A guide to installing workplace charging

Top questions you need to ask yourself when installing EV chargers at work

Choosing to install EV charge points at your business can have a wealth of benefits for both the business and your employees. However, there are some important considerations to make before deciding if EV charge points are right for your workplace. We’ve compiled a handy guide for employers, with questions to ask prior to having EV chargers installed.

Where will the charge points be installed?

Most commonly, the charge points will be installed straight into the company’s car park, but how close the car park is to an electrical supply has a large impact on the cost of installation. For car parks that are far away from an electrical supply, the installation can require a lot of underground work to connect the electricity, substantially raising the cost.

When installing charge points in a car park, the land must be owned by the business or you will need permission from the landlord. For rented land, if you can obtain permission from the landlord you should then consider the length of the tenancy. If the tenancy is close to its end, are you going to renew? Could there be any problems when renewing the lease? You need to decide if your business will have use of the car park long enough to make the charge points a viable investment.

How many charge points are you hoping to install in this location?

It can be worthwhile having the location surveyed prior to committing to EV charge points. Unfortunately, some locations do not have a sufficient enough energy supply to run multiple charge points. If your location does have a sufficient energy supply, the next concern is load balancing. Electric cars are high-energy applications that can put the electrical circuit under strain if not managed properly. This can be solved by installing a dynamic load balancer, but it can be handy to know if this is required ahead of time. Find out more about load balancing here.

When choosing a number of charge points, you need to be aware of how likely these spaces are to be used by EV drivers, whilst ensuring adequate space for petrol and diesel vehicles too. Consider any customers or visitors to the site if you plan to allow them to utilise the chargers too.

Who will use the charge points?

Depending on the type of business, the charge points may be used by employees, customers and visitors to the site. Determining who is likely to be using the charge points is an important step in deciding how many you want to install. You need to consider if your employees really need to charge whilst at work; if they live locally and have a very short commute, charging their EV at the workplace may be unnecessary and therefore the charge points will have less use, but employees with a bigger commute may find them of more value. You can help your employees obtain EVs for a reduced cost with a salary sacrifice scheme.

It can be useful to send a survey out to all of your employees to determine who would be likely to use EV charge points if they were installed at your business. Some valuable questions to ask include:

  • Do you drive an EV to work?
  • How far is your commute to work?
  • Would you charge your EV whilst at work if charge points were installed at the business?
  • Would you be willing to pay to charge your EV whilst at work?
  • If you do not drive an EV, are you considering one in the near future?

It becomes much more difficult to judge how many customers or visitors would utilise the charge points, however, by ensuring you install enough to cover any employees who may wish to use them, any spares left for customers and visitors is a nice bonus. If customers and visitors are a large portion of your business, then consider installing dedicated charge points that cannot be used by employees to ensure a higher likelihood of a charge point being free for any customer or visitor who wishes to use one.

Will you provide free EV charging?

Some employers choose to cover the electricity costs when installing EV chargers in the workplace. Before deciding this, you should be confident that the business can afford to do so, which is even more important in the current times of rising utility costs. If you provide free charging to employees, will you do the same for customers and visitors?

Allowing your employees to charge their EV for free whilst at work can be a great incentive, however, this could lead to a negative response from petrol and diesel vehicle drivers who do not get discounts on their commute to work. If you plan to give EV drivers free charging, consider a similar scheme for the remaining drivers, such as paying a set fee per mile of their commute to compensate for some of their fuel costs. Again, you need to be confident that this is financially viable for your business.

If requesting payment, how will you charge?

If you plan to charge your employees for charging their EVs at work, how will you do so? Some employers charge the entirety of the cost, so each driver will pay for the exact amount of electricity they use, whereas others will charge a subsidised cost, absorbing some of the cost into the business for an additional incentive. Find out more about payment options here.

A great option for managing payments is Fuuse, a charge point management system that controls all aspects of the chargers. Fuuse provides a user-friendly management system that allows you to charge per kW hour used, simplifying the payment process for both the business and employees. Fuuse also offers static load balancing, which is very beneficial for businesses looking to install a large number of chargers.

Gain further advice

Installing EV charge points at the workplace can have many benefits, but it’s important to be confident that it’s the right decision for your business. After taking all of these considerations into account from a business perspective, feel free to contact our expert team for further information and advice regarding the installation of EV charge points at your business.

Find a case study of a Plug&Drive business installation here.