Many companies allow their employees to take their assigned vehicles home, whether they are company cars or vans. This was a way to avoid having to pay for large carparks to store a fleet when not in use and make it easier for employees to get straight to work. Now employees’ properties are a place where vehicles are being recharged, which blurs the line between work and the home.
What’s more, many drivers have concerns about charging their work vehicles at home, the costs associated with this and being out of pocket. There are many other considerations about whether employees have drives or off street parking, do they have a big enough drive for their personal and work vehicle, what happens if they leave the business, having already had a chargepoint installed?
While technically speaking EVs can be charged directly from standard wall plug sockets through adapters that usually come with vehicles (sometimes referred to as ‘granny sockets’), this is intended only as an emergency measure. Charging through a three-pin socket is painfully slow, and many vehicles won’t be able to fully charge, or even charge halfway, overnight.
A home charging point makes the process much faster. For example, if you are charging the 100kWh battery on a BMW i7, a 7kW charger will take 15 hours to fill up the battery, giving you 387 miles of range, while a 22kW charger can fully charge the i7’s battery in 10 hours. It’s worth noting that depending on whether you’re charging at home or on the road, although three-pin plug sockets have a hypothetical maximum output of 7kW, you often won’t get all of that, especially if you use the inefficient granny sockets, so that fifteen hours could be longer.
There are more than sixty approved charge point manufacturers in the UK, and most have several models. 7.7kW versions are common, which modulate the ordinary power output of wall sockets in a more efficient way to adapter cables, meaning that although no more power is being used at source more reaches your vehicle’s battery. Faster models are available though, and for overnight charging of a mid to large vehicle a 22kW wallbox is recommended.
For many companies, the issue will be how to manage wallbox installations and who pays for them – the employer or the employee? If the former, then what happens when an employee leaves the company? Companies will also have to ensure the following:
Making sure that the employee has the right documentation about the vehicle to apply for a grant if any are available?
That the chargepoint installer is approved by the Office of Zero Emission Vehicles.
Whether the company specifies certain brands of chargepoint and installers.
Who should pay for the chargepoint.
Since EVs began becoming more popular many electricity companies have started to offer EV-specific charging tariffs alongside regular tariffs. Because of the recent increase in electricity prices, these are important to understand for both employees and employers alike.
Peak: The standard rate for home energy in the UK is currently capped, and electricity falls within this overall amount. As a result, in Summer 2022 the average cost of electricity during peak periods is around 28p per kWh.
Approx 70kWh EV charging cost: £19.60
Off peak: If you have an off-peak tariff as part of your energy supply you can access lower electricity rates of approximately 19p per kWh. However, the off-peak time is usually between about midnight and 8.30am, meaning that drivers may have to schedule automatic charging to take advantage of it.
Approx 70 kWh EV charging cost: £13.30
EV Specific: Some suppliers offer EV-specific tariffs, which are lower – as little as 5-7 per kWh. Often the window for this is during the middle of the night and shorter even than off-peak, and so with some larger battery sizes drivers are unlikely to be able to fully charge in one go at this rate.
Some drivers might not be able to charge vehicles from a wall box in a garage or elsewhere on their property – if, for example, they live in an apartment or other shared housing. In fact, the Association of Fleet Professionals estimates that 65% to 70% of van drivers will need kerbside charging where possible. In some areas there are free public charging points in streetlights and occasionally free charging in the car parks of restaurants, hotels and other public buildings, although these might not always be reliable or open.
Kerbside charging also typically doesn’t go far beyond 7.7kW in terms of power, so it won’t be a perfect solution for anything more than top-ups until technology advances. For this reason, it is important for companies to find ways to give their employees access to charging solutions that work, whether they are at employees’ homes, at the kerb or at the company’s own premises.
At Allstar, we’re constantly evolving our solutions to cater the needs for all businesses and drivers charging needs. Home charging is often easier for drivers, but it can add complexity to reimbursement and accurate reporting of costs.
Allstar Homecharge simplifies charging at home for EV fleets – as payments are made directly to a driver’s energy supplier. This takes away the complication out of settling payments when drivers charge at home. It is also hardware agnostic, so able to integrate with most smart chargers that may already be installed.
To learn more, download our new whitepaper 6 Steps to an Electric Fleet: What to consider in the transition to EVs or for all the latest EV news and insights, please visit our Allstar EV Insights.