Key considerations for installing electric vehicle charge points at the workplace
Electric vehicle charging in the workplace is increasingly important. As the transition to electric vehicles gathers pace, providing EV charging on-site becomes an essential operating factor; be it for employees and visitors to utilise or for supporting an entire electric fleet. With favourable benefit-in-kind tax bills, government grants and an increase of electric vehicles on the roads, there is no better time than now to give your business the edge.
Although investing in an electric vehicle infrastructure can feel intimidating, the Sevadis team are here to help make the process as smooth and straightforward as possible. Featured below is a list of key questions related to the main considerations for implementing a successful workplace charging scheme.
How many charge points will you need?
One of your first considerations should be who will be using your charge points. Do you have a business with employees who spend office hours parked or are they only on the premises for brief intervals? Are your staff coming and going at different times or do guests frequent your site at busier times than others?
If you understand the nature of who will be using your charge points, you can then consider what type of charge they need e.g. main charge or top-up charge. The way people use charge points at your workplace will determine how many charge points you require.
Charge point demand is intrinsically linked to the volume of EV users. How many EV users currently could benefit from the convenience of EV infrastructure on your site? That number is only going to grow exponentially and you should anticipate the future values and the scope of your business to enable as many people as possible to charge.
The number of charge points you can physically have will also rely on how much available parking space a workplace has. How many car parking spaces can you designate to electric vehicle drivers and can you expand this? Simply, more spaces equal more charge points.
You will also need to consider the budget you have to invest in EV infrastructure. This will influence how many chargers can be purchased and installed. See the last section on this document for more information on government support and whether your money can go further.
What type of charge points do you need?
When you analyse and explain to us how people use your business or site, we can consider the best speed and power output of charge point for your needs. Never automatically assume that higher wattage chargers will be better for business, drivers and revenue because they are not always more cost-efficient. You need an EV charging point that fits the habits and vehicles of your employees/customers.
As mentioned, the best charge point for your workplace will be linked to how people use your chargers. If the vehicles will be idle for most of the day (e.g. office working and overnight hotel stays) then a lower cost, fast charge solution will be sufficient. For in/out and top-up charges with quick turnarounds in venues such as depots and for powering electric fleets, a high-cost/rapid charge may be better suited.
Charging speed is reliant on multiple factors. The power available and the battery capacity are two of these. You can’t control the model of EV your consumers/employees use (unless they are business vehicles) but our team will be able to tell you the best-suited type and model of charge point to meet a broad spectrum of requirements.
The most common workplace charge points are Type 2, 7kW chargers as they are compatible with most of the best-selling EVs and can charge a vehicle fully in around 3-7 hours (a good portion of time for office workers who leave their vehicle charging up during the day).
Dynamic load balancing is another consideration for your potential charge point infrastructure. Dependent on power management and demand at your workplace, our experts will be able to specify a system that incorporates dynamic load balancing to maximise capacity.
Where should the charge points be located?
Charge points should be installed in locations that are prominent, visible, convenient and easily found.
If there is already a power supply available, consider how the space around it can be utilised to incorporate charge points. Less groundwork to fit a power supply will reduce the hassle and cost of install.
The environment should also be able to support signage or bay markings that highlight the individual spaces for electric vehicle use (this will also deter normal cars from taking the space).
Should you charge drivers for using the charge points?
Charging is a service and it costs to utilise the electricity but it’s up to you to decide whether you want to offer on-site charging as an incentive or benefit or apply a tariff. For staff, free charging on-site is a great boost to their daily convenience. Alternatively, you can set variable tariffs by choosing who pays (e.g. customers, guests and visitors) and enjoy an additional income stream.
Talk to the Sevadis team about how our EV products use management tools and reporting to make tracking, recouping and billing simple. Our online software used throughout our online models (Sevadis Cloud) is a fantastic way to take control of your charge points. EVCP owners can manage each charger at an individual, group, socket or user level, all in real-time.
Please note: If you want to make use of the government grant, you will not be able to bill in the first three years.
How do you manage charge point usage?
How you manage your charge point usage will be dependent on who will be using your charge points. Sevadis has the products and software to make accessing charge points unique to an individual or a group of individuals.
EV users can connect/use charge points by accessing the Sevadis Cloud portal through their mobile device or with RFID cards.
EVCP owners can get full access to the charge point network interface and set multiple tariffs, receive payments, manage software updates and run analytics, all in real-time.
EVCP owners can also manage each charger at individual, group, socket or user-level – ensuring you can tailor who uses your charge points, how they use them and at what tariff.
What government support is available?
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a voucher-based scheme that provides support towards the up-front costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points.
The contribution is limited to 75% of the purchase and installation costs (maximum of £350 per socket) up to a maximum of 40 across all sites for each applicant.