With fantastic tax incentives available, more employees are opting for electric vehicles as their company cars. This is leading to growing pressure on organisations large and small to install workplace EV charge points.
Many organisations ask us, is there any grant funding available to help pay for workplace EV chargers? Can I apply for a workplace charging grant? And, how easy is it to access these pots of cash?
Scott Duncan answers all your questions on workplace charging grants.
What grants are available?
The Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) offers the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). This provides up to £350 per socket towards the purchase and installation, up to a maximum of 40 EV sockets or £14,000.
Businesses with under 250 employees (SMEs) can also apply for the EV infrastructure grant for staff and fleets. This provides an additional £500 towards the cost of installing a charging bay – and you don’t have to install the charge points immediately, it is just about installing the infrastructure so that it’s there when you need it in the future.
See our guide to grants here for more information.
Can the grant be used for public charge points?
The primary use of the charge points must be for company personnel, so you cannot access these workplace grants to put a charge point in a visitor parking bay in the staff car park, for example. Installers like Mer must send photos to OZEV officials of each installation on completion, to verify that the workplace EV charger is not for public use. OZEV also carries out spot checks, so don’t try to bend or break the rules.
How do I apply for the grant?
If you’re worried that it will be a time-consuming process, you can relax. You simply visit the website and fill in a short form. In return you will get a voucher code. All you have to do is give that code to Mer and as an OZEV-approved installer we can do the rest for you. We take on that administrative burden as part of our service.
Will my application be successful?
Provided you meet the criteria, you will be successful. I have not yet heard of a single grant application being turned down.
Do I need permission from the landlord?
Yes, you definitely need permission from your landlord to install EV charge points at your workplace – this is a question we ask all of our clients as part of the onboarding process. I have never had an issue where a landlord said no. Fundamentally the landlord benefits from you installing EV charging solutions.
Does the WCS cover all the costs?
A dual charger – one with two charging sockets – costs anywhere between £2,000 and £3,000 depending on its specification. So, the Workplace Charging Scheme will cover £700 of that cost. While any funding is welcome, it is only a subsidy. The rest of the required investment still falls on your company.
Also, remember that it only covers a total of 40 sockets across your entire organisation. So, if you work for a big company with multiple locations, you might find other sites have already maxed out the grants.
We’re an SME. Does the EV infrastructure grant stack on top of the Workplace Charging Scheme?
Yes, the two grants can be used in tandem for the same development. Essentially you can get £500 per parking bay to install the electrical infrastructure, plus £350 per charge point.
At Mer we take on that grant application process for our customers – and we are experienced in overlaying the infrastructure grant with the Workplace Charging Scheme.
We want to set a tariff on our EV charge points. Can I still apply for the grant?
Yes, you still qualify for the grant provided that the tariffs are charged to your colleagues, and not members of the public.
How do we prevent the charge points from draining the available power on our site?
This is a growing issue as there are some EV charging providers out there who will just give the customer what they want without any thought for the consequences. We put a lot of effort in at the front end to understand what power is available and how much they are using so we don’t cause them any pain. We are experts at harnessing the capabilities of smart chargers to ensure they work within any site’s power limitations. And best of all, these load balancing processes are automated so once the tech is up and running, you don’t have to worry about it.
When should I start thinking about installing workplace EV charging infrastructure?
Start talking to Mer as soon as you place an order for your first company EV, or you know that a work colleague is getting one. Some smaller businesses tend to wait until an electric car arrives and that can cause them issues. We can move fast but the process still takes weeks, not days, so it is best to give yourself some headroom. Generally, most larger organisations tend to think more strategically and are better at planning, but also remember that bigger projects take more time to implement.
To get started on your EV charging journey, request a quote online, call us on 03300 562 562 or email at [email protected] for support from one of our expert team.