Charging into an EV future
The transformative potential of electric vehicles (EVs) is not just good for the planet but for employers and employees too. Realising this fully, however, means investing in quality solutions and selecting the right electric vehicle charge point provider.
When it comes to protecting the planet, the environmental impact of petrol cars, combined with upcoming legislation, means an EV future is inevitable.
For instance, from 1990 to 2017, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from road transport increased by 6% in the UK. This is despite the fact that the UK’s total GHG emissions have fallen by 32% in the same period.
It’s this environmental damage that has resulted in the UK’s plans to bring forward a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars to 2030.
It’s clear that EVs are a keystone in the transition to a net zero economy. Research shows they emit less greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life than a petrol or diesel car, even after the production of the vehicle and the generation of electricity required to fuel them is considered.
However, while there’s an inevitability about EVs replacing petrol cars in the future, the opportunity this presents to businesses is less well understood.
Here, we explore why EVs are the right approach for businesses and their employees – economically and environmentally – and why the correct charging solutions play a key role in realising the benefits.
EV business benefits – for the employer and employee
Alongside the environmental benefits, business adoption of EVs offers clear financial benefits for both employers and employees.
For instance, the company car tax rate on EVs with range over 130 miles as a Benefit in Kind (BiK) is 0% in the 2020/21 tax year, which rises to just 1% in 2021/22 and 2% in 2022/23. There is also no car fuel benefit tax, meaning employees who are provided charging solutions for their EVs by their employers pay no extra tax.
Employees can also pay for an EV using a salary sacrifice scheme, meaning they pay for the vehicle each month through a deduction from their gross salary, prior to tax and National Insurance (NI) deductions. As a result, employers save on NI contributions, while employees also enjoy reduced tax and NI contributions.
EVs also come with a 100% first year capital allowance (FYA) for zero emission cars, which means businesses can deduct the entire cost from their pre-tax profits in the year they acquire the vehicles. Businesses that install new and unused charging points for electric vehicles up to 31 March 2023 can claim 100% FYA for those costs.
Further, EV drivers are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) taxes and the London Congestion Charge. They are also granted free access to Clean Air Zones, including London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
EVs are also cheaper to run than petrol cars. According to a study from insurance company Direct Line, an EV is around ￡1,500 cheaper than an equivalent internal combustion engine (ICE) car over its lifetime, with charging being approximately three times cheaper than filling up.
Plus, EVs only have around 20 moving parts, meaning ongoing maintenance costs are around 50% less.
Charging solutions: realising the potential
While there are considerable economic and environmental benefits to businesses investing in EVs, these become even more compelling when businesses also invest smartly in EV charging solutions.
The economic case is strengthened by the government’s Workplace Charging Scheme, which offers vouchers that businesses can put towards the cost of purchasing and installing EV charge points. These vouchers cover 75% of the purchase and installation costs, up to a maximum of ￡350 per socket. They can be redeemed against the cost of up to 40 sockets, offering a potential ￡14,000 saving.
Beyond saving on upfront costs, businesses can realise other significant environmental and economic advantages when investing in charging by identifying high-quality solutions and collaborating with the right EV charge point provider.
This involves several key considerations, including the lifespan of the charging solution, whether it is designed and deployed sustainably and how reliable it is.
Charging solution lifespan
Few things will reverse the financial savings and environmental benefits of investing in EVs more than needing to frequently update or replace your company’s charging solution.
We’ve seen solutions on the market with lifespans of just five years, despite the fact that high-quality solutions exist that last over three times as long. Investing in charge points with longer lifespans means avoiding the environmental harm of repeatedly creating waste material, minimising disruption involved with replacement, as well as removing the financial costs of purchasing and installing new solutions.
The smartest solutions have been designed to position the expensive and sensitive charging elements below ground, protecting these from the elements, accidental damage and vandals, and ensuring a longer lifespan, benefiting the planet and reducing costs for businesses.
Avoiding charging solutions made of non-recycled or non-recyclable materials is also key to ensuring the EV sector can fully deliver its potential environmental benefits.
We believe that the route to truly green transport is through more widespread availability of green charging infrastructure. This should involve building long life charging points that are manufactured using recycled materials. This approach makes use of difficult to recycle materials while keeping the carbon costs of producing chargers close to zero, with most materials having already been made.
By investing in green charging infrastructure, businesses are also able to achieve their environmental targets around reducing emissions and improving air quality. Advanced charge point solutions offer the opportunity to meet CSR commitments while creating a modern workspace with cleaner air and less noise.
Fully integrated software
The value offered by advanced charge point solutions is underpinned by sophisticated and fully integrated software that enables businesses to take advantage of attractive tariffs and create a network of fully controlled and remotely managed charge points.
With the right software in place, solutions are scalable and future-proof, while offering data reporting, analysis and consolidated billing.
Advanced software also ensures charging solutions are automatically monitored 24/7, allowing issues to be resolved immediately and remotely and enabling drivers to charge their vehicles quickly and without hassle.
Charging solutions that offer dynamic load management (DLM) ensure that electricity is distributed in the most efficient way, from both an environmental and economic perspective.
By using smart charging algorithms, load management systems will ensure all charging solutions offer the optimum amount of charge to each vehicle, taking into account everything from high priority requests and sudden changes in tariffs to changes in capacity and the availability of green energy.
This more efficient distribution of electrical charge also ensures businesses can install more charging points, without needing to upgrade electrical supply infrastructure. Selecting a solution with advanced load management capabilities also minimises the need for future upgrades and the associated costs.
Businesses investing smartly in EV charging solutions also have the potential to develop an additional revenue stream from drivers using the system. By seeking advice and working with the right partners with smart solutions, these businesses can set bespoke charging strategies with multiple tariffs and different levels of access and priorities to receive a reliable new income from their investment. Paired with the reduction in terms of fuel and maintenance costs that EVs offer, this approach to revenue generation will offset the cost of investment over time.
Because all of the benefits of EVs for businesses ultimately rely on sufficient employee buy-in, providing reliable charging solutions is imperative.
Drivers should have confidence that the charge point is working when they want to charge, which means chargers should have prolonged uptime over the course of their lifespan.
Equally, rapid repair and replacement times that ensure chargers are never out of action for more than a day have a role to play in gaining employee confidence.
Making the transition – choosing an electric vehicle charge point provider
Ultimately, working with a trusted partner on their transition will ensure that businesses are best placed to realise the full potential of all of the environmental and economic benefits of EVs.
For us, that means working closely with businesses to support them on this journey. Alongside our fully managed network of chargers, including hardware and software, we provide bespoke charging solutions to enable companies to smartly generate revenue. We also offer internal education campaigns, including webinars and presentations, to engage employees around the EV potential.
These aspects of our offer form part of our commitment to creating an EV future that is hugely exciting for employees, businesses and the planet. Realising this simply requires businesses to identify the right charging solutions and select the right charge point provider.
All information in this article is for illustration only. Connected Kerb accept no liability / responsibility regarding the contents of this article.
Connected Kerb provide a unique approach to electric vehicle charging infrastructure – one that champions sustainability and connectivity. It has designed a future-proofed and sustainable smart cities infrastructure platform. The platform is the first of its kind, combining power and data at kerbside to enable charging and connectivity for electric and autonomous vehicles.