Alternatively, it might not be necessary, and you could save yourself time and money by having your drivers charge their vehicles from their homes or even at public chargepoints. Working out what is right for your company and your drivers will make your transition to an all-EV fleet easier and more cost-effective.
So how can you tell if a central vehicle charging area at your premises is right for you? The first step is to ensure that whatever approach you choose, you have a complete operational view of what is going on.
Interoperability is the ability of systems to communicate with each other. In the case of EV charging infrastructure, achieving an interoperable ecosystem means getting your systems for charging, payment, fleet management and finance to work together. If you can’t get these systems and departments to ‘talk’ to each other, then you risk losing insight into your fleets’ operational capability and its costs.
Work out how many chargepoints you need. Are they a ‘nice to have’ for employees and visitors while they are in the office, or a ‘must-have’ for job-need vehicles? Consider if drivers will need to charge the entire fleet at once (overnight for example) or whether they can be charged in shifts.
Not all vehicles need to charge every day, for example a 200-mile range car might only need to plug in at work once or twice a week. However, for those that are more demanding, the ratio of chargers to vehicles is likely to be much higher, and they may need to be available overnight too.
Fast charging offers some obvious benefits, enabling businesses to get back on the road very quickly – some cars have the ability to charge from 10-80% in as little as 18 minutes. This can be highly effective during particularly busy periods or when vehicles are needed in almost constant use.
However, if that’s not the case for your business, charging cars during the working day or vans overnight in a compound might mean you can rely on cheaper, slower 7 or 22kW chargers. There’s always the option to operate a combination of chargers, with some faster chargers designated for specific vehicles or roles.
If all the car park charging points are full and employees’ batteries are low, you may have to have a policy in place to make sure that everyone is able to charge. An option includes limiting the amount of time that employees can charge each day.
Another consideration is if an employee has an EV but isn’t able to charge at home – do they get priority? If so it is important that you work out a system that allows them access.
Electricity is not classed as a fuel by HMRC, so there are no benefit-in-kind tax issues if an organisation wishes to provide free charging to employees.
However, in the interest of fairness, many businesses investing in charge points do ask for a fee to cover some, or all, of the cost of the electricity or the infrastructure if being used for personal mileage. After all, those drivers in petrol or diesel cars might feel that you are being unfair by providing some employees with free fuel while others have to pay for it.
When it comes to work-related charging, if you decide employees should pay to use workplace charge points, they are able to claim for business mileage from you at the HMRC advisory electricity rate (AER) of five pence per mile.
There’s much to consider when adopting charging points at a place of work, but get it right and they can be a valuable asset to your business, maximising convenience and efficiencies and ensuring drivers are able to get to where they need to without disruption.
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.