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The ‘next wave’ of company car drivers taking on electric vehicles will need “much more help” from their fleet managers than early adopters, according to mileage capture company TMC.

TMC said it has seen the number of EV drivers on its fuel cost management database more than double so far this year, compared to January-October 2018, adding that pure EVs are the fastest-growing segment – up 136% on 2018.

However, it said, take-up of PHEVs has largely plateaued since the government withdrew the plug-in grant from hybrids two years ago.

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”We seem to be seeing a different kind of driver taking an interest in switching to an electric vehicle. There was a first wave, who were environmentally-motivated or wanted to be early-adopters of the technology. They were happy to do all their own research into issues like range, home charging and mileage payments,” said Paul Hollick, MD of TMC.”The second wave are more pragmatic. They haven’t paid much attention to EVs so far, but now they’re hearing claims that, for example, the BIK tax and fuel on an EV may be as much as 95% cheaper than on a diesel after next April. They also see how EVs offer a financial win for the company too. They will look to the business for detailed information and advice on the pros and cons of EVs and PHEVs vs. petrol or diesel.”

Hollick said a common sticking point with electric vehicles was uncertainty around fuel reimbursement, particularly with plug-in hybrids, and that TMC had produced an updated and expanded version of its guide to EV reimbursement rates.

”It covers all the options, from applying the HMRC Advisory Fuel Rates to reimbursing fuel and electricity at actual cost calculated from mileage capture and fuel purchase data, which is particularly relevant to PHEVs. There is also advice on reimbursing mixed fuel and electricity costs so that employees with fuel cards don’t incur any liability for benefit in kind tax on private fuel.”