Parked on Electric Avenue? There’s a Grant for Your Charger

Image of an electric car being charged

With the ban on new petrol car sales less than a decade away, it’s no wonder we’re starting to see a huge influx of electric cars on the market.

The percentage of cars bought in the UK that are either hybrid or fully ‘plug-in’ electric is currently 7.4%, but you can expect that number to rise steeply over the next few years.

Back in 2019, we asked a simple question: is it worthwhile having a company car anymore? We decided it was, but only if you start to spread the net a little wider and consider electric.

In the long run, electric cars are likely to be a far more sensible investment for your business and its employees, but there’s one main sticking point: you need a charger.

The good news? They don’t have to be expensive, thanks to a rather handy grant from the government.

What is the OLEV grant?

The Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) confirmed in March 2020 that it would be continuing the electric vehicle homecharge scheme (EVHS) and workplace charging scheme (WCS) for another 12 months.

The WCS is clearly the one you’re interested in if you’re a business looking to install car charging stations for employees. Offering £350 off the cost of purchasing and installing a workplace charging point, it can help lower the cost of implementing up to 40 sockets.

Known as a voucher scheme, the WCS is ideal for businesses, charities, and public sector organisations. There are six steps involved:

  • Step 1: You apply for the grant
  • Step 2: If successful, the government will issue your voucher on screen or by email
  • Step 3: You choose an authorised installer
  • Step 4: The installer fits the charging unit and sends evidence of their work to the government
  • Step 5: You receive an email containing the information provided by the installer and can highlight anything that might be incorrect (or ignore if everything checks out)
  • Step 6: The installer receives the grant from the government

It’s important to note that you can apply for more than one voucher, providing the number of sockets you have installed doesn’t exceed 40.

For instance, if you claimed £350 for an installation of 10 sockets, you could claim another install of 30 sockets for an additional £350. Just bear in mind that you have six months to use the voucher before it expires and you have to reapply.

How much does a commercial charge point cost?

Clearly, you’re going to have to spend more than £350 on an electric car charging station for your business.

The cost will vary, depending on the installer you choose and their own rates for labour. However, you’ll need to budget somewhere between £1,000 and £1,500 + VAT, depending on how many sockets you’d like to be made available.

If you don’t have that kind of money to invest at this moment in time, it might be worth looking to the government once again. We fortunately (if you can call it that) live in a time where grants and loans are relatively plentiful, and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) might help you top up the cash needed to get that car charging station installed.

Available for loans between £2,000 and 25% of your annual turnover, a Bounce Back Loan is 100% guaranteed by the government and you won’t pay any fees or interest for the first 12 months (it’s 2.5% per year thereafter).

So, why not consider using one of those to pay for that charging station? At the moment, it really is about maximising the amount of help you can get from the government to ensure you can grow as a profitable, sustainable business.

If you’ve got any questions about electric cars or OLEV grants, just get in touch with the Trinity team today.

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