Do you own a business? Are you responsible for managing a workspace or facility? Whichever camp you fall into, it’s almost certain that at least some of your employees or colleagues drive to work. If they do, then you may be considering offering those with electric cars access to a charging point. Is it worth doing so? You’ll find the answer in this latest article from the Andersen EV team…
Do employers have to provide EV charging?
The first question many employers have when it comes to workplace charging is whether they have a legal requirement to provide it.
The answer is that (at the time of writing) there is no legal requirement to provide EV charging points on an existing building.
That being said, the Government is discussing making it a requirement for existing non-residential buildings with more than 20 car parking spaces to provide at least one charge point (by 2025).
Those points aside, as you’ll see in the article below, more and more people are purchasing electric cars and a workplace EV charge point will yield a number of attractive benefits for businesses.
Can you get support to install an EV charger at your workplace?
As the UK Government seeks to promote and implement its ‘Net Zero’ agenda it is introducing a number of schemes to help make workplaces more eco-friendly.
One of these schemes is the ‘Workplace Charging Scheme’.
Operated by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), the Workplace Charging Scheme takes the form of vouchers that provide eligible applicants with support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charging stations.
As per guidance provided by the OZEV, the scheme:
‘Covers up to 75% of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV charge points (inclusive of VAT)’. These costs are capped at: £350 per socket, and 40 sockets per applicant. That equates to potential support of up to £14k!
What are the benefits of installing EV charge points at your workplace?
As you’re about to read, the benefits of installing an EV charger at your workplace are such that installing one is becoming an essential rather than an optional extra.
First and foremost, installing EV charging points at your workplace and/or facilities will lead to an uptick in employee satisfaction.
Providing employees with the ability to charge their car at work means they don’t have to worry about finding a public charging station - and instead - can focus on their work.
Aside from this, the simple fact that you are providing employees with the opportunity to charge the vehicles is likely to elicit satisfaction from them; you’re doing more than the majority of employers in this instance!
Closely related to the above point is productivity. Depending on your type of business, workplace EV chargers can boost your employees’ productivity in several ways.
Firstly, as we outlined above, office based workers can benefit from workplace chargers as they don’t have to seek out public chargers to top up their electric vehicles during the day.
Secondly, if you have sales representatives or other similar employees who regularly drive tens or hundreds of miles each day, then installing workplace EV chargers will allow your offices to act as a ‘hub’ for your sales reps to charge up their vehicles as and when necessary.
Thirdly, if you run a fleet of electric vans as part of your business operations, then installing chargers at your office/workplace will provide you with greater control over the charging of your fleet. Instead of relying on public charging points, you can instead maintain greater visibility over the charging of your fleet and better monitor costs.
In short, no matter how you use electric vehicles in relation to your business operations, workplace EV chargers can have a very positive impact upon overall productivity.
Improved employee attraction and retention
With more and more people going electric and purchasing EVs, the prospect of being able to charge their car at work is an attractive one for many would-be employees.
Consider the following fact; one in 32 cars driving in Britain now comes with a plug (as per data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders).
Also consider that in August 2023, 4,021 Teslas were registered, compared to 4,750 BMWs, 2,366 Nissans, 1,644 Seats, and 1,374 Minis (as per SMMT car registration data). In short, all-electric brands such as Tesla are now selling equivalent volumes to legacy manufacturers that are still largely selling traditional internal combustion engine vehicles.
The long term trend revealed by this development is clear. More and more of your employees will be driving to work in all-electric and hybrid vehicles.
By installing workplace EV chargers now, you’ll be ahead of this trend and better able to attract high-quality, high-performing employees for your business.
Installing a workplace EV charger can also play a role in retaining your best employees. When you consider that the cost of recruiting a new employee can cost as much as 20 to 30% of their final salary, it’s clear that investing in things that will help retention (such as EV chargers) is a more than worthwhile investment.
Demonstrates your company’s environmental credentials
The world is going green - and businesses need to go green along with it. Naturally, one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways of demonstrating your commitment to the environment is to install workplace EV chargers.
According to UK Government data, transport remains the largest emitting sector of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the UK, contributing 24% of UK domestic emissions in 2020.
So, by supporting the transition to EVs by installing workplace charging points, you can make a real and tangible positive impact upon the environment.
It’s something that’ll be noticed by employees, suppliers and customers alike - and demonstrates that you’re being proactive about your company’s carbon footprint.
Furthermore, the addition of EV chargers to your workplace is a good marketing opportunity, allowing you to publicly demonstrate your commitment to the Net Zero agenda.
Just as an increasing number of your employees are likely to be driving to work in EVs, so too will your clients.
Being able to offer visiting clients the opportunity to charge their vehicles is a nice touch and one that can contribute to their overall perception of your business.
The provision of chargers at your workplace will also feed into a client’s perception of your commitment to the green agenda; an important consideration in many business-to-business relationships these days.
Closely related to the above point, workplace EV chargers can help you differentiate your business from your competitors.
As we mentioned earlier, the installation of chargers at a workplace is a fantastic marketing opportunity allowing you to signal to potential customers and employees alike your commitment to the environment.
This is especially important if you have potential customers who have certain carbon or environmental targets to meet within their supply chain.
Build customer relationships
It’s always good to have customers popping into your office or workplace to catch up. Building strong relationships can help you maintain business deals and connections.
By installing workplace EV charge points - and allowing customers to drop by and use them - you can build a strong and effective relationship with them, resulting (hopefully!) in long term business success.
Future proof your business
Many larger towns and cities across the UK are either introducing (or thinking about introducing) ultra low emissions zones or clean air zones.
Also known by their initialism ULEZ, ultra-low emissions zones are defined areas where daily charges are levied against vehicles that are particularly polluting; such as diesel vehicles and others that don’t meet certain emissions standards. Those vehicles that don’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards must pay a charge for each day they drive within the zone.
The underlying idea behind ultra-low emissions zones is to improve air quality, reduce pollution and thereby improve both health and environmental quality.
The most well known ULEZ at present is the one covering a large portion of Greater London. This was introduced on 29th August 2023.
However, other local authorities have also either introduced similar schemes or expressed their intentions to do so. These authorities include:
- Bath - launched a CAZ (Clean Air Zone) in March 2021.
- Birmingham - has already introduced a CAZ in 2021.
- Bradford - the Bradford CAZ scheme was introduced in September 2022.
- Bristol - from November 2022, Bristol has implemented a CAZ.
- Greater Manchester - is planning to introduce a CAZ, but this has been delayed a number of times.
- Portsmouth - a CAZ was introduced in Portsmouth in November 2021.
- Sheffield - introduced a CAZ in February 2023.
- Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) - introduced a CAZ in January 2023.
It is anticipated that further major cities and conurbations will introduce similar schemes over the coming years.
As such, if you run a business in a built-up area, it’s worth planning ahead and installing a workplace EV charger sooner rather than later. With electric vehicles exempt from CAZ and ULEZ areas, a workplace charger could help you save significant sums of money in both the short and long term.
Aside from these considerations, the longer term future of the UK vehicle fleet is clearly electric. It’s almost certain that more and more of your employees will be driving to work in electric vehicles; so don’t wait, future-proof your business with workplace EV chargers today!
How to implement a workplace EV charging scheme
Hopefully you’re now clear on the many tangible benefits that are associated with installing EV chargers at your workplace. If those benefits have tipped the balance, and you’re now thinking about installing EV chargers at work, what considerations do you need to take into account? You’ll find these below…
Who’s in charge?
The first thing you’ll need to decide upon is who will be in charge of your workplace EV charging scheme.
From researching charging points through to installation and then the day-to-day running of your chargers, it’s important that you have a single person who is responsible for the scheme as a whole.
In larger companies this job is typically assigned to the facilities manager or a related role. But, regardless of who does it, it’s important that someone is responsible for the scheme.
How many charge points do you need?
The next step is to decide upon how many chargers you’ll need to install. Your decision is going to be influenced by the following factors:
- The number of electric vehicles operated by your company directly and/or your employees.
- The number of available (and suitable) parking spaces.
- Your budget.
- The types of chargers you intend to install.
As you can imagine, your requirements are going to be very different if you’re running a fleet of EVs as opposed to accommodating a handful of employees who own EVs.
The key point is to plan and forecast as much as possible. It can be helpful to run a survey amongst employees outlining the plans and asking if they intend to buy an EV in the near future. You should also consult with the company leadership regarding any plans for switching to an EV fleet etc.
What type of EV charge points do you require?
Another important consideration for your workplace EV charging scheme is the type of charging points you’ll install.
By type, in this instance, we’re referring to the power output of your chosen chargers (some people refer to this as the ‘speed’ of the charger).
As you’ll probably be aware, EV charging points tend to be available with a variety of power outputs. For example, here at Andersen EV, the Andersen A2 is available with a power output of either 7kW or 22kW.
A 7kW EV charger will typically be able to charge a vehicle from empty to full in around four to six hours (although, this is obviously determined by the exact model of vehicle).
A 22kW EV charger will normally be able to charge a vehicle from empty to full in around one to two hours (again, this is dependent upon the exact vehicle model).
Naturally, you may simply assume that ‘more power is better’, and you’d generally be correct. However, bear in mind that 7kW chargers only require a single phase electricity connection, whilst 22kW chargers require a three-phase electricity connection.
Whilst commercial properties usually have a three-phase electricity connection - and thus can accommodate 22kW EV chargers - it’s vital that you check this prior to ordering your chargers.
The location of your charging points
Have you decided where you’ll be placing your EV chargers? Ideally, they’ll be in a fairly prominent position, allowing you to show off your green credentials to customers and the public at large.
They should also be easily accessible and in locations that are favourable to EVs (e.g. in the shade, out of direct sunlight).
However, these points must be balanced against the cost of installation. If chargers are located some distance away from the building’s main power supply, then a great deal of digging is going to be required - increasing the cost of installation.
Ultimately, you need to strike a balance between your desired positioning of the chargers, and the cost of installation.
Check your lease!
As many commercial properties are leased - with the occupying business being a tenant of a landlord - it’s important that you check your lease before committing to the installation of EV charging points.
Whilst many leases do include clauses which allow for ‘building improvements’, you should always check with your legal representative as to what improvements that clause actually covers.
What to look for in a workplace EV charging point
Once you’ve established how you’ll go about implementing your workplace charging scheme, it’s time to select a charging point.
The ideal workplace charging point will have the following features and characteristics:
- Be available in either 7kW or 22kW power outputs to match your building’s connection to the electricity grid.
- Feature a tethered charging cable, preventing theft and abuse.
- Smart charging technology, allowing for intelligent, cost-effective charging.
- Solar integration - allowing the charger to be integrated with the office’s solar array (if it has one).
- Remote locking - preventing the use of the charger out of office hours (if desired).
- Available in a wide range of attractive colours and finishes, to complement your businesses’ branding.
Meet the A2: the perfect workplace EV charger
Here at Andersen we produce an electric car charging point that ticks all the boxes above.
The A2 is our British-made, intelligent charging point that’s ideal for use at workplaces and offices of all kinds.
Compatible with all types of type 2 electric and hybrid cars, whether your employees drive Porsches and Teslas, or Fiats and Fords - if they’re electric or hybrid, the A2 will be compatible!
The Andersen A2 is available with a range of installation options. Choose to have it installed through Andersen ourselves, through our installation partner network, or through your own trusted electrician. We have installation options to suit all types of businesses.