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8 Benefits of Installing EV Charging Stations for Your Business

The benefits of EV charging stations for businesses include customer and employee attraction and retention. As more and more of the population become acutely aware of the effects of climate change, and are actively making lifestyle changes to do their bit, many will also look to their employers and the companies they do business with to do the same. Put this green business initiative in your 2024 strategy.

Businessman on phone while charging electric car

As of August 2023, there are an estimated 840,000 pure-electric vehicles (EVs), and 520,000 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) models recorded on UK roads. In 2022, there were 265,000 new battery-electric cars registered, and this represented a growth of 40% compared to 2021. The electric revolution is not just coming, it’s here.

With increasing numbers of EV drivers, it means that more charge point infrastructure is required, and with that comes opportunity for businesses.

 

Why Should Businesses Consider Investing in EV Infrastructure?

Clear benefits to installing EV charging infrastructure that most businesses can’t and shouldn’t ignore are:

  • It’s a new opportunity to attract customers
  • It’s evidence that you’re focused on supporting green business initiatives which is an essential CSR component in today’s market
  • It’s a positive value-add to their experience of doing business with you, increasing customer retention
  • It provides a range of opportunities for increasing and improving your online presence
  • It creates an opportunity for positive PR

In this article, we’re going to discuss a range of EV charging strategies for businesses and some of the benefits that EV charging stations can bring for those who invest in the future.

 

8 potential benefits of EV charging stations for business

1. Attract customers

EV drivers may stop for a few hours to top up their cars. Regardless of your business type, installing an EV charger has been found to help businesses improve footfall with this audience. After all, if a potential customer can get something they need and charge their car at the same time, it’s more likely they will choose your organisation.

 

2. Put Your Business on the Map

EV drivers rely on apps such as Zap-Map to locate charge points and if you wish, your business can be referenced publicly. With time on their hands, EV drivers dropping by to charge are likely to explore your business offering. Whether it’s stopping for a coffee, doing some shopping, or even going for a workout, it’s an additional string to the bow of your business. Likewise, you can add your EV charging facilities to your business listings on places like Google or Apple maps, or any local business directories.

 

3. Offer Something Your Competitors Don’t

A large percentage of physical shoppers will bring their car with them. Many EV drivers will likely want to have the option to charge while they shop. Therefore, offering charge points may mean you are chosen above competing businesses. With many businesses struggling to compete with online offerings, it’s becoming more and more important to provide a superior shopping experience. One of the main inconveniences of EVs remains their charging time, and by offering the ability for busy people to do two things at once, they are more likely to choose you.

 

4. Increase Customer Connections

Smart EV charging can allow drivers to connect with a business if they stop by to charge, meaning businesses can gain further customer insights and even communicate deals and offers, increasing the likelihood of return visits. Adding EV charging facilities for both staff and customers can form a vital part of your customer retention strategy in 2024

 

5. Support a Green Business Initiative by Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

The average CO2 emissions of cars sold in the UK rose for the third year in a row in 2019. Government figures show that transport accounted for 34% of UK CO2 emissions, with cars representing the majority. If the UK is to reach its net zero target by 2050, a large cross-industry effort is required to encourage widespread EV adoption.

It’s important to be mindful of the intense scrutiny on how businesses are contributing to such efforts. Many consumers and employees are acutely aware of greenwashing and are looking to organisations that follow through with their promises. One of the main EV charging benefits for businesses is that it’s a practical, visual example of your organisation’s values and commitment to sustainability.

 

6. Back-Up Your Brand Values and CSR Commitments

If your brand or CSR policies are focused on sustainability and green business initiatives, the absence of EV infrastructure will likely undermine such efforts, resulting in a lack of brand trust. As we’ve discussed, modern consumers know how to spot when a brand isn’t being genuine, and our always-on social media culture will allow them to share their views far and wide.

What’s more, it’s vital that we all do our bit for the environment. One of the biggest benefits of EV charging stations for businesses is that it’s simply the right thing to do to enable our transition away from fossil fuels.

 

7. Attract and Retain Customers and Employees

Having an EV infrastructure in place demonstrates a proactive approach to innovation and modern culture – and may tip the balance in attracting top employees as well as retaining your workforce. And if you’re able to electrify your fleet, the government has now introduced tax cuts for employees using corporate EVs for personal use – a great perk for new and existing employees.

As EV charging strategies for businesses go, the ability to apply for government support such as the Workplace Charging Scheme and the EV Infrastructure Grant for Staff and Fleets, as well as the potential to manage and offset your tax obligations, can make excellent financial as well as reputational sense.

 

8. Change Is Coming and It Pays To Get Ahead

With the introduction and expansion of ULEZ in London, other cities implementing their own low and zero-emission zones, and an upcoming ban on new diesel and petrol cars and vans to be implemented by 2035, the pressure on businesses to upgrade their fleet is increasing. 

With the EV market growing, widespread adoption and the expectation for charging provisions in workplaces as standard is not too far off. Businesses can gain a competitive advantage by getting ahead, and can currently take advantage of existing workplace grant schemes for installing charge points or buying certain new EVs for their fleet.

Likewise, those that operate large fleets of electric cars or vans will be able to save money in the long term by installing their own EV charging infrastructure. For those really looking into the future, an investment in renewable energy generation such as wind or solar could further increase savings and reduce carbon emissions.

 

How To Get Started with Workplace EV Charging Solutions 

Start by Setting Your Goals

How many charge points would you need to adequately serve new EVs in your fleet, employees, visitors, and/or customers? Establish what you currently have and what you want to aim for.

Goals can be about the number of charge points, new electric cars in your fleet, reduced climate impact, reduced local impact, or reduced nitrogen oxides and noise.

It may also be worth starting with a pilot scheme and scaling up.

 

Map the Costs of Your New Infrastructure

There are many things to consider when it comes to mapping the costs and working out the ROI, such as:

  • The cost of the unit; which will vary based on the speed of the charger you choose.
  • If you are electrifying your fleet too, consider the long-term pay off and the grants available against the high purchase costs (e.g. it’s estimated that electric cars are 60% cheaper for maintenance and parts, and electricity itself is cheaper than petrol).
  • Consider the grants available to you for charging units – you can claim a workplace EV charging grant (OZEV) which gives you £350 off per charge point socket up to a total of 40 sockets.
  • Operating costs should be factored in (installation, maintenance etc.).
  • You will need to decide on a cost model and whether or not you want to charge users to use your infrastructure.

Read our blog EV Charging for Business – What Are The Costs & ROI for more insights on the costs involved.

 

Assess Your Site

Once you’re ready to find out more about EV charging for your business, you should contact a reputable charge point operator (such as Mer) to request a site visit before taking any further action.

The operator will be able to:

  • Give you a quote for units and installation
  • Identify ideal charger locations
  • Find out if any capacity upgrades are required
  • Discuss requirements for load balancing.

In order to provide such detail, an operator will need to assess the premises, the location of the meter, the maximum electrical capacity, and the space capacity (the difference between actual load used and the maximum available).

The number and type of EVs using your charging infrastructure will impact the number and type of charge points needed.

It’s important to bear in mind that some EV models can only use slow chargers, but others can use fast and rapid. And yes, fast and rapid chargers will mean a quicker charge time, but they will also increase the electrical load.

It should also be considered that the number of vehicles being charged is closely linked to downtime – so specific business needs may mean you regularly have a large number of EVs charging for a long time all at once, meaning you will need more charge points – but they won’t necessarily need to be rapid chargers.

If your charge points will be used by employees, guests, and customers, you may not know the EV model types. Instead, you may need to focus on estimating usage based on what you do know or can find out – i.e. no. of employees with EVs, current customer and guest footfall, and estimations of how many of those may use EVs. The operator visiting you will be able to advise on the best type of charger(s) to accommodate most vehicle models.

At Mer we recommend starting off with a few chargers in this instance and assessing usage before expanding.

 

Ensure Your Chargers Are Supplying 100% Renewable Energy

If you are investing in a sustainable EV infrastructure, it makes sense to ensure they are powered by sustainable energy. There are a growing number of energy suppliers out there that can supply you with 100% renewable energy – one of which is Bryt, Statkraft energy business, and Mer’s sister company. Bryt Energy’s zero carbon, 100% renewable electricity is sourced solely from Solar, Wind, and Hydro meaning customers can report zero carbon emissions for electricity consumption under Scope 2 carbon emissions under the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Protocol market-based method.

Read more about sustainability at Mer >

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