What is the workplace charging scheme for electric cars?

What is the workplace charging scheme for electric cars?
The Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS) aims to encourage the more widespread adoption of electric cars.

It is administered by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV), and allows UK businesses to claim financial support towards the installation of EV chargepoints at their premises.

This guide explains how the scheme works – and how it could benefit you as a business owner or employee.

What is the Workplace Charging Scheme?

The WCS is a voucher-based scheme to increase the provision of electric vehicle (EV) chargepoints at workplaces. It is open to businesses, charities and public sector or public authority organisations. 

To be eligible for the WCS, organisations must be located in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, or Wales (the Channel Islands and Isle of Man are not eligible), and have received – or have currently pending at the time of application – less than £200,000 of public support in the last three financial years. They must also satisfy certain state aid requirements.

Workplace charging scheme rules for eligibility also include a declared need for an EV chargepoint, or an intent to encourage the uptake of zero emission vehicles. Dedicated off-street parking, or parking facilities that are clearly linked with the applicant’s premises, are also needed.

The applicant’s property must be owned or, if not, must have consent from the landlord for chargepoint installation at all sites listed in the WCS application.

Hotels, holiday-let homes, and campsites are included – with some conditions – and even the self-employed can apply if they work primarily at home. A range of evidence documents will be required to support the application.

The grant covers up to 75 percent of the cost of EV chargepoints, up to a maximum of £350 per socket – and 40 sockets in total. This can include 20 pairs of double sockets. Typically, a commercial workplace or business EV chargepoint can cost up to £1,500 plus VAT.1

For a business with 10 fleet cars and no WCS application, it would cost £15,000 plus VAT for 10 chargepoints. However, apply via the WCS, and this drops to £11,500 plus VAT. For larger fleets, the savings are even more substantial. To install 50 chargepoints with no WCS grant could cost £75,000 plus VAT, or £57,500 plus VAT with the WCS applied.

Benefits of the Workplace Charging Scheme for businesses

The WCS isn’t solely about saving businesses money, although it can do that. Other Workplace Charging Scheme benefits include:

  • A reduction in fuel costs for company car fleets, as electricity is cheaper than petrol or diesel. Savings of up to £1,000 per 10,000 commercial fleet miles driven can be made, in addition to more reductions on employee fuel costs. The RAC Foundation reports that company cars have an annual mileage of 13,200 miles, so on a fleet of 10 cars, there would be £13,200 of savings per year. For a fleet of 50 cars, that figure rises to £66,000 per year.2
  • Organisations can present a greener and more sustainable image by switching to EVs now, ahead of a mandatory switch in the longer term (certainly beyond 2035).
  • Charging an EV at work is a valuable benefit. It could boost employee morale and help to improve staff recruitment and retention.
  • Fitting chargepoints at hotels or restaurants could help attract EV drivers as paying customers – who are also likely to be relatively well-off.

Benefits of the Workplace Charging Scheme for employees

Charging an electric car at work means greatly reduced ‘range anxiety’ for EV drivers – and also allows employees who don’t have a driveway (those living in flats, for example) significantly easier access to EV ownership. An employer could even offer free charging at the workplace as another incentive, saving on car running costs.

Even if charging at work is paid for, EV running costs will be lower than for an equivalent petrol or diesel car. And that effectively means more money at the end of the month.

The Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax for company cars is vastly lower than for ICE vehicles, also saving employees money. For example, a Volkswagen Golf 1.5 TSI petrol with 129g/km of CO2 emissions attracts a BiK rate of 30 percent, which means a 20 percent taxpayer would pay £143.40 a month. Choose an all-electric ID.3 Life 58kWh with 0/gm of CO2, rated at two percent BiK, and you’ll only pay £12.05 per month.3

A BMW 320i Sport with 146g/km of CO2 emissions, is rated at 34 percent BiK. Next Green Car estimates that £2,256 of company car tax would need to be paid each year. However, a 0g/km Tesla Model 3 would have a BiK rate of only two percent, meaning drivers would pay an estimated £174 per year. 

Alongside the potential tax savings, there is also the peace of mind that comes with driving a more efficient and environmentally-friendly vehicle.

How to apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme 

To apply for the Workplace Charging Scheme, an online form has to be completed. Check that your WCS application will fulfil all of the eligibility requirements before you begin.

If your application is successful, you will receive a unique voucher code by email within five days. This has to be redeemed with a WCS-approved installer for a suitable chargepoint within 180 days from the date of issue. 

WCS-approved installers have certain responsibilities under the scheme itself. The installer will claim the grant on behalf of the applicant, for example, and must provide the make and model of the chargepoint installed, as well as the installation costs incurred. 

Photos of the finished installation must also be submitted, along with the images of the chargepoint serial numbers.

The installer must also ensure the eligibility criteria is met, and that the chargepoint is OZEV-approved. Complex technical requirements, as outlined by WCS rules, must also be followed. 

If you are unhappy with the scheme and want to make a complaint, you can contact OZEV by email with details about the complaint.


The Workplace Charging Scheme is a great initiative for both businesses and employees.

However, the recent ending of the Plug-in Car Grant in the UK shows that such incentives for electric cars won’t last forever, so now is the time to apply. Follow the advice in this guide and look forward to saving money and saving emissions.

The RAC is the UK’s first breakdown assistance company to introduce a mobile charging unit for electric vehicle owners who have run out of charge. We are the number one provider of breakdown cover for electric vehicles. ​Find out more about RAC EV Boost.​

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1 https://www.spiritenergy.co.uk/kb-ev-charging-point-business-case

2 https://www.pure-ev.co.uk/workplace-charging-scheme/

3 https://www.volkswagen.co.uk/en/finance-offers-and-fleet/fleet/company-car-tax-calculator.html