Hub Industry insights The benefits of EV charging installation for your business

The benefits of EV charging installation for your business

Electric vehicles (EVs) have become increasingly popular in recent years, with 840,000 fully electric vehicles on UK roads currently, and a further 520,000 plug-in hybrids.

That number is only expected to rise, with National Grid predicting that there could be as many as 36 million electric vehicles on UK roads by 2040.

With the government planning for all new cars to be electric by the year 2035, and petrol, diesel and hybrid cars being phased out as a result, it’s safe to say that there’ll be huge demand for changes to the current charging infrastructure.

The current EV charging network in the UK is severely lacking in size and coverage, with limited public charging points across the country. This shortage means there’s a huge window of opportunity here to support the UK’s EV infrastructure growth, while taking advantage of countless benefits for your business at the same time.

What do those benefits look like, exactly? Read on to learn more.

How is the demand for EV charging growing?

As you’d expect, the UK’s EV charging infrastructure is continuously growing and evolving around the rising popularity of electric vehicles.

At the end of July 2023, there were 45,737 EV charging points recorded within the UK, located across 26,805 charging stations. According to Zapmap – a UK-wide map of electric vehicle charging points – 1,999 new EV charging devices were added to the database last month alone. However, these figures don’t include the charge points installed at residential properties or workplaces, which takes the total to well over 400,000 nationwide.

In total, there’s been a 40% increase in the charging network since July 2022, and a four-fold increase since the end of 2016. Greater London leads the way with the highest number of charging points in the UK, followed by the South East, and then Scotland. This leaves a huge number of underserved areas, with a notable lack of infrastructure in rural areas. A number of local authorities, such as Suffolk County Council (SCC), have launched schemes to increase the number of charging points available in underserved areas; with SCC’s ‘Plug In’ project installing 100 points across the county since it was first introduced.

Commenting on the scheme, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment, Richard Rout, said:

With an increasing number of EV drivers across the county and the UK, the council’s ambition is to make Suffolk a well-connected destination for visitors and residents. We’re a rural county and the infrastructure of charging stations is still developing, so our aim is for Plug In Suffolk to plug the gaps. We are installing the chargers at rural destinations such as public car parks, sports clubs, libraries and community halls.

– Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council’s Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance and Environment

With the government putting so much support into the growth of EV infrastructure, and with more and more electric vehicles being added to the roads, it’s an opportune time to think about installing a charging station for your business.

Who benefits from a commercial EV charging point?

With the presence of electric vehicles growing by the day, many businesses are considering installing EV charging points on their premises – from hotels and shopping centres, to offices, libraries and warehouses. The installation of commercial EV charging stations can be a brilliant way to generate additional revenue, as well as offset your carbon emissions. Some of the key benefits include:

Increased footfall

Commercial charging stations tend to use fast or rapid chargers, which are rated at 50kW. Charging a vehicle at this rate takes around 45-60 minutes, and EV drivers are far more likely to charge their vehicles in locations where they can spend some time.
Currently, EV charging stations are only offered by about 18% of the UK’s supermarkets, so EV drivers will be looking for other places to charge their vehicles. Not only can an EV charging point attract visitors to your business and increase footfall, it could encourage them to stay longer, too.
Boosting profits

Many businesses opt to install EV charging stations that drivers have to pay to use. By installing a charging station for public use, you’ll essentially be selling electricity – the same way petrol stations sell diesel.
Before long, the installation cost of these chargers will have been reimbursed, after which you can retain a profit on the price each driver pays to charge their vehicle. 
Support your employees

Over the next few years, you’ll find that more and more of your employees will be making the switch to electric with their own personal vehicles, so it’s important to be able to support their charging needs when they come to work. Providing charging stations will, as a result, keep your employees happy, boost retention, and improve your reputation as a company.

Increasing awareness of your company

With the government making such an active effort to increase the use of electric vehicles, there’ll be a growing pressure over the next few years for businesses to get on board and support the EV efforts. 

By installing an EV charging station at your business, you’ll be included on all apps and maps that show drivers where they can charge their vehicles. Not only does this increase visibility and awareness of your business, it could also mean the difference between a visit to you and a visit to your nearest competitor. 

Is planning permission required for commercial EV installation?

The simplest answer to this is that it depends. Since EV charging is still a relatively new resource, the planning policy surrounding its installation is still evolving.

In most cases, you’ll need to apply for planning permission if the installation involves significant changes to the building or the surrounding area, such as changes to the building’s facade.

There are a number of considerations to keep in mind when working through the EV installation process. These include:

Booking a site survey

You’ll want to start by contacting a reputable electrical specialist, such as DPL, and requesting a site visit. The engineer will then be able to offer advice on the right hardware and charger speeds for your specific needs, identify the best charge locations, establish whether any capacity upgrades or groundwork are required, and give you a quote for the installation.

The electrical capacity of your site 

In order to give you an accurate quote, the engineer will need to assess your site’s maximum electrical capacity, as well as the space capacity. Your site may also require a balance loader to support additional electrical load.

Your charging unit speed

You’ll need to think about the number of charge points needed, as well as the type of charge points you want to use. Depending on power levels, your business should be able to install fast chargers ranging from 7.4kW to 22kW, or rapid chargers up to 350kW. It’s important to consider the electrical load, the number of charge points overall, and the number of electrical vehicles likely to be charging at once. The engineer will be able to advise on the best charging speed to accommodate your specific requirements, as well as what works best for each EV model type.

The impact of the charger location

The cost of installing your EV charger will be heavily influenced by the distance between the charging station and the metre cupboard on your business’ premises. The ground surface will also play a part (for example, if complex digging is required), and the length of the cable needed underground will also affect the price.

Selecting the correct hardware

To make sure you select the right charging hardware, you’ll need to think about a few things:

  1. Where will the chargers be installed – in a sheltered car park, or outside?
  2. Will you need the chargers to be wall mounted or pole mounted? 
  3. Do you require tethered (with a cable) or untethered (without a cable) EV chargers?

The engineer visiting your site will be able to make tailored recommendations depending on your specific requirements and what you’re hoping to achieve.

What are the costs of EV installation points for businesses?

Again – this can vary. The cost of installing an EV charging point will depend on the number of chargers required, the model, the foundations and groundwork, the power you want to deliver, electrical upgrades, and the communications involved. Generally speaking, businesses can expect to pay somewhere between £1000 and £1500 + VAT per charge point, though an accurate quote can only be given after an engineer has visited the site.

How DPL Group can help your business

At DPL, we offer full-service EV charging installation, along with charging maintenance and management solutions for domestic, commercial and fleet vehicles. 

Whether you’re an architect, housing developer or business owner, we can tailor a solution to your specific needs and install and maintain your EV charging stations. 

Get in touch with the team today to request more information or to book a visit from one of our engineers.

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