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Home-working EV drivers to require ‘watertight’ risk management

The rise of electric vehicles and the impact of the coronavirus crisis is creating a new breed of “home-working, home-charging” employees who will require careful management going forwards.

FleetCheck says the “home-working, home-charging” employee could become the typical fleet car driver going forward

The new type of fleet user is already starting to appear in small numbers and, according to FleetCheck, could become the typical fleet car driver going forwards.

And managing director Peter Golding said this new emerging employee has some “idiosyncrasies” that create a number of issues for fleets.

While such drivers would have likely previously been on the road in a diesel company car covering some 20,000 miles a year, their mileage could now halve, due to video conferencing and their vehicle choice shift to EVs, due to the current 0% BiK rate.

And this brings about a raft of fleet considerations, topped by the need for “watertight” risk management policies.

Golding explained: “These are vehicles that will rarely be seen by fleet managers on the company car park and there need to be auditable processes in place to ensure that they are regularly inspected for safety and general condition. Of course, this should already by happening for all your fleet vehicles but there is an argument that these home-based EVs are particularly vulnerable.

“This is underlined by the fact that the service and maintenance characteristics of EVs will mean that many require expert technical attention less frequently than their petrol or diesel equivalents, so will potentially infrequently visit dealer or other workshops.”

Golding said that the second major area of concern surrounded fair reimbursement of expenses for charging vehicles from home, still very much a grey area.

“There is now, of course, an AFR rate of four pence per mile for EVs but we believe that fleets should be carrying out their own calculations to ensure that this amount is fair and  representative of what employees are paying. It is quite a blunt instrument.

“It is also arguable that employers should be helping home working, home charging drivers to ensure that they have some form of fast charger fitted at home in order to make most efficient use of their EV. Businesses may want to consider paying for these in part or full.

“There may also be an argument to ensure that drivers have access to journey planning tools to enable them to make the most of their EV’s range and access charging en route.”

Such issues will also affect the switch to electric company vans.

“These are only around in tiny numbers so far but the arrival of new models, almost as we speak, will see this change quite quickly. The issues are very much the same as for company car drivers. It’s all about ensuring compliance and treating people fairly,” Golding added.

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.