Charging costs diluting EV fleet benefits

Employers need to provide charging guidance to employees taking delivery of their first electric company car.

According to FleetCheck, many employers leave drivers to their own devices when using public facilities.

Peter Golding, managing director, said: “With the rapid electrification of fleets now well underway, we are starting to see more public charger use by fleets, especially as EVs (electric vehicles) are now being adopted by some higher mileage drivers.

“In the vast majority of cases, the cost of public charging is reimbursed by the employer and it is noticeable through our software that some employees are understandably favouring faster, more convenient and therefore higher cost chargers. In extreme cases, some drivers are heavily using motorway facilities that are priced at levels that can cost multiples of the domestic electricity tariff typically used for overnight home charging.”

He said that practices like these could reduce the benefits of switching to electric.

He said: “In a nutshell, petrol and diesel cars have low lease rates but higher fuel costs, while an EV is the opposite. If drivers start regularly using high-cost charging outlets, then the financial argument for electrification comes under pressure.

“We are now advising fleets to adopt a formal, policy-based approach to charging in exactly the same way as for petrol or diesel. Our feeling is that fleets should support their deployment of EVs with structured training that includes guidance on which charging options to use and when.

“Also, EV charging is now available on fuel cards and there are subscription models are being offered by the major charging providers. Employers should certainly be investigating these options, we believe.”