Install vehicle chargepoints

With the rising number of electric vehicles in use, it makes sense to check if installing chargepoints is right for your business.

If you’re making certain types of renovations, installing them is now required.

To do so you need parking spaces and sufficient electrical service for the type of charging required. Grants are available to help.

Contents

  1. Work out if you need chargepoints
  2. Calculate the charge time of an EV
  3. Check if your premises is suitable for chargepoints
  4. Check if chargepoints are required
  5. Calculate the cost of installing chargepoints
  6. Switch your energy tariff and save
  7. Get tax benefits
  8. Get finance and support

Work out if you need chargepoints

If you’re considering switching your fleet to electric vehicles you will need to figure out a plan to charge them.

Charging needs vary based on:

  • the size and type of vehicle – larger EVs have more battery capacity and require more time and money to charge
  • your business operations – vehicles that sit idle can be charged during the work day or overnight
  • your electrical system – the more power you have available the faster vehicles charge

Get started by calculating typical daily total mileage for your vehicle or fleet. If the total exceeds the range of your EV, then charge time would need to be part of the working day.

Work out if this is best done at a central worksite, at employees’ homes or using the network of publicly available chargers.

Natural downtime in the operation of a fleet provides a chance to charge EVs with no change to driver behaviour.

For more information on charging at a depot, drivers’ homes and on the rapid charging network, visit the Energy Saving Trust’s ‘Charging your business’s electric vehicles’.

Calculate the charge time of an EV

Chargepoints are rated in kW. The most common categories are:

Slow

  • 3.5kW and 7kW power
  • 4-8 hours to fully recharge, depending on vehicle
  • provide 10-25 miles of range per hour
  • useful if EVs are parked for a long time or overnight

Fast

  • 7-22kW (most are 22kW)
  • 2-4 hours to fully recharge, depending on the vehicle
  • provide around 75 miles of range per hour
  • useful if EVs are parked for a few hours (eg shopping centres)

Rapid

  • between 43-50kW (most are 50kW)
  • 25-40 minutes for 80% recharge, depending on the vehicle
  • provide around 100 miles of range in half an hour
  • useful if EVs parked for a quick break (eg service stations)

Ultra-rapid

  • over 50kW (most are 100kW or 150kW)
  • provide around 200 miles of range in half an hour
  • useful if EVs need to refuel without a break

Check if your premises is suitable for chargepoints

To install EV chargers at your workplace or home you need:

  • to own the premises or have landlord permission
  • off-street parking in a driveway or a car park
  • electrical capacity to add the load created by charging
  • access to electricity from parking spots

If you are leasing, EV chargepoint installation may be in your contract. Consider future-proofing any new lease to ensure that provision to create chargepoints is included upfront to clarify costs and save renegotiation.

Get a quote from your local Distribution Network Operator (DNO) to determine the feasibility of putting in chargepoints. This is best done before you buy an EV so you can work out the logistics of charging.

Independent Connections Providers (ICP)s or Independent Distribution Network Operators (IDNO)s can carry out some of the work (referred to as Contestable Work in your quotation) when getting a connection. Using an IDNO can help bring down costs.

An installer will find out how many chargepoints your site can support. Most locations can support a single 7kW charger without electrical upgrades.

If you need electrical service improvements it makes sense to get started as soon as possible since these changes can take some time to complete.

Upgrade charging capacity

Consider upgrading from typical 7kW chargepoints if you:

  • need to charge multiple EVs at the same time
  • have commercial EVs with larger battery capacity
  • have EVs that allow for more rapid charging

The fastest speed you can achieve at a domestic property is 22kW. Check to make sure that your EV can handle this level of charging – not all models can.

Contact your DNO for more advice on the cost of upgrading your electrical service to handle multiple or rapid chargepoints.

Check if chargepoints are required

Under ‘Part S’ of England’s Building Regulations, electric vehicle charging infrastructure is now required in:

  • new residential buildings with associated parking
  • new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces
  • non-residential buildings undergoing a major renovation

For new non-residential buildings you must:

  • provide access to 1 EV charging point
  • install cable routes for 20% of the remaining parking spaces

The same regulations apply to major renovations of non-residential buildings, but only if:

  • the renovation includes work to the car park
  • the cost of installation is less than 7% of the total cost of the renovation

Check GOV.UK for the full text of ‘Part S’.

Calculate the cost of installing chargepoints

After rebates, expect to pay about £750 for the purchase price and installation of a 7kW domestic charger.

For commercial installations, after-rebate costs include:

  • £1,500 for a ‘dual socket’ 7kW charger
  • £2,500 to £5,000 for a ‘double-post’ 22kW charger
  • £35,000 and up for a rapid charger

Visit Zap Map for more advice on workplace charging costs.

Switch your energy tariff and save

Energy companies offer tariffs that reward for charging EVs at off-peak times at night. This can substantially reduce the cost of at-home charging.

You will need a smart meter and smart chargepoint installed to take advantage of these savings.

Energy Saving Trust recommends visiting Rightcharge to compare smart chargepoints and EV energy tariffs for homeowners.

Some SMEs are considering EV chargepoint installation at their premises. Contact an authorised chargepoint installer and request a site analysis for guidance on hardware, charger speeds, charge locations and other requirements.

Get tax benefits

You can deduct the cost of EVs and equipment for chargepoints from your profits before tax under first year allowances.

Visit GOV.UK for detailed guidance on tax benefits.

Get finance and support

The Workplace Charging Scheme provides businesses with a maximum of £350 toward the installation of each EV socket, with a limit of 40 sockets per applicant.

The EV chargepoint grant provides funding up to £350 toward the cost of installing EV smart chargepoints at domestic properties throughout the UK.

Contact your local authority and encourage them to apply for the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. Your local authority could receive up to 60% of the capital costs for installing public chargepoints.

To get more help with transportation you can:

Take part in the UK Net Zero Business Census
Take part in the UK Net Zero Business Census