Electric briefs: Latest EV news from Fleet Evolution, Believe, Motor …

PHEVs perfect stepping-stone to going electric, says Fleet Evolution

Some 70% of drivers of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) transition to battery electric models (BEVs) for their next car, making them the perfect stepping-stone when offered via salary sacrifice, according to Fleet Evolution.

Andrew Leech, managing director and founder of Tamworth-based salary sacrifice and fleet management specialist, says that round half of all Fleet Evolution clients now include PHEVs on their choice lists and the overwhelming majority have found that hybrids are the perfect mid-way house between petrol or diesel models and battery electric vehicles (BEV)s.

He said: “There are good reasons for this. PHEV drivers have become fully accustomed to the charging process and they don’t suffer range anxiety, having charged their vehicles many times in real life situations. So, they are undaunted by the next step up to a BEV.

“But, perhaps the most important reason for including PHEVs on choice lists is that they are an inclusive and viable option for those 40% of all drivers who do not have access to home charging, be that garage or drive.

“By including PHEVs, companies are providing more flexibility and are not risking alienating those of their employees who cannot charge at home and have to rely on public charging.”

The Kia Nero was currently one of the most popular hybrid choices on the Fleet Evolution fleet at £300 per month, along with the Kia Sportage and the Suzuki Across PHEV.

Leech continued: “We are convinced that BEVs are an extremely valuable benefit to employees and our research shows they are rated highly for their convenience, ease of use and value for money. But, by including PHEVs as well, employers are providing wider choice and not penalising those drivers who have no access to home charging.”

Believ announces 25% ‘Winter Warmer’ credit on overnight EV charging 

Pile of pound coins on top of £5, £10 and £20 notes

Charge point operator Believ is launching a 25% credit on overnight electric vehicle (EV) charging sessions across its entire network for Believ customers with a registered account for the next four weeks.

The Winter Warmer campaign, which runs from 11pm on Monday (January 8) until 5am on February 8, will provide Believ customers with a registered account with at least 25% credit back onto their account from every charge that begins between the hours of 11pm and 4.59am. 

At the end of the offer period, credit will be automatically applied to the Believ account holders and can be used for future charging sessions. Any credit must be used by the end of June 2024.

The ‘Winter Warmer’ campaign seeks to encourage EV drivers to take advantage of charging their vehicles in quieter ‘off-peak’ hours, avoiding those periods when charge points are in most demand. It is particularly aimed at those EV owners who do not have a driveway or off-street charging options available to them.  

Guy Bartlett, CEO of Believ, said: “We’re always keen to create innovative ways to thank our customers for their loyalty and welcome new customers with excellent offers so that they too can benefit from our second-to-none reliability that has become so synonymous with Believ.

“I encourage all drivers to take full advantage of the offer and experience the difference when charging off peak.” 

EZ-Charge calls for EV public charging VAT cut

Charge point operator EZ-Charge has called for Government to cut VAT on public electric vehicle (EV) charging to encourage more people to make the switch to electric.

Currently VAT is charged at 20% on public EV charging, four times the 5% for drivers who charge at home. 

Philip Shadbolt (pictured), founder and CEO of EZ-Charge has called for Government to remove VAT on public charging to improve affordability and drive a faster public transition to EVs.

He said: “Removing as many barriers to entry as possible is key to making it easier for people to switch.

“Parity in VAT between home and public charging would create a fairer landscape and help continue growth of the sector.”

EZ-Charge manages one of the UK’s largest regional public charging networks, Park & Charge Oxfordshire, with 250 chargers across 20 sites in the county.

Motor Fuel Group appoints Hartnell Taylor Cook to support charging rollout

Commercial property company Hartnell Taylor Cook has announced that is has been appointed by the Motor Fuel Group (MFG) to support their rollout of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure.

MFG has close to 900 stations across the country and is the UK’s largest independent forecourt operator. The move follows the company’s announcement that it plans to invest £400 million into its EV network by 2030.

Thomas Lewis (pictured), associate director at Hartnell Taylor Cook, said: “Geographically, these projects are nationwide, where HTC will excel using our skilled teams and country-wide reach.

“There are very few consultancies in the UK who can offer this service and expertise, and we look forward to supporting Motor Fuel Group's continuing growth in the coming years.”

GridBeyond and Monta team up to deliver new EV software solutions


Electric vehicle (EV) charging platform Monta and energy optimiser GridBeyond have partnered together to help to reduce stress on the electricity grid. 

Charging stations are often concentrated in specific areas, especially urban centres. This, they say, can lead to a situation where the local grid struggles to meet the increased demand, affecting not only the charging of EVs but also the overall stability of the electricity supply to homes and businesses.

Grid contribution becomes pivotal during times of imbalance – either an unforeseen dip in power generation or a surge in demand across the local distribution network or the wider power grid.

By working with GridBeyond, Monta’s managed EV chargers will be used as demand side assets in the Capacity Market and SFFR (Static Firm Frequency Response) programmes.

By pausing all ongoing charges, the electricity demand is also reduced matching the pattern set by the imbalance, stabilising the grid and earning revenues from participation of these flexible assets within market.

Monta customers opt into the service via Monta’s “PowerBank” product.

“EVs have a huge opportunity to serve as a flexible asset to the grid if charging is managed correctly,” said Monta regional director Alok Dubey.

“We’re excited to partner with GridBeyond to deliver this pioneering service in the UK and Ireland.”