– NewMotion’s solution is similar. It’s a card for accessing workplace and public chargepoints but also logs energy used at home and reimburses drivers in their pay package. However, drivers would need a separate account for private journeys.
– Mina and EQUANS (part of utility company Engie) are avoiding any up-front costs for drivers, by paying for home and public charge sessions then invoicing the employer for the energy used. Drivers can classify journeys as private within the same account, which Mina says creates enough of a paper trail to satisfy HMRC.
What can you claim for charging in public?
Chargepoint operators are businesses, so they aren’t shielded by Ofgem’s home energy price caps and are facing much higher operating costs than they were a year ago.
Most networks have grudgingly passed this on to drivers, which means the cost of charging in public has increased dramatically over the last year. For example, Osprey’s is now charging drivers £1/kWh to use its rapid chargepoints, which is equivalent to 26p per mile for a Kia Niro EV. That’s a similar fuel cost to 30mpg petrol car.
HMRC allows employers to adjust the AER if they can prove it’s leaving drivers out of pocket, but any excess is open to being taxed as additional income.
Suppliers have recognised that this is an issue. Several fuel card companies already let drivers pay for charging sessions and automatically invoice the costs back to their employer, just like a tank of petrol or diesel. Most charging providers will also provide VAT receipts or monthly statements showing how much you’ve spent, and some will automatically reimburse drivers as part of their wages. This can help take the hassle out of making a claim.
How about charging at work?
A unique perk of electric and plug-in hybrid cars is the potential to get free ‘fuel’ from your employer without being taxed on it. If your workplace has its own charge points, then HMRC doesn’t tax the electricity provided as a benefit in kind – even if it’s for private use and you’re a passenger in the car. Your employer might, however, charge you a small fee to cover their (usually very low) costs.