The UK Government’s commitment to banning the sale of petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, means investing in Electric Vehicle (EV) charging points could offer your organisation a variety of benefits.
We discussed the opportunities along with wider considerations of EV charging in our webinar, ‘The Future of Electric Vehicle Charging: Can your organisation leverage a new revenue stream?’.
We’ve summarised the audience questions here.
Does the school act as principal or agent in any sale of metered electricity? What is the VAT position if acting as principal? Will this count towards the threshold?
It is always best to check VAT-related matters with HMRC, however, our understanding is that you would be the principal entity, and therefore the revenue generated from EV would be considered as part of your qualifying/ business usage. This has an impact on what VAT rate you pay on your energy invoices, however, for most schools the qualifying percentage would rarely fall below 60% and therefore you would receive the full exemption anyway. This is not relevant for community status or fee charging facilities that have no residential usage.
Is it possible to offset electricity used for charging by on-site generated (PV) electricity?
Yes, solar PV will be a great way of reducing your reliance on inefficient grid-derived electricity, and help make your footprint even greener! We can support you with bespoke ways of funding Solar PV projects, so please let us know if you are interested in finding out more.
Do you have any idea of when large eTransit-type minibuses (17 seater) may come to the UK market? We understand that the eTransit is due out in Spring 2022, however, we are also well aware that EV demand, coupled with the pandemic have hindered the release of EVs so these dates are subject to change of course. We understand that Mercedes have released their eSprinter and eVito Van, and Nissan also have electric vans so we would envisage minibus variants to not be long behind – if not already available!
Do we have any indication as to how long Electric Vehicles will be zero road tax?
There is no certainty with how the government will change tax rates in the future, however we predict it is possible it will remain at zero road tax for the next three years. It will eventually phase upwards as the government considers ways to increase income and counteract the financial implications of the pandemic.
You showed an illustration of an EV charging model assuming chargers will be used 340 days of the year – do you think this may be a little high based on school holidays?
The numbers are very generalised at this stage, and we considered that some organisations will hire the facilities to visitors and the general public during the weekends and/or school holidays. We have therefore taken a broad average for this model. We are happy to have a further conversation with anyone who is interested to discuss the feasibility using specific figures based on the possible charging uptake at the individual school.
How do we identify what our network supply capacity is in order that we can identify any spare capacity for EV charging?
The network capacity can be identified on an electricity invoice for half-hourly meters, and often suppliers also show maximum demand data. We can also help you establish this via your supplier. For customers who procure their electricity through Zenergi we also summarise this data on our online PEPI portal.
If people are able to charge their cars at 4p/mile overnight at home, what would be the incentive for them to charge at work, if the workplace charged 18p/kWh?
Most people are paying circa 16-20p/kWh at home which is comparable to what you could recharge at the workplace and still make a profit on your commercial energy contract, so it would remain as equally attractive to most users.
Likewise, many visitors would be willing to pay a higher premium for the convenience of parking in some locations, so further profit is also highly achievable in many cases.
It is also worth considering that in the future many households will have 2 EVs but with only one charging point, or perhaps not have access to any EV charging at all depending on their property and location, so people may be keen to top up during their working hours.
Many fleet vehicles will also need recharging so the future of EVs is not all about price but convenience.
How much does each charge point cost, including installation?
This is highly dependent on your situation but the case study that we showed with the two twin 7kW chargers (capable of charging 4 EVs simultaneously) cost circa £8,000. However, these only required circa 15 meters trenching/cabling to install. It therefore is dependent on various factors specific to your site, which we would be able to evaluate for you.
You mentioned the government funding available for up to 40 charge points. If we intend the EV charge points to be used by employees but the school has lettings in the evenings with the car park used by participants, would we be eligible for the government funding?
We understand that the funding is for employees. For example, a landlord can install the chargers for use by people that work within the building, but visitors would not be covered. The charger providers therefore have to be careful in ensuring that those receiving funding do not breach or stretch these requirements. Unfortunately, I don’t think you could claim the funding if you were to offer the chargers out to visitors.
You mentioned we would need to charge staff to avoid this being a Benefit in Kind. Is this charge on top of the 18p/unit?
I expect that some employers will not look to recharge their employees at all, whereby it is a perk of the job; however, this is where it would be taxable by Benefit in Kind. So long as you charge a small fee then this avoids that issue, and we recommend at least 18p/kWh recharge as a fair price.