There are a reported 373,600 plug-in cars on UK roads. And an average of 12,100 new plug-ins were registered each month throughout 2020, with fast-paced growth showing no signs of slowing down (Oct 2020 data).
Sooner rather than later, in order to support such growth, businesses and consumers are going to need a suitable network of charging points of various speeds in every type of location, including workplaces, retail outlets, hotels and the like.
The questions many businesses are likely now deliberating are:
- When is it the right time to facilitate EV charging stations at our business premises?
- What are the costs to take into consideration?
- What benefits can it bring us and our staff?
- How do we earn back the investment?
When is the time right to install EV charging for my business?
With more pressure than ever before on businesses to prove that sustainability is high on their CSR agenda, now is the time to start taking action, even if you start small.
Rather than waiting until you are forced to make the switch to EVs and introduce charging points, why not lead by example?
What’s the composition of your vehicle fleet? How many charge points would you need and at what speed to adequately serve employees, visitors and/or customers? Establish what you currently have and what you want to aim for. It then becomes easier to set targets that are ambitious but achievable.
Due to costs and time constraints, a full-scale conversion or introduction of multiple charge points may not be possible immediately – so it might be good to start with a pilot project and then scale up the change.
It’s also crucial to ensure you have a plan in place for properly communicating your new charging points infrastructure.
The cost of electric car charging points for business
So, how much does it cost to install a commercial EV charging station? The exact price depends on the hardware chosen and the installation specifics (cabling, digging etc.). The total installation costs depend on the distance between the charging station and the meter cupboard in your business premises. The costs for a charging station will vary on your requirements, you could have a simple charger or something more technical. Either way, we always choose the best quality hardware and can advise you on what is right for you. Most businesses will opt to install a fast charger to start with, meaning that if your electric car has a 40kW battery and you have a 7kW EV charger, it will take approximately 3.5 hours to reach an 80% charge (from a 20% charged battery).
The OZEV workplace charging scheme – how can I claim the grant?
The government encourages electric driving. If you choose to install one or more charging stations on your company premises, you can claim an OZEV grant which gives you £350 off per charge point socket up to a total of 40 sockets. All you need to do is complete an online form to receive your grant code.
Costs of EV charging infrastructure
These are the costs you will need to take into consideration when planning your EV charging infrastructure.
- High installation costs: given that relatively new technology is in use, it’s important to choose experience over initial savings when it comes to installation. Some businesses have found themselves having to fund multiple site visits due to the use of inexperienced electricians. At Mer, we take care of you throughout the journey, from consultation to installation. We can guarantee a high level of customer service, and experienced installers.
- Electricity connection costs: think carefully when it comes to installing your charge points. Are you able to select locations where a new charger can be installed and make use of an existing connection? The costs of setting up a new electricity connection can be steep.
Steep electricity costs can be avoided with load balancing. If you opt for multiple charge points, it’s possible the network will be planned for maximum load, which you will rarely need. Load balancing, provided by suppliers such as Mer, will prevent overloading of the electrical connection and help to lower connection fees and peak tariffs.
The benefits of EV charging stations for business – seeing a return on your investment
1. Cheaper vehicles and business miles
It is becoming increasingly appealing for businesses to facilitate their own charging solution; not only for employees, but also for customers. Business electric driving is taking a big leap forward. More and more employees are opting for an electric lease car and employers are starting to roll out EV fleets.
An important reason for this emerging trend is the low Benefit in Kind (BiK) tax for a hybrid or fully electric car. In addition, charging an electric car is a lot cheaper than fuelling a petrol/diesel car. Driving an electric car costs 3.7p/mile compared to a petrol car price of 14.2 p/mile.
2. Charging stations can be used as a marketing tool
Many companies include the presence of charging points for electric cars in their choice of a conference or meeting location or in their choice of a hotel or restaurant. Compare this revolutionary change with that of WiFi. A previously rare and unexpected service is now available (freely) everywhere as standard.
Various apps and websites show which locations have a charging station at their disposal. For example, on Booking.com you can select business locations with a charging station.
In addition, guests can see where charging points are located via Google Maps. There is a good chance that they will stop at a business with a charging point so that they can charge on the go. After all, charging an electric car takes at least half an hour and that is valuable time. With your own charging station(s), you can attract visitors from unexpected horizons.
3. See a return by charging users for the electricity they use
Depending on the cost model you select for your charge points, you may find you can earn back your investment by charging for electricity.