Partner voices: RAW charging turns properties into productive assets through charging

RAW is a leading provider of electric vehicle charging infrastructure to many of the UK’s largest property owners, including McArthurGlen Outlets, Aviva Investors and Greene King pubs. We spoke with Bruce Galliford, CEO and Founder of RAW Charging, about the company’s evolution from renewables to charging, how charging is becoming a must-have for every property, and how ChargePoint has enabled RAW Charging to create a charging business for real estate companies.

Tell me about the RAW load

We started life as RAW Energy, specializing in creating energy through renewable energy. We have developed solar, wind and biomass portfolios. About four years ago, the company naturally moved from creating energy to finding ways to transfer it to other sustainable uses. When we got a desktop Tesla in 2015, it was one of the first in the UK, and it sparked a conversation about charging that made us think, “What part can we play in all of this? ?”

How did you find ChargePoint?

We didn’t want to create our own technology, because that’s not our expertise. We discovered early on that what was available in the UK at the time was not sufficiently developed to support investment. When ChargePoint started doing business in the UK, we saw a company with the longevity, customer base, engineering prowess and experience to match our vision.

It’s all inclusive… We can focus on the successful delivery of property portfolios across the UK and leave the technology side of things to ChargePoint.
– Bruce Galliford, CEO and Founder of RAW Charging

What benefits does ChargePoint offer?

The bit that works well for us with ChargePoint is that it’s an all-inclusive service. We can focus on delivering successful property portfolios across the UK and trust that ChargePoint will support us in areas such as payment transactions, maintenance and 24/7 telephone support. Reliability is also essential. Once the hardware is in the ground and activated, we rarely need to revisit the site, saving us costs and ensuring our client’s confidence.

How do you find customers?

From the start, we said to ourselves: “Who will our customers be? Where will the initial development come from? We knew charging was going to be big in five to ten years, but what would happen in the short term? Thus, we approached landowners, pension funds, any organization with real estate, parking or a tenant. We asked them: “What are you going to do for electric vehicle charging?” This started a process of relationship building and education, which can take a few years. We are now at the point where we are not just installing on one of their sites, but working on the site portfolio.

Or it can be even simpler. Recently I noticed that a construction job was ending. There was a piece of land where the construction workers had stored their equipment. I asked to use it for charging. They were going to have to fit it out, so it was a perfect opportunity for them to rent it to us and also get a return on billing revenue.

What attracts customers to charging?

For owners, charging is a unique opportunity to turn parking into a productive asset. An additional service offering a return like this is a real win-win. For larger companies, tens of thousands of pounds is just a rounding error, so initially billing can be seen as resource intensive for the low energy charges involved. But as we sell electricity through more and more chargers, the pennies and pounds will pile up in the long run.

This situation is reinforced by the increase in the number of employees driving electric vehicles and relying on access to charging as a facility at their workplace. Last year in the UK, we saw the biggest ever annual increase in the number of BEV registrations, with over 305,000 registered, up 74% from 2020.

For owners, charging is a unique opportunity to turn parking into a productive asset.
– Bruce Galliford, CEO and Founder of RAW Charging

How do you stand out from the competition?

When our potential customers call EV charging providers, the response they get is often, “How many chargers do you want to buy?” That’s an answer we would never give. We want to find out about the site, the speakers, the influencers, the power available. We treat each site as a business plan and each business has different goals. A customer can have 300 properties, but no property is identical to another.

We treat each site as a business plan and each business has different goals.
– Bruce Galliford, CEO and Founder of RAW Charging

Tell us about the role of data in billing.

It’s so important for businesses to install recharge now so they can start collecting data and understand what recharge is doing for their business. Data is what drives value and provides the ability to adapt quickly. If you’re going to build a real estate portfolio, you need data now so that five years from now you’ll understand performance. If nothing else, we advise you to at least put on a charger now and start collecting data to make better decisions in the future.

How has the industry evolved?

We have seen a rapid evolution of interest and level of knowledge. Just two years ago, when we attended a hospitality conference, attendees were still in the early stages of training in electric vehicle charging. Last year, participants had the knowledge and were aware of the competitive advantage that electric vehicle charging would give them and their business.

It is no longer possible to have a class A property free of charge.
– Bruce Galliford, CEO and Founder of RAW Charging

It is no longer possible to have a Class A property without an EV recharge. Charging has become an essential service. It won’t be long before it becomes part of the 5 star rating system for hotels. You must have an iron and a refrigerator in the room and soon we believe charging in the car park will be part of it. We show our potential customers how, when searching for a hotel online, two-thirds of properties disappear when filtering for electric vehicle charging. Hotels are realizing the business they will lose by not offering top-ups. For office parks, it is also increasingly perceived as a must, in the same way as air conditioning. You wouldn’t rent an office without air conditioning these days. Soon you won’t be renting one without reliable EV charging.

Tell us about some of the clients you work with.

An exciting client for us is Greene King Pubs. They have 2,700 locations in the UK and see charging as a community service for people living within a 10 minute walk of a pub. In the UK we have a high percentage of apartments and concentrated urban environments where parking is not available: there are 8 million homes in the UK that do not have parking spaces. So, Greene King’s Home Place Wallet is a community facility where you have the option to charge, alongside other facilities like your Amazon Locker. It’s a plus for the community over just getting visitors to hang out while they’re charging. The vision is three years from now if you jump in your car to go somewhere and think “I need to recharge” you’re looking for a Greene King pub. And it’s really powerful.

McArthurGlen has a variety of designer outlets in the UK. We have installed 12 charging stations in Cheshire Oaks, the UK’s first and largest designer store. The first Saturday the chargers were available, all 12 chargers were in use from early morning until the end of the day. It happened again on Sunday. We could have installed even more chargers, which shows that there is clearly a demand for electric vehicle charging at points of sale. We have other online projects for McArthurGlen across Europe, in Italy, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Spain.

What’s next for RAW loading?

Deployment is our priority. We have other upcoming projects for Aviva Investors, Greene King, McArthurGlen and other clients. Over the next three to four years, we will work hard to develop the network, and then it will become the technical team that will refine it and make it more efficient through optimization. We are currently planning strategic expansion across Europe by working with organizations that have a portfolio of sites in one or more countries.

This year, we’ll roll out four new sites per business day, and when you do that, what you don’t want is a hassle. You want it to be the same routine, the same platform, the same on-ramp, and the same phone number in case something goes wrong.

Thanks Bruce! We will be stopping at a Greene King to refuel next time we are in the UK.

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