Even if electric mobility is slowly gaining ground, many companies are only just beginning to electrify their fleets. But time is pressing – in light of the mobility revolution, there is no alternative to electric. The good news: anyone who takes on this challenge with a cool head can help to protect the environment – while benefiting from technological change.
Approaching development strategically
Before the first electric vehicles arrive in company car parks, the necessary charging infrastructure must be prepared and the actual amount of energy required must be determined. The more varied the fleet, the more important this is: mobility experts believe that in big companies one charging point is enough for up to 12 e-vehicles. However, the number of charging points available will probably have to increase significantly in the future. Decision-makers should therefore look in detail at their requirements as regards a charging infrastructure and predict future developments in order to get a solution which is sustainable from an ecological and economic point of view. This is complex because numerous individual factors play a role. However, the organisational outlay can be reduced if a number of important questions are answered early on.
How many charging points are needed?
Ideally, there should be enough charging facilities for electric vehicles so that commuters for example can use their spare time each day to charge their electric vehicles. If too few charging points are available, employees may need to move their vehicles which is both impractical and uneconomical. When carrying out construction work, it is also a good idea to prepare parking spaces for future upgrades and install whatever is necessary, for example ducting for cabling.
What are the employees' driving scenarios like?
Employees' driving scenarios also influence the infrastructure. If the distances travelled daily are less than the battery range or most of the journeys are made by commuters who leave their vehicles standing for long periods, AC charging points may be enough. If, however, the e-vehicles have to cover long distances and need to be ready for use again soon after, higher-performance quick-charging stations are the best choice.
Is charging management important?
Without doubt: yes. Particularly with larger fleets, it makes sense to equip the charging stations with intelligent technologies such as electrical load management. Electrical load management allows targeted control, adjustment and distribution of energy consumption – and can even avoid the need to increase local grid capacities at great cost. Integrated billing systems and digital access systems also allow the charging infrastructure to be operated in an economical manner and open up new analytical options.
Last but not least: what pitfalls can occur within companies?
- If the employee is billed for the electricity they need to charge their vehicle, market-specific legal conditions may need to be taken into account: in Germany for example, the requirements for quick charging with high charge currents have not yet been fully defined by the legislature.• If the employee receives the electricity they need to charge their vehicle free of charge, this is perfectly acceptable from a tax point of view in many countries*. However, internal conflicts can arise because employees with conventional petrol or diesel vehicles may feel that they are being unfairly treated.
- It must be ensured that connecting or disconnecting a vehicle at the charging point cannot be used to record working time.
- If the charging station is in a semi-public or public area, market-specific requirements may need to be taken into account.
- If the energy used to charge vehicles is generated by the company itself this is of course good for sustainability, but there may be a legal requirement to register this under specific market conditions and, if the electricity is supplied to third parties, to the obligation to pay electricity tax.*
* Always coordinate with your tax advisor.
Installing an electrical charging infrastructure can be worthwhile if the right questions and possible pitfalls are taken into account during the planning phase. The right advice is also important – the MEB advisers at Volkswagen are on hand to provide this. Get in touch today and make an appointment to get to know us.
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