EV for business - ask the experts

Navigating the complex world of electric vehicle (EV) charging can be confusing. Our resident EV charging experts, Adrian Parker and Shahid Rana, believe that every installation must start with a conversation – not just about the technical details, but a company’s motivations, requirements, and even their corporate philosophy.

EVs and the installation of charging infrastructure are both new and growing industries, with the popularity of electric cars and vans growing at an incredible pace in the UK. At the end of March 2010, there were only 98 vehicles eligible for the Plug-in Car Grant licensed in the UK. By the end of March 2018 this had reached 132,789. While many organisations want to install EV charge points, some find it challenging to build a business case and worry about the unknowns when it comes to installation and maintenance. It’s time to change that.

The business case

First, as the number of people driving EVs grows – more than 150,000 have already been registered in the UK, according to the SMMT – customers and employees are foregoing the filling station and looking for somewhere to charge. Hotels, for instance, are increasingly finding customers phoning them to ask whether they have charge points. As a result, these companies are beginning to see the availability of charge points as an important part of their overall customer experience and business strategy.

10 years ago, not all hotels provided customers with Wi-Fi, but today it’s an expectation. EV charging is at the same stage today as Wi-Fi was then, and there are already hotel booking sites that allow customers to filter by hotels with EV charging capacity.

“ When we start looking at retail parks and out-of-town shopping centres, we see them investing in EV charging because they want to attract more customers and increase footfall and dwell time,” Shahid says about our experience with customers.

In addition, companies of all kinds – both big and small – are increasingly committing to EV charging as part of their overall sustainability strategies. For many, it’s an important part of their corporate identity and their commitment to having a positive impact on the environment.

Weighing costs and benefits

When it comes to a company’s own fleet or company cars, Adrian highlights that choosing electric cars and vans can result in significant savings. With many cities in the UK introducing Clean Air Zones that will charge the most polluting vehicles for access, there is a clear business case for EVs and associated charging. Adrian’s advice on this is: “If you operate in or near one of the increasing number of cities with Clean Air Zones or congestion charging, investing in EV charging makes financial sense, given there are exemptions for low emission vehicles.”

The vehicles themselves help save money for employees and businesses too, Adrian calculates that the pure energy cost of running an EV is about 3.5p per mile compared to 10p per mile for a similar petrol vehicle. When considering an entire fleet of vehicles, it’s easy to see how these savings add up.

Our expertise across the energy sector means we are ideally placed to support businesses’ EV charging infrastructure needs. From problem solving to consultancy, we create EV charge points with the future in mind.

To begin your conversation, go to eonenergy.com/evcharging