Have you already bought your first electric or hybrid vehicle or vehicles for your business? Or are you interested in moving towards sustainability before the government’s generous tax incentives and subsidies come to an end?
One part of the planning is finding the easiest way to keep your employees’ electric vehicles (EVs), or your own, charged throughout the working day.
Here we review your current EV charge card options and the factors you should consider when making your choice.
Public EV charging networks are provided by multiple different companies. They each issue their own card for making payments, meaning it’s easy to end up carrying a sheaf of cards and holding numerous separate accounts.
Some providers are bundling networks together so you can use the same EV charge card to pay at multiple networks. These are the EV charge cards we advise you seek out for your drivers.
We expect great progress in this area over the next few years, as the number of charge points increases exponentially.
Many UK businesses are opting for plug-in hybrids rather than exclusively electric vehicles. This sensible choice means they can take advantage of great savings whilst also knowing their drivers will never be held up waiting to recharge.
To keep things simple when running hybrids, it makes sense to give drivers a single card that can pay for both charging and petrol or diesel.
The quantity of new charge points installed throughout the UK over the coming years will be staggering. Naturally you should be choosing a multi-network EV charge card that is likely stay ahead of the game, but how do you identify the best horse to back?
At iCompario we have looked at multi-network EV charge card providers and evaluated their track record with signing new deals and their financial backing.
Many public charge points are offered by electricity companies, which seems logical. The downside is that they lack good knowledge of the needs of business vehicles and drivers.
A key business requirement is a cloud-based account that gives details of the charging patterns and spending levels of more than one electric vehicle user, along with commercial style invoices. This needs to be consolidated into a single account to make it practical to monitor.
Another problem for working drivers can include driving to a charge point and finding it is occupied by someone else. Choose a provider which offers a reliable and user-friendly live map app, showing which charge points are free and which are in use.
We recommend looking at the EV charge card options from experienced fuel card providers, which already have business-oriented software and customer service teams trained to support motor fleets.
iCompario has reviewed a lot of the available EV charge cards and picked out our current favourite, the Fleetone REV card from UK Fuels’ new electric vehicle charging arm, Radius Electric Vehicles.
Why do we currently recommend this EV charge card above the others?
The Fleetone REV EV charge card is accepted at more than 3,500 charge points on multiple different charging networks including IONITY, Osprey, Franklin LiFe, Greenflux, Plug-n-Go, Alfa Power, Hubsta, Char.gy, EVBox and NewMotion, ESB, FastNed and the Shell network.
The company says another 2,000 charge points will be added soon and we expect to see this network continue growing very rapidly. The provider has an impressive track record of forming alliances with traditional energy companies to create multi-brand fuel cards for diesel and petrol so they have already proven their capabilities in this area.
Your drivers with plug-in hybrids can also use the Fleetone REV card to pay for petrol or diesel at numerous branded sites and also Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons and the Co-Op. The network includes more than 3,300 filling stations in Great Britain (all part of the UK Fuels network) plus 380 sites in Northern Ireland and 1,350 in the Republic of Ireland.
Apart from the convenience of carrying just one card, this also feeds through to your admin, as you can deal with one provider for everything.
Your drivers get a free app with this card, showing them where all the charge points are and – a real bonus – which ones are currently available.
They will certainly avoid wasting time driving to occupied charge points and waiting for them to free up.
You can see your itemised purchases all on the same screen, and easily filter them by location, type or driver to analyse your spending. This helps you manage company cash flow, as well as monitor what each electric vehicle is costing you to run.
You can customise these EV charge cards to increase security by choosing which fuel types your employees can buy with them, a maximum spend per day, a maximum spend in a single transaction and more. The cards are PIN protected too, making security as tight as any credit or debit card.
The provider has more than 30 years’ experience keeping business vehicles on the move with traditional fuel. They have a large customer service team, a solid track record processing thousands of secure payments every hour and tried-and-tested business invoicing software.
The pricing is transparent and no surcharges are added to electricity prices by the network of partners who supply the charge points for the Fleetone REV card.
You will pay a monthly subscription fee which is currently £3 per card, plus a modest flat rate fee each time the card is used. Please check with the company to confirm up-to-date amounts.
The amount you pay for the electricity consumed goes to the energy company that owns the charge point and is set by this provider.
If you are interested in this card, or comparing EV charge cards, or simply need some cards for traditional fuel at the moment, iCompario can help you compare everything available and pick out the best deal for your business.
Just give us a few basic details in a 30-second form, and we’ll take care of the rest.