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Following the announcement by Boris Johnson that new cars and vans powered wholly by petrol and diesel will not be sold in the UK from 2030, we have put together some top tips that you should consider when planning for the install of charge points.

The electric car market is growing quickly, with more than 164,100 pure-electric cars on UK roads at the end of September 2020 – and over 373,600 plug-in models including plug-in hybrids (PHEVs). These numbers are set to increase dramatically in coming years as sales are ramped up in line with manufacturer offerings, with more competitive prices expected to be ready for the new government target of 2030.

From a business viewpoint, charge points at the workplace are likely to become an increasingly important facility for employees and will likely become an important facet of attracting and retaining employees in future. While visitors will factor charge point availability into business decisions, from short term meeting plans to long-term strategic decisions on location. For businesses with EV fleets, it will be an essential operating factor.

There are multiple considerations to take into account when arranging the procurement and install of charge points. Below are some of the most pertinent, although this list is not exhaustive:

Siting

For a multi-site operation, which of your sites require points installing? Which sites are the priority for points to be installed? Where on site will they be located?

  • The further points are sited from the incoming power, the higher the cost.
  • Are you happy to designate those spaces to electric vehicles permanently?
  • Do you want free-standing or wall/pole mounted units? Wall mounted are generally lower cost but not always practical.

Users and fees

Who will use the points, and do you plan to charge a fee for use?

  • What will the initial take-up be? How many staff presently have use of an EV vehicle? How many do you plan to have in the near future?
  • Do you have any EV fleet vehicles that require their own reserved charge point?
  • Do you require restricted access or open to all company employees/visitors/public?
  • Do you plan to charge for use to some/all users?

Ownership

Do you want to own the charge points? If so, how would you like to pay for them?

  • Capital investment vs rental?
  • Recoup cost via charge point fees?
  • Enhanced capital allowances available.

Safety & Signage

How will you alert visitors to the points and protect them from damage?

  • Protective barriers
  • Ramps
  • Signs
  • Online EV charge maps

Charging Speed and Power Availability

 What charging speed do you require? Does your power supply have the available capacity to cope with your charger requirements?

  • Slow, fast or rapid? From 8 hours + down to 30 minutes.
  • The faster the charge point, the more drivers able to charge per day, but also increased power demand and a higher cost per charge point.
  • Present power demand vs expected should be reviewed and capacity upgrades requested where needed.

Installation

How will you install – via the supplier or do you have your own contractors/in-house capability?

  • It is possible to arrange your contractor to do most of the install, or would it be simpler and more cost effective to install via the supplier?
  • The supplier may need to attend site to commission the units.

Software

 What capabilities do you require for the end user? For example:

  • Different payment options
  • Access via smartphone or RFID card.
  • Driver alert systems when car is charged or driver waiting.

What capabilities do you require for the back-office software? For example:

  • Different payment options; pre and post pay.
  • Flexible Tariffs; Different rates for members/non-members, peak/off-peak, set prices based on time or kWh use, apply start-up/overstay fees.
  • Data access.
  • Send messages to individual users.

Other considerations

  • Benefit in kind implications.
  • Capital allowance implications – the government recently announced an extension on the Enhanced Capital Allowances for companies investing in electric vehicle charge points to 2023.
  • Effect on business rates.
  • Grant availability.
  • Maintenance Contracts.

Article by: Phil Bennett

As seen in Issue 7 of The Bottom Line