If you think that a carport is a luxury that your business can’t really afford, then think again. Not only can it provide cover for your brand new EV bay but it may also be able to provide valuable electricity to help run your business.
We’re moving more quickly to hybrid and all singing and dancing electric cars now. The UK government announced that it’s looking to phase out diesel and petrol vehicles over the next few decades and car manufacturers are investing a lot of time, energy and money in electric.
The simple fact is that EVs are going to be the norm rather than the exception, and it’s going to happen a lot quicker than you think.
The Future of Electric Vehicles
Manufacturers such as Volvo have indicated that they won’t be making any totally petrol driven cars by the end of the decade. Tesla in America have started producing a purely electric car aimed at the middle classes and the UK government is putting a large amount of money into developing battery technology. Even sports cars are getting the electric makeover – just look at Porsche Mission E.
It may be premature to suggest the demise of the petrol car, but the end is certainly in sight. Within the next couple of decades we’ll all be electric.
What is a Carport?
Basically, it’s a covered area that protects cars in your fleet or for your office staff. They’re not a new invention but they have been going through a transformational makeover in recent times. Not only can they be installed along with solar panels on top, they can be used as EV charging stations which help customers, staff and fleet drivers top up their batteries while parked in under cover. The good news is that you can install one quite easily and they have a lot of advantages. With more and more of us likely to own electric cars in the future, this is going to be an important asset for many businesses.
Do You Need One?
While you may not need one at the moment, they’re likely to become a standard feature for businesses and offices over the next decade or so. There are also a number of excellent benefits:
- You can protect cars and keep them covered from the elements.
- They can create additional roof space for installing solar PV which can be used to charge electric vehicles and even power your office.
- They’re the perfect place to set up EV charging points for both customers and your existing fleet. You can even earn money by charging customers to top up their batteries.
- They provide a great visual appeal as well as a much needed and valuable local utility.
If you provide a decent amount of parking space, installing a solar carport can make a big difference to your electricity spend over a long period and deliver excellent services and protection to all your staff and visitors.
How Much Do They Cost?
Carports can vary in size and the cost will obviously depend on the number of vehicles you want to cater to and the space you have. You can choose to have solar panels installed on the roof or not depending on your needs but they are increasingly becoming the must have value added extra that many businesses are looking for. When it comes to solar you need to take into account not just the cost but also the return on investment through lower electricity bills and payments through the feed in tariff. For many businesses, the combination of carport and solar is simply too good an opportunity to miss out on.
A lot will also depend on the type of charging you are going to offer. Slow charges that take between 8 and 12 hours can cost just a few thousand to install. Rapid chargers that deliver an 80% battery boost in just 30 minutes are going to cost significantly more, in some cases up to £35,000. The good news is that the Government is offering grants to businesses that install charging points - £300 for each connection up to a maximum of 20.
For businesses that have the space, installing solar carports can be prudent and strong investment in infrastructure and will provide valuable clean energy through the panels while also protecting cars and incorporating increasingly important EV charging points.