In 2022, transport accounted for 34 per cent of the UK’s total carbon emissions, with the majority of this share deriving from road transport. Electric Vehicles (EV) play a major role in reducing carbon amongst this emissions-heavy sector, since the average EV generates significantly less tailpipe emissions than their petrol and diesel counterparts.  
 
This has lead to an increase in demand for EV technology as more consumers make the switch and a growing number of businesses focus on fleet electrification and on-site charging as part of their carbon reduction strategies. By the end of August 2023, 48,450 public EV charging points were active across the UK; a 42 per cent increase compared to August 2022.  

What is an EV?  

An EV is a vehicle powered at least in part by an electric motor which draws electricity from a battery. These include battery-electric EVs, plug-in hybrid EVs, and extended range EVs.  

Battery-electric vehicles   

A battery-electric vehicle (BEV) is a fully electric car. They produce zero tailpipe emission and generally have a range of roughly 100-300 miles on a single charge which varies across models. BEVs get their power from an external power source such as a street-side charger, or a chargepoint installed in the home.  

Plug-in hybrids  

A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) uses a combination of an internal combustion engine (ICE) and an electric motor and battery. It can operate using either the electric motor, the ICE, or both.   
  
Using the electric motor alone, PHEVs have a range of about 50 miles per charge, but the car can switch to the ICE to continue the journey after this point, eradicating the mileage fear that some drivers of pure BEVs may find.   

Extended range electric vehicles  

Extended range electric vehicles (E-REVs) are similar to PHEVs. They combine a battery and electric motor with an ICE, with the ICE taking over once the electric battery runs out of charge. However, the range of these vehicles is higher than a PHEV, with the electric motor carrying the average E-REV 150-300 miles per charge.  

What is EV charging? 

You will also need to have an understanding of the different types of EV charging, Level 1, 2, and 3.  
 
Level 1 charging involves plugging your EV’s cable into a standard outlet. This is the slowest means of charging, giving your EV roughly 4 - 5 miles of range over an hour of charging.   
  
Level 2 refers to a charge point which has been installed on a wall, pole, or as a standalone charger for your EV. They are prevalent at residential and commercial sites and charge a vehicle 5 – 15 times faster than a Level 1 charger. The range Level 2 chargers can give your vehicle will depend on the wattage of the charger.  
  
Level 3 chargers are “fast chargers.” They deliver more power at quicker speeds making them well-suited to service stations and fleet depots. However, Level 3 chargers are much larger than other types, meaning not all sites will have capacity for them. 

 


Read here: 5 things you need to know about EV charging


EV Types (1)

End to end installation process

To get a complete understanding of your business’ capacity for EV technology, project timescales, costs and outcomes, you should source at least three installers to undergo a quotation and feasibility process. This will help determine how your business can maximise the benefits of EV technology 
 
You can search for EV installers by location and expertise using the Green Economy Marketplace. 
 
You will need to ensure your supplier is authorised ton undergo an EV charge point installation, domestic or commercial. You can use the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) website to check which companies are authorised to complete. 
 
Reviews and recommendations

Research the company and technologies as you would any new purchase. You may find online reviews on Check a Trade or Google can help to influence your decision making. Personal recommendations or advice from others who have been through the process may also be useful.  


Green Economy can help you source a supplier to meet your specification. Get in touch for help and advice. 

Once you’ve selected your supplier, they will visit your property to:  

  • Carry out a structural survey and ensure you have the capacity to take on the quantity of chargers you are requesting. 
  • Outline their access requirements and detail expected interruptions to your day-to-day.  
  • Outline project specifications and timescales.  
  • After agreeing specifications with you, your supplier will order the necessary technology and agree upon an installation date. 

Installations will vary depending on the type and quantity of chargers. However, on average a single installation can take 1 – 3 hours.  

The Vehicle: 
Electric vehicles are usually cheaper to maintain than their petrol or diesel counterparts. This is because the electric motor, batteries and transmission have fewer moving parts than the engine and gearbox of an ICE vehicle, which means there are fewer parts that may need repair. 
 
Electric vehicles need to be serviced as often as any other car along with annual MOT tests, although there will be no emissions test. Vehicle owners should follow the service schedule supplied by the vehicle manufacturer to maintain their roadworthiness. Most electric car models now come with a battery guarantee of around 100,000 miles.  
 
The RAC provides additional information on maintenance and servicing of Electric Vehicles, such as guidance to review tyre and break wear EV maintenance, service, and repairs guide | RAC Drive 
 
The Charger: 
Regular visual inspections will help identify any damage, wear and tear and any loose connections. These visual inspections will help with the early detection of any issues and assist with timely repairs or replacements. If any damage is noticed, then contact your installer/manufacturer of the charger as soon as possible.  
 
Periodical electrical inspections are crucial to identify any internal fraying or exposed wires. These inspections will ensure that the charge is in good condition, in compliance with safety standards and that the charger is working to its optimal performance. Electrical safety checks must be performed by a certified electrician. 
 
Cleanliness and regular wiping of the charger will remove any dust or debris that may block ventilation which helps with heat dispersion.  

Frequently asked questions  

We hosted a webinar demystifying EV technology for end users, giving the audience a chance to pose our expert panel their questions about EV technology. Here’s what the experts have to say in response to some common EV questions. 
 
Our panel: 

  • Chris Bingham, chief executive, Greenarc 
  • Dave Lavery, business development manager, EVC Group 
  • Gill Nowell, head of EV communications, ElectriX 
  • Paul Martin, chief executive, Totally Charged 

David: It depends on the contacts your supplier has across the DNOs. It can take anywhere from a couple of days to a few months. It’s difficult to be more precise but it really does depend on the network operator, the supplier, the time of year, the scale of the project, the location and more.  

Paul: Not at all. Chargers are built to be robust and withstand versatile outdoor conditions. If a charger is out of order, it doesn’t tend to be down to weather but other factors. In my experience as an EV driver, I’ve never experienced any issues with the technology in the vehicle or at the charger regardless of particularly cold or warm weather. The only difference is in what you might use within the car, such as heating.  
 
Gill: We tend to hear a lot in the media about EV ranges plummeting in winter. A drop in mileage may occur for a few days a year in particularly cold weather, but what you don’t hear about is the perfectly normal mileage all the rest of the year.  

Chris: The reality is, today there are limited options for EVs that exceed the size and strenght of a car. There are hybrid vans available, but the challenge is in larger HGVs. Because eof the weight limitations of a truck, there’s only so much you can add on in terms of battery load. The government has been asked to adjust the axel weight of these vehicles, but those discussions are ongoing. Moving forward, the debate is do we go for HGV electrification, or a hybrid approach.  

Chris: There are traditional routes, such as a salary sacrifice scheme or help to buy, which are usually effective in encouraging uptake. I think getting staff engaged isn’t the challenge, it’s getting business owners and directors engaged. 

Demystifying EV Technology webinar

Watch a recording of Green Economy's webinar on Demystifying EV Technology to hear from experts about the process of procuring and installing EV tech. Chaired by Ashley Hulme, Business Advisor at Green Economy, the panel includes: 

  • Chris Bingham, chief executive, Greenarc 
  • Dave Lavery, business development manager, EVC Group 
  • Gill Nowell, head of EV communications, ElectriX 
  • Paul Martin, chief executive, Totally Charged 
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