DEMAND for parking spaces with chargepoints at business premises is expected to increase as company car tax changes incentivise electric vehicle adoption.
Companies should look to install charging infrastructure and implement policies to manage demands and prevent conflicts.
From 6th April 2020, company car tax on EVs will drop to 0%, making them more affordable for employees.
The savings this brings will be almost like a pay rise for those already driving an electric company car, while the potential benefits will see many make the switch away from petrol and diesel engines.
Organisations who offer company cars for their employees will have to manage the likely impacts of the Benefit in Kind changes on a practical level and they should start to prepare for them.
Research from DriveElectric shows that eight out of ten business employees who currently opt-out of a company car scheme are ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to move back to an electric company car.
More EVs will need more chargepoints, especially at destinations outside of the motorway network, and increase the demand of chargepoint spaces at places of work.
Before making the shift to electric cars, drivers will need to understand the technical specifications, notably battery ranges, to ensure their driving requirements are met, and notify employers of any intention to switch.
As well as managing the availability of chargepoint spaces at the office, policies should also be considered for who gets priority, the cost of charging and expensing home charging, and the impact this might have on the business.
Rob Anderson, Senior Fleet Specialist at Cenex, said: “Anything that encourages the uptake of EVs is to be applauded. This change has long been needed as the previous Benefit in Kind tax regime didn’t benefit low emission vehicle users.
“Now there’s a huge amount to gain and more company car drivers are likely to make the switch, if not for the environment but for the cash in their pocket.
“These tax changes will incentivise electric cars, helping the UK and organisations become more sustainable and achieve their net zero targets, but you’ve got to plan ahead to ensure a smooth transition for everyone.
“If companies start to see that shift, from current petrol and diesel company car users into electric vehicles, they’ll have to investigate the possibility of installing more chargepoints at work.
“In addition, if employees shift from cash for car allowances, or are new to the company car scheme, and select an electric car because of that tax benefit, then you have even more demand.
“Companies need to assess if they have the space to install new chargepoints – be it standard or rapid – and then implement policies to manage those spaces.
“The last thing you want is for drivers to hog a chargepoint once they have sufficient power, therefore blocking those who require a full charge.”
Four steps to manage the uptake in electric vehicles at your company
- Make staff aware of tax changes and the benefits
- Identify who is likely to switch and their journey demands
- Install required chargepoints
- Develop company policies for charging
Zenith, the UK’s largest independent fleet company, has seen orders of EVs leap 300% in salary sacrifice fleets and 250% in its company car fleets over the past six months, as drivers and fleet managers transition to electric.
To support the growth Zenith has launched a new section on its website designed to provide users with a range of information from tax guides to charging and vehicle type explanations.
Tim Buchan, chief executive of Zenith, said: “It is clear that both fleets and drivers are increasingly becoming comfortable with the idea of an electric vehicle but understandably have a lot of unanswered questions.
“We have launched our online initiatives to help people make informed choices around everything from vehicle taxation to understanding the complex world of charging.”
Zenith has 140,000 vehicles under management, from bikes and cars to vans, trailers and trucks, and everything in between.
The business is driving change and pushing the EV agenda both within the business and externally, working closely with industry bodies to lobby government, supporting the industry and promoting the vital role of the company car to our economy and the adoption of the green agenda.