Companies used to give their employees a fuel card. Done.
But reimbursing electric cars is a bit more complicated, so how will they reimburse home charging or allow charging at a wide range of charging stations? Should they invest in hardware or go for a more flexible solution? We’ll break it down for you. Contrary to gasoline based company cars, EV's are charged in multiple places. Typically, EV drivers charge in 3 places: in public, at work and at home.
The easiest one is charging on the road. More and more charging stations are popping up in every country.
Charging stations are widely available and most are grouped in networks of CPO’s or charge point operators. Allego has 28.000 stations in its European network. Tesla’s supercharger network counts over 16.000 stations. Other well known names are Fastned, Ionity and Shell Recharge.
The good thing is that most of these networks are cross-compatible with a thing called ‘roaming’. When you use a charge pass from brand A, it is often possible to charge your EV at a station from brand B if it supports roaming. It is comparable to a payment card: regardless of your bank, you can use your debit card at most ATMs.
A concrete example: although TotalEnergies has its own charging stations, you can also use their Fleet Charge Pass to charge at Allego or Ionity chargers. The Shell Recharge charge pass can be used at 200.000 stations in Europe! There are even charge pass providers that don’t have their own charging stations, such as ANWB, Plugsurfing or Travelcard. Or use your charging pass to charge at Ikea.
Once you order and activate a charging pass or RFID tag with a certain provider, you can scan this next to compatible charging stations to start charging in public. Most charging pass providers have mobile applications that show you the locations of compatible charging stations and the applicable charging rates. Not all mobile apps have a solid user experience though. Be sure to do your research and beware of the different fees and costs that could pop up.
Sidenote: fast chargers seem appealing (you charge lots of energy in no time), but they are often costly and bad for the battery of your car!
The benefit of these charging cards is that you can get a single invoice for all your charging sessions, either as an individual or for your company fleet. This allows for easy accounting. The drawbacks are that the individual session fees can get very complex, public charging is often more expensive and you are often pushed into using the company’s other charging solutions for home/work charging.
The most straightforward solution is installing charging stations at work, so there is an increasing number of companies that offer charging stations. You can get them in all colors and sizes, from low-cost to super high-end. You can purchase them or enter a lease contract. Sometimes installation and maintenance is offered by the charging station provider, sometimes this is via a certified electrician or company.
Some providers you might have heard of: Alfen, New Current, ABB, Easee, Wallbox, Smappee, EV-box, Mennekes, Sirox, Ratio, Sans EVReel, EVHub, EO, Newmotion, Schneider, Blue Corner, Zappi, Webasto, Powerdale, CTEK, Bosch, Basil. Alternatively, car manufacturers often have charging stations for home/work in their product portfolio. Tesla, Volkswagen or Mercedes, they all have charging stations that do the job!
But… not everyone CAN place charging infrastructure at work. For instance when you are renting an office, have no parking, you are located at a shared office campus or if it’s simply not included in car policy to charge at work.
Most companies however offer charging at work. It is a good option for people who can’t charge at home, like people who live in an apartment or in the city, without relying too much on public charging
When companies start building their EV fleet, they also need to consider if and how they want to allow employees to charge their EV at work. Some companies have charging stations installed at work, some make use of existing infrastructure (e.g. from an office campus) and some just don’t offer charging at work.
As a result of this incredible amount of choice, this might be scary at first. However it also opens the possibility to find a charging station that suits your specific needs.
Not every company needs a super expensive smart charger, in most cases a basic charger is just fine! Also, you need to consider compatibility… Many providers also offer a ‘smart platform’ that allows you to manage your charging stations. However, this often means you can not add charging stations from a different provider to your existing portfolio.
Often, these charging stations also work with charging passes, similar to what is used for public charging. This again allows for a single invoice that lists all your charging costs for work charging. By opening up your charging stations to the public, you could also make some money back. In reality this doesn’t happen that often though… Beware that to make use of these extra features (such as charge planning, opening up to public charging, monitoring), a subscription to a platform is often required.
The ability to charge at home is much requested by most employees with an EV, home charging solutions are a rapidly developing space.
It’s not always possible for employees to charge at home. Think about renters, people in apartments, people without driveway etc. Also, employees might already have existing charging infrastructure from a former employer, from a partner or from a private investment.
If an employee seeds it and is able to install it, there are lots of options.
Let’s run through them:
For example: Shell recharge, formerly known as Newmotion
So how to reimburse drivers for their electricity?
Some work with ‘forfait’ for electricity usage, but that is not accurate and thus not recommended.
One known option is to install smart chargers that automatically register your home charging and send this data to a cloud platform that manages reimbursement to the employee with a single invoice to the company.
The EEVEE Business platform gets the data directly from the car. We also send a single invoice and reimburse the employees directly. The benefits are:
EEVEE Business is hardware-free, which has a lot of benefits: it’s a lot less expensive and allows for a lot more flexibility.
There is no all-in-1 solution on the market to cover home charging, without accepting a very high cost. A smart charging station costs around €2000.
EEVEE Business believes that the adaptation to a full EV fleet should be a lot more convenient and cost effective. We hope you share our belief.