Workplace Charging Scheme sparks UK interest

workplace charging scheme
© iStock/ alacatr

The UK government’s Workplace Charging Scheme provides incentives to businesses, charities and public sector organisations for encouraging uptake of electric vehicles.

Eligible businesses – private companies, charities and public authorities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland with off-street parking designated for their staff – are able to apply for a Workplace Charging Scheme voucher which will cover a portion of the costs of installing electric car charging points.

The voucher covers up to 75 per cent of the costs, capped at £500 per charging socket for a maximum of 20 sockets per business. Under the terms of the Workplace Charging Scheme businesses must apply for the voucher before beginning installation of charging points; they cannot retroactively claim for points which have already been installed.

Applicants must have access to off-street parking facilities specifically dedicated for the use of their business – applicants whose parking sites have been approved but not yet build, or which are still under construction, may not receive the Workplace Charging Scheme voucher. Businesses which rent their parking facilities from a third party may apply as long as they have the documented permission of the owner.

Businesses applying for Workplace Charging Scheme vouchers do not need to prove they already have electric vehicles on their fleets or owned by staff, but they must declare an intention to promote electric vehicle uptake. Benefit in kind tax – also known as company car tax – changes based on the emissions produced by an employee’s company car. By switching to electric company vehicles, employees will be able to reduce the benefit in kind tax they pay by up to 86 per cent.

Electric vehicle use in the UK has surged in the last few years, with the number of electric vehicles on UK roads growing from 3,500 in 2013 to more than 182,00 in October 2018. 30 per cent of the UK’s electric vehicle drivers charge their vehicles at work; and a sustained regime of public and private investment including the Workplace Charging Scheme has led to the installation of 18,685 electric vehicle charging points in the UK.

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