Workplace EV Chargers
Workplace EV Chargers and Why They Matter
The UK government has set out highly ambitious targets to get the country using zero-emissions vehicles and moving away from traditional petrol and diesel vehicles upon which we have relied for well over a century. It’s proving a challenging task at this stage since electric cars are still relatively expensive compared to internal combustion engine models.
Another problem people have is range anxiety. Those living in suburban houses with driveways, garages and space to install their own home EV charging station are finding it somewhat easier to make the adjustment. They do not need to rely on public charging infrastructure because their primary charging point can be at their home.
Not everyone has this luxury, however, and so they must either wait for public charging stations and charge points to number enough to allay their fears, or they must rely on their employers to install ev charge points into another location in which they find themselves daily — the workplace.
Workplace EV Chargers: A Modern Solution
For the millions who find themselves living in densely populated urban areas, the luxury of their own home charging station may never become a reality. They can hope that the local council will work to install more charge points on the streets and in parking areas, but one other key battleground is in workplaces.
To that end, the government has devised the Workplace Charging Scheme (see more further below) which aims to assist and support companies in providing workplace EV charging for their staff. The belief is that if more staff members know they can get a full charge while they’re at the office, then their range anxiety will subside enough to persuade them to get an electric car sooner rather than later.
What is the Workplace Charging Scheme?
According to gov.uk, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards any up-front costs to purchase and install EV chargers for business. The financial support is calculated per socket installed, and as of 1 April 2020 the grant was set at £350 per socket, and there is an allowance of up to 40 sockets per enterprise.
In February 2021 the scheme was expanded to include small to medium enterprises (SMEs), as well as the charity and non-profit sectors. The idea behind the expansion was to allow smaller businesses in more remote areas to benefit from the scheme, installing chargers to attract new customers and to bolster people’s confidence when travelling to more remote areas where other public charging points may be fewer overall.
Who is Providing EV Chargers for Business?
There are a number of UK companies and networks that offer sale and installation of charging points for workplaces. These charge points need to be durable, versatile and powerful, likely more powerful than the units people buy at home. So, to whom can you turn if you are running a business and wish to have workplace EV chargers installed?
Pod Point is one of the leading companies providing EV infrastructure and charging solutions in the UK. They sell domestic units for home charging, as well as larger more powerful app-controlled commercial units, but also smart charging stations for workplaces.
EO is focused mostly on providing solutions for fleet managers to allow them to convert their fleets to electric vehicles and have ample charging infrastructure within their facilities to keep vehicles active and viable. Among their clientele is Amazon and its huge delivery fleet.
This is a well-known home EV charger brand, but they also produce units for workplace solutions, too. Their flagship unit, the Pulsar, is known for its speed, reliability and durability, especially in extreme weather.
Considerations for Workplace EV Charging
An enterprise can’t just shove in chargers in the car park and be done with it. There are a number of considerations that businesses need to make before installing workplace EV chargers:
● Bringing together all the stakeholders: utility providers, EV charger providers, shareholders, employees and possibly others.
● Selecting a suitable brand of EV charger that meets their needs – safety, fire risk, weatherproofing, charging speed, power rating, electrical infrastructure compatibility, ease of installation, cost, etc.
● Installation work and how it might disrupt day-to-day use of parking and other spaces
● Company policy on charging: time limits per employee, vehicle size and type; number of charges per week; battery percentage limits; off-limits times such as weekends, prioritized use, and so on.
Some stakeholders may object to the cost and disruption. Others may think it unfair that some employees get subsidized fuel in the form of electric charging while petrol and diesel car owners have to fill up on their own time and entirely at their own expense. It can get to be quite a tricky balancing act of interests.
Benefits of Workplace EV Chargers
To conclude, we’ll share some of the benefits of workplace EV chargers. Despite the complexities and the difficulties in getting such schemes off the ground, there are many benefits for stakeholders and the wider community to enjoy from EV chargers for business.
First, it encourages greater adoption of EVs, which reduces local emissions. Zero-emission battery-powered electric vehicles make a huge difference to air quality and noise pollution in an area. Electric cars don’t spew out fumes and they don’t make as much noise as diesel and petrol cars. It creates a more pleasant environment.
Second, it can boost employee retention. Those businesses that take advantage of the Workplace Charging Scheme can become early adopters and offer their employees a good reason to remain in their current company or organisation. Moving to another business that doesn’t offer charging could be a big deal if the employee doesn’t have a home charging solution, which many city dwellers will not.
Finally, it reduces range anxiety, and will help the country achieve its 2030 targets. One of the biggest obstacles to people adopting EVs, even as prices are falling and with rebates still in place, is the issue of range anxiety. People are terrified of running out of juice with no charger in sight. When your staff know that workplace EV chargers are available to them and that they have been allocated sufficient charging time to realistically be able to charge their electric cars during the day, it will settle many worries and help to persuade your staff to adopt EVs faster.