Lack of charge points ‘unfounded’
The lack of electric vehicle charging points across the UK is reported to be the biggest deterrent for drivers to go electric, but Venson Automotive Solutions believes the facts prove these fears are unfounded, and it urges more businesses to consider electric alternatives for van fleets.
The appetite for electrified cars reached a record high in 2017, with almost 120,000 alternatively fuelled vehicles (AFVs) hitting UK roads – a 34.8% uplift on previous year. This trend is set to continue as the government rally’s local councils across the UK to make the most of the £4.5m funding available through its On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme. Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport.
Jesse Norman MP recently appealed to councils, asking them to consider applying to the funding scheme. She said, ‘We are in the early stages of an electric revolution in the UK transport sector, and connectivity is at its heart.’
Joining calls for a greener transport system, Venson is reminding businesses that the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), a voucher-based grant, offers fleet managers vital support towards the up-front costs of buying and installing electric vehicle charge points. For eligible businesses, charities and public sector organisation, a grant of £300 for each socket, up to a maximum of 20 across all sites is available.
In addition, fleet managers could consider subsidising employees for the installation of charging points at their domestic property, through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme. This provides grant funding for up to 75% towards the cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at domestic properties across the UK, capped at £500 – ideal for businesses operating a small van fleet whereby drivers have private use of a vehicle out of working hours.
Fleet operators also don’t need to worry about vehicle downtime for electric van drivers. ‘Rapid’ is the fastest charge, offering 80% capacity in under 30 minutes. ‘Fast’ will recharge a battery in two-four hours. ‘Standard’ is generally used at home and work and takes about six hours to fully charge a battery. The UK’s largest EV charging network, POLAR, operated by Chargemaster, just recently a launched a Polar corporate subscription for multiple users, bringing even bigger charging benefits, including savings, to businesses.
‘Crucially, the available funding makes charging a plug-in van at home or work no different to charging a mobile phone, ensuring they make their next journey with a ‘full tank’,” explains Gil Kelly, operations director of Venson Automotive Solutions.
‘Charging at home costs around £3 for a full charge or 2p per mile. Many businesses offer staff workplace charging points, with either free access all day or a time-based tariff to encourage sharing. When it comes to charging on the go, rapid-charge stations are available at service stations, retail outlets and other public facilities. They typically cost £6.50 for a 30-minute charge, taking a battery from flat to 80%.
‘The Government continues to invest in the UK’s network of charging points at retail shopping car parks, railway stations and other key locations. In addition, Highways England is supporting the uptake of electric vehicles by working to ensure that 95% of the major road network it manages will have a rapid chargepoint every 20 miles, where possible. Furthermore, fuel companies such as Shell and Total have pledged to put charging points on their forecourts, so the future looks bright for motorists driving electric cars and vans for work or at home.’