Fleet managers are set to benefit from a new tool to prevent electric vehicle (EV) charging fraud.
The issue of charge fraud is starting to come to the fore as the number of EVs in the U.K. starts to proliferate. August’s registrations showed EVs taking nearly 14% U.K. market share (source SMMT), with the total number of EVs on the U.K.’s roads has reached 530,000 (source: Zap-Map).
With so many EVs now on the road, businesses are concerned that this could lead to EV charging fraud. This is where vehicles other than company cars or vans are being charged. The costs are then passed on to employers, resulting in bills potentially costing substantial amounts per employee.
To counter such fraud potential, a new partnership has been announced between EV payment platform Mina and Lightfoot, a telematics and driver coaching platform. Mina already provides a solution which accurately pays the cost of driver home charging directly to the employee’s energy suppliers. But following the partnership with Lightfoot, fleet managers can be certain that charging sessions for business vehicles are automatically validated, ensuring that only charging for business mileage is paid for.
Ashley Tate, CEO of Mina, commented: “It’s important to provide a solution that not only reassures businesses they’re only paying for genuine business miles, but that protects the driver.
“Charging fleet vehicles at home is not only the most convenient method for drivers, it’s also the most cost-effective form of charging for businesses at almost half the price of public charging points. But by doing so businesses are putting their drivers at risk of energy debt. Mina ensures that every kWh of charging is paid directly to the energy supplier, removing the cashflow burden from the driver.
“Our partnership with Lightfoot guarantees that businesses are accurately paying for business miles when drivers are charging at home or at public charging points. This completely eradicates any speculation around charging fraud.”
Paul Hollick, managing director of Lightfoot, added: “For most fleets, charging infrastructure is a challenge. Home charging seems to be the most cost and time-efficient approach, but there are issues, particularly when it comes to reimbursement. How do you know which vehicle the energy went into? Was it the work vehicle, a personal vehicle, or even a friend’s car?
“There’s also another concern, where drivers reimbursed by their employers spend that money before paying their energy bills, leaving them with a financial headache.”
Hollick said that the joint solution with Mina - where energy suppliers are paid direct - combined with Lightfoot’s telematics data that registers the precise charge state of the battery before and after charging, the time of charging and therefore the kW/h rate, and where the energy was delivered, means fleets can be secure in the knowledge that they only pay for the exact amount of energy supplied to the driver’s EV.
“For fleets, and their drivers, it’s a complete EV game changer,” he added.