Tamworth-based, car benefits and fleet management specialist, Fleet Evolution, is offering a free workplace charge point to new customers to help increase uptake of ultra low emission vehicles (ULEVs), including pure electric cars and hybrids.

Fleet Evolution, which last November was awarded Go Ultra Low company status for its commitment to boost uptake of plug-in vehicles over the coming years, will cover the cost of installation of a fast rate charge point and its ongoing provision.

The offer is an extension of the company’s commitment to increasing uptake of low emission vehicles by providing free home charge points for all customers’ employees who have taken a ULEV through a Fleet Evolution salary sacrifice car scheme in the last 12 months.

Andrew Leech, Managing Director of Fleet Evolution, explained the thinking behind the new initiative. “Salary sacrifice changes last year left a majority cars largely unchanged, although we have also seen significant government focus on ULEVs which are exempt from the changes.

“This type of vehicle will represent phenomenal value on schemes such as ours as the years go by, and manufacturers are now launching innovative, low emission products which totally reset expectations.

“As a consequence, we are seeing an increase in the number of ULEVs, including EVs and hybrids, on our salary sacrifice car fleet. But, as a Go Ultra Low company, we wanted to encourage even broader uptake of this type of vehicle.

“One of the barriers to increasing uptake is the issue of recharging while the vehicle is at the workplace, and we thought an obvious answer was to encourage the wider installation of workplace charge points.“

Fleet Evolution will be looking to provide fast rate charge points which operate at around 22kw per hour.  After rapid chargers, fast chargers are the quickest way to charge an EV and are often found in car parks, supermarkets, or shopping centres.

All fast charge points are AC (Alternating Current) and are typically rated at either 7kW or 22 kW. Charging times vary on unit speed and the vehicle, but a 7kW charger will recharge a compatible EV in 3-5 hours, while a 22kW charger of the type being provided by Fleet Evolution takes around 1-2 hours.

Leech explained that the new scheme would not require employees to arrive as early as possible in the corporate car park to claim usage of the charge point or for recharging to take place in unsocial hours.

“We have the facility with the new fast charging point to offer an app that employees can use on their mobile phones to see which of their colleagues are entitled to use the charge point and where in the queue they are. That way, recharging can take place in an orderly fashion, without arguments and doesn’t require the need for recharging at unsocial hours.”

The charging point will, however, require an external wall of the company office for installation purposes and the company electricity system needs to have sufficient capacity and be of sufficient speed for fast recharging to take place.

“Other than that there are no other provisos around the installation of the charge point. We won’t be digging up the company car park, for example, so the office wall is the obvious place,” added Leech.

While other salary sacrifice providers shy away from SMEs, preferring to focus on larger corporate customers, Fleet Evolution actively targets small to medium sized businesses. Its smallest customer has just 17 employees while its largest has more than 2,500. In between are a number of companies that typically have 80-400 employees.

For many SMEs and medium sized corporates, the key features of the Fleet Evolution salary sacrifice solution, which include all servicing and repair, road fund licence, fully comprehensive insurance, corporate discounts and no deposit,  make it an attractive, cost and time effective way to access a new car.

“We are seeing continued levels of interest from SMEs and medium-sized corporates at the rate of around six new schemes per month, with growing numbers of ULEVs appearing on the fleet,” added Andrew Leech.

“Car salary sacrifice schemes remain an extremely valuable benefit to employees due to their convenience, ease of use, absence of credit checks or upfront payments and value for money. They also genuinely promote the uptake of less polluting, more environmentally-friendly cars including, as we are seeing, increasing numbers of ULEVs,” he said.

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