The purpose of this Guidance Note is to inform asset managers, property managers and facilities managers about the provision of electric vehicle (EV) charging, focusing on-site assessment, supplier selection and funding.
All electric vehicles have a battery, which is utilised for power some, or all, of the time. In this Guidance Note, electric vehicle refers to the following three types.
Hybrids: Hybrid electric vehicles have a battery which is recharged whilst driving, and therefore does not need to plug into a charge point to recharge. The range in electric mode is typically low due to the small size of the battery.
Plug-in hybrids: Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles have a battery which must be plugged into a charge point to recharge. They also have a fuel tank and can switch to running on conventional where necessary. The battery is typically bigger and has a longer zero emission range than a Hybrid electric vehicle.
All electrics: All electric vehicles must be plugged into a charge point to recharge. There is no option to switch to conventional fuel. As the battery is larger than plug-in hybrids, all electrics generally have a longer battery range.
Types of electric vehicle
Electric vehicle charting provision
Electric vehicle charging provision is a service delivered within the operational boundary of a property. This allows Electric vehicle drivers, for example employees, customers or business partners, to charge their plug-in vehicles from a site’s power supply via a dedicated socket and cable.
Electric vehicle charging provision involves three main stages:
The shift towards lower carbon transportation is a central component of the approach taken by government and companies towards zero-carbon. The combination of emerging legislation, alongside changing customer expectations and business operating models, is increasing demand for electric vehicles.
The UK government has introduced legislation banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 onwards to encourage electric vehicle use. This was supported by a number of government policy positions, published in 2019, setting out requirements for electric vehicle charging provision in properties.
The availability of a wider selection of electric vehicle models, more reliable charging networks and advancing battery technology, is likely to see the continuation of the increasing trend in demand for electric vehicle charging provision. Next Green Car provides the latest statistics on the uptake of electric vehicles and the installation of electric vehicles charge points.
As battery technology improves for larger vehicles, increased charging provision will support low-emission freight and logistics. Similarly, as networks of micro-mobility services, for example e-bikes and e-scooters, develop, consideration on how best to support the uptake of this wider mobility market.
There are a number of other drivers for considering electric vehicle charging, for example:
KPMG; Mobility 2030: Transforming the mobility landscape (Sep’19)
The table below summarises the key activities associated with electric vehicle charging provision, and highlights where asset managers, property managers and facilities managers are likely to have a responsibility or specific interest.
Step 1: Site assessment
Step 2: Review electric vehicle charging provision proposal and select commercial partners
Step 3: Consider funding model and other issues
It is important that a site’s characteristics, along with the associated opportunities and constraints, are clearly understood when planning electric vehicle charging provision. This should involve an initial review of a site, followed by a more detailed site survey and proposal.
The following elements should be considered to determine the appropriate scale and capacity of electric vehicle charging provision for a property in the short and longer term:
What is dwell time
Dwell time is the amount of time a building user spends on site, and is a key actor for assessing the right capacity of individual charging points:
Dwell time considerations
Site survey and proposal
Technical advice from a competent practitioner, for example a specialist consultant or electric vehicle charge point provider, will be required as part of a detailed site survey. The site survey should inform the development of a proposal to install electric vehicle charging facility, and may include the following:
During the review of a proposal for electric vehicle charging provision, and the selection of a preferred supplier, it may be helpful to consider the following questions relating to charging units, management and monitoring, and maintenance and warranty.
Management and Monitoring
Warranty and Maintenance
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) provides a subsidy towards the purchase and installation cost of a new workplace charging station by up to 75% (capped at £350per socket). Businesses can claim for up to 40 charging stations (40 single socket or 20 double socket) under the scheme, which is managed by the Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV).
The way in which occupier service charges take account of shared services may impact the extent to which electric vehicle charging provision can be charged to the individual user. This should be considered at the leasing stage, see the BBP Green Lease Toolkit.
Benefit in Kind
The provision of electricity for employees to charge private cars is classed as a Benefit-in-Kind, i.e., a non-financial benefit which employees receive from their employer in addition to wage or salary.
Benefits in kind are considered as income by HMRC and should be included within an individual’s annual tax return. While at present, charging private electric vehicle charging at work is tax exempt, this may change in the future as electric vehicles become more common-place.
It is important to evaluate alternative funding models for equipment purchase, installation and operation. Most service providers offer outright purchase and/or fully funded models which have associated varying degrees of control.
The option to directly purchase charging units and cover the operational costs associated with electric charging provision provides greater control for the client. However, an agreement or partnership can still be formed with an electric vehicle charge point operator to provide supporting services during the scheme’s operation.
The option for electric vehicle charge point providers to provide a fully funded options, which usually covers surveys, installation, unit costs, maintenance and any future upgrades for the duration of the agreement, provides limited control for the client. However, visibility of utilisation and ability to receive a share of information can still be retained as part of the scheme.
Pros and cons of client-owned and provider-owned charging units
The following factors should also be taken into account when considering electric charging provisions.
It is important to consider the all-round experience of those using electric vehicle charging facilities. This may include:
Checking that charge points are operating safely and are tested and inspected regularly.
Considering how the design features, for example, the height of the charge point and the parking space size, allow users with all accessibility requirements to operate the charger.
Locating charge points in a visibility area and providing signage for easy wayfinding.
Net zero carbon
Installing electric vehicles charging is likely to increase a site’s electricity consumption. Procuring electricity via a high-quality green tariff or renewable source offers the potential to reduce operational greenhouse gas emissions.
The following Guidance Notes contain related information:
At Two Rivers Shopping Park in Staines, the Centre Manager has engaged with store and restaurant managers on a range of sustainability initiatives – significantly increasing recycling, promoting local biodiversity, encouraging green travel and improving energy efficiency.
Read the case study here.
Over the past two years, The Crown Estate has partnered with Savills to identify opportunities to positively influence how users of their retail and leisure destinations travel to these locations. Together, they are rolling out Sustainable Travel Plans across The Crown Estate’s Regional retail portfolio, introducing measures to encourage more people to use more sustainable forms of transport to visit or get to work in the future, such as walking, cycling and using public transport. Over time, this will generate significant environmental and social benefits.
Read the case study here.
As electric vehicle sales grow exponentially, Savills has worked with ten strategic clients to roll out electric vehicle charging points across 29 retail locations. These are attracting new shoppers, encouraging repeat visits and increasing dwell times. Building on this success, Savills is working with other property owners to review the feasibility of installing charging points across their managed portfolios.
Read the case study here.