The sales of electric vehicles (EVs) in the UK have been gradually increasing over the past few years, with predictions continuing to soar as we near the changes to vehicle production legislation in 2030. As demand for EVs increases, the demand for EV charge points increases alongside.
EV charge points can give your business a bigger appeal to those who own EVs, differentiating you from competitors that may not offer charging facilities, and improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. EV charging is also a great incentive for employees.
There are, however, a few considerations to take into account before committing to the installation.
Where will the charge points be installed?
Most commonly, charge points will be installed within a car park. The first consideration to take here is whether you own or rent the car park space. If the space is rented, you must gain permission from the landlord in order to install charge points. You should also be confident that you can renew your lease without any issues, otherwise you’ll have to pay further fees down the line in order to relocate the charge points to your new location.
Who will use the charge points and how many do you need?
Company charge points are likely to be used by employees, customers and visitors. If you have employees that drive EVs, they are likely to appreciate the opportunity to charge their vehicles whilst at work. If you have frequent customers who stay on the premises for long periods of time, they could also appreciate charging opportunities if they drive an EV.
The exact number of charge points that you choose to install will depend on the number of EVs that are likely to use them on a daily basis. You may wish to have the exact number of charge points for the number of staff with EVs, or you may have slightly fewer. You may choose to install a few extra to accommodate customers and visitors if you do not see enough daily foot traffic to install dedicated customer charge points.
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Will you take payment for the charge points?
As a business, providing free EV charging is a great incentive for employees, customers and visitors, but obviously, this is not always financially viable.
Some employers choose to charge per kWh of electricity used. Another option is to offer subsidised charging, where some of the cost is absorbed back into the business, giving users a lower fee. Offering a discounted cost can be a great way to please users if your business cannot provide free charging.
Tips for installing workplace charge points
Taking all of the above considerations into account, here are some tips for any employers who are planning to instal EV charge points:
Get the area surveyed by an electrician
The further your charge points are from the main electrical supply, the more underground wiring is required, which is more time-consuming and costly, so this can be handy to know in advance. If you plan to install multiple charge points, knowing how many your electricity supply can viably handle is also good to know. Have your premises surveyed by an electrician to get a clearer idea of the scope of the job.
Create a survey for potential users
Creating a short survey for your employees can help you determine how many charge points you should install. Ask questions like “do you drive an EV?”, “are you considering an EV in the future?” and “would you charge your vehicle at work if you had the opportunity?”. You could also ask whether employees would be happy to pay for EV charging. Depending on your business, you may be able to ask regular customers similar questions to determine whether it is worth installing charge points for their use also.
Consider charge points with dynamic load balancing
Charging multiple EVs at once can put a large amount of strain on the electrical supply. Dynamic load balancing monitors power loads on your circuit, distributing electricity in a way that allows multiple outlets to run simultaneously without overloading the circuit. It is advised to select charge points with dynamic load balancing when installing multiple at one location.
Use a charge point management system
If you plan to take payment for the use of your charge points, having a charge point management system, such as Fuuse, can simplify the payment process for both you and the users. Fuuse can control all aspects of your charge points, with a user-friendly interface. Fuuse also offers static load balancing, which provides further assistance with distributing the electrical supply.
It’s more than likely that EV ownership will continue to increase over the coming years. Get your business ahead of the game by installing EV charge points today.
This article is by Plug&Drive, a division of Gibbons Engineering Group and a UK-based provider and installer of charge points for electric vehicles.