What Is The Workplace Charging Scheme?

If you have arrived at this article, you may be an employee or employer looking into the scheme.

But before you can apply for it, you need to understand what is the workplace charging scheme.

In this guide, we look at the definition of it, its benefits and how it works for companies up and down the country.

Let’s not wait any longer…

What Is The WCS?

red car on charge at work

The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is an initiative designed to boost the usage of electric vehicles by the government. It is aimed at businesses, charities, and public sector organisations and provides financial support to help facilitate the installation of electric vehicle charging points on their premises.

The scheme was introduced in 2016 and is designed to promote the adoption of cleaner, greener modes of transport. Its main aim is to reduce carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels and is part of the government’s broader strategy to promote EVs and create a low-carbon transport network.

This makes it more appealing to employees as they will have somewhere to charge their EVs during the day whilst they work, helping to accelerate the UK’s transition towards a more sustainable future. With the UK hoping to have net zero emissions by 2050, this is a key role in that.

Benefits of the Workplace Charging Scheme

The scheme itself significantly contributes to environmental preservation. Through the promotion of electric vehicles, this aids in reducing greenhouse gas emissions from conventional vehicles. As more and more people transition, the air quality will improve and noise pollution will reduce, supporting a healthier and more sustainable environment.

One of the key motivators for businesses is the financial benefits. The government provides a voucher-based system which subsidises a large chunk of the installation cost for chargers. This means a lower initial expenditure upfront for businesses. Not only that, but it could boost your company’s reputation if visitors can see you’re working towards a greener future.

There are numerous advantages for employees, the first being the easy access to charging points which will encourage people to make the switch from an internal combustion engine and you save money on fuel costs. Also, if you do want an EV but don’t have a place at home to install a charger, this is the perfect alternative, you are able to charge whilst you work.

How Does the Workplace Charging Scheme Work?

Eligibility Criteria

The WCS is open to businesses, charities, and public sector organisations. To be eligible, you must need electric vehicle charging equipment or demonstrate that your employees either have electric cars or are going to in the near future. 

You should have dedicated off-street parking for your employees and somewhere for the charging units to be installed. After using the voucher to get the discount, you must have sufficient funds to pay for the rest of the installation. Finally, the units must be installed by an OLEV-approved installer.

The Application Process

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme:

1. Assess Your Need: Evaluate whether or not you actually need the charging units. Do you have staff that currently own electric vehicles or have some that are in the process of buying or leasing EVs.

2. Check Your Eligibility: Ensure your company meets the eligibility criteria set out by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV). There is no point in only being eligible for specific points, you must meet the full criteria. 

3. Find an OLEV-Approved Installer: The installer will guide you through the application and process and are the only people allowed to install the charging units.

4. Apply for the WCS: Go to the OLEV website and fill out basic information about your business, once this is done, you have to complete your requirements for EV charging and the details of your chosen installer.

5. Receive Voucher Code: If successful, OLEV will issue a voucher code usually within 14 working days. This voucher covers 75% of the installation cost up to a certain capped amount.

6. Installation: Your installer will take the voucher off you and install the charging points. They will then redeem the voucher online through the installer portal. 

7. Confirmation: Once the charging points are installed and everyone is happy, your installer will confirm the completion with OLEV. 

Funding and Costs Involved

Amount of Funding Available

The grant covers up to 75% of the cost of purchasing and installing an electric vehicle charging point. However, you can only claim up to £350 per socket for up to 40 sockets. 

Factors Influencing the Cost of Installation

When it comes to installing a charge point, you have to consider a number of factors:

  • Type of charging point – The faster the charger, the more expensive it tends to be
  • Distance from the power supply to the charge point, 
  • If the installation is difficult and further electrical work is required
  • Depending on where you are based in the country may also play a part
  • OLEV-approved installer’s prices may also vary

 

Ongoing Costs and Maintenance Considerations

Once everything is set up, the main ongoing cost will be the electricity used by the charging points. The actual cost will depend on your electricity tariff and the capacity of the charged EV batteries. 

You may also need to have some maintenance completed on the units every now and then, just like you would a vehicle. Some providers may offer maintenance packages as part of their services. 

Future Prospects of the Scheme

Predicted Changes and Enhancements to the Scheme

Whilst we can’t say for sure, it’s likely that improvements in technology could lead to a better charging infrastructure, potentially influencing the scheme’s parameters. Additionally, with more electric cars hopefully on the roads in the next decade, the scheme may be expanded or adjusted to accommodate growing needs.

Role of the Scheme in Wider Efforts Towards Sustainable Transport

The scheme is one of the government’s primary tools to help transition the country to a more sustainable future. By providing financial assistance to businesses that install charge points, you will see more electric cars rather than petrol and diesel, thereby reducing greenhouse gas emissions. It plays an essential role in the government’s net-zero by-2050 commitment and contributes to the overall strategy to combat climate change.

Potential Impact on the Electric Vehicle Market

It’s also likely to boost the EV market as a whole as more charging points reduce one of the many concerns in the industry, known as ‘range anxiety. Demand for electric cars may increase as employees become more comfortable and familiar with the charge points. 

Conclusion

As you can see from this article, the workplace charging scheme plays an essential role in promoting environmental sustainability and fostering growth in the electric vehicle market. Not only does it encourage employees to make the switch, but it offers employers a financial incentive and reduces greenhouse gases in the process, everybody wins.

Businesses are encouraged to take part in this helpful initiative, playing their role in the global effort towards a cleaner, greener future. As we look towards providing a greener future, schemes like the WCS continue to pave the way, highlighting the key changes that can be made for businesses, people and the transport industry.

To learn more about electric vehicles in general and how to maintain them, go to our guides page.

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Nick

Nick is the proud owner of a MG ZS EV and is an EV fanatic. He has been featured in notable publications like USA Today and The Times for his expertise in the field.