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Q&A: At-home charging for business EVs with the new Zaptec Go, and Mer

With almost 18 million private driveways in the UK, home electric vehicle (EV) charging can be a primary method of charging both personal and fleet vehicles in an electrified future.

Person plugging charging cable into home EV charger

Home charging is often associated with domestic driving, as drivers can take advantage of having their own private charger at home in addition to charging on the public network when out and about.  

However, there is a key opportunity for businesses who operate an EV fleet to take advantage of home charging for their employees. 

To learn more about the possibilities of home charging for business, we spoke with Emma Spark, Head of Business and Home charging at Mer. In this blog, Emma outlines: 

  • What the Zaptec Go home charger is and why Mer uses this technology 
  • The benefits of at-home fleet vehicle charging,  
  • What businesses need to do to install home EV chargers for employees 
  • How businesses can support employees with the cost of charging a company vehicle at home. 

What is the Zaptec Go home charger and why does Mer use this technology over some others? 

We want it to be easy to install home EV chargers for employees. We selected the Zaptec Go because it can be installed quickly and therefore minimizes disruption to homeowners. For Mer, the Zaptec “Sense Unit” was a key feature. This is the charger’s load curtailment capability that allows it to intelligently adjust the power it draws from the grid in response to peaks in demand and prioritize power to the home. Surge protection is another reason Mer has adopted this charger, as the potential for outages increases, homeowners require that protection. Surge protection is provided within the Mer Homecharge installation package, so businesses can assure their employees of their safety. Zaptec has exceptional customer service too. 

What is the cost saving of at-home fleet vehicle charging?

There are several financial benefits of home charging for fleets or company cars. Instead of relying on public charge points for company vehicles, which often have higher costs, businesses can take advantage of the domestic energy tariffs given to homeowners. Specifically, those tariffs that offer reduced energy costs during the night. In addition, fleet and facilities managers can avoid the cost of upgrading their power supply from the District Network Operator (DNO). By decentralising fleet charging DNO upgrades at a central location can be avoided. Together, both of these cost savings quickly offset any potential installation costs too.  

Aside from the financials, when you speak to businesses, what do they report as the benefits of home charging for fleet vehicles? 

Fleet managers get more control with at-home charging for EV fleets, and charging a fleet vehicle at home is much more convenient for drivers. A public DC rapid charger will slow down significantly once a vehicle reaches 80%, so much so that it almost stops charging. Home charging gives company and fleet vehicles the full charge, extending their range before their next charge and reducing downtime. This also helps to make fleet drivers, and ultimately businesses, more productive as drivers don’t have to start a shift spending 15-20 minutes rapid charging their vehicle. For fleets of rapid response vehicles, this is even more important. Our home charging solution helps the AA electric patrol vehicles stay fully charged and ready to respond to incidents. 

Installing electric vehicle charge points for staff at home can also help to boost employee satisfaction. More companies are realising the importance of these benefits in kind for employees. Installing an EV charger is an attractive perk and shows employees that your business is committed to broader ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) goals. 

What do businesses need to do to install home EV chargers for employees? 

Mer undertakes a consultancy process with all businesses looking for home EV charging solutions. Many companies will have mixed fleets of company cars and larger vans. We can help those organisations find solutions best suited for them, which are flexible to the ways they want to finance them too.  

How can businesses help employees with the cost of charging a company vehicle at home? 

Homeowners will see an increase in the energy usage but not in their final bills because employers can offer a reimbursement for charging a company car at home. Mer encourages businesses to use the Allstar Homecharge app if they want to reimburse the homeowner’s fleet charging sessions. For home charging BiK (benefit in kind), there’s no taxable benefit for charging a company car or fleet vehicle for company use. If there are multiple vehicles charging, then there are many ways to accommodate this, and businesses and homeowners can use the method most suitable for them. The simplest way is to use different RFID cards for different vehicles.  


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