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Electric vehicles

  • Q.  How does a vehicle lease work? 

    A. Leasing is a cost-effective way of driving a new vehicle. Under a lease agreement you pay a fixed amount per month in return for exclusive, long-term use of an electric vehicle. Leases available through ReFLEX Orkney are either personal contract hire (PCH) for individuals or business contract hire (BCH) for a company.

  • Q. Is there a limit to the number of miles I can drive under the lease? 

    A. You can decide the annual mileage before entering into the lease agreement, typically 5,000, 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000 miles. The higher the annual mileage the higher the monthly lease rate will be. If you don’t use these miles by the end of the lease you will not get any refund, and if you exceed the mileage there will be a pence-per-mile payment to make. This depends on the individual vehicle and will be included in the lease agreement so you know how much this is from the outset.

  • Q. If I have an electric vehicle but no charger can I plug the car into a standard wall socket? 

    A. A 3-pin plug can be used but we do not advise this. It will also take longer to charge your vehicle than an EV charger. EV chargers for your home or business are available through ReFLEX Orkney, and there are also locations around Orkney where public chargers are available.

  • Q. Can I buy the vehicle at the end of the lease period? 

    A. There is no formal option to buy the vehicle at the end of the agreement. However, at the discretion of the finance provider, you may be able to request a “driver price to purchase” at the end of your contract. This price is non-negotiable and set by the finance provider.

  • Q. How long do I have to decide if I want to go ahead with this offer? 

    A. Individual lease quotes from DriveElectric are valid for 14 days. Our current discounts will be available for a limited time and grant allocation will decrease over time due to how the grant funding for ReFLEX works.

    This is because the discounted leases ReFLEX Orkney offers are supported by the Innovate UK grant, which is finite and covers spending on the wider integrated energy system. Therefore, offers will be time limited as shown on the website. We will try our best to extend offers as much as possible to meet demand but this will need to be within the rules of the Innovate UK grant.

  • Q. I’m worried about running out of charge. 

    A. The range on electric vehicles is improving all the time, with more and more vehicles achieving more than 200 miles per charge. The charging infrastructure in Orkney and the UK is improving all the time too. There are more than 25 public charging points around Orkney with more to be installed soon.

    Our team can provide you with a map of charge points and help you set up a mobile app to see where and when chargers are available.

    If you lease an electric vehicle suitable for your needs in Orkney but are worried about longer-range journeys to the mainland, you will be able to use one of the alternative vehicles ReFLEX Orkney has available too.

  • Q. Why aren’t the ReFLEX Orkney discounted lease rates shown on this website? 

    A. The lease rates are exclusive to the ReFLEX Orkney project and they are therefore only available to ReFLEX Orkney members. There are also financial regulations that we need to follow on the advertising of lease rates and financial products.

  • Q. Can I pick and choose which of the benefits listed I would like? 

    A. No, the lease offering is fixed and designed to meet the requirements of the Innovate UK grant to develop and demonstrate a smart local energy system.

Electric vehicle chargers

  • Q. What is the approximate cost after grants for a smart EV charger?  

    A. For the majority of installs the final cost to the customer (after the grants have been incorporated) is less that £650. However, it is important to note that every install is different and some quotes come in significantly higher due to a range of reasons. For more detail on the key drivers for increased install costs please keep reading:

    • Location of charger: if the charger needs to be installed far away from the distribution board more cabling and installer time is required and this results in greater material and labour costs. This can include post mounted installs at a driveway / parking space not directly next to a wall.
    • Cable runs: if cabling needs to run through multiple walls and in particular where walls are of solid construction this can have significant impacts on labour costs due to the time required to make the alternations.
    • Spare ways: where spare ways are not available in the distribution board, installers could be required to add an additional distribution board in order to wire in the new charger with implications on material costs and some additional labour time.
    • Available power supply for myenergi hub: the hub requires a separate power supply and if it cannot easily be located near an existing supply, the installer may need to run a new supply to the hub, again with implications on labour costs.
    • Connectivity: where the hub is installed far away from the home broadband router a wifi booster may also need to be installed to ensure the charger is internet connected, increasing material costs.
    • Groundwork: where work is required externally to dig and bury cables.
  • Q. Is the myenergi  zappi charger suitable if I have microgeneration? 

    A. Yes. We would also consider installing a harvi (energy harvesting device), which would help ensure you are maximizing the use of the energy you generate.   

  • Q. How long does the installation process take?  

    A. The installation will take around half a day. Before that we’ll send someone to carry out a technical assessment, which may take an hour. Some installations we would hope to complete within 8 weeks of the first customer engagement, but some may take in excess of 12 weeks if a grid connection application or planning application is needed.  

  • Q. How does my smart EV charger help support the local grid?  

    A. If you have a flat-rate electricity supply tariff and a smart EV charger, the ReFLEX integrated energy system platform may instruct your EV charger to change the rate of charge in order to reduce constraints on the local electricity network. You can always use the ‘Boost’ setting on the myenergi app to manually override this function.

  • Q. What is deemed a ‘standard install’?

    A. The following guidelines represent what we would expect within a ’standard install’

    • An available ‘spare way’ in the consumer unit / no alterations required at consumer unit

    • Up to 10m cable run

    • No stone walls to penetrate (block is standard)

    • Clear access to cable routes (no flooring to lift etc.)

    • Charger can be directly fixed to building structure (no additional posts required)

  • Q. What if I do not have off street parking?

    A. Unfortunately, at present, the OZEV and EST grant schemes and the ReFLEX EV charging offer is only available to those who have off street parking. If you do not, details on the location and type of public EV chargers available in Orkney can be found in the map tab of our website. If you do not have an EV or off-street parking we would also encourage you to take a look at our car club offering.  

  • Q. Are B&Bs and self catering businesses eligible for EV charger grant funding?

    A. The eligibility of these types of businesses are changing and after March '22, B&Bs and self catering business will become eligible to claim £350 / chargepoint to install for customer / visitor use. For more details on grant eligibility, get in touch.

Car club

  • Q. Do you have to be a ReFLEX Orkney member to join the Car Club? 

    A. You have to become a member of Co-wheels, but you don’t have be a member of ReFLEX Orkney.

  • Q. Can I take an Orkney car off-island if I book it for a few days?  

    A. Yes, you will just need to ensure you’ve booked it for long enough to get it back to Orkney. There are over 60 Co-wheels car club locations across the UK, so travelling by alternative means and then booking a car at your destination is also an option.

  • Q. What happens if the car breaks down?  

    A. Call Co-wheels Member Service Team on 0191 375 1050 or the cars are fitted with a contact button so you can speak to the member service team directly. If this happens out-of-hours then call the 24hr Emergency Helpline: 0191 375 1051. These numbers are found in the Member Manual in the glovebox of each car.   You can also use the Co-wheels mobile app to contact Co-wheels.

  • Q. What happens to me if I’m involved in an accident while using a Co-wheels vehicle? 

    A. If you are involved in an accident, prioritise the safety of yourself and others first. Then, as soon as you’re able, give Co-wheels a call so that they can make sure you get home safely if the vehicle is not roadworthy. If you are deemed to have been at fault for the accident, you will have to pay an excess fee of £600 excess. You can pay more monthly to reduce this down to £100 excess.  

  • Q. What happens if I’ve booked the car, but the car isn’t in its designated spot?  

    A. Check nearby, especially in Stromness, as the last user may not have been able to park it in the designated space. Call Co-wheels’ Member Service Team on 0191 375 1050 and they will help locate the vehicle or sort alternative transport for you.  If this happens out-of-hours, call the 24-hour Emergency Helpline: 0191 375 1051.  You can also use the Co-wheels mobile app to contact Co-wheels.

  • Q. If I am running late, what are the penalties? 

    A. You need to let Co-wheels know and extend your booking if possible. There are a few ways to do this. Either use the unit next to the rear-view mirror to extend the booking, use the Co-wheels mobile app, or call Co-wheels' Member Service Team. If this results in another car club member being inconvenienced, you’ll be charged a £25 fine.

Tariff

  • Q. Why has ReFLEX Orkney been working with Shell Energy as project electricity supplier given the company history in oil and gas? 

    A. An important part of tackling the climate crisis is for all businesses to change the way they work and become part of the solution, that includes the world's biggest energy companies. Shell Energy's 100% renewable tariffs and their involvement in ReFLEX has been part of the company’s transition. ReFLEX intends to create a smart local energy system that can be replicated and in doing so convince more large energy companies to transition to a low carbon future.

    As of August 27 2021 Shell Energy are conluding their active role in the project, and only supporting existing customers. Shell Energy’s departure means we are now exploring alternative options and we are currently seeking expressions of interest from other energy suppliers. See further detail in the reply to the next question.

  • Q. Why is Shell Energy ending its active role in ReFLEX Orkney and what does that mean for customers?

    A. As of August 2021 the ReFLEX Orkney Tariff is no longer be open to new customers. Shell Energy, who has been the supplier for the ReFLEX Orkney 100% renewable electricity tariff since it launched, has decided end their active role in the project and stop taking any new customers for this tariff. However, they will continue to support those who have already signed up to the tariff by 27 August 2021.

    If you are already signed up to the ReFLEX Orkney tariff: Existing customers will not be affected by this change.

    • Your one-year fixed rate tariff will continue as per your energy supply contract with Shell Energy.
    • Smart meter installation will still go ahead and is expected to begin next week. If you are an existing customer, you should be contacted soon about your smart meter installation.
    • If you decide to leave Shell Energy before the end of your fixed-rate contract, they have agreed to waive the £30 ‘early exit’ fee for ReFLEX Orkney customers.
    • If you do nothing at the end of the tariff period, you will be automatically switched over to the Shell Energy standard variable rate.

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