A guide to EV charging points for businesses

A guide to EV charging points for businesses

Installing an electric vehicle (EV) charging point at your business premises can be a great way to become more environmentally aware, and provide an additional perk for office staff.

We’ve put together this comprehensive guide to help you understand what you need to do.

Can we get a grant towards installing a charging point at our place of work?

Yes.

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) provides vouchers that you can use to subsidise your vehicle charging points.

The vouchers provide money off the cost of your charging points.

There are some criteria in place. Find out more on our WCS grant page.

If you are in Scotland, you may also be able to get additional funding through the Energy Saving Trust.

Operate a state-owned school? Learn more about the grants in place.

Is it a legal requirement to have EV charging points?

It’s not a legal requirement to have EV charging points in an existing building.

However, if you’re building a new commercial property, undertaking a major renovation, or changing the use of your building, you will need to have charging points installed.

This change of regulation affects commercial buildings in England and came into force in June 2022.

All new commercial properties and properties undergoing renovations with over ten parking spaces must have at least one charging point.

There must also be cable routes in place for 20% of the total number of spaces, so there is the option to add extra charging points easily in the future.

What type of EV charging points are available?

There are currently three different types of charge points available.

  • Standard (or ‘slow charging’) (3-7kW). These charging units are usually found at home
  • Fast (7-22kW). These are popular in office and business car parks
  • Rapid (22-50kW). These are the charging points commonly found at motorway service stations

Wireless chargers are currently being trialled in other countries, but they are not available in the UK yet.

At Hawkesworth, we install EV charge points from a range of different manufacturers, and will help you choose the right charging point for your specific business requirements.

How many EV charging points does our business need?

There are a few things you need to consider.

  • How many staff have EVs, and how many are considering getting them in the future? Futureproofing is incredibly important when it comes to working out how many charge points your business needs. Even if none of your staff have electric vehicles at the moment, circumstances may change in a few years.
  • How big is your car park? You want to provide enough spaces for both electric vehicles and internal-combustion cars
  • How close is your car park to your office building? Additional groundwork may be needed if your car park is further away from your main building
  • Where do you plan to put your EV charging points? Again, you may need additional groundwork if you want your charge points in a certain place. You’ll also need to make sure your charging points are accessible for drivers with disabilities
  • Are you near any other car charging amenities? It may be that staff choose to use these instead

Bear in mind that you don’t need one charging point for every electric vehicle. EVs don’t have to be charged every day, and some people will charge their vehicles at home.

You can also apply for up to 40 government vouchers too, meaning you can scale up the number of car charging points you have in the future.

If we rent the office, can we get EV charging points installed?

Yes, but you need to get permission from your landlord before you start any work.

How long will it take to install charging points?

It depends on how many charging points are needed and where the chargers need to be installed.

If groundworks are required it will take longer than if the charger was being installed on an external wall.

Bear in mind that areas of your car park will need to be cordoned off when installation takes place. We’d recommend carrying out work out of office hours or on a weekend to prevent disruption to staff.

Should we be installing EV charging points at our employee’s houses too?

If your staff use electric company cars, installing an EV point at their home can give them flexibility when it comes to charging their vehicle. You don’t have to do this, but it can be a great company perk to offer.

Your staff can charge their EV vehicle at home with a 3-pin socket, but this is slow and can put a lot of strain on their electrical installation.

If you do install a charging point at their home, you’ll need to consider their home setup. For example, if they have off-road parking.

We don’t have any off-street parking, can we still get a charging point installed?

Yes, you may potentially be able to get a charging point installed near your workplace.

You won’t be eligible for a WCS grant though, as you have to have dedicated off-street parking to qualify.

How long will it take for the EV charging point to charge cars?

It depends on the charger and the car. Different types of chargers take different lengths of time to provide a full charge – it can vary from 8 hours to 30 minutes.

Bear in mind that you don’t have to charge your car all the way. Think of a car like a mobile phone. You don’t have to charge it fully, just enough so you can use it!

Chargers generally are slower to charge a car from 80% to 100% than they are from 0% to 80%. This is because EV cars manage the charge to prevent the battery from overheating and deteriorating.

The car also plays a part. The car may not accept the full charge from the EV charging point, especially if it is a hot day or the car has driven a long way.

How much will it cost to charge a car?

It depends on the type of car that needs charging, the type of charger you have (rapid chargers use more energy than slow chargers) as well as your electricity tariff.

An average charge can cost between £3 and £10.

You can get your costs back by charging for car charging. For example, if you operate a store, customers can pay to charge their vehicles while they are shopping.

Will the charging point work with all vehicles?

Yes. Different charge points have different sockets – these are known as Type 1 (with five pins) and Type 2 (with seven pins). Most newer charge points are type 2.

Electric cars come with their own cables so if the EV and charge point don’t have compatible cables, then the car owner can swap the cables over so they can charge up.

Can we control who uses the EV charging point?

Yes, if you want to set it so only certain people can charge their vehicles, you can select a charging point with a key or a radio frequency identification (RFID) card.

This can stop unauthorised people from coming in and using your charge points.

Can I overcharge an electric car? Can I leave it plugged in all day?

The charging process will slow down the closer the battery is to 100%. This is to protect the battery from overcharging.

This means that you can’t overcharge an electric car, and it is safe to leave it plugged in all day at the office.

However, it is generally good etiquette to move your car once it is charged, so other EV users can give their vehicle a bit of a boost too!

Do electric cars lose their charge when parked?

Yes, but not in the space of a day.

The average electric vehicle loses about 3% of its charge a month. Hot and cold weather, as well as a full battery, can mean more charge is lost.

Can we charge a car if it has been raining?

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to charge a car in the rain.

All charging points should have a minimum waterproofing rating of IP44, which will protect the charger and car from splashes of water from any angle.

If we move offices, can we take the charging points with us?

You can. An accredited installer will be able to uninstall and reinstall your charging points if you want to bring them with you.

One thing to bear in mind is that charge points must be in place for a minimum of three years to qualify for the WCS grant. If you decide to move, you may want to contact OZEV first.

Do we need to get the charging point maintained?

It’s not a legal requirement to have your electric charging point maintained.

However, it is recommended that you have it checked annually to make sure that it is still working efficiently and has not been damaged.

We’re the UKs Number 1  trusted voice of experience in the industry, who are regularly consulted to give our expert opinions with industry governing bodies.

Through our national network of fully certified engineers, Hawkesworth provide a range of technical compliance and testing services to ensure you’re not at risk – we’ve got you covered!

From your Electrical Installation and Portable Appliances with EICRPAT and Thermographic surveys to Fire Safety with Fire Risk Assessments, Fire Alarm Testing and Emergency Lighting.

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