Many UK businesses are embarking on an electric route for the first time, which opens up a whole new experience of charging a company car.
Here, our mobility experts in Global Mobility Solutions, consider some general advice on home and public chargepoints and the possible savings involved:
Electric vehicle chargepoints
Although the upfront cost of an electric vehicle is often can appear higher, EVs are often cheaper to run, due to the lower cost of electricity compared to petrol or diesel. Recharging at home will normally result in the greatest cost savings, especially if overnight.
Slow chargepoints are often the cheapest to use and are suitable when vehicles are parked for several hours, such as during working hours or overnight, while fast chargepoints are ideal when vehicles are parked for a few hours.
Rapid chargepoints are the quickest way to recharge a vehicle, typically recharging a vehicle to 80% in around 30 minutes. However, rapid chargepoints can be the most expensive to use, and they cannot be installed at home.
Charge time (from empty to 80% charge of a 60kWh battery)
Vehicle range added in 15 mins (based on an average EV efficiency of 2.42 miles per kWh)
The majority of charging will be done at home, usually overnight. If you have a driveway or garage, the cheapest and most convenient way is to install a dedicated chargepoint.
In the UK, the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles Homecharge Scheme covers up to 75% of the costs of installing a home chargepoint, up to a limit of £350 and when using an approved supplier
While you can use a regular UK three-pin socket, it is much slower than a dedicated chargepoint and may involve running charging cables from inside your home.
If you don’t have off-street parking, charging an EV near your home is more challenging.
The On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/service/on-street-residential-chargepoint-scheme/ gives local authorities access to a funding pot for on-street chargepoints in areas without off-street parking.
Only local authorities can apply for this type of funding, but you can ask your local council to consider installing a chargepoint near your home. This may help the council to forecast demand for chargepoints and decide the best locations.
An alternative is to charge your electric car at work. Businesses and public-sector organisations can apply for funding for chargepoints through the Workplace Charging Scheme. (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workplace-charging-scheme-application-form)
As with the Homecharge Scheme, 75% of costs up to a cap of £350 per socket applies and a business can claim up to 40 single sockets.
The network of public chargepoints is rapidly expanding across the UK, mostly in towns and cities. These are vital for electric vehicle drivers without off-street parking or workplace charging and can be useful for other EV drivers, who want to ‘top-up’ while away from home or undertaking longer journeys.
Details of networks are available through companies such as Zap-Map, PlugShare and Open Charge Map.
Some newer electric vehicles can travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. While it is still worth planning ahead on longer journeys, public chargepoints are more common than ever before.
There are various public chargepoint networks in the UK including New Motion, Pod Point, Chargemaster, Ecotricity, Charge your Car and ChargePlace Scotland.
Access to charging is usually through a radio frequency identification (RFID) card or a smartphone app, although an increasing number of chargepoints accept contactless credit or debit card payments.
Charging costs include a standard connection fee, plus the amount of electricity consumed, multiplied by the chargepoint supplier’s or network’s electricity tariff (price per kWh).
Membership of a charging network may give you access to cheaper rates and could save you money if you use the same network regularly.
Charging costs will depend on the model of your vehicle and its battery size. Plug-in hybrids cost less to recharge as they have smaller batteries, but you also need to factor in the higher cost of the petrol or diesel required for the vehicle’s engine.
Charging the battery at home for 10,000 miles per year
Charging the battery at a public charge point for 10,000 miles per year
Charging 70% of the time at home and 30% at a public charge point
Annual fuel cost for petrol Nissan Micra
*Example charging costs for a petrol Nissan Micra. Average petrol cost: 114.5p/litre
As more businesses pledge to act to reduce their emissions, and with more cities focused on reducing congestion and air pollution, creating a roadmap to a greener fleet is now becoming a core requirement for the UK, as well as every other market.
Some 50% of our Global Mobility Solutions clients have now introduced sustainability reporting as part of CSR initiatives.
Our team of mobility experts noted that when looking at each market, the charging infrastructure needs to be carefully considered to ensure all drivers have adequate facilities. We can support clients when identifying these from a procurement and service delivery perspective.