The UK’s Department for Transport has reported that it will provide funding to small businesses and those in leasehold and rented accommodation to install electric vehicle (EV) charge points. That means small businesses, including B&Bs, and those in leasehold and rented accommodation will receive funding from a £50m pot. But just how much will the government cough up and how long with the scheme last?
This investment comes as the department launches a consultation on improving the charging experience – simplifying payments and increasing reliability – taking us a step closer to delivering on the commitment to end the sale of new petrol and diesel cars and vans by 2030.
- A business or fleet in the UK switching to electric vans or cars can save an estimated 20-30% in upkeep and repair costs alone compared with petrol or diesel vehicles.
- The updated schemes will be worth up to £50 million, and be a boost to rural areas and the charity sector, ensuring those who need it the most can access a charge point.
- The investment comes as the government pledges to make it simpler and more reliable to use public charge points, levelling up the UK’s EV infrastructure network.
- Israeli lithium-ion battery developer StoreDot has unveiled engineering samples of its first-generation 5-minute charge battery which could revolutionise the EV industry and remove the last barriers to entry.
“It’s great to see the Department for Transport putting businesses front and centre as part of the UK’s mission to achieve net-zero by 2050,” said Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chair, Mike Cherry.
“Small businesses want to play a critical role in helping the UK reach its green targets, and electric vehicles are the future. That’s why this is important news for the nation, particularly rural areas which are often left behind,” said Cherry.
How much funding can I expect as a business?
The Department for Transport’s Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), will provide up to £350 towards a charge point. The scheme will continue next year and be expanded to target people in rented and leasehold accommodation.
At the same time, the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) will be opened up to small to medium enterprises (SMEs) and the charity sector, providing a boost as staff return to work.
Who can apply for charge point funding?
The changes will also mean that small accommodation businesses, such as B&Bs, plumbers, caterers, etc. can benefit from the funding, boosting rural areas, and tackling the ‘range anxiety’ associated with long journeys.
Low-emission vehicles eligible for a plug-in grant
You can get a discount on the price of brand new low-emission vehicles through a grant the government gives to vehicle dealerships and manufacturers.
- You do not need to do anything if you want to buy one of these vehicles – the dealer will include the value of the grant in the vehicle’s price.
- The maximum grant available for cars is £3,000.
Read below for where to go to compare models, prices, and car tax.
Easy pay points
The government suggests simplifying payment at charge points, meaning electric vehicle drivers can use contactless payment but do not have to download an app. It also seeks to make charge points more reliable and to force operators to provide a 24/7 call helpline for drivers (that means more jobs).
Charge point location data
Drivers should also be able to find and access charge points easily, which is why the government is proposing that operators should make location data, power rating and price information more accessible for drivers.
“This is essential for ensuring costs are fair, for driving competition, and for increasing the confidence of both existing electric vehicle drivers and those considering making the switch,” said the Department for Transport.
The latest investment follows £20 million in funding announced earlier in February for councils to improve the on-street charging infrastructure in their local areas, and is part of a suite of measures the government is taking to accelerate electric vehicle uptake and decarbonise transport.
How to compare EV models and prices?
Your first port of call when searching which EV model is best for your lifestyle of business could easily be the Electric Vehicle Database. Here you can search by model – even those to be launched – and which there is a section for cheapest EVs, another for rapid charging, most efficient and those that are capable of a long ranges.
There is even a cheat sheet, which shows all-electric vehicles sorted by range. The cheatsheet is made as a quick reference, so all you have to do is click on a vehicle for all the details. Data is based on real-world values. The average is corrected for multiple versions of the same model.
Another site that compares EV models is Go Ultra Low, including for business and fleets. They also have a car tax comparison tool.