As part of the Government’s efforts to widen the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles, various grants to support domestic properties have been made available through the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV).
The team behind the Optimus smart EV charger, www.GoZeroCharge.com, has ciphered through the jargon to explain exactly who stands to benefit from the grants and how.
Small- and medium-sized businesses
Any charity, company or public sector organisation which has no more than 249 employees and is registered in the UK can apply to receive a grant to install electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure in its commercial car parks, on the condition that the installed infrastructure supports at least five parking spaces with at least one working charger. A business can receive upwards of £850, broken down as £350 per charger installed and £500 per parking space enabled with supporting infrastructure with a total limit of £15,000 per grant.
Any buildings which are currently under construction are ineligible for the grant – it can only be used to retro-fit existing properties with a minimum of five clearly-marked, off-street parking spaces in the UK. Properties in the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are not included.
To receive the grant, a business must identify a domestic and commercial OZEV-authorised installer, such as www.GoZeroCharge.com, to work with. Before proceeding, it is recommended that a business contacts its desired installer by phone or email – Go Zero Charge is more than happy to help any business through the application process from start to end and has a team of experts on hand.
OZEV is the body which approves applications. To apply, a business needs to submit an online application highlighting where it plans to install the chargers and how many parking spaces will be supported. Once an application is approved, the installer can begin working.
Upon completion, the installer will claim the grant on the business’ behalf by uploading a copy of the invoice (including a discount to cover the grant amount), a diagram of the car park and photos of the installed chargers.
Grant eligibility is dependent on whether a commercial landlord or residential landlord is applying. There are two grants that landlords can receive for installing EV chargers at an owned property – an EV chargepoint grant and EV infrastructure grant. Both grants can be used on the same property in certain instances.
The EV chargepoint grant provides a discount of either £350 or 75 percent off on EV charger installation. Each financial year, a landlord can receive as many as 200 grants for residential properties and 100 grants for commercial properties.
Commercial landlords applying for the EV chargepoint grant must ensure that the charger is only used by the building’s staff and vehicles – it cannot be used by members of the public.
Conversely, the EV infrastructure grant provides a discount upwards of £30,000 or 75% off on the cost of wider building and installation work required in order to facilitate multiple chargers at a property with multiple homes (an apartment block, estate with buildings that share a car park and so on). It is worth noting that commercial landlords cannot apply for the EV infrastructure grant.
The discount provided by the EV infrastructure grant depends on how many parking spaces the work covers. A residential landlord can receive as many as 30 grants per financial year, though each must be used for a different property. Additionally, residential landlords cannot apply for the EV infrastructure grant if they live in the property or if it is a holiday rental.
For both grants, a landlord must ensure that each parking space is accessible to the tenant, clearly defined, off-street and private. A landlord may need to provide a Land Registry title register as evidence that the parking space is owned.
People living in rented properties
The EV chargepoint grant also applies to people who own or rent a flat, who can receive the lower of £350 or 75% off the cost to buy and install an EV charger at a property.
To apply, the owner or tenant must live in the flat, have access to a parking space that is accessible, clearly defined, off-street and private and, most importantly, already own an OZEV-approved electric vehicle – this can include being the registered owner of an OZEV-approved EV, leasing one for at least six months, using one as a work vehicle for at least six months or currently having one on order.
Tenants may need to provide supporting evidence when applying for the grant, such as a rental agreement. Additionally, the owner or tenant must have proof of all legal rights and permissions, including from the freeholder of a block of flats. An OZEV-authorised installer will also assess if the parking space allows for an electric or hybrid vehicle to charge safely.
Holiday lets and smaller accommodation businesses
Holiday and other short-stay accommodation businesses, such as holiday lets which have been set up as a limited company, are eligible for the Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) – a voucher-based scheme that supplies businesses with support toward the upfront costs of the purchase and installation of EV chargers. It can be used in conjunction with the EV infrastructure grant at the same site, but not to fund the same chargers. To use both grants, a business must claim at least one charger under the EV infrastructure grant and only use the WCS for any chargers added later. Attempting to claim for the charger twice is fraud.
The grant covers up to 75% of the total costs of purchase and installation of EV chargers, capped at a maximum of £350 per socket and 40 sockets across all sites per applicant. For instance, if someone owned 40 holiday lets and wanted to install EV chargers using the grant then they would have one socket available per site.
After applying online, successful applicants are sent a voucher code by email which they will need to share with their OZEV-authorised commercial chargepoint installer of choice. Once the chargers have been installed, the installer can claim the grant from OZEV on the applicant’s behalf. Installers are not able to charge applicants for the grant in advance of payment being made by OZEV. After OZEV reimburses the installer, the cost will be discounted from the final invoice.
Peter O’Brien, CMO at OZEV-authorised EV charging solution www.GoZeroCharge.com, commented: “It’s critical that businesses, landlords and tenants can understand the Government’s grants to support EV adaptation, particularly as the ban on production of new diesel and petrol cars in the UK continues to loom in 2030. However, as it stands, many would argue that accessibility, awareness and education is limited.
“We, at Go Zero Charge, want to bring the Government grants to everyone’s attention. As an OZEV-authorised installer, we are ready, willing and able to assist all motorists with transitioning to electric and hybrid vehicles.”
Dave Harris, Property Manager at www.hmsl.net, commented: “We worked with Go Zero Charge to install three of its smart EV chargers – Optimus – at South Western House in Southampton, which is now the UK’s first apartment complex with a reservable electric vehicle charging solution. The cost of infrastructure and installation was further reduced by Government support, making it an easy choice to support the residents in our 111 apartments while also working alongside an OZEV-authorised installer with a great product like Go Zero Charge.”
Amanda Morgan, host of Church View Anglesey and Optimus owner, commented: “I opted to install the Optimus EV charger at my holiday rental to address concerns about guests resorting to unsafe practices such as hanging wires out of windows for EV charging. This not only posed risks to my house insurance, but also amounted to electricity theft. Now, guests have the convenience of charging their EVs by simply scanning our QR code and entering payment details.
“We have also taken the opportunity to generate additional revenue by allowing other EV drivers in the area to reserve charging slots when the house is unoccupied. The location of our property makes it an ideal spot for EV owners to enjoy a coastal walk or beach time while their vehicles recharge. The Optimus is an ideal solution in this area where public charging is limited to say the least!”