Financial help for workplace charging infrastructure


Small businesses can apply for help with the cost of electric vehicle chargepoints and infrastructure works through dedicated funds from the government. Here’s a summary of what’s available

The government has funds to help small to medium sized businesses, as well as sole traders and charities, with their fleet electrification plans, through the EV infrastructure grant and the Workplace Charging Scheme.
The EV infrastructure grant for staff and fleets gives money towards the infrastructure needed for chargepoints, as well as for installing the chargepoints themselves. It is for small and medium sized companies, with 249 employees or less.
Businesses do not have to install all the chargepoints at once, but it allows them to plan for the future by creating infrastructure that can enable chargepoints to be installed later on.
This is a separate and different grant from the Workplace Charging Scheme, which does not help towards the cost of chargepoint infrastructure.
A business can receive up to five grants in total. Each grant must be for a different site that the business owns, leases or rents.
The chargepoints installed must be exclusively for staff or fleet use and cannot be for visitor or guest use.
The grant supports the provision of chargepoints and future chargepoint locations where chargepoints may be installed at a later date. A minimum of five parking spaces must be provisioned with charging infrastructure, at least one of which must have a working chargepoint.
Businesses can get up to £500 for each parking space that will get charging infrastructure.
Each grant application can be for up to a maximum of £15,000. If more chargepoints are needed in addition to those provided by this grant, then the Workplace Charging Scheme may be used.
The charging infrastructure must comprise at least a new electrical connection at a metered electrical supply point, such as a consumer unit or feeder pillar, and a dedicated, safe, unobstructed route for electrical cabling from the electrical supply point to the installed chargepoints and any future connection locations.

The workplace charging grant
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) is open to businesses, charities and public sector organisations. It is also open to  small accommodation businesses such as B&Bs and campsites, with 249 employees or less.
It can be used with the above mentioned EV infrastructure grant for the same site but not the same chargepoints. Any attempt to claim the same chargepoint twice by submitting a WCS and EV grant application for the same chargepoint, may be viewed as fraud.
The grant covers up to 75 per cent of the total costs of the purchase and installation of EV chargepoints and is capped at a maximum of £350 per sockets and 40 sockets across all sites per applicant.
These places must have dedicated off-street parking, and either own the property or have consent from the landlord for chargepoints to be installed at all the sites listed in the application.
Each site must have a minimum power supply of 3kW to each individual socket that is not diminished by their simultaneous use, and have have no more than one socket installed for each accessible parking space.

Considerations before applying
Before applying for the Workplace Charging Grant, applicants are encouraged to discuss their needs with one or more authorised WCS installers and identify which of the models on the Workplace Charging Scheme approved chargepoint list they want to install.
They must undergo a site survey with an authorised installer to ensure the electrical capacity of the site can support the number of sockets being applied for.
Applicants must also consider the needs of disabled drivers and drivers with reduced mobility, as well as how the chargepoint will be maintained and any associated costs.
Other points to assess include how the cost of electricity usage will be covered, if or how users would be charged, and whether to make the chargepoint open for public use and, if so, whether to make the location of the chargepoint public.
If the applicant does not own or manage the land where they wish to install chargepoints, they must also secure the necessary permissions ahead of making an application. For example, if you have access to off-street parking via a garage or private car park that is provided by a third party, you are eligible for the WCS provided the parking space meets all other eligibility criteria. If you do not own the parking space, however, you will be required to gain written permission from the landlord or owner.

Applicants apply for the Workplace Charging Grant online, and if successful, receive a unique identification voucher code by email, which can then be given to any OZEV-authorised WCS installer.

Once the chargepoints have been installed, the authorised installer can claim the grant from OZEV on the applicant’s behalf. The chargepoint installation must be completed and the voucher claimed within six months of the voucher’s issue date.
If you apply for less than 40 sockets, you can submit additional applications in the future until you reach that limit.

London’s scrappage scheme
London has a scrappage scheme worth £110 million which offers support to charities, sole traders and SME businesses to replace or retrofit their non-compliant vehicles, as well support for lower income residents and disabled Londoners.
Charities, sole traders and business with 10 or fewer employees registered in London can apply to scrap a van (£5,000 grant) or a minibus (£7,000 grant), retrofit certain vans or minibuses (£5,000 grant) or scrap and replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle (£7,500 or £9,500 grant respectively).
For micro businesses to be eligible for the scrappage scheme, they need to have 10 or fewer employees, and show up to £632,000 turnover, or up to £316,000 balance sheet total in the preceding and current financial year. They must also have Companies House registration as an active company or VAT registered within the 32 London boroughs or City of London.
A sole trader is eligible if they are self-employed and own and operate a business within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London.
Charities must be registered with the Charities Commission as active within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London.
Vehicles eligible to be scrapped under the scheme include light vans, up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, or a minibus that is up to and including 5 tonnes gross weight.  A replacement vehicle must be a fully electric light van, up to and including 3.5 tonnes, or a fully electric minibus, up to and including 5 tonnes gross weight.
The vehicle can be purchased or on a hire/lease contract that is at least two years long. The replacement vehicle must also be the same body type (van or minibus) as the vehicle that was scrapped.

For vehicles that are intended to be retrofitted, they must be on the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) register.

With just over four months to go until the ULEZ expands, there is still money left in the scrappage fund and TfL continues to advise drivers to check their vehicle’s compliance to check if they are eligible.