Why Electric Vehicles?
As outlined by the Government's Ten Point Energy Plan published last year, the national adoption of electric vehicles is fundamental to the UK achieving its Net-Zero target by 2030. To put this into perspective, the Government aims to cut emissions from industry, transport, and buildings by 230 million metric tonnes over the next decade, the equivalent of taking 7.5 million petrol cars off the road permanently.
When electric vehicles were first introduced to the marketplace, embracing this new technology seemed unachievable, despite the obvious environmental benefits, due to a number of barriers to entry such as cost, range anxiety, charging speeds, and performance concerns.
However, rapid improvements in technology have emerged over the past year meaning that we are beginning to overcome some of these challenges, namely the availability of faster charging points as well as an increase in the number of companies offering EV at affordable price points. It’s predicted that by as early as 2022 the cost of owning a battery electric vehicle (BEV) will be on par with its internal combustion engine counterparts. In addition, the Government has pledged to accelerate the deployment of EV charging points as well as a wide rollout of EV infrastructure. This, coupled with changes in legislation on the production of petrol and diesel cars as well as consumers making greener buying decisions, means that it's now a case of when not if you/your business will offer onsite EV charging. It's interesting to note that huge steps are also being taken to electrify commercial vehicles, particularly in the haulage and construction sectors, pointing to the adoption of electric vehicles becoming a viable option across the board.
Electrifying your business: challenges and recommended solutions
1. When is the right time for my business to adopt EV?
As with any new technology, there are always early adopters and those that prefer to wait until initial niggles are ironed out. Whilst this is a consideration, the total cost of ownership versus the impact on supply should also be taken into account and we are advising our clients to act sooner rather than later. As more and more EV charging points are rolled out, this will have an impact on network distribution, and accessing available energy capacity will become a real issue. If you choose to be a late adopter, you risk being left with the additional cost of installing substations if the current supply to your site/office location is insufficient for your required consumption. This cost will far out way any benefit of waiting until charging point technology decreases in price.
2. How can I manage the inevitable increase in electricity bills?
There is no denying that having EV charging points on site will increase the cost of your energy bills, however, there are a number of ways to keep costs down. Many suppliers now offer EV-specific tariffs and with the use of half-hourly metering and reporting, you can use data to optimise when EV’s are charged to maximise cost savings. There are also a number of funding options for the installation of charging points which may help to offset the increase. In the longer term, developing technology for onsite generation via solar and the use of battery storage will be key to keeping the cost of EV charging to a minimum.
3. How do I manage all of the different EV users onsite?
Depending on your business setup it’s likely that you will need to manage a combination of EV users onsite, E.g. staff, clients, visitors, and fleet vehicles. The use of smart charging points can be invaluable here and they are readily available in the marketplace. Smart charging allows you to charge multiple vehicles at the same time, with the ability to charge the vehicle with the least charge first and you can set max charging levels for battery optimisation. Reallocating the cost of EV charging back to staff and visitors is easy to manage with the use of an app, also helping to keep costs down.
4. How do I know how many charging points I need?
If you are currently monitoring your energy usage due to legislation or perhaps you are on a volume tolerance contract, you should have access to your agreed capacity levels and sight of your energy consumption (if in doubt please discuss with your relationship manager). Understanding your current capacity requirements as well as future plans will be key as the infrastructure linked to the charging points is not always flexible and adding new points at a later date may not be possible. Our advice is to look to the future and consider what you might need and plan and budget accordingly.
How we can help
BCR Associates are here to guide you through the process from start to finish. From short-term issues such as the best location for charging points and any additional capacity and infrastructure requirements to working with you to find the right solution that meets the longer-term aspirations of your business, we can offer impartial advice and recommend third-party suppliers that have been carefully vetted by us.
To speak to one of our experts, please call us on 03330 433 233 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.