How to ready your business, customers and employees for the transition to electric vehicles
In 2021 it’s already cheaper to run an electric vehicle (EV) than a petrol or diesel version, and rapidly falling battery costs mean that electric cars could match the price of petrol and diesel cars by 2023. The National Grid forecasts that up to 10.6 million EVs could be on UK roads by 2030, rising as high as 36 million by 2040 . This is evidenced by the latest sales figures for low emission vehicles, which show that sales of EVs rose 186 per cent to 108,000 units in 2020, while plug in models accounted for more than one in 10 new car sales in the UK last year .
Your business, your customers, and your employees are switching to electric vehicles, if they haven’t already. How can your business get involved and address the pressing need for workplace charging? With attractive government and financial incentives for businesses to install EV charging points, there’s never been a better time to get started.
What’s involved in installing EV workplace charging?
How does your business become EV ready? Where do you start and what’s involved? What workplace charging facilities do you need? Where do you access funding for the charging infrastructure? Do you need to make changes to your energy supply or move to a green electricity tariff? What charger software and tools are required? How do you maintain your charging infrastructure for long life performance?
In this blog, we answer these questions and explain the steps to installing workplace charging for the benefit of your business, your customers and your employees.
What types of EV charging points are available?
There are currently three types of workplace charging points, depending on the number of electric vehicles you have, and the speed of charging needed.
- Standard (3-7kW) – ideal for businesses with 1 to 2 EVs or vans. Charging takes 4 to 8 hours
- Fast (7-22kW) – ideal for businesses with multiple EVs or vans. Charging takes 2 to 4 hours
- Rapid (up to 50kW) – ideal for businesses with a fleet of EVs or vans. Charging takes 30 to 60 minutes.
What are the steps to installing EV workplace charging?
British Gas engineers have installed around 17,000 home and business charging points to date. We work closely with customers to provide a cost-effective, end to end solution – ensuring minimal disruption. As home working becomes more prevalent post COVID, this may include both workplace and home-based charging facilities.
Our joined-up approach to installing electric vehicle on-site charging means we offer a fully project-managed service from site survey and energy connection requirements to finance solutions and grant applications, installation, training and in-life support. We also offer competitive electricity supply contracts, including green business energy, to meet your changing business needs.
Our 9-step process to planning and carrying out installation of EV charging facilities:
- Indicative price – depending on your site(s) and requirements, we may be able to provide you with a quotation before a site survey is needed
- Preliminary site survey – either physically on site or virtually via smart phone to determine the right charging equipment for your needs. We’ll assess whether the site has sufficient electrical capacity to meet the increased power demand. If not, we’ll explore other options, such as applying to your district network operator (DNO) for a quote for extra capacity
- Detailed site survey – completed by our engineers, who will consider all technical aspects of the proposed install, such as cable routes, energy supply, etc. to provide a fully costed proposal
- Technical designs issued to DNO (upon project approval) – to seek permission for additional power connection where needed
- Pre-construction planning, including a full programme of works to be carried out
- On-site construction works carried out by our engineers, ensuring that any health and safety issues associated with EVs, such as high voltage components and battery storage of electricity are identified and effectively managed
- Electrical works and final connections completed under safe isolation. All electrical installation work will comply with the current edition of the IET Wiring Regulations (BS 7671) and the Code of Practice for Electric Vehicle Charging Equipment Installation, published by IET Standards Limited
- Electrical works tested and commissioned, and charger demonstrations completed
- Certification provided within seven days of on-site practical completion.
We’ve partnered with hundreds of businesses to provide electric vehicle infrastructure, including a project we recently completed to help two Honda dealerships get EV ready. We’re also the exclusive installer and aftersales partner of the Volkswagen Group and are developing an approved electric charging installation service across hundreds of Ford dealerships.
What funding and finance is available for EV workplace charging facilities?
Your business can get up to £14,000 of government funding through the Office for Low Emission Vehicles’ (OLEV) Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). As an authorised supplier, we can provide vouchers for £350 per socket (up to a maximum of 40 sockets) and support you with the simple online application process.
And, for organisations who want to protect their capital, we provide flexible finance options and two years interest free credit on installations.
How do you manage higher electricity demand?
Powering your electric vehicles at your premises will increase your electricity demand, so you’ll probably need to make changes to your current energy supply contract and may require an enhanced grid connection.
Your move to low emission vehicles is the ideal time to source your electricity from 100% renewable sources, such as our green business energy tariff, which is independently certified by the Carbon Trust.
As part of our EV installation service, our experts take care of negotiations to arrange grid connections, including any upgrades to secure extra power.
What controls and software systems are needed to manage electric vehicle charging?
Whatever software solution you choose, your priority is to create a slick user experience for your employees, clients, and visitors, while gaining complete control, security and visibility over your EV infrastructure.
At the very least, you’ll want remote control of who uses workplace charge points and when. This can be achieved using a key switch, or you can use radio frequency identification (RFID) cards and/or a mobile app to provide a more complex monitoring and management system. For example, you may want to give some users free access, but bill others for using the charger, and you may even want to set different tariffs for different users.
British Gas’ smart EV charging management platform provides you with real-time network status monitoring, usage reporting and analysis, plus much more. We can scale the software systems to suit all needs. This includes options to manage both home and workplace charging systems – addressing challenges such as driver reimbursement, tariff optimisation software, and distinguishing between business and private EV charging consumption.
How do you maximise the long-term performance of your electric vehicles and charging facilities?
Ensuring the maximum ‘in-life’ performance of your electric vehicles relies on effective long-term management of your charging infrastructure – both via software solutions and expert servicing and after care.
Electric charge points are not a ‘fit-and-forget’ technology. Our charging facilities are vandal-proof, fireproof and weather-resistant and both the equipment and software come with 3-year warranties, but chargers require regular aftercare to ensure optimum performance and a long lifespan.
If your existing site operations include routine maintenance schedules, you should look to include the EV charging equipment, once installed. Alternatively, fully managed service packages are available from our British Gas EV team.
Here to support your complete EV journey
British Gas makes electric vehicle charging easy for all business customers – whatever your requirements. We provide a complete whole life service – from planning – to delivery and in-life operation and aftercare.