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Is it worth investing in a business charging station?

By Maxine Ashford | May 3, 2023

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As a result of the announcement and as we progress to a cleaner environment with net-zero gas emissions, electric vehicle sales have been soaring

Is it worth investing in a business charging station?

It’s old news now that the government will be banning the sale of diesel and electric cars from 2030 and that has left many businesses facing quite a dilemma.

As a result of the announcement and as we progress to a cleaner environment with net-zero gas emissions, electric vehicle sales have been soaring and it’s a trend that is showing no sign of easing off.

To cope with this increase in EVs many businesses are weighing up the pros and cons of getting an electric vehicle charging station at their premises. While the installation costs are not cheap, it can prove fruitful in the long run.

For example, by electrifying the workplace, staff and visitors can benefit from the convenience of plugging in their vehicles to charge. Visitors could be offered a free charge while they are having a look around and that could help build good working relationships which, could in turn, lead to extra sales. And if you have a fleet of vehicles, you can charge them at base where electricity-provider tariffs may have been negotiated at a favourable rate.

In addition, you could be entitled to a hefty grant to get started under the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) which is run by the Government’s Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) and administered by the Driver and Vehicle Licence Agency (DVLA).

This is a voucher-based scheme that is open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations providing support towards the costs of the purchase and installation of EV charge points. 

The grant will cover up to 75 per cent of the total costs of the purchase and installation, but this figure is capped at £350 per socket. And the maximum number of charge points is restricted to 40. This means if 40 sockers are fitted, a business could save up to £14,000.

In order to apply, businesses need to have any chargers installed by a supplier that is Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles (OZEV) approved. The owners will also need to explain why the chargers are necessary and the premises must have off-street parking to be eligible for the scheme. 

The grant submission is completed online and successful applicants are issued with a unique identification code via email that is then passed on to the OZEV-approved installer.

Once installation has been completed, the authorised installer claims the grant on behalf of the applicant. This process must be completed within six months of the voucher being issued or no grant will be paid out.

The scheme is available in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, but not in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

So, how much will an EV charging station cost? The answer very much depends on how many charge points are fitted, the type of chargers, along with any necessary renovations to the surrounding infrastructure, such as where you will run any power cables etc. In addition, you may need to upgrade your power supply in order to run numerous chargers and that will see quite a price hike.

We had a look online to see how much commercial charge points cost and they begin at the £1,000 to £1,500, plus VAT mark. Move up to fast chargers and the cost increases to approximately £3,500 while ultra-fast charge points can be £16,000 or more.

So, really any business owner needs to weigh up the benefits of getting a bank of charging points fitted against the upfront expenditure.

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