Elm EV is one of the few designated businesses in the UK approved to fit the points, which are designed to safely and efficiently power up electrical vehicles.
The Burnopfield business is now providing the service completely free of charge to eligible homes which have off road parking in the form of a garage or a drive.
Normally costing more than £1,100 to buy and install, the domestic charge points are being financed by the government as part of its nationwide drive to set up the infrastructure to support electric vehicles.
Elm EV director Anthony Piggott said, ‘This might seem like one of those ‘too good to be true’ offers but the government is footing the bill for eligible homes across the North East that want an electric vehicle charging point – whether you have an electric car or not.
‘The offer is available for a limited time. The government has pledged to provide grants until either the end of March 2015 or when the funding runs out. The amount of business we’re getting in suggests that the money will all be allocated before the deadline, so I’d urge anyone interested to get in touch sooner rather than later.’
Founder of the company and contracts manager Dan Martin, an electrician with 16 years’ experience in the trade, set up Elm Electrical as an environmentally friendly electrical business. Realising the huge potential of the electric vehicle market, he started Elm EV with Anthony Piggott from Consett, who used his savings to buy into the new company.
The government scheme covers the supply, installation and test of a 16a Rolec charging unit. Although electric vehicles can be plugged in and charged from a domestic electricity supply, the specialist charging points are more efficient. The equipment radically reduces the time it takes to charge up a car, and it is also much safer because the system shuts down automatically if there is a fault, protecting users against electric shocks.
Dan said, ‘Installing the equipment is a fast and efficient process. We first have to survey your property to check your electricity supply has the capacity for the extra charging, then installation takes between two and four hours. There is no contract and nothing for you to pay.’
Elm EV mounts the equipment on a wall, either inside a garage or on a wall facing a drive, and the charging point can be locked with a padlock or a pre-requested switch to protect it from unauthorised use. A meter is also installed so homes can monitor how much power the charger is using.
‘The beauty of this scheme is that you don’t have to have an electric car or even any plans to buy one to qualify for a grant, but adding a charging point to your property will also add value to your home,’ said Dan.
“The government basically wants to get as many homes as possible ready for the coming electric vehicle revolution. This is cutting edge technology which very soon will be as common place as filling your car with petrol.’
In addition to instating domestic charging equipment, Elm EV also provides the service in public places and business premises.
Elm EV, like the tree from which it takes its name, is growing its green ethos. The business is looking into supplying electrical vehicles in the future to tap into a market which grew by 27.5 per cent last year, as people saw both the economic and environmental benefits of buying an electric car, such as the Sunderland built Nissan Leaf.
Dan added, ‘The environmental agenda and sustainability are at the heart of what we do.
‘The government grant scheme means we’re able to both grow our own business and take the green message out to more and more homes across the North East.’