Increases in home working have influenced the electric vehicle (EV) charging plans of businesses, as 34% say they plan on putting chargers in employee’s homes.
This is according to a new study from Centrica Business Solutions, which also found that 81% claim the increase in home working as a result of COVID-19 has driven them to consider installing chargers in employees homes to support flexible working.
The study found that COVID-19 has accelerated 20% of businesses’ existing plans to invest in EVs, while 13% have cancelled their EV plans as a result of the pandemic.
Indeed, barriers to EV adoption for businesses are still present, with 42% of businesses reporting that one of the biggest barriers is managing the complexity of employees charging EVs at home and at public charging points.
A number of services have been launched in the UK to tackle this problem, with apps such as Octopus’ Electric Juice – which is targeted at fleets – offering drivers a single way to pay for charging across both home charging and public charging with costs appearing on a single bill.
Meanwhile, in March Centrica launched a Fleet Charging Management System which acts as a virtual fuel card, allowing drivers to plug into any standard EV charger while also offering payroll integration, meaning the driver is automatically reimbursed while fleet managers receive monthly statements showing all charging transactions.
Other barriers identified in the company’s research were the upfront cost, with 53% of the businesses not looking to install remote chargers citing the operational challenges (41%) and a lack of knowledge about installation partners (35%) as preventative.
While the increase in EV charging installation plans was praised by Centrica, it did also warn that a third of drivers don’t have access to off-street parking and therefore businesses will need a balance of home charging, workplace charging and a public charging network.
“With the ban on traditionally-fuelled vehicles inching ever closer, and on-street charging costs prohibitively expensive, it’s likely we’ll see more employers offering to install home charging, alongside systems to help them manage the chargers and the energy they use,” Greg McKenna, managing director of Centrica Business Solutions, said.