Share with your colleagues:

Commercial EV charging: Legal support for installation success

The UK’s EV charging network has undergone seismic changes, since the first major round of installations in 2013. But as today’s government targets pivot, charging companies are under greater scrutiny to ensure infrastructure keeps pace — not least when it comes to the commercial EV chargers powering some of the UK’s most ambitious businesses. Terry Daniell, operations director and commercial EV sector specialist, explores how inviting a bolt-on legal partner from the outset can curb financial, operational, and environmental challenges.

Almost 6,000 new public EV chargers made their way onto British roadsides, forecourts, and car parks between January and April this year. That’s according to quarterly figures from Zapmap, published by the Department for Transport. Up 49% compared with the previous year, the total now sits at just under 60,000, representing the ongoing strides being made to meet commercial EV charging demand with supply. Yet, as a nation, there’s still a long way to go until our infrastructure is truly future-fit.

Challenges hampering commercial EV charging installation

Despite the growth of EV charging points, vehicle take-up is stalling. After years of soaring demand, the share of electric models in total car sales is just 15.5% in the UK. Looking solely at company vehicles, there’s a melting pot of reasons to blame for this change.

Economic headwinds

Against a tumultuous financial backdrop, commercial EV charger installation cost is a big topic right now. In addition to higher upfront purchase prices, as well as repair and insurance premiums exacerbated by supply chain issues, businesses are hesitant about the cost to get their fleets on the road in the first place. As with any investment, not least one with such weight, there’s concerns over the return provided by such installations too.


Vehicle, charging station, and charging connector differences have a significant impact on commercial EV adoption. Not only do vehicles need to be compatible with certain components of charging stations, they also need to manage roaming access to use the tools within the same partner network, and navigate complex payment processes — some require mobile app authentication, for example, and many don’t allow contactless cards. 

Managing and maintenance

Because EV technology is still in its infancy, it remains relatively segmented. It can therefore be more difficult to control, organise, and coordinate EV fleets — making data-driven decision making less of a possibility too. Plus, with some experts recommending an annual service, maintaining commercial EV charging solutions can become a costly concern for operators.

Unequal distribution

Often viewed as a structural change, commercial EV charger installation can pose challenges for renters — whether that’s an organisation renting office space, or employees looking for somewhere to charge their vehicle at night.  From electricity capacity to land access, numerous challenges plague roll-outs in multi-dwelling and multi-business units (MDUs and MBUs) too. So, as affluent neighbourhoods prioritise investments, marginalised communities face limited access. This is a significant concern, given the disparities we’re still seeing in the fibre roll-out too,

Regulatory challenges

Mandates for new builds to include charging stations, alongside local authorities pushing for curbside installations to align with green agendas, and pressures on public retail spaces to support ubiquitous access, represent some of the sector’s complex regulatory pressures. And in this nascent market, compliance has become a significant headache. Commercial EV charging stations must, for example, meet select technical specifications to unlock funding, making equitable and efficient deployment a challenge.

Grid capabilities

With higher numbers of vehicles utilising commercial EV charging points, host organisations also bear a responsibility to help balance the power grid. The focus on sustainable and clean energy underpinning the EV transition can’t regress simply because the energy supply can’t meet charging demand. For infrastructure, that means leveraging renewable energy to help reduce reliance on fossil fuels, for example.

Death of the depot

Gone are the days where fleets retired for the day at a central depot. Much of the time, workers park their company vehicles at home. The transition to EV therefore naturally summons questions surrounding the feasibility of charging, without compromising the flexibility and convenience teams are now accustomed to.

Range and charge anxiety 

Whether it’s concerns over the vehicle’s battery life or availability of adequate (and compatible) charging infrastructure, anxiety continues to plague EV fleet owners. What if an employee’s schedule is skewed because there isn’t sufficient energy to keep the wheels turning? And what impact will that have on the business’ bottom line?

How a bolt-on legal partner can streamline roll-outs

Accelerating EV adoption is non-negotiable — not least with 100% of new vehicles required to be emission-free by 2035. But with a vast number of concerns plaguing the commercial EV sector, there’s work to be done to lay the ‘peace of mind’ groundwork first. That’s where a seasoned legal expert comes in.

Securing timely wayleave agreements is key for commercial EV charging installation. With these permissions in place, installers and host organisations can ensure infrastructure is deployed legally, swiftly, and accurately. Without them, EV projects on private land simply can’t take place. And if they’re overlooked, this can see costs quickly spiral too — ranging from £750 to £2,500 in surveyor rates, and between £1,500 and £3,000 per wayleave in traditional law firms’ fees. Luckily, that’s not us.

By integrating into the sales process, we can manage the initial investigation phase — in terms of landowners and suitability of the site — and oversee the negotiation of the deal, and associated paperwork, from start to finish. That way, you can focus on the strategic delivery of the project, and boost your reputation for providing the best commercial EV chargers in the UK.


There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to deploying commercial EV charge points. That’s why we’d much prefer to talk about your unique needs in person. Get in touch today, to arrange a no-obligations consultation with our experts.

Hear from our experts

Read more latest news, insights and views from Trenches Law