Installing Electric Vehicle Points
7 Great Reasons Why Your Business Needs EV Charging Points
Electric vehicle ownership in the UK is growing apace. In 2022, 16% of new vehicle registrations in the UK in 2022 were for electric vehicles, rising to 23% when hybrids are included. By providing EV charging infrastructure, you can attract this growing customer demographic, making your business more appealing. And with a range of attractive grant support and financing options available, there’s never been a better time to make the switch to electric.
Drivers of electric vehicles show a strong preference for accommodation and other providers who provide EV charging points. This is a particularly strong factor in EV drivers when choosing rural holiday accommodation. “Range anxiety” is an important issue for many EV drivers and by giving them the opportunity to recharge, giving them a stress-free travel experience, improving guest satisfaction and positive reviews.
For businesses in retail, hospitality, or entertainment, providing EV charging points can encourage customers to spend more time at your location. This extended dwell time can lead to increased sales and customer satisfaction. Particularly for businesses in rural areas, having EV charging points can be the difference between being accessible to a new generation of customers or being left out in the cold.
Depending on your business model, you may be able to derive an additional income stream from your EV points, either by charging users directly or by offering premium packages to users while they wait for their vehicles to charge – for example paid leisure activities or a meal.
Developing EV infrastructure can enhance your business's relationship with local people. As well as demonstrating your commitment to environmental stewardship, it provides a useful local amenity too and can provide a compelling reason for residents to spend time at your business if you offer EV, particularly in the shoulder and low seasons.
As for your staff, offering EV charging at the workplace is a valuable employee benefit and can contribute to improved job satisfaction, staff recruitment and retention. Think about providing charging points for electric bikes, too. There is specific grant funding available for staff charging points under the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme.
Finally, installing charging infrastructure future-proofs your business for the future. It’s a proactive step to help you to remain competitive in an evolving market.
10 Easy Steps to Installing EV Charging Points
- Think about your business’s requirements. Who will be using the charging point – staff, visitors, the general public or a mixture of all three. Think about where you want to locate your charging points and how many you are likely to need.
- Slow, fast or rapid? Choose between a slow, fast or rapid charger depending on the intended use. Slow chargers are mainly older models. Fast chargers are AC powered and go up to 22kW in power, while Rapid chargers are DC powered and range from 40kW to about 350kW. The higher the specified kW the faster a unit can charge your EV, but remember that the speed of charge will be limited by highest charging speed of your electric car as well. There is also a significant price difference, with fast chargers typically costing between £1,500 and £6,000 per unit and rapid chargers starting at £50,000. Most hospitality and leisure businesses will likely opt for fast chargers, with rapid chargers being more suitable for service stations and other public transit points.
- Choose a Certified EV Charging Point provider – Use an installer approved by the Government Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV).
- Site Survey – arrange for your chosen provider to conduct a site survey to assess your available space and any necessary permissions. Your provider will carry out an electrical capacity assessment to ensure that your existing system can support the additional load. You might need to upgrade your electrical infrastructure if it’s not sufficient.
- Check Planning Permission – installation of an EV charging point is usually classed as “permitted development” and as such does not require planning permission, but you should double-check the position if your premises are a listed building or within a conservation area.
- Get a Quotation – your chosen provider will provide a quotation, which should include the costs of the charging unit, installation and any electrical upgrade work.
- Think About Finance – There are two funding models available to business owners who wish to install EV charging points. Under the “full ownership” model, the business owner buys the EV infrastructure. There is no contract with the supplier and the business owner can decide who can access the charging point, whether they charge and how much. An alternative “fully funded” model exists for businesses who want to provide EV charging points, particularly rapid points without the capital outlay. The supplier of the charger continues to own it and sets the price for users of the charging point. Generally, they require 24/7 public access to the charging point.
- What About a Grant? – If you choose to purchase your own EV charging point, then there are grant funding options available. Under the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) grants of up to 75% or the cost of purchase and installation costs are available, up to a maximum of £350 per socket. Available until March 2025, SMEs may also be able to claim the Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Grant for staff and fleets, up to a total of £850 per charging point. Speak to your installer about what help may be available, or check out the government website here.
- Install, Test, Certify – after installation, which should be carried out by a qualified and certified electrician, make sure that the installation has been tested and the installer has provided you with certification and test results, which you may also need for any grant application. Your installer should register the installation with the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles. They can also advise about an appropriate maintenance plan.
- Spread the word – let your customers and the local community know that you have installed EV Charging points. Members of Visit Sidmouth, Honiton, Budleigh, Ottery or Seaton can feature their EV Charging point on our interactive map for no extra charge.
Find Out More
This Visit England webinar provides a step-by-step guide and information about installing EV charging points. Follow the link here and enter the code provided to access the recording.
If you are installing EV charging points, why not think about transitioning any vehicles your business uses to electric too. The Energy Saving Trust provides advice for businesses looking to do this, plus a support finder tool here.