Government Incentives & Grants for EVs (2024 Guide)
Posted 12th January 2024
The UK government has introduced a range of incentives and grants to help businesses move towards replacing their standard vehicles with Electric Vehicles. These incentives and grants help with the implementation of charge points and the new infrastructure designed to fit your business’s needs. As an OZEV-authorised installer ElectrAssure can help you claim these grants, but first, let’s deep dive into how these incentives work and what’s on offer.
Government support for EV charge points
The UK government has set out a path to zero emissions for vehicles by 2035. One big step towards this is the push to help fund the installation of a functional and efficient EV charge point network. The idea is that by 2030, 80% of new cars and 70% of new vans sold in Great Britain will be zero emission, and by 2035 the figure should be at 100%. Various incentives and grants are available through OZEV to achieve this aim, for both residential and commercial use.
Decarbonisation Minister Jesse Norman said: “The UK is at the forefront of the global transition to net zero, and today marks another important milestone to decarbonise freight, one of the economy’s most vital industries.“That’s why I’m pleased to reveal that we’re investing £200 million to roll out 370 zero-emission trucks, and a further £2.4 million to pioneer green tech through the Freight Innovation Fund, as we work closely with the sector to create new jobs, grow the economy and reach net zero by 2050.”
What is OZEV?
OZEV, or The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles, is a government team that has been tasked with supporting the transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) in the UK. It is OZEV that supplies the funding through grants to support the installation of charge point infrastructure across the country, including those businesses that wish to take up plug-in vehicles and charge points for staff members and customers.
What is the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS)?
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is a scheme that is aimed to increase the provision of charge points for electric vehicles at workplaces. It is a voucher-based scheme open to a wide range of businesses with the goal to reduce the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points for fleets, staff and customers. There is a cap of £350 per charge point socket, with a maximum number of sockets capped at 40 per business (this can be 20 x double sockets). There is an infrastructure grant for staff and fleets to assist small and medium-sized businesses to install the appropriate infrastructure to make the change to Electric, whilst a commercial landlord grant helps to reduce the cost of this installation for owners of both residential and commercially let properties.
How to qualify for the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS)?
There are a few conditions that must be met for a business, public authority or charitable organisation to qualify for the Workplace Charging Scheme. These conditions include:
- The work premises must have sufficient off-street parking that is only used by staff or fleet. The parking spaces must be either on-site or within a reasonable distance from the building.
- You do not necessarily need to already have electric vehicles as part of your fleet, but you do need to show an existing or future need for EVs to be part of your business.
- All charging stations must be installed by an OZEV-approved WCS installer.
- You do not need to own an electric vehicle personally to claim the Workplace Charging Scheme grant for your business.
What is the application process for the Workplace Charging Scheme?
The WCS is a voucher system that follows a simple online application process. If your application is successful, you are then emailed a voucher code which must be presented to an approved OZEV installer like us. The voucher is then used to claim the grant after the installation of the charge points has been completed. You have a total of 120 days from the date of issue to use the voucher.
February 2024 Update : Workplace Charging Scheme For State Funded Education Institutions
- Opening date: 5 February 2024, 12:01am
- Closing date: 31 March 2025, 11:59pm
This grant is for state funded schools and education institutions to install electric vehicle chargepoint sockets at their site(s).
- You can get 75% off the cost to by and install chargepoints up to a maximum of £2500 per socket
- 40 sockets across all sites (this includes any applications made previously through the Workplace Charging Scheme)
Successful applicants will receive a voucher that is valid for 180 days from the date of issue. The installation must be completed within this time.
You can open these Chargers to public use to enable returning revenue from use of the chargers – Increasing revenue into your Education Institution.
You must have:
- An existing or future need for charging an electric vehicle
- Based in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. If your institution is in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man, it is not eligible.
- Designated off-street parking facilities that are clearly associated with your premises (the parking may be used by customers, guests, visitors, staff or others)
- Had a site survey done by an authorised installer like ElectrAssure, who has confirmed that your site can support EV charging (Contact us for a site survey here)
- Not have applied for a grant for the same chargepoint under the EV infrastructure grant for staff and fleets or any other grant scheme
- Have the authority to apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme on behalf of your organisation
- Received less that £315,000 in minimal financial assistance over the past 3 fiscal years
What is the small accommodation business grant?
For hotels, B&Bs, holiday lets and other short-term accommodation sites where there are employees present on site, camping grounds, trailer parks, recreational vehicle parks, and registered charities, a grant is available for up to £14,000 from the Workplace Charging Scheme. This allows fleet drivers and employees to recharge their electric vehicles on-site. There are no listed restrictions as to who can use the designated off-street parking for small accommodation businesses or charities installing EV charge points using the grant.
A small accommodation business like those mentioned above can only be classed as such if they have 249 employees or fewer. If you have a business of this type but with a higher number of staff members you will not be eligible for the grant.
The following are the criteria for the WCS grant for charities and small accommodation businesses:
- You must be a registered charity or a small accommodation business with 249 employees or less.
- You must declare a need for EV charging equipment.
- Have dedicated off-street parking on site or within a reasonable distance.
- The business must own or rent the property, with landlord permission required for the latter.
- Have Companies House reference or VAT number.
- Be located in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.
What is the infrastructure grant?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs with 249 employees or less) are entitled to £15,000 OZEV grant funding per building or 75% of installation costs. There must be a minimum of five parking bays that are dedicated to EV charging in order to qualify. Funding is capped at £500 per parking bay for future infrastructure needs or £850 per parking bay where there will be a working electric vehicle charging point. Charge points must be for exclusive staff or fleet use to qualify. You can claim up to 5 grants in total, but each claimed grant must be for a different site.
- To qualify for this infrastructure grant, applicants must be:
- Registered with Companies House or be VAT registered.
- There must be at least one working charging station already in place after the first round of funding.
The EV infrastructure grant for small and medium-sized businesses is the perfect funding option for those businesses that have private parking on their premises. It is a great way to encourage employees to switch to EVs or to upgrade the current fleet to a sustainable future. The grant covers the cost of installation, the hardware associated with charging, grid connections, site survey works, and vehicle barriers.
What is the commercial landlord grant?
Owners of commercial properties are eligible for a £350 grant per EV socket, capped at 100 sockets per financial year. This is for EV charging points connected to parking spaces that are reserved for future tenants, employees, or fleet drivers. This grant can help to reduce the cost of EV charger installation by 75% and up to £350 per charger. To be eligible for this grant you must:
- Have private parking in place for current and future fleet and staff.
- There can only be one application per building
- There cannot be a mix of residential and commercial properties within the application (residential properties can apply for up to 200 grants per financial year compared with 100 for commercial properties). There is the possibility though to apply for a different installation at the same property to cover commercial and residential if required.
What is the Rapid Charging fund?
The Rapid Charging Fund is another government incentive, but it is yet to open to applications. It is currently in a pilot phase and is open to motorway service area operators in England, with applications to participate open until 31st January 2024.
As of February 2023, there were 7426 rapid/ultra-rapid charging devices across the country. The Rapid Charging Fund is designed to accelerate this rollout to encourage those with electric vehicles that take longer journeys. It was announced in March 2020 as part of the £500 million funding commitment to EV infrastructure (later increased to £950 million). With the faster rollout, the futureproofing of motorways and major A road service areas for electrical capacity and EV use will be completed, unlocking any current barriers to the deployment of EV charging stations at some of these locations. The government intends to ensure that there are high-quality EV charging options at a competitive price for public use across the road network in the UK, and an expectation on the private sector to deliver charge points where it is commercially viable.
Making the switch to electric vehicles is a vital step for any business. Still, it is understandable that there might be a few questions about how to do it effectively and within a budget. Installing a charge point management system that provides the quality infrastructure needed to look after a network of EV charge points can be achieved, and with the help of government incentives and grants that we have covered so far alongside our CPMS software expertise, your business can make the switch to electric with ease.
Why are these Government Incentives and Grants helpful and why you should take advantage of them
ElectrAssure provides intelligent EV charging solutions that are reliable and scalable. We support our client’s businesses in switching their capabilities to EV charging stations for staff or customers. As more businesses look into installing a charge point management system and EV charging points for staff and customer cars, it is important that they understand what options are available in terms of financial support. The Workplace Charging Scheme is one such option.
ElectrAssure are OZEV authorised installers. If you are looking to make the transition to a fully EV-powered workforce we can help you every step of the way from beginning to end. Our expertise will cover initial surveys, planning, design, installation and maintenance / ongoing support. We can also guide you through choosing what government grants/incentives are best for your business. We can claim these incentives for you and help you to complete this full transition stress-free. Contact our team today for more information.
How does a ChargePoint work?
An EV charger pulls an electrical current from an outlet or the grid that it is hardwired to. It then delivers this electricity to a vehicle. This is the same process as when you plug in any type of device or appliance at home from the mains socket on the wall.
What are the benefits of installing EV charge points for businesses?
For businesses looking to install EV charging points and a ChargePoint management system, there are a few benefits. Government grants and financial incentives are a fantastic way for a business to generate additional revenue and offset your carbon emissions. Benefits of installing EV charge points include:
- Increased footfall – drivers of electric vehicles are more likely to park somewhere if there is the option to charge their vehicle. On average it takes around 45-60 minutes using a DC charger and 4-8 hours using an AC charger to charge an electric car fully, so it could be a great way to attract customers to your place of business, encouraging them to stay longer than they normally would, as they wait for their vehicle to be fully charged.
- Support your employees – as more people take up electric vehicles you might find that a larger percentage of your employees require EV charge points at work for their personal vehicles. Installing these at your place of work is a great way to boost staff morale and improve staff retention levels.
- Increase brand awareness – businesses that install electric vehicle charge points will be included on maps and apps that show where drivers of EVs can stop and charge their vehicles. This increases brand awareness and improves your reputation as a business.
- Cost-effective transformation – your business could save over £1,000 a year in employee and commercial fleet fuel costs per 10,000 miles.
- Improve green credentials – by installing a system of EV charge points you can transform the entire fleet and staff electric vehicle provisions, reducing CO2 emissions and your business carbon footprint. This goes a long way to reaching company sustainability goals that you have in place.
- Reduce ‘benefit in kind’ tax – from April 2025 the benefit in kind rate will increase by 1% every year until 2028. The low rate of 2% is a huge subsidy where employees can make significant tax savings by switching to an electric car through employer salary sacrifice.