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  • June 20, 2022

  • Abby Nuttall

  • Articles

With the continued push for drivers and businesses to choose an electric vehicle (EV) rather than a petrol or diesel option for their new car it’s becoming increasingly important that businesses take a look at diversifying their fleet fuel sources.

When you’re adding electric vehicles to your fleet one of the largest considerations is how these vehicles will be charged and alleviating range anxiety in your workers. In this article we hope to help provide you with strategies you can use to help with this, but before we do, we wanted to take a look at some of the benefits electrifying your fleet can bring.

Five Reasons to Add Electric Vehicles to Your Fleet

1. Save on fuel – right now we’re all seeing the impact of rising fuel costs on our wallets, and for businesses with a large fleet this can quickly add up.

2. Take advantage of current government grants – the government currently has grants available to support the purchase cost of some EVs as well as the installation of chargers for users. As we get closer to the government’s ban on polluting vehicles (2030) we’re seeing the available grants changing and reducing so you should take advantage of the ones available while you can.

3. Reduced maintenance costs electric vehicles have fewer moving parts than those with an internal combustion engine. This means that there is generally less maintenance work needed, which helps save you money overall on fleet costs.

4. Reduced tax – electric vehicles do not currently pay road tax, which means if you buy vehicles for your fleet this is another cost you don’t need to worry about. Additionally, if you offer company cars to employees then electric vehicles have much lower BIK rates (currently at 1%) which means additional tax savings for you.

5. Expanding range of models – more and more manufacturers are now producing purely electric vehicles which means there’s a wider selection of brands, body shapes and styles to choose from. As more invest in the technology we’re seeing longer mileage ranges and quicker charging as well, which helps alleviate two of the biggest concerns drivers have with an EV.

Adding Electric Vehicles to Your Fleet

Each company is different and so each fleet is different, so no uniform approach to adding EVs will work. Here at Wessex Fleet we like to talk to our clients and really understand their needs for each individual vehicle in their fleet and come up with a tailored strategy to add electric options.

We recommend that your fleet management team understand the challenges that EVs bring for your fleet and how they will handle these then looking at the best place to start with adding electric vehicles,  as well as providing additional support and training to drivers to help with the adjustment.

If you want to discuss fleet management and diversifying your fleet fuel supply then please get in touch with our team on 01722 322 888.

Hybrids

One option you might want to consider is adding in hybrids as well as pure EVs, as these have an internal combustion engine as well as the electric motor.

There are many benefits to hybrids including better driver confidence because there’s no longer mileage anxiety and the capability of driving a long distance without needing charging stops.

This might not always be the best option for your business or your drivers, but we do advise taking hybrids into consideration when you are deciding on how to electrify your fleet.

Why You Need to Invest in EV Charging

One of the biggest challenges of adding EVs to your fleet is how you charge them. Unlike petrol stations public electric charging stations are not as widely available and so are in higher demand, which means a longer wait for drivers.

The government and charger providers are working to increase the public network, adding more chargers in public car parks, at service stations and in residential areas however it may still not be enough to meet the upcoming demand – which is why private chargers are just as important for EV drivers.

Until the recent changes to the home charger scheme most drivers were also opting to have a home charger unit installed. We are still seeing drivers have home units installed but the cost of this is no longer subsidised for many drivers, so they are having to pay the full amount which has put some off.  Additionally, not all drivers are able to have a home unit installed as you need to have off road parking and an existing electrical infrastructure that would support a new charger.

Whether you are offering company cars, have a fleet of pool cars or are simply providing your employees with functional parking we think it’s important that you consider investing in EV charging infrastructure for your business parking. This can help alleviate employees’ charging stress, be useful for visiting clients and help you achieve your carbon reduction goals (by encouraging more electric company car take up).

Installing EV Chargers at Your Offices

One way to help make charging less of an issue for your company drivers is to install workplace chargers so that they can use them while in the office. This is especially useful if they’re not able to have one installed at home, they live a long distance from the site or they are required to do a lot of driving as part of their role.

Please note in order to do this you will usually need to have private parking for your employees to use. Alternatively, you may be able to speak to your parking provider about them installing chargers and making use of some of the support available.

The government currently offer financial support to businesses looking to install workplace EV chargers via two grants:

  • The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS)
  • EV Infrastructure Grant

These two grants help businesses with the cost of installing charger units and updating and creating the infrastructure needed to provide chargers.

The Workplace Charging Scheme

The WCS is a scheme run by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) which is designed to help businesses with the cost of purchasing EV chargers and installing them.

The grant will cover up to 75 % of the costs, inclusive of VAT, for buying and installing chargers but is capped at £350 per socket for a total of 40 sockets across all sites. This means that you can apply for the grant at multiple sites if your business has several locations, and this does not need to be done at one time as you can submit additional applications until you reach 40 points total.

It’s easy to apply via the government’s online portal and once your application has been approved you can have the chargers installed. Your OZEV approved installer will be able to claim the grant on your behalf once the chargepoints are in place and this will then be discounted from your final invoice.

The EV Infrastructure Grant

The EV infrastructure grant is a separate grant to help businesses with the cost of electrical infrastructure changes needed to provide EV chargers.

Businesses do not need to install all of the chargepoints that the infrastructure would allow but instead allows them to create the infrastructure so that they can be installed at a later point.

This grant is designed for small and medium sized businesses, so those who have 249 or fewer employees and companies can receive up to five grants under this scheme for different locations for a maximum of £15,000 per site applications.

Again, you will need to be the legal owner of the off road parking, or the sole user of it and have the permission of the owner. There will need to be at least five parking spaces that the infrastructure is in place for and at lease one working charger on site in the plans for the application to be approved.

You can see the full breakdown of requirements and how to apply here.

These grants are currently available but the government reserves the right to terminate it at any time, though they aim to provide four weeks’ notice.

If you have any questions about transitioning to an electric fleet or building the infrastructure to support this then please get in touch with our team on 01722 322 888.


 

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