With impressive growth in the production of electric vehicles (EVs) and a huge shift from petrol-powered cars to electrically powered ones, this trend will keep on growing until all vehicles on the roads are electric.
This doesn’t seem like a very far-fetched idea since the UK government is already working towards it and has declared a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2040.
In line with the UK’s plans to reduce carbon emissions, the government is not only offering grants on zero-emission electric cars but also on installing EV charging points and stations.
Just as petrol and petrol stations are important for petrol-fuelled cars, electricity and EV charge points are important for electric vehicles.
In order to keep up with the plans of phasing out petrol cars and making EVs more common, there have to be adequate EV charging points and stations to meet the demand.
While new EV charging stations are cropping up in the country, there is still a long way to go, and while most EV owners are installing EV charging points in their homes, the demand for commercial EV chargers still needs to be fulfilled.
Read on to find out more about commercial EV chargers, their typical costs, the ideal location for installing them, how long they take to charge, how you can have them installed, and the legalities regarding commercial EV chargers in the workplace:
For EV owners, charging their cars at work is extremely convenient, especially if they do not have an EV charger at home or if their commute is long and they wish to “top up” their car batteries.
From a business perspective, having EV charge points can be an important facility for employees and visitors, and if you own an EV fleet, the chargers can be an essential operating factor.
Here are some of the reasons why commercial EV chargers are important for your business:
To meet future EV charging needs, the UK needs approximately 29,000 EV chargers across the country.
This gives businesses a great opportunity to install commercial EV chargers on their property and offer this service to EV owners.
Not only will this help the country achieve its goals but also help you, as a business, improve footfall with this audience.
Depending on the type of EV charger you have, the EV drivers may spend at least 20 to 40 minutes on your premises and are likely to explore your business’s offerings.
A successful business is all about beating the competition and offering a unique service that others aren’t.
For instance, if you run a supermarket, a large percentage of the shoppers will bring their cars with them, and if they own EVs, they would want the option to charge their cars while they shop.
This would give you an upper hand over your competitors since most EV owners would choose your business over others for a far superior shopping experience.
Employee turnover can be very expensive for employers, which is why they are always looking for ways to attract and retain a talented workforce. This can be in the form of numerous benefits such as paid leaves, travel allowance, and free food.
Workplace electric car charging is another such benefit that can help employers achieve their targets while helping employees with their transportation needs.
Employees with EVs will most likely look for recruiters who have a charging facility on their premises when deciding on where to work.
Therefore, it is important for you, as an employer, to keep up with the trends and provide your employees with all the benefits to make them more comfortable and productive.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) dictates that all business practices must be ethical and sustainable, which include usage of resources, waste management, recycling, emissions, and environment-friendly office and business travel policies.
Workplace electric car charging points contribute to a business’s CSR and help enhance the company’s image as being socially and environmentally responsible.
Many businesses across the UK have active sustainability programs which include a reduction in their carbon emissions, and workplace charging fits directly in achieving their targets.
Businesses that own company cars can convert their fleet to EVs if they have their own charging points installed. By doing so, they can enjoy great cost savings since the running and maintenance costs for EVs is relatively low as compared to traditional cars.
Electricity is much cheaper than petrol and diesel and since electric cars don’t run on oil, they don’t require oil changes.
EVs also have significantly fewer moving parts than fuel-powered vehicles and are typically easier on the brakes that don’t wear off as quickly leading to fewer brake replacements.
The first step towards installing an EV charger is to understand the different types available and how long they take to charge an electric car.
EV chargers are available in different speeds and cater to different requirements – both domestic and commercial.
In the UK, there are 3 main types of EV chargers that are differentiated according to how fast they charge an EV. They are referred to as ‘slow’, ‘fast’, and ‘rapid/ultra-rapid’ chargers.
Their speeds are obvious by their names, with slow chargers taking the longest and rapid chargers charging a full battery in hardly a few minutes.
When it comes to the cost of commercial EV chargers, there are two key points to consider:
On average, a commercial EV charge point typically costs between £1,000 and £2,500 +VAT, depending on the charger model, the level of work required during the EV charger installation process, and the distance between the charge point and the electricity source.
In addition to the initial installation costs, there are a few annual running costs and warranty extensions for the chargers. Again, these depend on the type of charger you have and could be around £250 per charger per year.
In order to support businesses with the upfront costs of installing commercial EV chargers, the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) offers a Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) that can be used to reduce the costs by up to 75%.
Capped at £350 per socket, the grant can be used to claim up to 20 single or 10 double charging stations.
However, to be eligible for funding your business must:
When installing commercial EV chargers on your property, the first step is deciding which type of EV charger you need.
As impressive as it may sound that you have high-powered rapid chargers, faster doesn’t always mean better and it really depends on your organisation and its needs and operations.
A 7kW charger will provide an EV with a 5 mile of charge in 10 minutes, whereas an ultra-rapid 150kW charger will give around 100 miles in the same amount of time.
While it may seem that a faster and more powerful charger is better, in reality, it all depends on the number and type of EVs that the business has.
When making the decision, you must also make sure what power is available to your premises, since rapid chargers providing 150kW+ require far more power than smaller chargers offering 22kW. The costs for the different systems also vary considerably, therefore, you also need to keep your budget in mind.
In addition to the costs and power supply on-site, you also need to see the demand and install EV chargers that can easily meet it.
Organisations need to consider the amount of time the EVs are parked at their premises. For instance, if it is a supermarket where the customers are likely to be done with their shopping in 45 minutes to an hour, you will need fast and ultra-fast chargers.
However, if the cars are going to be parked for longer, such as in offices where the EV owners work all day, it would make more sense to install low-cost slower chargers.
It would be unwise and unnecessary to install rapid chargers since not only are they expensive but also consume more electricity and would require the drivers to be on hand to move their vehicles once the charging is done, interrupting their work.
If the EV owners stop at the workplace for short periods of time, such as for shift changes, then high-powered charges would be more suitable.
If you run a business where you could benefit from both slow and high-powered chargers, you may install a mix of the two with a few of each type.
The location of the charge points is a crucial factor and each business will take different points into consideration when selecting the most ideal one.
Ideally, the EV chargers must be installed in prominent and easily accessible locations where they can be easily seen and used. Not only will this add convenience for the users but also display the business’s sustainability credentials.
A key factor to take into account is the location of the power supply since the closer that the EV charge points are to it, the less complex the installation process will be and the lower the labour costs.
For this reason, EV charge points are usually found adjacent to the main building, instead of in the middle of a car park, since that is where the electricity supply is.
They may also be located near the entrance to the workplace, similar to VIP parking spaces. However, there must be clear signage and proper security to prevent abuse and drivers of petrol and diesel cars using the space to park their cars.
In terms of the positioning of the chargers, you need to keep in mind that since the charging port on the majority of EVs is on or near the front, it may impact the reverse parking policy, if there is one at the workplace.
In addition to the correct location and placement of the EV charge points, the charging bays will also need eye-level, clear signage indicating what they are and who can use them. Bay markings on the ground may also be immensely helpful.
Instead of using wording such as “Electric vehicles only”, the standardised signage language now uses phrases such as “Electric vehicle recharging point only”, which makes it clear that the bays are only for recharging and are not to be used for parking for any vehicle, electric or not.
In the bid to put a ban on ICE cars by 2030 and to push the use of environment-friendly and sustainable electric vehicles, the UK government is investing in EV infrastructure that not only encourages the adoption of EVs but also the installation of more EV charge points in the country.
According to the country’s building regulations, all new homes and non-residential properties, including properties such as offices and supermarkets, as well as renovated properties with more than 10 parking spaces, are required to install EV chargers from 2022.
As part of the basic regulations concerning the installation of commercial EV chargers in workplaces, all electrical work being undertaken needs to conform to the current British Standards (BS).
The local electrical grid has to be capable of providing an adequate supply of power needed to ensure that all the EV chargers being installed at the premises can operate without fail.
Newer regulations also state that the charging equipment needs to be “smart” to be able to monitor the electricity consumption during charges and send the accumulated data to the OZEV (Office of Zero Emission Vehicles).
When it comes to the type of EV chargers and the way they are installed, you will have to check with your local planning office before installing them since there are certain criteria for installing wall-mounted and ground-based ones.
In addition to that, to qualify for a WCS grant, you need to choose an EV charger that is eligible for the grant under the terms and conditions laid out by the UK government.
Also, to take full advantage of the WCS, all installation work must be carried out by a contractor pre-approved by the OZEV.
Before installation begins, it is extremely important to speak to all members of the workplace and make sure they understand the safety regulations that need to be adhered to while the chargers are being installed.
The EV chargers must be installed in a circuit with load control, an RCD (Residual Current Device) that will disconnect the charger in case of an overload, and have built-in PME (Protective Multiple Earthing) to eliminate the risk of electric shocks.
If you are using an OZEV-approved installer such as Calder Electrical, you do not need to worry about these issues since they will take all the factors into account and install the chargers in compliance with the updated and latest government regulations.
At Calder Electrical, we install EV chargers in line with the current regulations and can offer a government incentive to reduce the installation costs for both domestic and commercial properties.
There are various chargers currently in the market and it can be a little confusing to choose the best one for your needs.
We will take out the hassle and provide you with the most suitable and affordable option, ranging from the standard systems to the smart ones that are becoming increasingly popular.
We are authorised and registered OZEV installers and our charge points come with a 3-year warranty. We offer all kinds of different options to choose from, such as wall-mounted to freestanding pedestal units with different types of chargers and charging speeds.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for our expert opinion and professional services!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001