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Many fleet operators feel the charging network is insufficient

WITH 35% of fleet decision-makers disagreeing that the current UK charging network is sufficient for their business needs, Volkswagen Financial Services Fleet (VWFS Fleet) is advising businesses to take advantage of charging grants available to help improve charging infrastructure.

Companies can help provide charging infrastructure for their employees through the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

A survey of 197 fleet operators conducted by VWFS Fleet discovered that businesses are concerned that the current UK charging network will significantly impact their employee EV uptake via a company car scheme or salary sacrifice. 34% said there are insufficient local charging points for those employees who are unable to charge at home, meaning schemes like the WCS are essential for businesses working to lower their Green House Gas emissions and drive forward their sustainability objectives.

The WCS is a government scheme where organisations can receive grants towards the upfront cost of purchasing and installing charge points.

The WCS reduces the cost of a new workplace charging station (a single socket) by 75% (capped at £350 per socket), and businesses can claim up to a maximum of 40 charge points, which can be claimed on different sites. As of July 2021, the WCS had funded 16,975 sockets, showing its importance in boosting the number of charge points in the UK.

Emma Loveday, Senior Fleet Consultant at VWFS Fleet, said: “We’d strongly encourage businesses to take advantage of the Workplace Charging Scheme and invest in charging infrastructure sooner rather than later. While the home charge point grant ended earlier this year, the WCS is still open to applications and this can be a huge help to employers looking to encourage EV uptake amongst staff. Especially if you have a cohort of employees that don’t have off-street parking, and therefore access to home charging.”

Ahead of the UK government’s 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, the growth of the EV market is expected to accelerate in the coming years. Businesses can look to futureproof and improve charging access for their employees who may not have access to a home charge point.

“For these employees, workplace charging could become their most frequent, or primary way to charge, making an electric vehicle a viable choice and enabling them to complete journeys with confidence. Having reliable, available and accessible workplace charging infrastructure will demonstrate your organisation’s commitment to EV adoption, and its wider commitment to sustainability,” adds Emma.

Furthermore, as electricity is not classed as vehicle fuel by HMRC, there are no BIK tax implications if an organisation wishes to provide free charging to employees. This means offering free charging to staff can be a highly appreciated perk and work as an incentive to increase EV uptake among workers and even attract talent to the business.

Details of the Workplace Charging Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/workplace-charging-scheme-guidance-for-applicants

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