Business Electric Vehicle Charging: Solutions and Best Practices


Emily Thompson combines her academic background in business and environmental management to help businesses navigate sustainability.

With experience in broadband services and water conservation, Emily guides businesses towards practices that protect the environment without compromising performance.

When not consulting, Emily enjoys gardening and cooking with homegrown vegetables.

Transitioning to electric vehicles (EVs) is a significant step businesses can take to reduce their carbon footprints. However, the shift towards EVs raises the question of charging solutions. This guide aims to provide an in-depth understanding of business EV charging, exploring different solutions, and offering best practices to optimise cost-effectiveness and usability.

The Essentials of Electric Vehicle Charging

Electric vehicle charging is classified into three primary types: Level 1 (standard household charging), Level 2 (commercial and residential charging), and Level 3 or DC Fast Charging (public charging stations).

  • Level 1 Charging: This form of charging uses a standard 120-volt outlet, similar to a regular home outlet, and typically provides about 3-5 miles of range per hour of charging. While it’s the most cost-effective method, it’s also the slowest.
  • Level 2 Charging: These charging stations use a 240-volt system (similar to a household clothes dryer) and can deliver about 10-60 miles of range per hour of charging. Installation costs for Level 2 chargers can range from £500 to £2,000, not including potential costs for electrical upgrades.
  • DC Fast Charging: These are high-powered chargers, providing an 80% charge in as little as 20-30 minutes. However, the installation cost is significant, typically ranging from £10,000 to £40,000.

1. Assess Your Charging Needs

When contemplating the shift towards electric vehicles and the integration of charging stations within your company, it’s crucial to undertake an initial assessment of your company’s specific charging needs. This evaluation will lay the groundwork for your business’s EV infrastructure strategy and will largely dictate your charging station set-up. It involves careful consideration of multiple factors:

Vehicle Count and Type

The number of electric vehicles currently owned or expected to be integrated into your fleet is one of the most fundamental parameters. It directly affects the number of charging stations needed. Furthermore, different types of vehicles have distinct charging requirements. For example, a commercial electric van may require a different charger type than an electric company car.

Charging Speed

Charging speed varies significantly between charger types (Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast Chargers or Level 3). Level 1 charging stations, which utilise a standard 120-volt AC plug, can take a whole day to fully charge a vehicle. In contrast, Level 2 charging stations operate on a 240-volt AC plug and can typically charge an electric vehicle in a few hours. DC Fast Chargers provide direct current (DC) to the vehicle, allowing a full charge in under an hour for most vehicles. The optimal charging speed depends on your business’s operational requirements.

Daily Mileage

The average distance your vehicles travel each day affects how frequently and how much they’ll need to be charged. If your fleet covers large distances daily, rapid chargers may be necessary to ensure vehicles can be quickly recharged and sent back on the road. On the other hand, vehicles with lighter usage may only require slower, overnight charging.


The budget allocated for the development of EV infrastructure within your company is a decisive factor. Costs to consider include the price of charging stations, which can range from £500 for a basic Level 2 charger to over £30,000 for a DC Fast Charging station. Other expenses include installation costs, ongoing maintenance, and, not to forget, the cost of electricity.

Electricity Capacity

The capacity of your current electrical service also plays a key role. If your business location is equipped only with standard electrical service, you might only be able to support Level 1 or Level 2 charging. In contrast, a DC Fast Charging station would require a much more substantial electrical service upgrade.

As an example, if your company operates a small local fleet that returns to the base daily and covers a moderate amount of distance, Level 2 charging stations might be an optimal choice, offering a good balance of cost, charging speed, and ease of installation.

2. Design an Efficient Charging Infrastructure

Crafting an efficient charging infrastructure requires thoughtful planning. It’s not simply a matter of installing charging stations, but a strategy that considers cost-effectiveness, user needs, and future growth. Here are some considerations when designing an effective EV charging infrastructure:

On-Site Charging Stations

For businesses operating fleets of EVs that return to a central hub daily, on-site Level 2 charging stations can be the optimal choice. These chargers, which can recharge a vehicle in just a few hours, typically cost between £500 and £2,000 per port. While they have a higher upfront cost than Level 1 chargers, they provide faster charging and better accommodate vehicles with high daily mileage. For businesses with larger budgets and intensive fleet operations, DC Fast Charging stations could be considered, although they require a more substantial initial investment and a significant power supply.

Employee Charging Stations

If your employees are embracing electric vehicles, the installation of charging stations at the workplace can be a significant benefit and encourage the transition to electric. Depending on the budget and the extent of your employees’ charging needs, these could be Level 1 chargers (which are more budget-friendly and utilise a standard plug) or Level 2 chargers (which are more costly but offer faster charging). Employee charging stations present a win-win situation: they help employees save on commuting costs and contribute to your company’s sustainability targets by promoting green commuting habits.

Public Charging Stations

Businesses that have significant interactions with the public, such as retail outlets, restaurants, hotels, or event venues, might consider the benefits of installing public charging stations. Offering charging services can not only generate additional income through charging fees but also attract and retain customers who appreciate the convenience of charging their EVs while shopping, dining, or during an overnight stay.

Partnering with Charging Network Providers

Partnering with a charging network provider can make managing your charging infrastructure simpler. These companies, such as Pod Point or ChargePoint, offer services that include the installation of charging stations, ongoing maintenance, and user support. They can also provide access to their networks of public charging stations and manage payments for both employees and the public.

Planning for Future Growth

As you design your EV charging infrastructure, remember to consider the potential growth in the number of EVs within your fleet or used by your employees. Ensure that your plan is scalable and can accommodate more charging stations if required in the future.

Designing an efficient charging infrastructure is a multifaceted process that takes into account the specific needs of your fleet, employees, and potentially, the public. By developing a well-thought-out charging infrastructure plan, businesses can ensure a seamless transition to electric vehicles and reap the maximum benefits of this sustainable transportation option

3. Capitalise on Government Incentives

In an effort to promote the transition towards electric mobility, many governments worldwide are offering attractive incentives to businesses that install EV charging stations. These incentives typically cover a portion of the installation costs, thereby reducing the financial burden for businesses making the shift to sustainable transport solutions.

In the UK, one such incentive comes in the form of the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS). This is a voucher-based system that provides support towards the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle charge points. The scheme contributes 75% towards the cost, up to a maximum of £350 for each socket installed.

The support is available for eligible businesses, charities, and public sector organisations, and can be claimed for up to 40 sockets per applicant. This means, a single applicant can get as much as £14,000 in support from the WCS.

The grant is available to those who own, lease or have primary use of the property, or have received permission from the property owner where the charge point is to be installed. Furthermore, to be eligible, the sockets must be installed at a designated off-street parking location, must have shared use for staff, fleet or customers, and must be installed by an Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) approved installer.

In addition to the WCS, the UK government also offers other grants such as the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS), which provides up to £350 off the cost of purchasing & installing a home charging point, and the On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS), which funds up to 75% of the capital costs of procuring and installing on-street charging points.

By capitalising on these government incentives, businesses can significantly offset the initial investment required to build their EV charging infrastructure. Additionally, it also supports the businesses in their journey towards achieving their sustainability goals and contributing to a greener environment.

4. Implement Employee Training

Successful implementation of an electric vehicle charging infrastructure at the workplace is not merely about the installation of chargers. Equally important is ensuring that the employees are well-equipped with the knowledge to use this new technology effectively. This calls for comprehensive training that covers both the technical and strategic aspects of EV charging.

At the most basic level, employees need a clear understanding of how to use the charging stations. This should include step-by-step guidance on how to connect and disconnect the chargers, how to monitor the charging progress, and what to do in case of any issues or emergencies. Given the variety of electric vehicle models and charging systems, this training should cover the different types of charging stations (like Level 1, Level 2, and DC Fast chargers), connector types (like Type 1, Type 2, and CCS), and charging speeds.

Beyond the operational aspects, employees should also be trained on the importance of efficient charging practices. For instance, they should be made aware of the concept of “peak demand charges” – the higher costs incurred for electricity use during peak demand periods. By charging their vehicles during off-peak hours, they can significantly reduce the overall energy costs for the business. They should also be familiarised with any workplace-specific rules or policies related to EV charging, like designated charging spots, time limits, or reservation systems.

Additionally, as part of this training, businesses could also consider offering educational resources on the benefits of electric vehicles and their positive environmental impact. This would not only encourage more employees to switch to electric vehicles but would also foster a broader culture of sustainability within the organisation.

The cost of such training can vary based on the scale, depth, and method of training chosen. It could be as minimal as the cost of creating and distributing informative materials or conducting a few training sessions, or it could be more substantial if a business chooses to bring in external experts or develop an ongoing training program. Despite the cost, this training is an investment that can yield significant returns in the form of a more efficient and cost-effective EV charging operation.

5. Monitor and Manage Charging Stations

Proper monitoring and management of charging stations are vital for ensuring efficiency and optimising cost. Businesses can leverage smart charging solutions, which can deliver a plethora of benefits. Here’s a detailed overview:

Real-time Monitoring and Analytics

Smart charging stations, equipped with sophisticated software, provide real-time data on power usage, charging times, and even electric vehicle charging patterns. They can also send alerts for any faults or issues, ensuring timely maintenance and repair. Detailed insights into the usage patterns can also inform businesses about peak usage times, duration of charging sessions, and the frequency of use of each charging station. Such information can be instrumental in making informed decisions about future charging station installations and energy use strategies.

Predictive Maintenance

Advanced data analytics can provide predictive maintenance alerts, enabling you to avoid downtime and ensure the charging stations are always operational. By identifying potential problems before they cause a failure, businesses can schedule maintenance activities, extending the lifespan of the charging stations and saving on potentially expensive repairs.

Automated Billing

For businesses that allow public access to their charging stations, smart charging solutions can also facilitate automatic billing. This means businesses can effortlessly monetise their charging services, offering an additional revenue stream while providing a valuable service to the public.

Demand Response Programs

Consider collaborating with your utility provider for demand response programs. These initiatives encourage users to reduce their energy consumption during peak times, usually in exchange for a reduced tariff or monetary rewards. By adjusting the charging schedule and utilising your charging stations during off-peak hours, businesses can make substantial savings on energy costs.

Green Energy Integration

Smart charging solutions can often integrate with renewable energy systems, like solar panels or wind turbines. This means that businesses could charge their EVs using the green energy they produce, reducing their dependence on the grid and contributing to a circular energy economy.

Effectively managing and monitoring your EV charging stations can significantly enhance the benefits of your investment. By leveraging the right technology and programs, businesses can streamline operations, optimise costs, and contribute further to environmental sustainability.


Transitioning to electric vehicles is indeed a journey that requires strategic planning, meticulous execution, and a commitment to continuous learning and adaptation. Despite the initial hurdles – such as the upfront costs of charging infrastructure and the need for employee training – the long-term benefits undoubtedly tip the scale in favour of making the switch.

The advantages of adopting electric vehicles are twofold. Firstly, they contribute significantly to the business’s sustainability goals. With climate change and environmental conservation becoming increasingly pressing concerns, the transition to electric vehicles represents a tangible and impactful step towards reducing a company’s carbon footprint. Secondly, the economic benefits – including lower operating costs, potential for new revenue streams, and improved corporate reputation – make electric vehicles a savvy investment for businesses aiming to stay competitive in the 21st-century marketplace.

By embracing the best practices mentioned in this article – assessing charging needs accurately, designing an efficient charging infrastructure, capitalising on government incentives, implementing comprehensive employee training, and effectively monitoring and managing charging stations – businesses can navigate the complexities of the transition. The result will be a future-proof, economically viable, and environmentally conscious transport system that will serve as a solid foundation for sustainable growth in the years to come.

The transition to electric vehicles is not merely a trend; it is the future of transportation. Businesses that act early and strategically will be the leaders in this new era, gaining both competitive advantage and the satisfaction of contributing to a greener, more sustainable planet.

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