DCFC is the only way to get non Tesla electrics going the distance. Otherwise I stick close to home and use the gasser.


I compare the cost, convenience and time against gas.

eVgo charges about $10 for a 30min session. So it’s like waiting at least 30mins to pump nearly 3 gallons of gas for that $10.

No thanks. I rather drive gas.

Funny discus software counts 2 comments as 3, lets see if it adds one now. Yes…. home charging makes all other charging you have to pay for look expensive.

Not sure why it does that ourselves. It only tallies the 1 extra comment at the top of the discussion itself. “XX responses to “Has Fastned Figured…”

The front page/top of page comment tally keeps the proper number. Its an odd quirk for sure.

It will be hard for any charging company to make money until the adoption rate of EVs increases. We seem to be headed in that direction, but things could change.

However, another interesting thing to consider is that you never see a single gas pump out in the middle of nowhere. So, that suggests it would not be a profitable model. Instead, you always see an entire station with employees, selling all sorts of things. I would imagine as EV adoption grows, these sort of stations will be the ones operating DC fast chargers.

This is what is happening in Norway now. In the beginning the first DC chargers were installed in some seperate locations, but after some time it changed. Some EV-friendly gas-station- and cafe-owners joined with the fast charging operators and attracted customers. Other owners noticed that BEV drivers were attractive customers.

When we were driving for a weekend trip before we would drive home after work, prepare dinner, eat, clean up, pack our things and go.
Now we typically drive home after work, grab our things and drive, then we eat at a fast-charging location.

They could look at creating other sources of revenue on site. They should try selling hamburgers while people wait for their cars to charge. Those golden arches make me hungry for some reason.

I’m not sure if I have a link, but I know that there are already some stations in Norway that are turning a profit.

But I believe here the takeaway is that market share very likely will need to be ~6% in a given geographical area for fast charge network operators to begin making a profit.

For here in the U.S. that may be 8 years yet.

I don’t believe a charging station company will make money charging only for electricity. They should be in the business of service stations. They need to make money from other services while the cars are being charged. Sell food and drink at an adjacent building like gas stations today.