Commercial EV Charge Bays: Who offers the best value?

Over the last five or six years, the number of public charge bays being installed around the UK has increased significantly. According to Zap Map, there are now over 7,000 devices with 13,524 connectors across nearly 5,000 locations. The number is rising practically every day with 466 charge bays added within the last month.

If you’re a company that is switching to hybrid electric vehicles and looking to lower its carbon footprint, one of the first things you’re going to need to consider is which EV charge bay to choose.

The Benefits of EV Charge Bays for Your Business

More and more businesses are starting to install EV charge bays and there a plenty of reasons why it’s a good idea.

  • If you run a fleet of electric cars then making sure your employees can charge up once they get back to the office is vital.
  • It means your cars have access when they most need it and rely less on charge points en route.
  • While garages will have to, by law now, install charge points on their premises, this is still very much a hit and miss affair.
  • Installing an EV charge bay is not as costly as many think and can be tailored depending on the size of your fleet.

Installing chargers isn’t just a good idea of businesses that run fleets of cars, however:

  • If you run a business like a restaurant or bar, putting in a charge bay can encourage customers to come and dine while they boost their batteries.
  • It’s supposed to, according to many small business, increase the time that people stay around and browse your store if you have a charge point. That can help improve turnover, particularly for retail diverse locations like shopping precincts.
  • It demonstrates your green credentials and may encourage people to shop or use your business because you care about the environment too.

Types of EV Charge Bay

There’s a range of different EV charge points and bays on the market nowadays. You might just need a single charge location if you only have one or two electric or hybrid cars. If you have a larger fleet then you may want to install dedicated bays.

One key to EV charging is the speed at which it’s carried out. For standard charging, at 3 kW, you have a system that can take 8 to 12 hours to fully recharge a 24kw battery, something that is often suitable for homeowners and you want to leave your car overnight. Faster charging points of around 7 to 22 kW are the ones you usually find at businesses and , depending on the size, can fully charge a battery in between one and four hours.

Finally, you have rapid or quick charging points delivering 43 to 50 kW which are intended to get your battery to about 80% in as little as 30 minutes.

Cost of Installing an EV Charge Bay

Much, of course, is going to depend on the size of your installation, the power and speed you want and how big your fleet is. A home charger can set you back just a few hundred pounds but an EV charge bay for your business can set you back thousands. For a rapid charging point you should be expecting to pay in the region of £35,000. The good news is that the Government is trying to get businesses to invest in this type of technology and improve the charging infrastructure around the UK.

Getting a Government Grant

The scheme is run by the Workplace Charging Scheme or WCS and provides:

  • A grant of £300 for each socket installed.
  • You don’t need to have an electric vehicle.
  • You can install up to 20 sockets for charging EVs.

According to Zap Map, if you were to install a 7 kW charge point with twin pods you would be eligible for £600 in grants from the WCS scheme. The cost of the charge point after applying the grant would be in the region of £1,500.

Which EV Charge Bay to Choose?

This is a fast growing industry and the number of new companies coming onto the market each month is beginning to rise as you might expect. If you want to find someone in your local area, then check out our installer guide.

Here are just a few companies that have gained a good reputation in EV charging over the last few years:

  • EV Charging Solutions: A commercial and home charging company that has worked with some big companies and organisations including the NHS.
  • Charged EV: A Midlands company which designs, installs and maintains EV charging systems for businesses across the UK.
  • British Gas: It’s not just new companies that provide EV solutions, some older ones have started to diversify. British Gas also offers flexible financing.
  • Pod Point: Carries out a wide range of home, commercial and workplace charging stations with a three year warranty.

Find out more about EV charging on our main site.

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