Centrica creates virtual fuel card for EV fleet charging

Centrica has launched a new fleet charging management system for drivers charging their commercial vehicles while working remotely.

The new app acts as a virtual fuel card and makes it possible to plug-in to any standard charger, whether at home, the workplace or the road. The driver will then be automatically reimbursed for the charging costs.

The technology also features payroll integration for automatic reimbursement – and fleet managers receive monthly statements of all charging transactions. It also identifies and excludes private vehicle charging on the same charging point.

Working with any standard charger, the app is equipped with tariff optimisation, enabling fleet drivers to optimally charge when the electricity rates are low. 

For fleet owners, the ability to access cheap overnight energy tariffs can be transformative to the business case for switching to EV, Centrica said. For example, charging a van running 11,000 miles a year using street charging would cost in the region of £2,000 a year. This reduces to around £800 when charging at home during peak hours, and under £300 if charging at night using a variable tariff.

Research by Centrica Business Solutions shows that investment in electric vehicles (EVs) by UK businesses is set to increase by almost 50% over the next two years, exceeding £12 billion.

Speaking about the solution, John Hartley, director of product management at Centrica Business Solutions, said: “Many organisations that have a home-based workforce are looking to transition to EV. On street charging can be prohibitively expensive, so we are providing the technology that will allow more drivers to charge at home, which has previously been very difficult to administer.

“But, many commercial vehicle drivers won’t have access to offstreet parking so it’s important that we break down some of the barriers to access for public charging networks too, making it easier for drivers to charge at home, at the workplace, or on the road.”

Head of fleet for British Gas, Steve Winter, said: “We have begun taking delivery of the first of 3,000 new Vauxhall Vivaro-e vans, which will form the largest electrified van fleet in the UK. To ensure our colleagues are able to charge cost effectively, we’ve begun to roll out home charging points to our fleet EV drivers. This virtual fuel card solution means it’s not just cheaper than petrol and diesel vehicles in terms of fuel costs, it is also easier to administer.”

  • Image courtesy of British Gas

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