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'Second wave' of EV drivers will need more advice, TMC says

Date: 28 October 2019   |   Author: Sean Keywood

The next wave of electric vehicle (EV) adopters will need more help from fleet departments than early adopters, according to fuel management company TMC.

The firm says it has seen the number of EV drivers on its database more than double so far this year.

TMC managing director Paul Hollick said that there seemed to be a different kind of driver now taking an interest in switching to EVs.

He said: "There was a first wave, who were environmentally-motivated or wanted to be early-adopters of the technology. They were happy to do all their own research into issues like range, home charging and mileage payments.

"The second wave are more pragmatic. They haven't paid much attention to EVs so far, but now they're hearing claims that, for example, the BIK tax and fuel on an EV may be as much as 95% cheaper than on a diesel after April.

"They also see how EVs offer a financial win for the company. They will look to the business for detailed information and advice on the pros and cons of EVs and plug-in hybrids versus petrol or diesel."

Hollick added that TMC had seen the rate of EV adoption by its clients increasing.

He said: "Two years ago, EV adopters typically put one or two EVs on their fleet over a 12 month period.

"Last year, the rate was often closer to one per quarter and now we see some fleets acquiring one or two additional EVs every month."

Hollick added that a common sticking point with electrified vehicles was uncertainty around fuel reimbursement, particularly with plug-in hybrids, and that TMC had therefore produced an updated and expanded version of its guide to EV reimbursement rates, available for free from its website.

He said: "It covers all the options, from applying the HMRC Advisory Fuel Rates to reimbursing fuel and electricity at actual cost calculated from mileage capture and fuel purchase data, which is particularly relevant to PHEVs.

"There is also advice on reimbursing mixed fuel and electricity costs so that employees with fuel cards don't incur any liability for benefit in kind tax on private fuel."