Your questions answered

Complete guide to the OZEV EVHS electric car home charging point grant

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) electric car wallbox charger grant – known as the EV Homecharge Scheme, or EVHS – makes installing a home charger cheaper. Here's how it works

Home wallbox charger

Home wallbox chargers make electric cars and plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) a much more convenient proposition for drivers who have a driveway or their own off-street parking space. Wallboxes cut down the amount of time it takes to charge at home by delivering more power than can typically be supplied through a three-pin household socket. When installed in the right location, they can also eliminate the need for long (and possibly less safe) extension cables, too.

There are dozens of home charging points to choose from, with the cheapest starting from around £300. There's also a government grant, called the EV Homecharge Scheme, or EVHS for short, that can significantly reduce the cost of installation. This is in addition to the plug-in car grant that takes money off the purchase price of the car itself. In February 2021, the government confirmed this grant would remain into 2022 at least.

Home wallbox charger

What is the OZEV home wallbox charger grant?

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV) oversees a grant that covers 75% of the cost of buying and installing a wallbox charger, up to a maximum value of £350. Your wallbox supplier is paid directly by the government, so you won’t be asked for a payment up-front: however, you’ll still need to meet any shortfall between the grant and the total cost.

Several criteria need to be met in order to be eligible for the grant: you need to own, lease, or be named as the primary user of an eligible vehicle, or have one on order. Helpfully, the grant covers both new and used vehicles. You’ll have to use an installer authorised by OZEV, too.

You don’t need to wait until you take delivery of the car, although you can’t have the wallbox installed more than four months before it shows up. It makes sense to complete the necessary forms as soon as you can, because it’ll minimise any gap between you getting your new car and being able to charge it using your wallbox.

In July 2019, the criteria was amended so that only 'smart' chargers qualify for the subsidy. Smart chargers can connect to the internet, which allows charging sessions to be programmed remotely: this adds convenience for drivers of electric cars and PHEVs, and also allows them to take advantage of cheaper electricity tariffs that are common at night – which can in turn reduce running costs.

Home wallbox charger

Am I eligible for the OZEV home wallbox charger grant?

The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme (EVHS) – to give its full official name – is available to anyone who has taken ownership of an eligible new or used electric car since 1 October 2016, as long they’ve not claimed before. The scheme covers individuals who can prove they’ve ordered and bought an electric vehicle. Those leasing an electric car, or leasing as part of a salary-sacrifice scheme, are also eligible, as long as the lease lasts at least six months.

Company-car drivers are eligible, too, as long as they’ll have the car for more than six months. The same is true of individuals named by their employer as the primary user of an electric vehicle; however, if the named individual changes within six months, a second grant can’t be claimed.

Assuming you’ve got this far, there are more criteria to meet. You must have off-street parking, which in OZEV’s words must be "associated to the property". In practice, that means a driveway. If the ‘association’ is unclear, evidence from the land registry or local authority may be required.

Additionally, the off-street parking must be deemed suitable, and will be the subject of a survey by the installer prior to installation. It must also have good access for the vehicle to be charged safely. The installer will also have to bear in mind its own best practices, so will watch for factors such as trip hazards.

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