As part of the Government’s ten-point plan to help fight climate change, new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030. The switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is coming, is your business ready?
EVs are vehicles that are either partially or fully powered on electric power. Electric vehicles have low running costs, as they have fewer moving parts that need maintaining and are very environmentally friendly as they use little or no fossil fuels (petrol or diesel). Over the last few years, we have seen a shift in consumer behaviour with sales of EVs on the increase. In fact, 2020 UK car sales were the lowest they had been since 1992, but EV car sales rose 180% year on year and accounted for over 10% of new car sales.
What is EV charging?
EV Charging is how you charge an Electric Vehicle (battery electric vehicle (BEV) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV). There are three main types of EV charging: standard, fast and rapid. These represent the power outputs, and therefore charging speeds, available to charge an EV. When referencing power output in EV Chargers please note that power is usually measured in kilowatts (kW).
Most standard charging units are rated at up to 3kW, a rounded figure that captures the majority of charging devices. In reality, standard charging is carried out between 2.3kW and 6kW, though the most common standard chargers are rated at 3.6 kW (16A).
Charging times vary depending on the charging unit and EV being charged, but a full charge on a 3kW unit will typically take 6-12 hours. Most standard charging units are untethered, meaning that a cable is required to connect the EV with the charge point. This is the most common method of charging electric vehicles, used by many owners to charge at home overnight. However, these standard chargers aren’t necessarily restricted to home use, with workplace and public points also able to be found.
Fast chargers are typically rated at either 7 kW or 22 kW (single- or three-phase 32A). Charging times vary on unit speed and the vehicle, but a 7kW charger will recharge a compatible EV with a 40kWh battery in 4-6 hours, and a 22kW charger in 1-2 hours. Fast chargers tend to be found at destinations such as car parks, supermarkets, or leisure centres, where you are likely be parked at for an hour or more. The majority of fast chargers are 7kW and untethered (meaning you would need your own charger lead), though some units have cables attached.
Rapid chargers are the fastest way to charge an EV, often found at motorway services or locations close to main routes. Depending on the model, EVs can be recharged to 80% in as little as 20 minutes, though an average new EV would take around an hour on a standard 50 kW rapid charge point.
To help both businesses and homeowners with the transition to electric vehicles the Government have announced a number of different grants and funding schemes.
The most well-known, and accessible grant is the OLEV (The Office for Low Emission Vehicles) grant.
What is the OLEV grant?
The Office for Low Emission Vehicles is a cross-government body endorsed by the motor industry. It exists to encourage and support the rapidly growing market in electric and other ultra-low emission vehicles. They have released three different grants to help everyone make the switch from petrol/ diesel to electric.
- The OLEV Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS)
- The OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme Grant (WCS)
- The OLEV On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS)
In addition to the OLEV (EVHS) grant through the Energy Saving Trust Scotland, the Scottish Government offers Scottish residents an additional grant of up to £300, on top of the EVHS grant.
Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
The EVHS provides up to £350 off the cost of purchasing and installing a home charging unit. It is available for most EV & PHEVs old and new and you can claim one charge point per vehicle per household, with a maximum two vehicles per household.
In order to claim the grant you must:
- Have proof of purchase/ lease
- Have off street parking
- Have an OLEV approved chargepoint
- OLEV approved installer (Like Planet-U Energy)
Workplace Charging Scheme
The WCS is a voucher-based programme that helps eligible business applicants with the costs of buying and installing EV charging points. Each application attracts up to £350 per charging point up to a maximum of 20 (10 double-socket or 20 single-socket charging points) across one or more sites. That means your business could save up to £14,000.
In order to obtain a voucher, you must complete an online application. However, at Planet-U we can take all of the hassle out of this for you and apply on your behalf. The vouchers are valid for 120 days from the date of issue, so we have plenty of time to find the right installation date to suit your business needs.
Having an EV Charger in place for a commercial property or workplace can have a number of benefits.
From a workplace point of view these include:
- You can save more than £1,000a year in commercial fleet and employee fuel costs per 10,000 miles
- You can offer free or discounted electric vehicle charging to your employees
- You can reduce employee “benefit in kind” tax for company cars
- A green fleet can help reduce CO2emissions and reach sustainability goals
From a commercial viewpoint these are:
- Increase footfall to your commercial property by becoming a “charging destination”
- Extra income from the chargers – you can set your own standing rate cost for the charger which means you can have the chargers as an extra revenue stream within your business
- Provides convenience for customers and clients
- Demonstrates environmental commitment which is becoming a high value asset for many brands when trying to retain or increase customers
Did you know you can charge your car for free?
Driving an Electric Car is about driving greener, with a lower carbon footprint and lower financial running costs. Do you already have solar panels installed? Are you considering purchasing solar? If so, we can actually plug the EV chargers into the solar power distribution and you can charge your car for free. Many EV owners think of purchasing of a solar system as pre-buying their fuel for the next few years – at a cost that is very quickly repaid.
As highlighted throughout this blog there are a number of reasons why switching to EV charging can be beneficial to your business. Now is the time to make the switch and take advantage of the grants available, as well as the opportunity to increase your competitive advantage.
If you would like to find out more about EV Charging and how Planet-U can help your business please get in touch with Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org | 07508 054348
This guest blog was provided by Planet-U Energy