Electric vans becoming a viable business option


A lack of charging points across the UK is reported to be the biggest deterrent for companies to opt for electric vans – but there is support available to help businesses install their own charging points.

Fleet management company Venson Automotive Solutions points to the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS), a voucher-based grant that offers fleet managers 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, recently launched a corporate subscription for multiple users, bringing greater charging benefits and 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 charge point 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.”

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 the previous year. This trend is set to continue as government rallies local councils across the UK to make the most of the £4.5 million funding available through its On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

Stuart Masson
Stuart Massonhttps://www.thecarexpert.co.uk
Stuart founded sister site The Car Expert in 2011. Originally from Australia, Stuart has had a passion for the car industry for over thirty years. He now provides overall direction for our four automotive titles.

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