Green cars aren’t just on the horizon, they’re already on our roads. With 56% of English workers using their car to commute, it’s time to consider how your organisation will meet employee demand for vehicle charging points at work. At Tusker, we firmly believe the future of driving is green. So we’ve written this handy guide to help your organisation prepare for green cars.
Step 1 - understand your employees’ needs and your charging options
There are three main types of green vehicle on the roads and only two will need access to charging points. Electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids will need to hook in to a source of electricity. But range extender hybrids - that re-charge their battery by collecting and re-distributing captured energy - don’t. According to government data, plug-in hybrids have a market share of 75%. This split will impact the number of charging points you need to install.
There are three kinds of chargers available each able to charge an electric vehicle at varying speeds:
- Rapid chargers - will take the majority of batteries to 80% in around 30-60 minutes depending on battery capacity.
- Fast chargers - fully charge a battery in three to four hours.
- Slow units - are best used for overnight charging and usually take between six to twelve hours so will not be suitable for workplaces.
It’s also worth knowing that although workplace charging units are similar to home-based options, they usually come with higher power ratings. And they generally have double sockets that allow two cars to be charged at a time.
Step 2 - predict the number of charging points you’ll need
To predict the number of employees who’ll likely have a car that needs to be charged at work:
- Multiply your workforce by the percentage of car-driving commuters - use the UK average of 56% if you don’t have this figure for your organisation or by site
- Multiply the result of the first calculation by 2.3% - this is the percentage of people who own a plug-in car
So, if your organisation employs 1,000 people at one site, you could have 13 cars that need to be charged. But don’t forget, you might also have colleagues from other sites and visitors who are more likely to need to plug in too.
Assuming each car takes around an hour to charge to 80% of battery - which should be more than enough to get your employee to their next location - you can charge 7 cars back to back on a single point. Assuming every driver removes their car as soon as it’s sufficiently charged and the next driver is available to immediately park up and charge.
Given that not every car will need charging every day and that many employees will use work to top up their battery rather than conduct a full charge, a site with 1,000 people would be well serviced by one double socket.
However, if you have more staff than this at each location, or a particularly high uptake of plug-in vehicles, you might need more charging points.
Step 3 - Consider costs and grants available to organisations
Early adopters of green technology, including charging points, are entitled to government grants. The workplace charging scheme provides organisations with up to 7% of the cost of the purchase and installation of charging points up to a maximum of £500 per socket. Your organisation is entitled to support for a total of 20 sockets across all sites.
With electric vehicle uptake increasing at pace, you might decide to make the most of these grants by future proofing your organisation with more sockets than you need right now.
Depending on the speed of charging, points typically cost around £1,500 - £2,500 after the grant is deducted from the price. A fully installed rapid charger can cost around £35,000 but you’ll need to secure a range of quotes to ensure you’re getting a good deal.
With these kind of costs, one aspect you’ll need to seriously consider is whether you’ll charge employees for electricity or whether you’ll offer this as a benefit. There are four different options:
- Free - if your business is a green leader, put your money where your mouth is and provide your staff and visitors with unlimited free charging.
- Recover energy costs - by applying charges based on the amount of energy consumed.
- Recover energy and unit costs - apply charges based on the energy consumed as well the price of your charge points.
- Generate profit - charge a set amount with the aim of generating profit from your network.
Your decision will be influenced by your business values. Green companies or those with a strong social conscience might decide to provide free electricity to encourage take up of electric vehicles and reduce your organisation’s carbon footprint.
4 - Find the right provider for your fleet
There are a range of providers in the market so, as with any major infrastructure investment, do your research. You’ll need to review the suppliers and options available and compare a range of quotes before opting for the right provider for your organisation.
Installing electric car charging points is a great way to demonstrate how forward thinking your company is and to show visitors and workers that you value the environment. If future plans for your fleet include a significant increase in electric vehicles, now is the time to make the most of those grants and position your organisation for a low-cost, low-emission future.
A green car benefit scheme can help provide you with a greener fleet and reduce your company's carbon footprint - Tusker also offset the carbon on every vehicle taken out on the scheme. Find out more about how our scheme can help your organisation by booking in your free scheme demonstration today.