EV Charging at the Workplace
What are the options for EV charging at a workplace?
Once you have decided on the best method of adopting electric cars for your business, it’s also worth considering the charging infrastructure at your workplace.
There are a number of schemes available that make installing electric car charging points for your business a low-cost, or even free option. For example, Chargemaster will install a charge point for free if it will also be accessible to the public. The most well-known scheme however is the Workplace Charging Scheme.
What is the Workplace Charging Scheme?
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a grant set up by the government’s Office for Zero Emission Vehicles. It was set up to help businesses reduce the upfront costs of installing electric car charge points at the workplace. It offers a 75% grant for the purchase and installation of us to 40 charge points (capped at £350 per chargepoint socket).
Who can apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme?
The Workplace Charging Scheme is available for all businesses, no matter how big or small and is also set to be extended early 2022 to include other businesses such as:
- Registered charities and small accommodation businesses – These will be able to claim the same amount as current eligible businesses.
- Owners of commercially let properties – Funding of up to £350 per socket will be available, with a maximum of 100 installations each year. Owners must reserve parking spaces for their own staff or fleet, or for future tenants
- Small to medium enterprises (SMEs) – SMEs will be eligible for up to £15,000 per building, but only if they dedicate at least five private parking bays to electric vehicle charging. Applicants can claim up to five grants, but must have at least one working charging station in place following the first round of funding
Companies will also need to meet a few other conditions before they can be eligible for the scheme, including:
- Having off-street parking with enough space to install charging stations
- Demonstrating their need for an existing or future electric fleet (although, they don’t need to currently have electric vehicles as part of their fleet)
- Having charging stations installed by an OZEV-approved installer
- Registering with Companies House or having a VAT registration
- Providing private parking, reserved for staff or fleet use only
- Maintaining the charging points for a minimum period of three years
- Providing anonymous usage data to OZEV
To read the full criteria, head to the government website.
How to apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme
If you’re looking to apply to the WCS, you’ll need to do this in the online application portal. Just make sure to have the following information available:
- Contact details
- Evidence of eligibility
- Details of sites where the installations will take place
- Declaration of the current need for charging, or intent to encourage uptake of eligible EVs
- Conditions for use of the charge point
- Declaration of state aid (here’s an explanation on what this consists)
Once the eligibility checks are successfully completed, you’ll receive a unique identification voucher code valid for six months and can be given to any OZEV-authorised installer. Once the expiry date has passed, the installer won’t be able to do any work on the charging point.
It’s also worth noting that any installations that have been completed before a voucher was issued won’t be eligible for the grant.
Once the charge point has been fully completed, the authorised installer will be able to claim the grant from the OZEV through the online installer portal.
When does the scheme end?
The WCS was initially launched in 2016, renewed in December 2020 and has now been set to extend further in 2023. There is currently no end date for the WCS, with the government only ramping up the scheme to encourage greater EV usage.
If the office space is leased can we still install EV chargers?
If you lease your current business premises it’s important that you get permission before installing a charge point. Some lease agreements may have restrictions on changes made to the property. However, as an EV charge point is seen as an improvement, it’s unlikely you should face any obstacles when seeking permission from a landlord.
Is it expensive to allow electric car charging at a workplace?
There are a few cost implications to consider if you are thinking about installing car charging at the workplace. Firstly, there’s the initial charge point unit cost, which can vary anywhere between £1,000-3,000.
Then there is the cost to charge your employees’ cars. This will vary depending on the time of day, your provider, how often it is used and the type of car being charged.
Can you get government grants for electric car charging points for businesses?
Yes. The UK Government has a voucher scheme called ‘The Workplace Charging Scheme’ which provides support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge-points, for eligible businesses.