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Small businesses, leaseholders and those in rented accommodation will benefit from £50m to install electric vehicle chargepoints

Tags: #government-ev-policies

The Government has announced a £50m fund to support the installation of EV chargers by small businesses, people who have a leasehold on their house, or renters. This latest scheme in the drive towards net zero by 2050 should make it more convenient to charge both in public and private.

The fund is being split between two different schemes – the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) and the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

The EVHS offers a grant that provides a 75 per cent contribution towards the cost of a chargepoint at an EV owner’s property with the main qualifying factor being that the applicant either owns or leases an EV. There’s a cap of £350 for the scheme, but with decent home chargers starting at less than £500, it brings an individual’s outlay down significantly. What’s more, if a household has two EVs registered to people living there, it is possible to apply for a second grant.

Previously the grant was available to those who owned the freehold on their property, but given the need to get more people into EVs, the scheme has been widened to include those who rent, and those who own the leasehold on their property.

Obviously, this requires the permission of a freeholder, landlord or property manager, but it’s a big step in the right direction. Sadly, newbuilds aren’t included.

At the same time, the WCS will now be available to the SME and charity sectors with the inclusion of the former massively expanding the scheme’s reach. One of the headline business types that can now get hold of funding is small accommodation businesses such as B&Bs, which has the effect of making new areas more viable to visit by people with EVs; that is to say you’re less likely to be stranded on a weekend away in Cornwall, for example!

Again, the grant is capped at £350 per charger, though the number that can be installed has been lifted from 20 to 40 per company and applies to chargers capable of delivering more than 3.5kW and up to 22kW.

Co Charger’s CEO Joel Teague, who we spoke to recently, said: “From a Co Charger point of view, this announcement is particularly welcome because it will put more chargepoints into homes and businesses where they can be shared with their neighbourhoods. Dependable, affordable charging while at home or work is essential for people to make the switch to electric motoring, and by sharing these newly funded chargepoints communities will be able to meet that need.”

Charging experience consultation

The £50m pot and expansion of the schemes’ reach is complemented by a consultation that is designed to establish ways in which the government can help improve the public charging experience. Lasting until 10 April, it is concentrating on four main areas: making it easier to pay; opening up chargepoint data; using a single payment metric; and ensuring network reliability.

Each of these areas is currently a sticking point for many EV owners, as well as being a barrier to further adoption so the consultation – alongside the changes to the EVHS and ECS – is very welcome news.

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