What does a successful EV strategy look like?
There are three key areas to a successful electric vehicle (EV) strategy, and understanding how your business needs to plan for each and in what order, is the first key step, as David Butters, general manager for E.ON Drive explains.
Employees. Customers. Fleet.
Let’s go through each area in turn:
Making changes here can, not only save you money, but it can save your employees money too.
Understand whether or not your local authority is, or has, introduced a WPL (Workplace Parking Levy). In many areas, such as London, EVs are exempt from this charge.
Is your business located within a CAZ (Clean Air Zone)? If so, it is your employees that are having to foot this bill if they come into the office.
You can address both of the above by ensuring that your company car provider offers EVs. Company car drivers who choose EVs also pay significantly less BIK (Benefit in Kind) tax.
Finally, invest in a number of charging posts in your employee car park. You should also check if you’re eligible to apply for funding under the Workplace Charging Scheme.
By doing the above, you’ve hopefully encouraged a culture change, made it easier for employees to make the switch, accommodated those who already have, and are now able to attract new talent by highlighting the above benefits when advertising any new roles within your business.
If you have a public car park for visitors/customers, now might be a good time to invest in a few more of those charging posts. Not only does this bring reputational benefits from a sustainability perspective, and attract customers who might not have visited your business before, it also creates opportunities for additional revenue streams. Having the right payment system in place enables you to make a profit from customers who charge their vehicles when visiting your site. This potential profit grows when you begin to introduce your own on-site generation; solar panels, biomass, this is where long-term plans and the opportunities become much clearer.
Depending on the size of your fleet, you might choose to utilise the posts you’ve already installed for employees. If however, you have a large fleet, you might want a bespoke solution to meet your needs. This could be an additional bank of chargers like all the others, or it could be V2G (Vehicle to Grid). This technology enables you to take the energy stored in your vehicle batteries while you’re not using it and put that energy back into your buildings. Creating not only a backup supply, but the opportunity to make cost savings by using off-peak charged energy during peak times. In addition to this, you can also look at installing chargers at home so your fleet drivers can charge overnight if they take their vehicles home with them. Get the right reimbursement system in place too, and they’ll be able to charge at most charge points when out on the road.
Understanding the needs of all of these groups and how they can act together to make your investment go further is critical. It’s a lot, but broken down into steps and knowing where and when you want to take those steps will provide the basis for a successful EV Strategy. There is good news too; we’re experts. We work with businesses to make this transition, and we’re undergoing the same changes ourselves.