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EV Charging 2023 – Challenges for Fleets and the Workplace

What are some of the key challenges facing fleets and workplaces when it comes to electric vehicle (EV) charging in 2023? In this article, we examine three of the main issues.

EV fleet trends

 

Mind the Gap

Many organisations have already installed workplace charging infrastructure to support company vehicle drivers and other employees who are making the switch to EVs. However, there remain a substantial number of workplaces yet to invest in EV charge points.

A recent survey by the Arval Mobility Observatory found that 33% of companies had no EV charging infrastructure at their premises, with only 17% planning to install charge points in the next 12 months. This is supported by a recent poll from Fleet News which found that only 54% of fleets have installed EV charging infrastructure.

Simon Tate, Sales Director, Fleet and Workplace division Mer UK, said:

“Having no charging infrastructure at your fleet depot or workplace can create operational challenges and actually end up costing you money. Relying on the public charging network can result in paying several times per kilowatt more for energy than you do at work.

“Equally, workplace charging is quick and convenient, meaning no time is wasted by workers trying to find a charge point, which is a hidden cost and hampers productivity.”

Grants such as the Workplace Charging Scheme are still available to subsidise the costs of installing workplace charging. At Mer, we can apply on your behalf for these grants and have a superb track record of winning funding for our customers.

You can read more about available grants and how to apply for them in our Guide to EV Charge Point Grants.

 

Tariffs for Workplace Charging

Arval Mobility Observatory’s research also found that only 5% of companies charged a fee for use of workplace charge points. This was not a big deal when energy prices were stable and there were fewer EVs in service, but higher energy prices and wider EV adoption in 2022 put charging for charging back on the agenda.

“Many companies quite rightly offered free workplace charging to help incentivise employees into switching to EVs,” says Simon. “However, now that EVs are much more mainstream, more discussions are taking place about introducing tariffs. Employers don’t give free fuel to workers driving those vehicles, so they might not want to give EV drivers free energy, either.”

Mer provides you with the capability to set multiple tariffs for different use cases. For example, you could have a subsidised tariff for staff, a higher tariff for visitors, and a zero tariff for pool cars and company vehicles.

You can read more about how to approach adding tariffs for workplace charging in our dedicated article.

Mer electric vehicle charging point mounted on wall in depot

Available Power

There was a surge in sales of EVs during 2022 – and it is expected there will be more of the same this year. Public and private sector fleet operators will continue to lead the charge in EV adoption.

Research by Churchill Expert, Direct Line Group’s flexible fleet insurance business, found that fleet managers are expecting electric and hybrid vehicles to outnumber petrol and diesel on their fleets by 2024. In addition, more than 75% expect their fleets to be fully electric before 2030.

While this is great news for decarbonising fleets, it will create a further challenge for fleet operators. This is because many depots do not have a grid connection with the capacity to support charging infrastructure for more EVs.

Mer provides site surveys to identify energy capacity and is also an expert in finding ways to get around limitations, through its load balancing technology. Load balancing is when a network of charging points shares available power to ensure all vehicles can still be charged, albeit at slower rates. It is a far more cost-effective option than paying for a grid infrastructure upgrade.

Read more about the challenges around load balancing in our blog about the top challenges facing fleet managers.

 

Talk to Us

Whether you are a workplace looking to install your first charging points, or are thinking about introducing tariffs for your existing infrastructure, talk to our friendly experts. If you are a fleet that is planning significant new investments in EVs and charging to support them, we are also ideally placed to help.

Call us at 03300 562 562 or email us at [email protected].

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