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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My partner manages a fairly large block of serviced and traditional offices and after all my talk of charging and charge points he has put it to his managers that he would like to get some EV charge points installed in the car park. In short it's a nice selling point for the offices and might encourage more people to switch to EVs (my partner included!). He's been asking me for advice so I thought I'd extend the questions out here and see what you all think is the right course of action. The car park is for use by offices in the building only, so no public access to the site. The building does have a three phase power supply. Although there is allocated parking per office, there are currently a row of unallocated spaces which could potentially be marked for charge points. With that in mind, here are the questions:

1. What grants are available for workplaces to install chargers?

2. Is it better to consider getting a rapid so people can top up quickly or better to install destination chargers for all day/afternoon charging?

3. Should they require payment for charging? The powers that be are concerned about costs. If they do want to charge, what's the best way to do that?

4. What provider(s) should he be looking at to do the installation?

5. If they take the approach of installing in say, 6 bays, should they allow parking all day or require you to move when fully charged? Is there a good/fair way of policing bays in a private car park?

6. Are rapids stupidly expensive? (I'd seen figures of £30k-£50k thrown about somewhere)

Thanks in advance for the advice. I'll update if I have further questions/info.
 

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Original thread seems locked to replies, so since I'd already written this I'm posting to a new thread.

1. What grants are available for workplaces to install chargers?
a) OLEV Workplace Charging scheme:

Workplace Charging Scheme guidance for applicants, installers and manufacturers

This scheme is not particularly generous, and some of the grant gets eaten up in meeting the grant conditions - in particular, it only supports installation of relatively expensive equipment with the capability to do per-user accounting/billing, which may or may not be what you want.

b) Tesla Destination Charging or Workplace Charging schemes. The hardware can be set up Tesla-only or to support any EV with type2 connectors. Typically they support installation of multiple bays at one location and expect at least some of them to be Tesla-only, but details are subject to negotiation. Hardware is usually free and they may support some installation cost too. Destination charging requires that you are an 'interesting' destination that drivers will want to go to (can be 'customers only'). Workplace charging I think requires that at least one person working at the site has a Tesla (and they will then install charging to support more than that).

Charging Partners | Tesla UK

c) Local schemes. Some (not many) local authorities have schemes to support local air quality.

d) 100% FYA on corporation tax. Of no value to many people as they can get 100% FYA for most miscellaneous capital expenditure (not cars) up to a limit, but if they've already used that up then any further EV charging still gets it. Relatively minor incentive, but it's there on top of whatever other support you might get.

2. Is it better to consider getting a rapid so people can top up quickly or better to install destination chargers for all day/afternoon charging?
IMO, rapid(s) are inappropriate unless this is a huge site and/or you are intending to go into the public charging business. If you want to make this a site open to the general public, then Instavolt or Chargemaster for example will probably be interested in supplying rapids.

But if this is just for occupants of the building, then a single rapid is not convenient for those users, can't serve very many of them, and costs too much. If it's a really huge site, a row of AC chargepoints plus a rapid or two could be a sensible option - but there's unlikely to be many people able to contemplate that sort of thing yet.

3. Should they require payment for charging? The powers that be are concerned about costs. If they do want to charge, what's the best way to do that?
Do they currently charge for parking? Are there many separate tenants that are going to argue about who is getting benefit of this if it's paid for out of common service charges? The connundrum here is that mechanisms to enforce payment make the initial installation MUCH more expensive (and potentially ongoing running costs too), compared to simple dumb equipment that doesn't record usage. So you end up either charging through the nose to cover all the costs (and nobody ends up using it), or you subsidise it, in which case it might have been cheaper to just give away the power in the first place.

To put a number on it, if you've got say 22kW of total power shared between your bays, and if it was used 8 hours/day (fairly unlikely), then that's 177kWh/day - about £25/day. If the equipment to record usage adds £5k to the cost, then it's at least a year to pay back and you'd need to be charging 30p/kWh to do so.

If you do want to charge, then there's a couple of options. You can get one of the big operators (PodPoint/Chargemaster etc) to put in points on their network - just like public chargepoints but not advertised as such. You then get a share of the income from the charges they make to drivers to offset the electric bill. Typically you are still subsidising the equipment cost however. Alternatively, you get equipment with RFID readers on the chargepoints, a recording mechanism, and a bunch of RFID cards to hand out to users; you then do the accounting for which tenant has which card and bill them accordingly.

For some businesses, a relatively sensible thing to do to get started is to install dumb equipment with just a simple (cheap) meter for the overall consumption - you can then see how much it's costing you and decide to upgrade to more expensive equipment if the level of usage gets beyond what you are willing to subsidise.

4. What provider(s) should he be looking at to do the installation?
If installing dumb equipment, whatever contractor you use for normal electrical work on the site (assuming suitably qualified). If accessing one of the grant schemes, the scheme will probably specify who to use. If going for end-user payment, one of the big operators like PodPoint, Chargemaster, GeniePoint (get them all in to quote).

5. If they take the approach of installing in say, 6 bays, should they allow parking all day or require you to move when fully charged? Is there a good/fair way of policing bays in a private car park?
IMO, they really want to allow parking all day, or at worst something like a 4-hour limit.

However, getting equipment that can share out the available power among the bays is a very good idea and not necessarily high cost (Tesla support this in their chargepoints as standard, for example). It's very unlikely that you've got enough power on site for 22kW (or even 7kW) to a significant proportion of the total parking in the long term, but many users won't want that much and (certainly won't want it all day). PHEVs will only want 3kW and only for a while; BEVs with a short commute can take a faster charge but don't need it for long; out-of-town visitors may appreciate a faster rate. Doing this with the hardware is much easier than trying to juggle rules for how long you can park and/or having different bays with different speeds.

6. Are rapids stupidly expensive? (I'd seen figures of £30k-£50k thrown about somewhere)
Yes. The hardware itself isn't quite that expensive, but you probably don't have sufficient power to spare and upgrading that, plus installation costs, comes to that sort of number.
 

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I think the rapid can definitely be ruled out. A workplace needs 'destination charging' where you let people leave the car there all day. Go for lots of cheap 22kW AC charge points with load sharing capability so that you don't need expensive upgrades to the site's power supply.

The tricky question is whether to make it free vend or payable. The business owners' initial reaction would probably be to make it payable, but as above that makes it so much more expensive to install that they might be worse off than if they made it free vend. Free vend charge points would make the building more attractive to the tenants so I assume that ultimately results in more income to the building owner/operator anyway. It will give them a great marketing and PR advantage.

I'd be tempted to suggest that as a 'phase 1' they go ahead and install it in a low-cost way with basic free vend charge points and just a meter on the supply to it all so they can monitor how much it's costing as arg said above. If then at some point in the future they decide it needs to be payable they just have to replace the chargepoints themselves - all the supply and ground works from the original investment can continue to be used.
 

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Wouldn't a "monthly pass" for those who want to use the chargers work? 10-20 GBP? And just display it in the front window and rely on their honesty.
Yes, there’s a lot of things like that you can do if the user population is limited and relatively friendly. Installing cheap equipment and some coarse way of dividing up the cost ends up better for everyone than installing more expensive gear so that each user pays exactly their share of a much bigger bill.

You can do an honestly scheme as you suggest, or lock the equipment with a simple padlock and people pay to get a key. Or if there’s a receptionist, they can keep the keys and track who is using them. Or even meters on each point and have the users submit readings- either every time or on an occasional sample basis.
 

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Car parks are usually full, how can you include this in your thoughts? Do you want to support PHEV with limited mileage, BEVs who cannot charge at home. What is the aim?
 

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Workplace charging by definition indicates that the points need to be where a car can stay all day undisturbed. They need to be capable of allowing a worker to commute even if they don't have a home charger. This means that a low powered unit would be sufficient.

The impression I am getting here is that this is a big budget operation and a tiny investment to get a toe in the water would be an easy decision to gain some green credentials. For instance, 3 x double-headed type 2 x 16amp posts covering 6 bays would not cost much more than £10k including all power costs for a year even if they were all fully used. Each point could potentially supply 24 kWh's to a car in 8 hours and enable 80 miles travel.

The law is clear over BIK on this aspect and is regarded as 'trivial'. No admin required. Brownie points gained. Monitor for a year and an easier decision then to either upgrade or just keep covering the £3k annual power costs.

I am always in favour of the KISS principle if possible.
 

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The law is clear over BIK on this aspect and is regarded as 'trivial'. No admin required. Brownie points gained. Monitor for a year and an easier decision then to either upgrade or just keep covering the £3k annual power costs.
While I totally agree with your main point, what you say about BIK is not accurate.

HMRC have long said that regular workplace charging is not 'trivial', and the new rules on trivial benefits make this clear, so up to April 2018 regular was clearly a BIK (though occasional use might fit into the 'trivial' exemption).

The autumn 2017 budget promised to make workplace charging exempt from BIK, but unfortunately they failed to get this into the Finance Bill implementing the budget. So in law it's currently still a BIK. The government have indicated an intention to put a back-dated exemption into the next Finance Bill so it will be exempt from April 2018 as originally promised. But note that this is not the same thing as "trivial benefit" which has a specific meaning.
 

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While I totally agree with your main point, what you say about BIK is not accurate.
Thanks. My intention was to use 'trivial' in ordinary use rather than officialspeak. I think that as it is seen to be small beer it has been agreed to exempt it to avoid unnecessary complications and at the same time signal to employers that it was to be encouraged.

In this particular office complex if 16amp outlets were provided then the absolute max 'benefit' would be £500pa if a car was plugged in 8 hrs a day x 5 days a week x 50 weeks. A BIK complication not worth pursuing.
 

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If possible, i would ask that you mark one EV space up as 'visitors only' in order that the spaces can indeed be available for those who need it most.
 
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