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Demand for EV chargers soar as deadline for OZEV grant approaches

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Major changes are coming to the OZEV grant later this year, which has caused demand for EV chargers to soar. 

According to Rightcharge, a comparison website for the electric vehicle chargers currently on the market, there has been a 100% uptick in demand for the installation of EV chargers. The company notes that this is happening just before major changes to the Office for Zero-Emission Vehicles (OZEV) home and workplace charge point schemes come into effect. 

Last year the UK Government announced that the OZEV grant would not be continuing in its present form beyond March 31. Instead, the scheme will become more targeted, with homeowners with off-street parking bearing the brunt of the changes. 

Under the current scheme, the UK Government will contribute £350 towards the cost of installing an EV charger at a person’s home, as long as they met the criteria of owning an electric vehicle, it being the first time they’ve claimed, and that they had suitable off-street parking. There are similar requirements for workplaces, although all of this is set to change. 

On April 1, 2022, the new OZEV grant will come into effect, with all new criteria. That criteria is as follows:

Homeowners with off-street parking

The OZEV grant will no longer be available to homeowners with off-street parking, instead only those who rent their homes or those who live in flats are able to claim the £350 contribution. 

Landlords, social housing providers and owners of apartment blocks

As mentioned above, the scheme is changing for homeowners as they will no longer be able to receive a £350 grant for the installation of an electric vehicle charger, however, landlords, social housing providers and owners of apartment blocks will still be eligible. 

The scheme will provide up to £350 per charger, with landlords able to claim a maximum of up to £70,000 with a limit of 200 applications. There is a lower limit for owners of apartment blocks, however, with a grant of up to £30,000 available per building and just 30 applications permitted per year per applicant. 

Unlike social housing providers and private landlords, there is the potential for a higher payout for each charger in an apartment block. That’s because the Government will tailor the grant to the associated building, with up to £850 available per parking bay provided with a charger, plus grants of up to £500 per bay for the supporting infrastructure to allow a charger to be installed at a later date. 

Workplaces

The workplace scheme isn’t changing as drastically as the home charge point scheme. That means the £350 grant will still be available to businesses wishing to install EV chargers at their place of work. There is up to £14,000 available to businesses, with no limit as to how many chargers they install as part of the scheme, as long as they reserve the chargers for staff or fleet use only. 

B&Bs and charities

Those with small accommodation businesses, such as a Bed & Breakfast, hotel or caravan site, as well as charities, will also be able to grant £350 per charger up to £14,000. However these chargers are not required to be limited to staff or fleet use, with visitors also able to use the chargers paid for under the scheme. 

SMEs and owners of commercially let properties

The final two categories available under the OZEV grant scheme are SMEs and owners of commercially let properties. These have vastly different requirements, with the former allowed to claim a grant of up to £850 per parking bay as long as the company employs less than 250 people and make the chargers available to employees only, while the latter has no employee limit and can claim up to £350 per socket up to £35,000 for any unit they commercially let. 

Why are these changes causing EV charger demand to soar? 

So, why are these changes causing the demand for electric vehicle chargers to quite literally double? Well, most of the rise in demand comes from homeowners who will no longer be eligible for the scheme. 

Charlie Cook, Founder of Rightcharge, noted, “We’ve seen a 100% rise in the number of requests for charge point installs between December and January which indicates that Brits are moving fast to take advantage of the OZEV grant before it’s too late. Major charge point providers removed the opportunity to access the grant for direct enquiries in late 2022. We have been able to continue offering access to the grant through January, however, this may only last a few more days and we recommend drivers kick off their journey for a charge point install in January.”

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