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Call for standardised fuel card payments for EV charging

Date: 29 April 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

Fuel cards should not be phased out as fleets move from petrol and diesel power to electric, according to a new report.

In Charged Up: Future Fleet from research company Cornwall Insight, concern is raised that there is not currently a fuel card provider offering a service that allows electric vehicles (EVs) to be charged across all available charging networks. 

The report says that provision for a standard payment method needs to be made now. 

Cornwall Insight analyst Tom Lusher said: "The issue of lack of standard payment methods for EV charging was recognised in the Electric Vehicle (Standardised Recharging) Bill and without a universal payment method for EVs, this will quickly become an administrative headache for fleet managers. 

"Especially, those with a broad geographical range, who will end up having to manage multiple different memberships and fees to operate as they do today.

"The most obvious way for fleets to pay at charge points would be to use the same fuel card system they have now. Not only will fleet managers already know how to use the system, but the familiarity will allow fleets to transition to EVs far more quickly." 

According to Lusher, the government needs to act to support fuel card providers in expanding their services to cover all charging points across the country. 

He said: "This provision would ensure that fuel cards, as well as all other types of credit/debit card, can pay at a charge point without the need for a subscription or an app associated with any charge point network in the country. 

"Some limitations are preventing widespread, easy adoption. Fuel card providers may be unable to offer such a service due to the multiple charge point operators, each with unique subscription services and their cards.  

"However, schemes such as Plug-in Suffolk - although localised - show that a fully open charging network could work."