GRANTS FOR INSTALLING CHARGE POINTS REDUCE COSTS BY UP TO £14,000
Peter ColeApr, 26 2022 3 min read
Grant funding for the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points can cover up to 75% of the cost of fitting them, while adding value to an asset or farm diversification, farmers and rural landlords are being advised.
As the government seeks to encourage the uptake of greener transport, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations that have dedicated off-street parking and meet the conditions, advises Peter Cole, a partner with Ceres Property.
Those conditions include supplying evidence that electric vehicles are part of the fleet or used by staff and that a system will be installed to monitor usage, which comes at an extra cost of around £1000/year, he adds.
The current funding offer is capped at a maximum of £350/socket and a total of 40 sockets across all sites per applicant, meaning that it can reduce the overall costs by up to £14,000.
For farms and estates with business lets, farm shops or other diversifications where tenants need on-site charging, taking advantage of the scheme could be a good option for several reasons, believes Peter.
“There were more electric vehicles registered in 2021 than in the previous five years combined,” he reports. “Over 18% of all the new cars registered last year had the ability to be plugged in.
“Having charging infrastructure available is going to become increasingly important, especially in rural areas where the public transport and parking options are limited.”
He adds that the infrastructure technology is unlikely to change in the short-term but the costs of fitting it are only likely to rise, making it a good time to look at installation with the help of grant funding.
“The possible exception to that is where you want to put in a small scheme and don’t want the additional annual cost of monitoring usage.”
Initially launched in 2016, the WCS has already been behind the installation of almost 14,000 sockets and should not be confused with the Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme, which ends on March 31 2022.
“Smaller businesses are expected to be some of the greatest beneficiaries of this boost to cleaner, greener motoring,” notes Peter. “The government’s focus is shifting from homeowners to landlords, providing they meet the site eligibility criteria.”
If the scheme is of interest, there’s a straightforward on-line application process which sends successful applicants a voucher code by email.
This can be given to any of the WCS authorised installers, who must complete the installation claim the voucher within six months of its issue date.
A site survey to ensure that the electrical capacity of the site can support the number of charge-points intended will be required, as will the selection of the right contractor or developer to take the project on.
“A fast-charging ( say 1 hour) 50KW DC system will cost around £15,000 before installation while an 8-hour charging 7KW AC system is approximately £1200,” reveals Mr Cole.
“An AC system may be more appropriate if the vehicle remains on-site for longer periods of time.”
Costs will also vary according to whether the chargers are wall or pedestal mounted and where they will be located in relation to the power supply.
“Once installed, there are monitoring and maintenance options to consider,” comments Peter. “If you have any doubt about the best way to proceed or whether the scheme is suitable for your situation, seek independent advice.”
His final point is that for some businesses, the installation costs could be allocated as a Capital Allowance for the first year, with a deadline to take advantage of this being 2023.