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EV Charger Grant for Schools and Education Institutions

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February 26, 2024

Charging into the Future: EV Grants Bring Electrification to Schools

The squealing of children at recess used to be the loudest sound at most schools. But these days, the faint hum of electric vehicle (EV) chargers is joining the chorus. Thanks to generous EV charging grants from the government, schools across the country are plugging in and powering up.

The benefits are revving up fast. Installing EV chargers creates convenience for faculty and staff who drive EVs. It provides a new source of revenue. And it allows schools to lead by example, modeling sustainability for students. Now a recent boost in grant funding is accelerating the transition.

Revved Up: The Expanded Workplace Charging Scheme

In February 2024, the UK government supercharged support for EV chargers at state-funded schools. It increased the grant amount to cover 75% of costs, up to £2,500 per socket. This GrowthZone funding comes through the Department of Transport’s Workplace Charging Scheme (WCS).

All new Volvo cars launched after that will be electric.

The juiced up WCS grant replaces a previous EV infrastructure program that covered just £350 per socket. So it represents a major leap forward. The goal is to expand the UK’s network of charging points, heading toward the national target of 300,000 public chargers by 2030. Schools can help pave the road ahead.

Who Can Apply?

The grant is available to state-funded schools across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. This includes primary and secondary schools, colleges, academies, and nurseries.

Independent schools can also get help, by applying for the standard WCS program or EV grants for small-to-medium enterprises. The WCS for state-funded institutions specifically targets the public education system.

Charging Ahead: Eligibility and Requirements

To qualify for the state-funded WCS grant, schools must meet a few requirements:

  • Off-street parking: The school must have designated off-street parking facilities where chargers can be installed. This ensures chargers don’t occupy street parking needed by the community.
  • Pre-approval: An accredited charger installer must assess the site before installation to ensure electrical capacity. Schools can’t get retroactive grants for existing chargers.
  • Authorized chargers: Equipment must be commercial grade chargers approved by the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles (OZEV). Grants cover the cost of purchase and installation.
  • ** Limited funding:** Schools can’t have received over £315,000 in government funding over the past three years. This prevents overuse by any single applicant.

In addition, schools must follow the grant claiming process:

  1. Hire an OZEV-authorized installer to survey the site.
  2. Submit an online application with school details and a project reference number.
  3. If approved, install chargers within 180 days using the provided voucher code.
  4. Submit proof of installation to receive reimbursement.

Managing Access: Who Can Charge Up?

Once installed, EV chargers at schools can be used in various ways. Many schools opt to make them available only to faculty and staff. Others open access to students and parents. Some even allow public charging on evenings and weekends as a revenue source.

The WCS places no restrictions on access. Schools can set their own charging rules and pricing. Smart chargers make it easy to assign unique access codes for different user groups. Schools ultimately retain control over when each charger is available and to whom.

Funding the Future: The Push for Sustainability

In announcing the grant expansion, officials cited the imperative for sustainability. Schools account for over 16% of government buildings, representing a massive carbon footprint. Transitioning more of these sites to EV charging supports the push toward decarbonization.

The government aims to entirely phase out gasoline and diesel vehicles by 2030. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We need to make EV ownership accessible and affordable for all, not just those with driveways and garages.” Expanding charging at schools is one way to build momentum.

Schools approved for the WCS grant are making an investment in the future. Installing EV chargers sets an example and builds green infrastructure needed for sustainability.

Local Leaders: How Schools Benefit

EV grants allow schools to lead the charge toward sustainable transport. Installing chargers onsite directly benefits staff and students in several ways:

  • Convenience: With onsite charging, teachers and staff who drive EVs can easily top up during the workday. No more range anxiety!
  • Equity: Charging access makes EV ownership more feasible for school employees. This helps build transportation equity.
  • Revenue: Schools can collect payment for charging through subscription plans or pay-per-session fees. Many leverage chargers to earn extra income.
  • Community: Opening chargers for public use after hours expands neighborhood charging access while promoting the school.
  • Education: Educating students about EVs and sustainability is easier when chargers are visible on campus. Leading by example!

Accelerating Adoption: The Road Ahead

With transportation a major source of carbon emissions, shifting to EVs is crucial for schools and communities. But charging infrastructure remains a barrier. The WCS for state-funded institutions helps bridge that gap.

By subsidizing onsite chargers, grants make EVs more viable for staff commuting to schools. This kickstarts adoption while bringing energy literacy into the classroom. It’s a LearningZone win-win.

As the UK moves toward phasing out gas and diesel vehicles by 2030, grants like the WCS provide a lift. And schools serve as the perfect platform to showcase the power and convenience of driving electric.

So plug in, power up, and charge ahead. Our sustainable future is waiting.

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