For obvious reasons electric vehicles are growing in popularity.
No longer can we deny the effects of climate change on the world. Individuals and governments alike are raising the focus on reducing fossil fuel emissions (which you can read more about in our guide to net zero emissions).
In this guide we’ll cover all things electric vehicle and electrical vehicle charging related, answering all the questions (or even concerns) you may have about them.
We’ll cast a critical eye on the perceived benefits of electric vehicles to understand their role in the journey to net zero.
We’ll also take a deep dive into government schemes and grants and how you and your organisation could benefit from electric vehicle charging points and infrastructure.
Without further ado, let’s dive in!
ContentsChapter One – Getting To Grips With Electric Vehicles & Charging Chapter Two – Understanding Electric Vehicle Charging Chapter Three – All The Latest Updates & News On Electric Vehicle Charging Chapter Four – How Electric Vehicles & Charging Is Affecting The Environment Chapter Five – How To Benefit From Electric Vehicle Government Grants Chapter Six – How Organisations Can Benefit From Electric Vehicle Charging Chapter Seven – How To Leverage Electric Vehicle Charging To Generate Revenue Chapter Eight – Consumer Concerns Relating To The Adoption Of Electric Vehicles Chapter Nine – The Latest Stats On Electric Vehicle Charging You Need To Know Chapter Ten – The Future Of Electric Vehicles & Electric Vehicle Charging
1. Getting To Grips With Electric Vehicles & Charging
What Are Electric Vehicles?
Before we go any further let’s clarify exactly what we mean by EVs (electric vehicles).
Simply put, an electric vehicle (or EV) is any vehicle which is either partially or fully powered by electric power.
The electric power is supplied by a battery pack and powers an electric motor that turns the wheels of the vehicle.
EVs are a growing sector of the UK car market, with popular manufacturers releasing EV models. These can be purely electric powered, as well as hybrid vehicles which can utilise both electric power as well as conventional combustion engines.
What Is Electric Vehicle Charging?
Electric vehicles rely on stored electricity in a battery pack to power their electric motor and drive their wheels.
By using the vehicle this battery power will deplete over time so, obviously, there needs to be a method to recharge the battery.
This is where electric vehicle charging and associated charging stations come in!
When an electric vehicle battery is partially or fully depleted, the vehicle needs to be connected to a grid electricity source to recharge the battery.
This can be either from a normal wall socket or from a dedicated charging unit or station, often found at petrol and service stations.
With the growth of EVs in recent years the number of dedicated charging stations has increased across the country. We’ll touch on this in more detail and point you to resources where you can locate your nearest electric vehicle charging point.
EV Sales & Growth
You don’t need to be a market analyst to appreciate the sizeable growth in the electric vehicle market.
A quick web search will uncover all of the new electric vehicle models hitting show room floors from all major car manufacturers.
In fact, despite 2020 car sales hitting a 28-year low, the EV market continued to grow – with EV and hybrid vehicle sales accounting for more than 10% of UK vehicle sales in 2020.
In total 108,205 EVs were sold in the UK in 2020, with EV total car share growing by 180% year-on-year.
In 2019 EVs represented 1.6% of the overall UK car market, however, in 2020 this was 6.6%. In total 10.7% of all cars sold in the UK in 2020 has some level of zero emission running capability and could be plugged in to recharge.
There are even new EV premier racing series, such as Formula E and Extreme E, which also hope to shine a light on climate change.
Electric Vehicle Charging Types
As we’ll cover in the following chapter, electric vehicle charging times can vary greatly depending on the type of technology used.
There are three main types of EV charging:
You also have to take into account the type of connector required, which varies based on car manufacturer.
However, nowadays most come with cables that allow them to connect to different types of charging point.
Government Grants For Electric Vehicles & Charging
In a bid to meet important emission targets (which you can read about here), the Government has introduced different schemes and benefits for both the end consumer as well as wider organisations.
We cover this in detail in chapter five.
Electric Vehicles For Businesses & Organisations
It’s important to realise that, from a business or organisation perspective, there’s an opportunity here to generate extra revenue and to benefit from Government schemes and incentives.
In chapter six you can learn more about these and how your organisation can benefit from introducing electric vehicles and electric vehicle charging stations.
2. Understanding Electric Vehicle Charging
With the basics out of the way, it’s now time to get a bit more technical as we delve into the nitty gritty detail of electric vehicle charging technology.
Different Electric Vehicle Charging Types
One of the key things to know about EV charging is that there are three main types of charging available to you.
These are rapid, fast and slow.
Rapid EV Charging
As the name suggests, rapid charging points provide a quick rate of recharging to EVs. They work by supplying a high powered direct or alternating current to the vehicle which greatly increases the speed of recharging.
Rapid direct current chargers typically provide up to 50kW of power, whereas alternating current models will provide up to 43kW.
Within rapid charging there are further variations based on different models. Some EVs can be 80% recharged in as little as 20 minutes. However, the average is likely to be closer to an hour for the average rapid charging station.
One important thing to be aware of when it comes to recharging EVs is that charging speed actually decreases as charge levels increase. This is why you’ll notice 80% charge figures are used to provide charging rates.
All rapid charging stations are what are known as tethered charging stations. This simply means that the charging cable is permanently attached (or tethered) to the charging station.
This means that only specific models of cars are actually capable of utilising specific rapid charging stations. The most well-known being Tesla and its network of Superchargers.
Due to their rapid charging nature, you’re most likely to find these charging stations at motorway services or on locations close to busy or main routes where faster charging would be convenient.
Fast EV Charging
Bridging the gap between rapid and slow charging is fast charging.
Fast charging points typically draw 7kW of power and can charge an electric car in roughly three to five hours. However, you may find 22kW models which will reduce the time to just a couple of hours.
While you’re likely to find rapid chargers at motorway service stations, you’ll tend to find fast chargers at shopping complexes and other places where cars can be left for an extended period of time.
Slow EV Charging
The other major EV charging type is slow.
Again, the clue is in the name;, this is a much slower method of recharging an electric vehicle.
Unlike rapid and fast charging stations, slow charging points are usually found at home or the workplace, rather than at public charging points.
Generally speaking, they offer a much slower rate of charge and range between 2.3kW to 6kW. For a bit of perspective, an ordinary 3-pin plug can draw 2.6kw and most lamppost chargers are rated at 5.5kW.
Therefore, your typical slow charger at 3kW is likely to take between 6 and 12 hours to recharge, which is considerably longer than a rapid or even fast charging option.
The other main difference between the three types of charging points is that slow chargers are untethered charging points. This means a cable is required to connect the vehicle to the power source, instead of being permanently attached to the charging unit like a rapid charger.
EV Charging Connectors
The final thing to bear in mind regarding electric vehicle charging is the importance of connector types.
Connection types depend both on the brand of car, as well as the charger type. For instance, European manufacturers typically use Type 2 with CCS rapid standard, whereas Asian manufacturers tend to use Type 1 with CHAdeMO rapids. However, it’s important to remember that this isn’t always the case.
We’ve broken down the different connector types based on slow, fast or rapid charging.
Rapid charge connectors:
- CHAdeMo 50kW DC
- CCS 50-350kW DC
- Type 2 43kW AC
- Tesla Type 2 120kW DC
Fast charge connectors:
- Type 2 7-22kW AC
- Type 1 7kW AC
- Commando 7-22kW AC
Slow charge connectors:
- 3-pin 3kW AC
- Type 1 3-6kW AC
- Type 2 3-6kW AC
- Commando 3-6kW AC
This is important to note because if you’re using a public charging point you’ll want to ensure that it accommodates the specific connector type for your particular electric vehicle.
Where To Find EV Charging Points
The number of available electric vehicle charging stations is steadily growing, making it increasingly easy to find a convenient charging point for journeys in an electric car.
It is important, however, to plan electric car journeys with charging stations in mind, making sure you know when and where you’ll be able to recharge your battery as well as how long it might take.
To help we’ve found a great resource which lists all available UK-based public electric car charging stations.
Who Supplies and Operates EV Charging Points (In The UK)
A common question is, who actually makes electric car charging stations?
The short answer is quite a few different companies in the UK, let alone worldwide.
However, if we focus on the UK specifically the number one operator and supplier of EV charging points is BP Chargemaster, after BP acquired Chargemaster back in 2018. As of 2020 BP Chargemaster had 6,500 charging stations throughout the UK, combined with their 1,200 regular service stations.
Of course, there are many other suppliers and operators of charging points across the UK.
- ChargePlace Scotland
- Shell Recharge
- Pod Point
- Polar (Owned by BP Chargemaster)
- Charge Your Car
So how many charging points are there currently in the UK?
To date (May 2021) there are approximately 40,879 charging connectors spread across 15,155 locations. The number of points has grown steadily over the last couple of years; in 2019 there were just 9,300 EV charging stations.
How Do Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Work?
Similarly to filling up a regular car with petrol or diesel it’s very simple to charge an electric vehicle.
Whilst there are different types of charging stations as outlined above the general idea is much the same across them all.
You simply need to connect your vehicle to a grid connected power source which will then recharge your battery power.
It’s very similar to how you might recharge your phone, just on a much larger scale.
Of course, the important thing is to make sure you’re using a charging station compatible for your specific vehicle.
For instance, if its a Tesla you’ll ideally want to use one of their Superchargers, and if you’re driving a Nissan Leaf you’ll want to make sure you use a station suitable for that particular vehicle.
Electric Car Charging Costs
Of course, the other thing to remember is, just like regular fuel, it’s not free. And whilst it might be a lot cheaper to run a EV than a normal fossil fuel vehicle it’s important to be aware of the charging costs.
The costs of charging will vary depending on where you’re charging from.
For instance, if you’re charging from home you have several different options available to you.
You could charge from an ordinary 3-pin socket which will draw 2.3kW, resulting in a slow recharge rate.
However, more often than not owners of EVs will opt to install a home charge point which typically costs £800,although there are schemes available to bring this cost down.
Both of these are chargeable at your normal energy bill rate, however you could consider switching to a new tariff for cheaper night rates to benefit from overnight charging.
You could expect to spend roughly £5 to fully charge an electric car at home.
The other main method of charging is to use the public rapid charger network we’ve discussed above. This will vary depending on many factors, such as location; tariff; battery
capacity; charging speed and more. However, you could be expected to pay roughly £7 to £10 to charge to 80%.
Alternatively, some might be able to charge at their workplace if the organisation has taken advantage of schemes to roll out charging points for staff.
Electric vehicle charging technology is constantly updating and evolving, so check back regularly for the latest updates.
3. All The Latest On Electric Vehicle Charging
With all emerging technologies, progress happens quickly and updates are released often.
To help you keep on top of everything we’ll be bringing you all the latest and most important updates in the field of electric vehicles and associated EV charging technologies, policies and breakthroughs.
To help keep this chapter in order we’ll break it down into three categories and include date stamps.
Latest Government News & Updates
In a bid to help grow EV usage in the UK, the Government has provided £20m to local authorities to boost the number of on-street charge points in towns and cities. This is known as the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme which we cover in more detail in chapter five.
The scheme, which has been in place since 2017, has already contributed to 4,000 new charging points. However, this funding boost could conceivably double that number, helping the UK create a ‘world leading charging network’.
Latest Technology News
A new technology known as vehicle-to-grid, or V2G for short, is emerging. This new technology enables energy to be transferred back to the mains power grid from an electric car battery.
This V2G technology also covers vehicle-to-everything which is a broader concept that includes vehicle-to-home (V2H) and vehicle-to-building (V2B) in addition to vehicle-to-grid.
This technology is building on existing smart charging concepts known as V1G. The idea being to balance energy consumption and production in a much more sophisticated manner, which ultimately helps tackle climate change by utilising more renewable energy.
Check out this great guide for a deep dive into this technology.
Latest Industry News
Latest research out of Exeter, Nijmegen in The Netherlands and Cambridge has cited that fears electric cars could actually increase carbon emissions are a damaging myth.
The research shows that driving an electric car is more beneficial to the climate in 95% of the world.
Despite Tesla’s huge success in recent years, its high prices for even for the most basic models is a barrier to entry for most individuals.
However, China has introduced a new budget EV which costs just £3,200, significantly cheaper than a Tesla. The Hong Guang Mini EV has been built as a joint venture between Chinese state-owned SAIC Motor and US car giant General Motors. Though it is limited by battery, range and performance it is now outselling Tesla due to its convenience and low price.
Demand for electric cars has soared this month, despite recording the lowest car sales since 1959.
In fact, one in eight car registrations in February 2021 was s Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) or Plugin Hybrid Electric Vehicle (PHEV).
Despite the UK car market dropping by 35% in February 2021, the market share of BEVs and PHEVs grew by 5.7%, to reach 13%.
In the same month, the sale of petrol and diesel cars fell by 61% and 44% respectively.
Industry research organisation BloombergNEF is predicting that EVs will be cheaper to produce than fossil fuel vehicles by 2027.
This has been noted as a key step in transitioning to EVs and ensuring the commercialisation of EVs is possible.
By 2027 electric cars and vans will be cheaper to produce than traditional cars of the same size and by 2026 larger vehicles such as electric SUVs will be just as cheap to manufacture as traditional vehicles.
4. How Electric Vehicles & Electric Vehicle Charging Is Affecting The Environment
One of the main drivers for the uptake in electric vehicles is environmental concerns, particularly relating to climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions.
With focus on the need to move away from fossil fuels, cars driven by electric motors became an attractive solution to many, from individuals and organisations to the government and regulatory bodies.
This chapter will examine all aspects of the effect of electric vehicles on the environment, as well as tackling the question “are EVs really good for the environment?”.
Effect on Emissions
As electric vehicles don’t produce emissions which are contributing to climate change they are heralded as the future of motoring and transportation.
In fact, studies suggest that over a year, one electric vehicle can save on average 1.5 million grams of CO2. This is the equivalent of four return flights between London and Barcelona.
This is seen as such an important saving that the Government is targeting a ban on the sale of petrol and diesel cars by the year 2030.
By doing this experts believe we’ll be able to drastically reduce not only air pollution but noise pollution as well.
Energy Production Consumption and Emissions
However, is everything as good as it seems?
Questions have been raised regarding emissions released through the production of the electric power required to charge an EV.
Whilst emissions are significantly reduced for day-to-day driving, there are still emissions released in electricity production which has some questioning EVs’ true green credentials.
However, even with electricity generation emissions equated, electric vehicles and electricity as a fuel does come out slightly better. Some studies suggest that carbon emissions are between 17% to 30% less than traditional petrol/diesel cars.
Whilst this may not seem significant on the face of it, multiplied by many vehicles and years, there is a substantial saving to be made, which in the long run will help tackle climate change.
Further still, this saving will continue to grow as the UK and other countries continue to produce more clean and renewable energy which can then be used to charge EVs.
There are already options available to EV owners to charge their electric cars, vans and motorcycles using only renewable energy by using GoElectric tariffs.
In fact ⅓ of the lifetime CO2 emissions of an electric vehicle are generated through the car manufacturing process, independent of electricity required to charge the vehicle. However, this is another opportunity for improvement.
As technology improvements are made, and the process of reusing and recycling old batteries advances EVs will demonstrate their ‘green credentials’ further still.
If you’re still curious as to the green credentials of EVs or want to know exactly how they stack up against regular petrol/diesel vehicles, check out this handy tool created by the Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology.
Wider Environmental Impact of Building EVs
One of the wider environmental concerns about the manufacturing of electric vehicles is in relation to raw materials.
Mining the necessary cobalt required to make batteries for EVs is a genuine issue. The process of mining cobalt, which typically comes from the Democratic Republic of Congo, produces hazardous tailings and slags that can seep into the environment.
In fact, studies have found that communities close to cobalt mines have high exposure to this hazardous waste and found children to be particularly affected.
Furthermore, the process of extracting metal from its ore, known as smelting, releases harmful sulphur oxide which contributes to air pollution.
As mentioned above, 70% of the world’s cobalt comes from mines in the Democratic Republic of Congo which are largely unregulated and known as ‘artisanal’, where you will often find children digging with simple hand tools at great risk to their health and safety.
The other key element required for EV batteries is lithium. Most lithium comes from Australia or salt flats in Argentina, Bolivia and Chile.
The process of extracting lithium requires a huge amount of water, which is typically drawn from supplies needed by Indigenous farmers and herders.
The massive amount of water needed for EV manufacturing is 50% more than is required for traditional combustion engine vehicles.
Whilst initial battery manufacturing is proving to be an intensive and controversial process, top car brands such as Nissan and BMW are piloting methods of giving EV batteries a second life.
Currently using existing manufacturing techniques, a mid-sized electric vehicle will produce 15% more emissions than manufacturing a similar petrol vehicle. Manufacturing emissions can even be as much as 68% higher for larger vehicles with a further range.
To offset this difference in manufacturing emissions an electric vehicle must travel approximately 31,000 miles.
Whilst this may sound alarmist and worrying, models show that switching over to EVs and renewable energy will greatly reduce carbon emissions relating to transportation.
In fact, research from Exeter, Nijmegen in The Netherlands and Cambridge shows that in 95% of the world, driving an electric car is better for the climate than driving a petrol car.
The research continues, stating that media reports suggesting electric cars could actually increase emissions are dangerous myths and that EVs are much greener, even when manufacturing and electricity generation is taken into account.
5. How You Can Utilise Government Grants For Electric Vehicle Charging
In a bid to increase the uptake of electric vehicles to tackle climate change, governments throughout the world, but particularly in the UK, have put in place all manner of different schemes and incentives.
They aim to encourage individuals and businesses to switch over to electric powered vehicles in favour of their traditional petrol and diesel vehicles.
Overview of Government Grants
Here is a very high-level overview of the different schemes available from the UK government.
We have the EVHS or Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme to incentivise and reduce the costs of home charging point installation.
Along a similar vein we have the Workplace Charging Scheme, designed to incentivise businesses and organisations to install charging points at their offices and other workplaces for their employees.
Next, we have the ORCS or On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme, a scheme for local authorities to access funding for the installation of charging points in residential on street areas.
Finally, we have the PICG or Plug-in Car Grant. This grant is available to individuals and reduces the costs of purchasing an electric or ‘plug-in vehicle’.
We’ll delve into each of these in more detail now..
EVHS – Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme
The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, EVHS for short, is the manifestation of the government’s recognition of individuals’ desire to charge their electric vehicles from home.
The EVHS is a grant which contributes 75% to the cost of one chargepoint and its associated installation at a residential property.
There is a grant cap of £350 (including VAT) per installation, with the main requirement being that the individual either owns or leases a qualifying vehicle and has dedicated off-street parking at their home.
If you have two qualifying vehicles you may apply for two charge points.
WCS – Workplace Charging Scheme
The Workplace Charging Scheme or WCS is voucher scheme for businesses, charities and public sector organisations that contributes support for the up-front costs of purchasing and installing electric vehicle charge points.
As per the latest update on 1 April 2020 the grant cap is set at £350 per socket for voucher applications and the number of sockets per company has been increased from 20 to 40.
Like the EVHS the voucher contributes to 75% of a chargepoint and installation, but this time for workplaces rather than homes.
Two things to bear in mind are that voucher can only be redeemed by OZEV authorised installers and the scheme is only applicable to organisations that don’t intend to make their chargers available to the public, i.e. they are for employee use only.
ORCS – On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme
The ORCS or On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme is another government initiative to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles.
This scheme is for local authorities to access funding for the installation of charge points in residential areas to encourage local residents to switch to electric vehicles.
The government wants to be able to meet the growing demand for electric vehicles and the subsequent need for electric charging points by employing schemes to help local authorities provide the necessary infrastructure to their residents.
Find out more information.
PICG – Plug-in Car Grant
The PICG or Plug-in Car Grant is a straightforward grant that’s available to purchasers of electric vehicles.
It provides a straight discount on the purchase price of a brand new low-emission vehicle.
Since the grant is given to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers, as an individual you don’t need to undertake any specific action to benefit from it.
The maximum grant available for cars is £2,500 and you can find a full list of applicable cars here.
The grant is also available for vans, motorcycles and mopeds.
6. How Businesses Can Benefit From Electric Vehicle Charging
In order to incentivise businesses to move from traditionally fuelled vehicles to electric vehicles the government has introduced various financial incentives and benefits.
In this section we’ll take a deep dive into the different financial incentives, looking at the available tax, workplace and commercial benefits that organisations can take advantage of.
One of the major benefits that businesses and organisations can benefit from in terms of electric vehicles is zero tax on benefit-in-kind during 2020/21 for electric car fleets.
In fact, there are now 11 new tax bands for vehicles that produce emissions of 75g per kilometer or below. (page 2)
However, it’s worth noting that the benefit-in-kind tax will increase to 1% for 2021/22 and then up to 2% for 2022/23. That said, compared to petrol or diesel vehicles the savings will be large.
The other main tax benefit to keep in mind is road tax.
Fully electric vehicles that produce zero emissions are fully exempt from road tax. Hybrid vehicles are still subject to the tax but the amount will depend on the level of emissions produced by the vehicle.
The one caveat here is that electric vehicles that cost over £40,000 are still subject to additional road tax charge.
In addition to the tax benefits noted above there are a myriad of other workplace benefits available for businesses and organisations that take on electric vehicles and EV charging.
Here are few that you might find useful to know.
A major and often overlooked EV workplace benefit is the increase in staff benefits.. Providing staff with easy access to EV charge points can be a huge bonus to staff wellbeing and benefit packages and a great way to increase staff morale and even help secure new hires.
With an emphasis on businesses doing their bit for climate change there is a much sharper lens focussed on company emissions.
Switching your fleet of vehicles from petrol and diesel cars to electric vehicles is a great way to reduce your company’s carbon footprint and total business-related emissions.
Whilst this is obviously great for the environment it’s also great for your business’s brand perception and awareness.
Another side benefit of introducing EVs and installing charging points is the ability to supply universal charging for guests, which may help improve relations and their perception of your business.
Perhaps one of the real key benefits to introducing EVs is the savings you will make compared to traditional petrol and diesel fleets. Making true cost savings is a huge benefit which will likely help get buy in from key decision makers when it comes to transitioning your fleet to electric vehicles.
Finally, the last benefit and something which we’ve touched upon in most of the previous other points is positive brand perception. By demonstrating your green credentials and proving your effort towards tackling climate change your business and brand will likely have improved perception from customers and stakeholders alike.
Ultimately, introducing electric vehicles to your business and workplace will provide your staff and visitors with access to EV charging and demonstrate your CSR by illustrating that you’re a modern organisation that is environmentally friendly and committed to tackling climate change.
In addition to the above tax and workplace benefits there are some more commercially-centric benefits which you should be aware of to consider how they could improve your business.
Installing electric car and van charging points is a great way of getting an edge over your competition. If a potential customer with an electric car is considering your business alongside a competitor’s they may be more likely to choose yours if you can provide an additional service., in this example charging for their EV.
Along a similar vein, as well as attracting new customers the presence of electric vehicle charging points might aid you in retaining existing customers. If you provide them with a great charging experience they will keep coming back.
As identified in the previous section, if you can offer your staff access to EV charging facilities during their working day this will go a long way to improving employee retention and engagement. This may in turn then improve workplace satisfaction, boosting productivity.
This point ties in nicely with the hiring process too. If you can offer onsite EV charging as part of a benefits package you stand a greater chance of attracting high quality individuals to your organisation.
Finally, by providing your business with EVs and charging stations you can improve your sustainability rating by earning BREEAM credits which will help you comply with ESOS if it applies to your organisation and can help you gain ISO accreditations.
Whether you’re managing a business, charity or an educational establishment, these are all invaluable benefits that you should be aware of if you’re considering a switch to EVs.
7. How To Leverage Electric Vehicle Charging To Generate Revenue
In this chapter we’ll be covering something you’ve probably never considered before: How to generate additional business revenue through electric vehicle charging.
That’s right, its actually possible for businesses and other organisations to generate revenue by providing electric vehicle charging points.
In the same way that petrol stations generate revenue from people fuelling their vehicles with petrol or diesel, your business can generate revenue through people charging their electric vehicle.
Loss Leader Model
The first method of generating revenue from electric vehicle charging is the Loss Leader Model.
The idea here is that you attract individuals to your business by offering electric vehicle charging at a heavily discounted rate.
By providing an initial incentive to get customers to your business you’re then in a position to get them into your business and potentially spend more than they would have ordinarily.
By offering cheap EV charging you’ve stimulated additional revenue by having the individual spend more with you than just the cost of charging their vehicle.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind that this sort of model would not be suitable or applicable for all businesses or organisations.
For example, this type of loss leader model would not work for education bodies, such as schools or colleges.
Its effectiveness will also depend on how much additional revenue you can make from an individual whilst they charge their EV.
Operation or Total Cost Recovery
Another method of generating revenue from an electric vehicle charging point is by charging users a competitive price.
By charging users a competitive price compared to home charging rates the charging point should pay for its own electricity.
This is why this model is referred to as operation or total cost recovery, as you’re able to cover the costs of the charging point through charging users to charge their EVs.
While you’re unlikely to generate much in the way of profit, you will at least be covering your costs.
Perhaps a more attractive method is the Profit Making model.
This model, as the name suggests, is about making an actual profit from your electric vehicle charging station.
For this model you charge a higher fee than what it costs to run the charging point, thus generating a new revenue stream and making a profit.
This type of model is ideal for organisations whose users may have limited charging options, so will be happy to pay higher charging costs .
Based on a simple assessment carried out for a site with four charging points, charged for four hours per day, an estimated net income of £7.84 per day could be possible, assuming a recharge cost of 22p/kWh.
This offers an estimated annual income of £2,862.00.
For a school that can offer its venue to sports clubs and other hiring groups, as well as local residents, the opportunity is significant.
For more information about how your business could generate a new revenue stream from EV charging check out this paper produced jointly by ourselves and the Association of School and College Leaders. Alternatively, get in touch with us here.
Whilst a strong model for generating profit, if your organisation is located near other more competitively priced charging points you may struggle to attract the necessary business to make it work.
There is also a concern that your organisation may be perceived as exploiting individuals if you unfairly charge higher costs for your charging points.
Another popular model is the Fully Funded approach.
As the name suggests, there some circumstances in which a charging infrastructure provider will install and provide charging points for your business free of charge.
This can be a very effective implementation method, though its important as a business to ensure the offer is beneficial to both yourselves and your customers.
This approach is typically suited to organisations that are not concerned about their brand experience or their ability to control the revenue generated by their charging points.
The main advantage of the fully funded model is that you can attract and hopefully retain some customers who require EV charging. As it is fully funded there is also no initial outlay or operational costs for your business.
Though of course, in exchange you do lose control over the charging experience and pricing of your chargepoint. This may make it unsuitable for some businesses.
As you might expect, there are a number of different costs associated with the installation and running of an electric vehicle charging point for commercial means.
Firstly, you have the initial cost of the actual hardware., the physical equipment that is necessary for an electric vehicle charging point to function and carry out its role of charging vehicles.
The average hardware cost of a commercial EV charging point is between £1,000 and £2,500 plus VAT. Total costs will depend on the charger model and the communications required.
Next, you have the installation costs.
These are the labour costs involved in safely and successfully installing the charging point hardware and will include the necessary foundations, cabling and fixings.
Installation costs will also vary depending on the physical location of the charging point and how far it is from an electricity source.
As well as the above initial hardware and installation costs you will have to pay ongoing electrical and maintenance costs.
As you might assume, these costs are for the actual electricity used to charge vehicles and to keep the charging point maintained and safe to use.
For these costs you could expect to pay roughly £250 per charger per year, however this will vary greatly depending on the type of point and usage levels.
Zenergi can provide a complimentary desktop feasibility survey based on some simple information provided. The resulting proposal will detail the expected implementation costs, along with the potential return on investment.
8. Consumer Concerns Relating To The Adoption Of Electric Vehicles
Whilst the uptake of electric vehicles has grown, there are still quite a few consumer concerns and friction points which are holding many consumers back from converting to electric powered vehicles.
One of the primary concerns is over range. With a traditionally fuelled vehicle you could expect to drive hundreds of miles before needing to refill the tank, which would only take a few minutes before continuing on with your journey.
However, the reality of EVs is a bit different.
Though the range of modern electric vehicles has improved greatly, with some manufacturers citing distances of 200 to 300 miles, the longer ‘re-fuel’ time can be a considerable issue for many individuals.
Though modern rapid chargers can potentially recharge to 80% in 20 minutes, it requires a specific set of circumstances, from vehicle make and model, to charging point model and connection type.
Individuals could be having to wait considerably longer than 20 minutes for enough charge to continue their journey, possibly running into hours depending on the situation.
For some people this prohibits transitioning to an electric vehicle.
However, it’s important to note that range and charge times are always improving. Some manufacturers are predicting some electric cars could manage 400 miles off one charge by the end of 2021.
The other major concern is around charging; specifically charging at home. Consumers are concerned about the cost of installing charging points at home – though this can be addressed using the EVHS (Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme).
However, the other main consideration regarding home charging concerns those individuals who don’t have private off-street parking which would make home charging particularly tricky. Studies suggest this group of consumers would be reluctant to buy an electric car without anywhere to charge it.
Pain Points and Friction
In addition to the above consumer concerns there are a number of other areas of friction which need addressing.
The primary one being the lack of affordability. Even with government grants to bring down the cost of electric vehicles many still consider them far too expensive to consider purchasing.
Initial high purchase costs combined with the price of charging points and installation makes lack of affordability a significant barrier to entry for a large number of people.
The other main area of friction is lack of understanding. There is still a large proportion of car buyers who feel they don’t understand the technology enough to feel comfortable investing in it.
People also cite uncertainty around insurance and service fees as a concern around transitioning to an EV.
Here is a quick example of what you might expect to pay in insurance and service fees for your new electric vehicle.
It may surprise you, but on average electric vehicles are generally cheaper to insure than petrol alternatives. A recent study found that the average insurance policy for an EV cost just £629 compared to £718 for an equivalent petrol vehicle. That’s an average saving of £90 on insurance.
You will also want to consider updating your electricity tariff if regularly charging from home. An average use of 8,000 miles a year will equate to an additional 2,800 kWh of electricity to your bill. There are many different tariffs which offer favourable rates for EV owners, with the opportunity to pay less for off-peak charging throughout the night.
On average, a fully electric family car will cost £340 a year to run compared to a similar petrol car which would typically cost £1,241 per year. This is purely based on the differences in fuel, so petrol at the pump versus electricity costs.
These are just a few of the reasons some consumers are not quite ready to take the leap from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric vehicles, however, these needn’t put you off switching to an electric car.
9. All The Stats On Electric Vehicle Charging You Need To Know
There are a lot of important statistics and data points when it comes to electric vehicles and the wider industry.
This is why we’ve created this infographic to easily explain all the important points we think you should know.
It includes important data points such as the number of plug-in cars and vans available. The number of UK-wide charging points and the growth in EV sales.
Furthermore, there are market and government forecasts for the future sales and usage of electric vehicles.
This infographic presents important information in an easy digestible manner, so please feel free to share it with colleagues and friends alike.
10. The Future Of Electric Vehicles & Electric Vehicle Charging
We’ve looked at the past and present of electric vehicles, but what does the future have in store for EVs?
First, let’s take a look at Norway. Perhaps an unlikely contender for champion of EVs as the country’s wealth is so heavily entwined with fossil fuels.
However, by introducing Government-backed incentives they have seen a significant rise in the usage of electric vehicles.
In fact, in 2020 over 54% of all new cars sold in the country were electric vehicles. This stands as a global record and is in high contrast to the lowly 1% of total market sales recorded a decade ago.
Norway is currently on course to meet its 2016 set Government target of banning all internal combustion vehicles by 2025.
Experts propose that policymakers may wish to follow Norway’s example of introducing lower road taxes and removing charges to change consumer behaviour and trigger private sector investment. The latter being an important stage of true adoption of EVs.
Whilst Norway has been doing this since the early 90s, we are now seeing similar incentives rolled out by the UK government as identified in chapters 5, 6 and 7.
Market commenters suggest that other countries could look to follow Norway’s example as a way to rebuild economies that have suffered during the COVID pandemic.
However, the main issue facing the future of electric vehicles is the required infrastructure to support charging which is an integral part of successful EV adoption.
The solution here is to use Government incentives, policies and funds to start, but it’s imperative that this influences the private sector to begin investing too. This is vital, as for EVs to succeed they must be commercially and financially viable on their own.
It’s not enough for the EV market to forever rely on tax breaks and other incentives. EVs need to be a commercial success and stand on their own for adoption to truly happen and governments to meet their goals of banning the sales of traditionally fuelled vehicles.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s vow to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030 will only be achievable if accompanied by a significant improvement in the current charging infrastructure.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) stated last September that for customer demand to keep pace with growth in the number of car models capable of zero emission a minimum of 2.8 million new public charging points would need to be built by 2035, which would require an investment of £16.7bn.
The key tipping point for the commercialisation of EVs will be when manufacturing costs equal that of conventional vehicles.
It is hoped – and early signs suggest is possible – that an increase in mass production and competition will go toward bringing hefty EV manufacturing costs down and more in line with traditional vehicles.
Early signs suggest that EVs will be cheaper to manufacture than traditional vehicles by the year 2027.
The future success of EVs relies on the careful repealing of EV benefits which have boosted sales in recent years.
Norway has already begun to eliminate some of its fringe benefits of owning an electric vehicle, such as free parking and no tolls.
It will be critical for governments and policymakers to carefully consider when to start taking away these benefits and incentives. Too early and EV sales may begin to falter, too late and the commercialisation of EVs may suffer.
Deciding when to phase in taxes for EVs is one of the most critical steps in the future of electric vehicles.
The other key milestone or barrier to EV success is battery technology.
It’s important that manufacturers are able to develop their battery technology to be able to produce cheaper yet more efficient batteries for their vehicles.
Current battery technology is one of the biggest limitations for electric vehicles. An average EV battery needs roughly 9kg of cobalt to produce.
This cobalt is mostly sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo where reporters have found appalling working conditions and child labour being used to mine the element.
However, battery concerns aside there are currently optimistic forecasts that say EV sales will grow 50% or more this year (2021).
Investors backing and standing by Elon Musk and Tesla suggests that electric vehicles are here to stay, however, what’s unclear is which companies will be the major players in the electric vehicle future.
Other countries beside Norway, such as Germany, The Netherlands and India are also planning to ban the sale of new fossil fuelled vehicles in the next 10 to 15 years.
Japan is also currently pushing the envelope in terms of the much important charging infrastructure. The country already has more charging points, (roughly 40,000 in number) than petrol stations (roughly 35,000 in number).
EV Manufacturers For 2021 and Beyond
Here is a quick overview of electric vehicles you could expect to see in the near future from major car manufacturers.
Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen Group will be bringing more electric vehicles to market this year (2021). They both have production plans based on new EV-only platforms. However, industry commentators note that their dealer network will need to improve their selling of EVs to reach their targets.
Experts suggest that Hyundai and Kia will sell larger numbers of electric vehicles and have a new platform arriving in 2021. That combined with Korean battery technology and more competitive prices will likely give them an edge.
Tesla are perhaps one of the most popular EV brands and are projected to sell large volumes of electric cars, especially with new models and their futuristic CyberTruck on the horizon. However, they are currently in the process of building new factories in Berlin and Austin, Texas. This could affect supply until production volumes are able to be ramped up. Analysts predict that Tesla could equal both BMW and Mercedes as a ‘100,000 sales per year luxury brand’ in the UK.
Despite having a head start in the form of its LEAF model Nissan is predicted to continue to underperform. With competition from manufacturers with new models and their own SUV not arriving till late 2021 they may struggle.
As a high end brand Jaguar Land Rover is likely to face challenges due to a lack of lower priced models. Convincing customers to part with the best part of £70,000 may be hard in difficult post-pandemic times.
We musn’t forget that a primary factor driving the success of EVs is climate change and that is still very much with us and will be for a very long time.
Climate change is a long-term issue which requires everyone to play their part in tackling and mitigating it.
With a growing number of initiatives and incentives, such as Clean Air Zones, organisations are likely to renew their fleets with electric vehicles rather than traditionally fuelled vehicles.
As well as climate change there is another potential factor in the future and sustained uptake of EVs. People simply prefer the driving experience of an electric car compared to cars with internal combustion engines.
Forecasters are predicting a greater number of EV sales from 2025 onwards, equating to roughly 50% of all car registrations.
With the upcoming ban of new petrol and diesel car sales, registrations will naturally decline ahead of the 2030 deadline. Petrol and diesel vehicles will start to have poor residual values resulting in higher lease costs, whereas EV prices will become more competitive.
There we have it, your ultimate online resource for all things electric vehicle and electric vehicle charging.
We’ve taken a deep dive into electric vehicle charging technology, examining the different types of charging available, from rapid to slow. We have also looked at the different types of connections that are used.
Furthermore, we’ve learnt what types of Government schemes and incentives are available, for both private individuals and organisations alike.
You should also have a good understanding of how you could implement electric vehicle charging points at your organisation to generate an additional revenue stream.
We’re also going to provide all the latest news and updates in Chapter 3; so make sure you continue to check back for the latest headlines and key information.
Ultimately, you should have a good understanding of why electric vehicles are the future of personal transportation, as well as the underlying climate change reasons for their recent growth, whilst still being cognisant of the wider environmental impacts of their manufacturing process.
We’ll continue to update this guide and keep it relevant, so remember to check back at a later date.