Electric vehicle and charging infrastructure toolkit
What is an electric vehicle?
- A pure electric, or battery electric, vehicle is powered only using electricity stored in its battery to drive an electric motor. The battery is re-charged via an external power source such as an EV charge point.
- A plug-in hybrid electric vehicle has a battery with an electric motor, alongside a traditional internal combustion engine. The battery is charged by plugging into an external power source such as an EV charge point and the combustion engine uses petrol or diesel. The electric motor and combustion engine can work independently or together to drive the vehicle and it is common that the combustion engine provides a small amount of charge to the battery during operation.
- A hybrid electric vehicle has a battery with an electric motor and a traditional internal combustion engine, using petrol or diesel. Unlike a plug-in hybrid electric, the battery cannot be charged by an external power source and is only charged via the internal combustion engine during operation.
There are also some Extended Range EV’s with a small engine that just charges the battery, these are not common in the UK.
Benefits of electric vehicles
Switching to an EV can reduce carbon emissions, lower your vehicle running and maintenance costs, and provide a quieter overall driving experience. Electric vehicles can also contribute to cleaner air in your local area and are an increasingly popular choice for many when choosing a new vehicle.
For Staffordshire residents travelling in to Birmingham by car, an electric vehicle will comply with the Clean Air Zone and be exempt from the £8 daily charge. More Clean Air Zones are being declared across the country.
Electric vehicles are typically more expensive to purchase compared to petrol or diesel equivalents but there are a number government grants available to assist in reducing the purchase price. Also, as the number of electric vehicles in the UK grows, so does the opportunity to purchase a vehicle second hand which will reduce the initial outlay.
If buying a second-hand electric vehicle, you should be aware that the vehicle’s battery degrades over time and this will impact the range. However, most vehicles will have an eight-year battery warranty from the car manufacturer which provides a guarantee of 70% battery capacity. This guarantee is usually transferable to a new owner.
- The Government has committed to ban the sale of petrol and diesel cars by 2030
- There are over 200 models of EV now available in the UK, with models available from most manufacturers The average range of a battery electric vehicle is 193 miles
- There is over 42,000 public chargepoint connectors in the UK
- Grant funding is still available from the Government to purchase EVs and to install charging infrastructure
When considering switching to an EV there are some key considerations to ensure that the vehicle chosen meets your needs. These are some of the questions you should ask yourself:
- What is the average distance I travel per journey or per week?
- What is the longest distance I travel by car?
- Do I have off-street parking to install a chargepoint?
- Do my most common destinations offer the opportunity for charging (e.g. workplace, supermarket)
- Could I charge my car at work?
- Where else might I charge my vehicle?
The UK Government provides several online calculators and tools allowing you to compare costs, calculate journey ranges, and find the right electric vehicle for your needs. Some tools can be found on Zap-map.
Finally, prior to purchasing an electric vehicle satisfy yourself that you have considered everything on this handy checklist:
- Local public charging infrastructure
- Charging costs (vs. fuel costs)
Key information sources
- Office for Zero Emission Vehicles
- Energy Saving Trust
Calculator tools – vehicle costs, charging costs, energy tariffs:
How to charge an electric vehicle
Critical for any user of an electric vehicle is to understand how you can charge the vehicle. This includes the speed at which it charges, the compatibility of the charging cable and where you will be charging.
You should consider where you plan to charge your vehicle most of the time. This may be at home in a garage or on a driveway via a dedicated residential chargepoint; at-work; or at a public chargepoint.
Charging at home is likely to be the cheapest option if you have access to a private driveway or garage and a dedicated chargepoint is highly recommended in this situation (you must not trail a cable across a public footpath!).
Although a new vehicle may be supplied with an electric vehicle equipment charging cable, which will enable charging via a standard 3-pin plug, this should be avoided except in an emergency. In no circumstances should an extension cable be used.
If you do opt to charge at home, consider smart charging to adjust the time of charge to take account of varying electricity tariffs, and potentially switch to a discounted electricity tariff suitable for electric vehicles.
Where to charge and electric vehicle
There are a variety of locations to charge electric vehicles across Staffordshire and the UK. Generally, these can be split in to five categories:
- Residential chargepoints where an EV owner has off-street parking to install their own chargepoint.
- Off-street chargepoints in supermarkets, service stations or other types of carpark.
- Forecourts - chargepoints at current fuel stations.
- EV charging hubs - dedicated facilities to charge EVs typically using rapid or ultra-rapid chargepoints.
- On-street chargepoints installed on the highway, primarily for residents.
How to pay for public charging
Publicly accessible chargepoints are available across Staffordshire, some chargepoints are free to use, but common methods of payment include:
A monthly membership, accessed via a smartphone app or an RFID card
Contactless payment to allow pay-as-you-go customers
There are a number of variables that impact the cost of charging at home or at public chargepoints such as what type of chargepoint is used, the cost of electricity or how much charge is required.
Zap-Map provides a tool to calculate the costs of charging for a specific make and model of vehicle.
How to search for where there are EV chargepoints
Zap-Map is the most commonly used app and platform for EV drivers to search for chargepoints and plan for journeys. It is also a source of EV information and news.
A large proportion of the publicly accessible chargepoints in Staffordshire are accessible at private or public car parks or retail parks. Generally, accessibility is relatively simple, but users should note any requirement to pay for parking as well as charging, so as not to be liable for additional fines or fees.
Many on street chargepoints and car parking facilities will give a minimum or a maximum parking time, which you should consider in relation to the amount of time you want to charge your vehicle and also ensuring you have enough time to return without incurring additional fines or fees.
Similarly, most chargepoint car park spaces require you to be actively charging your vehicle when in use. They are not designated as purely parking spots for electric vehicles, but charging bays, and fees or fines may be incurred if you choose only to park in a bay rather than park and charge.
View our EV charging FAQ’s
Electric vehicle charging can generally be categorised by power and connection type. There are 4 standard power outputs, measured in kilowatts (kW), each of which has an impact on the speed at which a chargepoint will charge your vehicle. The location type tends to stipulate the chargepoint type.
In addition, different EVs use different connections and cables which affect the type of chargepoint you will be able to use. When purchasing or using an electric vehicle, it should clearly state which type of cable and connection is used and, therefore, the speed of charge available. Every EV will use a range of chargepoint types in different locations. Every chargepoint type has a set of connectors that vary depending on power use, or alternative current (AC) or direct current (DC). The different chargepoint power outputs, estimated charging speeds, and required cable types are shown in Table 1 below.
A key difference between vehicle models is that European models will have Type-2 inlets and use CCS, whereas Asian models will have Type-1 and use CHAdeMO.
Tethered and non-tethered chargers
Chargepoints can use tethered or non-tethered cables.
Tethered chargepoints have the cable permanently attached to the chargepoint, with a Type-1 or Type-2 connection.
Non-tethered cables can be removed from the chargepoint, will have a Type-2 socket, and the user must provide the cable.
The benefit of a non-tethered cable is that the chargepoint can be used to charge a range of vehicles, and the cable can be used at a range of chargepoints. This level of flexibility is not achieved from a tethered cable as it will not be compatible with all vehicles and is secured to one chargepoint.
However, if the chargepoint is dedicated to one vehicle (e.g. BMW i3), the tethered solution is more convenient as you will not be required to plug / unplug the cable. In most cases, a non-tethered cable is supplied by the manufacturer when you purchase the car to use at Slow or Fast public chargepoints.
When accessing or utilising public charging facilities, there may be instances whereby a fault or maintenance issue requires notification to the operator and/or responsible party.
Generally, for publicly available chargepoints where there is a fault with the access through the digital system or the physical charging infrastructure (cables etc.), you should contact the specific operator who is providing the charging service. Most charging operators provide the following fault notification services:
- Online fault report
- 24 hour fault notification / help centre hotline
- Fault notification system (within the operator app)
Where there are instances of other faults or maintenance issues which are related to for example, the surrounding area (car park bay or street access), this may be the responsibility of the local council, particularly where this is public land.
Power Output: 3 to 7kw
Typical charging location: Home, workplace, on-street (lamp column)
Charge Time: 16 hours
Compatible connection types: Type 1 Type 2
Power Output: 7 to 22kW
Typical charging location: On-street, public car park, workplace
Charge Time: 2 to 7 hours
Compatible connection types: Type 1 Type 2
Power Output: Up to 50kw
Typical charging location: On-street, public car park, forecourt, service station, EV charging hub
Charge Time: Up to 1 hour
Compatible connection types: Type 2 Combined charging system (CCS) CHAdeMO
Power Output: 120 to 350kw
Typical charging location: Forecourt, service station, EV charging hub
Charge Time: Up to 40 minutes
Compatible connection types: Type 2 (Tesla adapted only) Combined charging system (CCS) CHAdeMO
Charging with renewable energy
A key benefit of electric vehicles is that they have the potential to reduce carbon emissions, however research shows this depends on the source of electricity. There are three ways to make charging your electric vehicle less carbon intensive:
- Using renewable energy such as solar to charge your electric vehicle
- Switching to a green energy tariff
- Timing your charging for when renewable energy is more likely to be on the grid
Smart charging can be used to manage the charging of your car remotely.
National Grid, Environmental Defence Fund Europe, University of Oxford, and WWF have developed a carbon intensity forecast tool with a regional breakdown.
Electric vehicle energy tariffs
Speak to your energy provider to see if they offer an Electric Vehicle Tariff.
Smart charging enables you to manage the charging of your car remotely. This could be desired charge level or time of charging. This allows you to take advantage of low energy tariffs, typically at night, to reduce the cost of charging. Further benefits include convenience, environmental by choosing to charge at a time when renewable energy is more likely to be on the grid and balancing of the electricity grid.
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) utilises bi-directional chargepoints to receive and provide electricity, allowing electricity to be withdrawn and discharged by an EV battery. The electricity could then be used locally e.g. at your home or be sold back to the grid. Currently this technology is only being trailed but has the potential to help manage peak energy demands in the future.
Electric car clubs
Car clubs allow users to hire cars or vans on a short-term basis by simply unlocking the vehicle via a mobile app and driving away. Research suggests that car clubs help reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality and encourage users to increase their use of public transport and active travel. There are a three car club models:
- Back-to-base – The vehicle must be returned to the location it was collected; this will typically be a dedicated parking space.
- One way – The vehicle doesn’t need to be returned to where you collected it but needs only to be left within the zone of operation for the car club.
- Peer-to-peer – Owners of private vehicles offer them to rent to other members/users of a peer-to-peer club/platform
For each model, payment is per trip on a minute, hourly or daily basis and processed automatically via an app. Instead of vehicles being held centrally, as in a traditional car hire arrangement, they are in designated locations or scattered around the car club area to provide quick access.
Electric vehicle car clubs use plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles and can be a great way of experiencing what it is like to drive an electric vehicle prior to buying one.
Chargepoint locations taken from Zap-Map, June 2022, publicly accessible but not necessarily 24 hours, displayed for guidance only, please check.
|Access and payment
|Access and payment to Alpha Power chargers is via either RFID card, QR code, app or contactless payment.
Tel: 0113 335 1765
Alfa Power Website
|Chargepoints are accessed through the BP Pulse card, app or contactless card. Payment by membership or pay-as-you-go.
Tel: 0330 0165 126
BP Pulse website
|Uses an App to scan QR code on the charger, paid for chargers can be paid for through the App
|Uses an App, payments linked through an account topped up within the App
Tel: 0207 247 4114
Pod Point website
|Access to GeniePoint units is made via either RFID card or app (web and mobile). Usage is pay-as-you-go
Tel: 0203 598 4087
|GridServe Electric Highway
|No membership required, payments via any contactless payment card
Tel: 0333 1234 333
Electric Highway website
|Chargepoints are accessed through a contactless credit or debit card. The charges are based on a pay-as-you-go basis. Instavolt offer an app that maps their chargepoints.
Tel: 0808 281 4444
|Session activate via mobile phone, scanning QR code and then paying online for the electricity consumed
Tel: 01205 724 754
|The charging units communicate with the car to ensure the vehicle is a Tesla, Costs are then charged to an account linked to the car
Tel: 0845 528 0442
|Specialists in pop up charging units at the roadside, charging initiated and finished via their App
Tel: 0207 193 4694
Urban Electric website
|Uses the Shell recharge App or with contactless payments, Shell claim all their electricity is 100% renewable
Tel: 0207 193 4694
Shell Recharge website
Charging point by nearest town
Neighbouring Zap-Map links:
Office for Zero Emission Vehicles
The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) was set up to support the transition to EVs. OZEV manage funding from central Government and offer a range of grants. Updates on policy and regulation can be find via the OZEV website.
Available grants for buying an electric vehicle
Support for wheelchair accessible vehicles is being prioritised in the allocation of funding and can obtain up to £2,5000 grant for a vehicle that costs less than £35,000.
The maximum grant available for other vehicles are:
- £5,000 for large vans (2.5-3.5 tonnes)
- £2,500 for a small van (less than 2.5 tonnes)
- £500 for motorbikes
- £150 for mopeds
Consumers do not need to do anything to take advantage of this grant, as the discount is applied by the dealer and included within the list price.
Nonetheless, potential buyers may wish to check the current list of eligible vehicles and ensure that the dealer has applied the grant accordingly. Click the hyperlink to view the plug in car and van grants.
The same grant applies when leasing an eligible electric vehicle, and consumers can use the same list to check with the dealer that the grant is considered on their lease agreement.
Available grants for chargepoints
Electric Vehicle Homecharging Scheme (EVHS)
OZEV provide a grant for up to 75% of the procurement and installation of chargepoints, up to £350. To be eligible for the grant, the household must own, lease or be named as the primary user of an eligible EV or have a vehicle on order to qualify for the grant. The installation must be off-street, in a driveway or garage.
In practice, a consumer chooses an approved EVHS installer who will check that the consumer is eligible and will then apply on their behalf. The installer will complete the install and charge the consumer the price of the installation, minus the applicable grant amount. If the application is successful, the installer will receive the remaining amount from the EVHS scheme directly.
From April 2022, the EVHS grant will not be available to single-unit properties e.g. detached or terraced housing. Only homeowners in flats or those in rental accommodation will be eligible for the grant.
For more details you can view the EVHS grant on GOV.UK website.
On-Street Residential Chargepoint Scheme (ORCS)
This funding gives local authorities access to grant funding up to 60% that can be used to part-fund the procurement and installation of on-street chargepoints. In certain circumstances, this funding is eligible for local authority owned car parks. The maximum funding available, per chargepoint is £13,000. The remaining 40% can come from local authority budgets or can be provided from the private sector. Energy Saving Trust is administrating the scheme on behalf of OZEV.
Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS)
The workplace charging scheme provides support toward the upfront cost of the purchase and installation of electric vehicle chargepoints. Businesses, charities, and the public sector can get grants of up to £350 per socket, for a maximum of 40 charging sockets for their employees and fleets.
Eligible parties apply online and, if successful, receive a voucher which can be given to any approved workplace charging scheme installer. Once installation is complete, the installer claims the grant funding on the applicants behalf and the value is reduced from the applicants final bill.
Further details on the Workplace Charging Scheme.
Tax benefits for electric vehicles
Tax benefits generally apply when you are not buying or leasing your car as an individual, but via your employer (e.g. company car or salary-sacrifice schemes) or for use as part of your own business (e.g. capital allowance). However, certain benefits also apply as a private owner (e.g. vehicle excise duty).
Benefit in Kind
- Battery electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles all have lower company car tax rates than petrol or diesel vehicles
- In 2020, several new bands were added to the benefit in kind tax contributions to cover the variety of hybrid and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles.Effectively, the larger the “electric range” of any hybrid vehicle, the lower the benefit in kind tax
- If you purchase a zero-emission battery electric vehicle through your own business, you may be eligible to deduct the full value of the car
Vehicle excise duty
- Battery electric vehicles are exempt from paying vehicle excise duty
- All cars that emit less than 75g/km CO2 will pay less vehicle excise duty
- If your employer has a salary sacrifice scheme designed to help toward the cost of buying a car, choosing a battery electric or plug-in hybrid electric which emits less than 75g/km CO2 could be beneficial for both parties
- You will pay tax on a smaller proportion of your salary, and your employer will pay reduced National Insurance contributions
Staffordshire County Council's on EVs and EV charging
In 2019, Staffordshire County Council declared a climate emergency and committed to ensuring the council is carbon neutral by 2050. To achieve this, the Council reviewed its operations and activities as well as putting in place a monitoring and evaluation programme to track progress (CCAP document).
Staffordshire County Council Local Transport Plan 2011 - 2026 puts a focus on new technologies, collaboration and partnership development and awareness raising to encourage and support sustainable transport modes.
Staffordshire County Council is committed to creating a sustainable and equitable future for the borough. Their vision is to support EV users to have accessible chargepoints across the borough. The council will support residents, businesses or others looking to install chargepoints providing information and guidance.
In 2023, Staffordshire County Council published their EV Charging Strategy. This will be important in outlining how consistent chargepoint networks could be developed, where chargepoints could be installed and how the Council can support the installation of chargepoints.
Car dealerships selling EVs across Staffordshire
- Faintree SEAT
- JT Hughes Honda & Mitsubishi
- Budgen Motors Citroen, MG, Dacia, Renault
- WR Davies Toyota, Nissan
- Inchape Volkswagen
- Brindley Nissan, MG
- Johnson Cars VW
- Bristol Street Motors Nissan, Renault, Hyundai etc.
- Hodson Ford
- BS Marson Fiat
Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) car dealerships
Electric Vehicle Approved (EVA) is a set of standards for all areas of automotive retail. The badge demonstrates a retailer’s commitment and business excellence in the EV sector. EVA is endorsed by OZEV and EST.
- Volvo Cars - Shrewsbury
- Acorn Kia - Burntwood
- Acorn Group - Crewe
- Jardine Motors Group - Tamworth
- West Way Nissan - Stourbridge
- Paul Rigby - Birmingham
- Marshall Volvo - Derby
- Bristol Street Motors - Derby
Car club operator in Staffordshire
Enterprise Car Club operate a car club in the area.
Yes, although only recommended in an emergency, for several reasons:
- Charging times are very slow and it is likely to take almost 3 times as long to charge your vehicle compared to a 7kW home/commercial chargepoint.
- The constant electrical load drawn by an electric vehicle over the charging period can put a significant strain on home electricity networks, with overheating of cables a possibility.
- If you are parking on-street and charging with a cable to your home socket, you may be trailing cables across footpaths and other shared spaces. This is in breach of Part IX of the Highways Act (1980) and creates a trip hazard and nuisance for pedestrians, especially for wheelchairs and buggies.
- Permission will need to be granted by the owner of the carpark. The procurement, installation and operating costs of the chargepoint will have to be agreed between you and the owner of the carpark.
- Permission will need to be granted by the landlord. The procurement, installation and operating costs of the chargepoint will have to be agreed between you and the landlord.
- No, although some energy suppliers offer tariffs specially designed for electric vehicle users, and you may be able to reduce bills by opting for such a tariff. Alternatively, green energy tariffs using renewable energy are available. Price comparison websites will offer this as an option where available.
- Yes, most mainstream insurance companies offer cover for EVs. There is even car insurance designed specifically for BEVs which provides recovery if you run out of charge, battery warranty, chargepoint warranty.
- Yes. The process is no different to that of leasing a petrol or diesel vehicle. Through some leasing providers, the installation of a residential chargepoint can be arranged. The length of most leases are typically 3-5 years and the cost will be stipulated by the model, mile limit per annum and the length of lease.
Technically, yes, although there are conditions which need to be met prior to installing any on-street chargepoint. We recognise the difficulties for people living in properties without off street parking. To help with this we are working to increase the numbers of chargers across other locations.
Issues with on-street chargepoints include:
- Lack of available space – for the charger, other pavement users and car parking spaces.
- Suitable local power – upgrades to the power network to facilitate a chargepoint may be costly.
- Demand – enough to justify the cost of installation and operation.
- Proximity to other chargepoints.
You can only charge your vehicle on your own driveway, or on someone else's land with their permission.
Staffordshire County Council does not permit any cable to be placed across the public highway. A power cable trailing across a footway is a potential trip hazard (this includes using a cable protector or ramp) for disabled and vulnerable people. If someone tripped and injured themselves, you could be prosecuted and there may be liability under civil law.