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A 2023 Guide To Government Incentives & Grants For EVs

How can UK businesses, local authorities, landlords and individuals fund their electric vehicle charging infrastructure in 2023?

government incentives grants evs

In this blog:  Support for Landlords  |  Support for Local Authorities  |  Support for Fleets  |  Support for Businesses

*Updated with 2023 data.

 

The UK government has been clear in its commitment to reducing harmful emissions, by investing billions to aid the transition to electric in the transport sector. 

More and more of us are on the verge of making the switch and are just looking for a final push into action. For many, however, that incentive needs to be financial. 

The UK government has focused investment on EV charge point infrastructure, to ensure the country can cope with the inevitable upcoming demand. The total funding committed by this government to vehicle grants and infrastructure is now at £2.5 billion. 

We have pulled together details on the incentives and grants currently available for drivers, businesses, landlords and local authorities when it comes to charge point infrastructure. 

 

Support for Landlords

EV chargepoint grant

This grant started in April 2022, replacing the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. 

The grant gives financial support to landlords who are considering buying and installing EV charge points at residential or commercial properties in the UK. The grant can be used across a number of properties or for just one property. 

Landlords can receive: 

  • up to 75% of the cost towards the purchase and installation of a charge point socket, limited to £350 per grant. 
  • up to 200 grants a year for residential properties 
  • a further 100 for commercial properties. 

Additionally, local authorities that own social housing can apply to the EV chargepoint grant for landlords, offering up to £350 towards the cost of purchasing and installing a chargepoint. 200 grants per local authority are available annually. 

If you are living in a rented or leased flat, you can also benefit from an EV charge point grant that offers help towards the cost of installing an EV charge point socket at your property. 

EV infrastructure grant

This grant offers landlords money off the building and installation costs associated with installing multiple charge point sockets, such as wiring and posts. 

Landlords can receive: 

  • Up to £30,000 or 75% off the cost of the work. The amount the landlord is eligible for will depend on how many parking spaces the work covers. 
  • Up to 30 infrastructure grants per financial year. Each grant must be used for a different property. 

Woman Using EV Charger for Car

 

Eligibility 

You may apply for this grant if you are one of the following: 

  • landlord of a property 
  • right to manage company 
  • companies owning the freehold of a leased or rented property 
  • companies owning a building’s common areas. The company may comprise shareholders who are the leaseholders. The company may also manage the building 
  • private registered providers of social housing (PRP) 
  • public authorities, such as government departments and their agencies, the armed forces, local governments, the NHS and emergency services 
  • Charities 
  • If you are applying for a commercially let property, the charge point must be dedicated for use by the staff or fleets of the property’s tenant. It cannot be for public use. 

You can apply for: 

  • single-unit residential properties, such as flats and houses 
  • multi-unit residential properties, such as apartment blocks 
  • commercially let properties that have parking dedicated for staff use or fleet use of the tenant or prospective tenant 
  • Holiday rental properties are not covered by this grant 

Your property must be in the UK. 

If you are applying to install charge points at a parking space, each space must: 

  • Be off-street, private and clearly defined. 
  • Be accessible to the tenant. 
  • Be owned by you, or be one that you have the legal right to. 

If the installation requires cables or parts to be placed across public or private land, you must have proof of legal rights and permissions before the work begins. 

 

EV infrastructure grant – additional requirements 

There are several extra requirements for the EV infrastructure grant: 

  • You must be using the grant for a property with multiple homes (such as an apartment block or estate with buildings which share a car park). 
  • You must be installing at least one charge point socket. 
  • You must be working on at least 5 parking spaces. 

 

Example business case 

This grant is perfect for a landlord of a multi-residential complex with private communal (unallocated) parking bays. Installing EV infrastructure now, while there is funding available, helps to address the growing demand for charging and keeps the property attractive to potential renters. 

Commercial landlords can also benefit. For example if you own and rent out commercial units to businesses, having the property equipped with EV charge points attracts environmentally conscious organisations who have an e-fleet or want to encourage their employees to make the switch. 

 

How to apply  

Before you can apply, you must:  

  • Complete necessary upgrades to your building’s electrical supply. 
  • Ensure regular maintenance checks of the charge points. 
  • Make a decision on how the electricity and running costs will be paid. 
  • Ensure the charge points are accessible. 
  • Update the property’s risk assessment so that it includes the charge points. 
  • Register with OZEV and get a landlord registration number. 

To register, you will need one of the following: 

  • company registration number 
  • VAT registration number 

You will also need: 

Once your details are verified, DVLA will provide you a landlord registration number for the scheme. You should then seek advice from a verified OZEV installer who will talk you through the next steps. 

For more information, visit the gov.uk website. 

Support for Local Authorities

The On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS)

The government has announced the continuation of ORCS, with the hope of increasing the availability of plug-in vehicle charging infrastructure for residents who lack access to off-street parking.  

Open for application from local authorities, the scheme is run by The Energy Saving Trust on behalf of OZEV and offers funding for 60% of the capital costs involved in procuring and installing on-street electric car charge points and dedicated parking bays, up to a value of £7,500 (and up to £13,000 in the instance electrical connection costs are exceptionally high). Local authorities who are considering EV strategies can claim for funding for the purchase of an electric charging unit, related electrical component costs, DNO connection, any related civil engineering works, as well as the labour and hardware costs of installation, and the capital costs of a parking bay and traffic regulation orders. 

government grants for evs

In an update to the scheme, it has been announced that proposed charge points will need to have a minimum payment method, such as contactless. Formal regulation is set to come into place late 2022, from which point, any ORCS applications approved after this date will need to abide by it. 

Local authorities can claim by submitting an application form to The Energy Saving Trust via email. You will need to have established the area demand, ideal locations and obtained quotes.  Upon acceptance you’ll receive a grant offer letter from OZEV and payment of 75% of the grant within approximately 25 working days. The remaining 25% can be claimed upon project completion – with evidence of completion needing to be supplied within 30 days. 

The Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) scheme

Alongside the ORCS scheme, the government introduced a second funding programme for local authorities. 

The Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI)  scheme is split into a capability fund, which aims to ensure authorities have the necessary staff and capability to plan and deliver their proposed charge point infrastructure, and a capital fund, which will support charge point delivery. 

The capability fund for Tier 1 local authorities closed in March 2023 – we expect information regarding the capital fund to be announced in due course. 

The capability fund 

The fund is open again for the 2023/2024 and 2024/2025 financial years. Tier 1 local authorities and combined authorities in England, as well as partnerships or consortiums led by tier 1 local authorities, are eligible for this fund. London authorities should note that a ‘bespoke approach’ is being taken through Transport for London and London Councils. 

To apply, authorities should complete the scheme proforma available via the Energy Saving Trust website by 11:55pm on 26 May 2023. We have noted the assessment criteria in our LEVI-specific blog. 

The capability fund for Tier 1 local authorities closed in March 2023we expect information regarding the capital fund to be announced in due course.. 

The capital fund 

The capital fund is open for applications fromTier 1 local authorities (unitary, county council or combined authorities) in England on behalf of all their constituent authorities’, whilst funding will be delivered through borough partnerships in London. This fund also closes for applicants on 26 May 2023. 

There is a three-step process: 

  • Expression of interest, 
  • Business case, criteria compliance, and tender document review, 
  • Contract review. 

Read more about the fund and its assessment criteria in our LEVI-specific blog. 

Support for Fleets

EV infrastructure grant for staff and fleets

Launched in April last year, the EV infrastructure grant for staff and fleets is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses that want to install EV charge points on their properties, either straight away or in the future. It has been designed to help businesses plan for the demand of low-emission vehicles.  This is ideal for last-mile fleet electrification progression.

Businesses can get up to £850 for each private parking space that the charging infrastructure and charge point is required for. Each grant application can be up to a maximum of £15,000. If more charge points are needed in addition to those provided by this grant, then the Workplace Charging Scheme may be used.  

 

Eligibility 

Small to medium-sized businesses are eligible for:   

  • £350 towards each socket  
  • £500 per bay for supporting infrastructure (e.g. groundworks, electric cabling and electrical supply points such as feeder pillars) to power charge points planned for installation at a later date.  
  • max grant of up to £15,000 (per site)  
  • up to 5 grants in total  
  • Each grant claimed must be for a different site.  

Applicants must:  

  • be registered with Companies House or have a VAT registration  
  • employ less than 250 people  
  • have at least one working charging station in place following the first round of funding.  
  • must have received – or have currently pending at the time of application – less than €200,000 of public support in the past 3 financial years and satisfy the state aid requirements  
  • designate a minimum of 5 parking bays  
  • ensure that the charge points installed are used exclusively by staff or fleet. 

 

Example business case 

This grant is perfect for SMEs that have private parking on their premises. They may want to encourage colleagues to make the switch to EVs or have plans to upgrade their current fleet to electric car(s) or van(s) in the near future, and are planning ahead.  

The great thing about this grant is that businesses can start small by installing one fully operational EV charger while laying the electrical groundwork for the installation of future charge points.  

The grant can be used to cover the costs of: installation, the charging hardware, grid connections, vehicle barriers and site survey works.  

 

How to apply  

The Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) administers the grant on behalf of OZEV. To access the grant, a business must first register with DVLA using this registration form.  

Once registered, you can agree work to be undertaken at a specific site with an OZEV approved installer, like Mer UK.  

Once work is complete, your approved installer will apply for the grant on your behalf. They will tell OZEV what was installed and send evidence to verify this. This will include a copy of your invoice, photos of the charge points installed and a diagram of the car park indicating the work completed.  

Your installer will invoice you showing the total cost of the installation (including any VAT charged) minus the OZEV grant. DVLA will process the application and inform your installer of the result.  

If the grant is awarded, OZEV will pay your installer the grant (which they will have already discounted from your bill).  

Support For Businesses

Workplace Charging Scheme

Probably the most well-known and established grant, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) provides financial support to businesses towards the cost of purchasing and installing workplace charge points. This makes the EV infrastructure business case even more compelling.

It was first introduced by OZEV in 2016, renewed in 2020, and in 2022 was opened up to SMEs, small accommodation businesses, commercial landlords and charities. 

The scheme allows for up to £350 per charging socket (maximum of 40 sockets) up to a value of £14,000. 

 

Eligibility  

Fleet, workplaces, SMEs, accommodation businesses and charities are eligible for: 

  • up to £350 per socket 
  • a maximum grant of up to £14,000 
  • Under the scheme, charger usage is restricted to staff and fleet use only 
  • However, accommodation businesses will be permitted to let guests use the EV charge point(s). 
  • Businesses can also use the grant to fund the upgrade of charge points older than three years. The funding can’t be used for repairs. It must be a new charge point that’s installed and the 40 socket limit still applies. 

Applicants must: 

  • be a registered business/charity/public sector organisation based in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland. 
  • have off-street parking 
  • own the property or have consent from the landlord for charge points to be installed 
  • use an OZEV approved installer. 

Example business case – corporate workplaces with electric fleet  

As an authorised OZEV installer we have supported many businesses to access the WCS. We recently assisted smart infrastructure solutions company, Costain through the process. Costain required a partner who could provide and install EV charging infrastructure across all its UK offices to power its 3,000-strong fleet. 

Our expert associate provided advice on what the company could claim and what site power was required after a full site survey. The associate was also on hand to help with any application queries. 

Costain saved approximately £12,000 on 34 sockets across four of their UK sites and reaped the benefits from installing EV charging stations at their sites.

 

How to apply  

Before you can claim the grant, it is recommended that you speak to an OZEV approved installer, like Mer. Our EV charging experts will help you throughout the whole process and can offer advice when applying for the grant. 

You will then submit an online application via OZEV’s portal. The grant operates as a voucher based scheme. 

When eligibility checks are complete, you will receive a voucher for the number of required EV charge point sockets. Give this to your installer, who will then invoice you for the work, less the value of the voucher. 

The voucher expires after 180 days and the installation must be completed before it expires. After the project is fully completed, your installer will claim the value of the grant on your behalf. 

Coming Soon

The Rapid Charging Fund

The country is already performing well when it comes to provision of rapid chargers. Recent Zap-Map data shows there were 7426 rapid/ultra-rapid charging devices as of February 2023.  

The government intends to accelerate the rollout of high powered chargers on the strategic road network, supporting those taking longer journeys. As a result, the Rapid Charging Fund was announced back in March 2020 as part of a £500 million funding commitment to EV infrastructure – which increased to £950 million later that same year. The purpose of the fund is to future-proof electrical capacity at motorways and major A road service areas – in preparation for increased EV uptake -and to ‘unlock current barriers to deployment at some of these locations, enabling provision where the commercial case will not add up.’ 

The government wishes to bring high-quality, competitively priced public charge points to communities across the UK, but has made clear that it expects the private sector to deliver charge points where commercially viable – and there will only be intervention in case of market failure. 

The fund is not yet open for applications. Further details will be available via the government website. 

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