Leading fleet leasing provider, Volkswagen Financial Services Fleet (VWFS Fleet), is urging UK companies to consider the importance of accessibility when installing chargepoints for electric vehicles (EVs) on business premises.
While chargepoints on company sites are not, as yet, governed by regulation in the same way as the rapidly-expanding public charging network, VWFS Fleet states that businesses should still ensure they are doing the right thing when it comes to making charging a positive experience for all company car and commercial van drivers, as well as other employees who might want to charge up an EV on company premises.
There are around 14 million disabled people in the UK, and estimates state that, by 2033, there will be around 2.7 million disabled drivers, many of whom will be employed and commuting in an EV and will need access to onsite accessible charging.
David Watts, Fleet EV Product Manager at VWFS Fleet, explained: “The nationwide shift towards EVs is continuing at pace, accelerated by the ban in the UK on the sale of new petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.
“To support the switch, the public charging network is expanding rapidly, and stringent regulation has recently been introduced to ensure that all users – able-bodied and disabled, or with any other type of accessibility need – can quickly and simply charge their vehicles.”
The new standard, known as PAS 1899:2022, draws on the findings of a detailed study by the charity, Motability, into the needs of disabled people using EV chargepoints. It was published in October of last year, and sets out clear standards around accessibility for disabled drivers, passengers and pedestrians.
“While the standard is not, at this point, mandatory for chargepoints installed on private or business premises, there is nothing to say that its provision won’t be extended in the future. In any case, companies would be well-advised to consider the guidance contained in PAS 1899:2022 when installing EV chargepoints on their premises to make EV charging accessible for all,” continues David.
A growing need for accessible workplace charging
Whether it is onsite charging depots, or employee car park chargepoints, David Watts added: “The number of chargers installed on company premises is set to continue to increase as EV adoption for both fleets and individual drivers expands. However, installing workplace chargepoints is not enough to ensure that your workforce has access to chargepoints during working hours.”
The British Standards Institute (BSI) currently recommends that workplaces should provide at least one accessible parking bay per disabled employee, alongside a minimum of 5% of the total parking capacity of visiting drivers, and David Watts believes at least the same level of provision should be available for workplace EV charging spaces.
“PAS 1899:2022, covers the complete breadth of charging – from the physical environment around chargepoints to their location, spacing and design – encompassing height, weight, ease of use and accessibility of information,” continues David.
“If you’re planning workplace chargepoint installations – whether that’s for depot charging or individual employee car charging – adhering to public charging accessibility standards for workplace charging will allow disabled people, or those with accessibility needs, to use chargepoints in the same way they do any other equipment in the workplace.”
VWFS Fleet supports businesses on their journey to more sustainable fleets, and offers guidance to help employers ensure accessible charging for all – so no one is left behind on the transition to electric.
Further information can be found in VWFS Fleet’s EV Charging and Infrastructure guide, accessible for free here: