Allstar one electric charge card

Allstar One Electric Charge Card – now available

Our newest EV charge card has arrived! The Allstar One Electric Charge Card is now available, offering a charging and refuelling solution that can be used by both electric vehicles and combustion engines vehicles.

The transition to an electric fleet isn’t one that happens overnight, which is why the Allstar One Electric card makes the perfect choice for diverse fleets. Bringing together all the benefits of the Allstar One card and adding the ability to charge electric vehicles across a growing network, the Allstar One Electric is a versatile charge card solution.

Here at Fuel Card Services, we’re working to expand our electric charge card range and make more EV technology and charging infrastructure accessible to fleets of all sizes. With the transition to electric and hybrid vehicles playing a vital role in the reduction of emissions globally, we are striving to make it easy and affordable for you to make the switch to the right technology and equipment to stay competitive in the electric market.

Allstar One Electric locations

Put range anxiety behind you, with access to over 10,300 charging points across the UK at over 3,500 locations. The UK’s EV charging network is rapidly growing, and with the Allstar One Electric charge card you can access a multi-brand charging network that includes Allego, Alfa Power, GeniePoint, Source London, ESB Energy and more.

Get to know EV Charge Cards

If you are introducing more electric vehicles to your fleet, then now is the time to get familiar with EV charge cards. Working in the same way as traditional fuel cards but built for EVs, these cards offer access to a vast charging network and unlock prices and benefits that will help you make savings where it counts. Read our Introduction to Charge Cards blog to learn more about how a charge card could save you money and time.

If you think you could benefit from some expert support choosing a charge card that suits your fleet’s needs, get in touch today and the Fuel Card Services team will be on hand to help.

What Does Electrification Mean for Your Fleet?

What does electrification mean for your fleet?

Electrification is one of the biggest buzzwords for fleets as we move towards NetZero2050. Transport continues to contribute a huge amount of pollution, accounting for 24% of UK emissions in 2020 and standing as the largest emitting sector in the country. Fleet electrification is an essential step for operators who want to become accountable, decrease their carbon footprint, and maintain a good reputation for sustainability.

Fleets can look very different from business to business, and electrification can mean different things depending on what the specific vehicle architecture within your fleet looks like. That’s why this article will examine what fleet electrification is and how it can impact different businesses.

What is fleet electrification?

Electrification is about removing technologies that operate using fossil fuels and replacing them with tech that uses electricity instead. For fleets, this primarily means shifting from combustion engine vehicles to hybrid and electric vehicles and supporting the installation of the infrastructure necessary to support them.

What does fleet electrification look like for different fleets?

Fleets look different from business to business, and can have a range of different vehicle types that can make the process of electrification really varied.

Vans and LCVs

There are over 1.5 million vans registered to UK companies, of which only 0.3% in 2019 were ultra-low emission vehicles – making this vehicle category a prime subject for electrification. The variety of electric vans on the marketing is increasing, as is the support on offer to help facilitate the purchase of these vehicles.

The Plug-In Vehicle Grant includes a range of low emission and electric vans offered at discount prices to help increase the uptake of these more sustainable vehicles by last mile deliveries, professional services and other businesses with fleet vans. The discount is automatically added to eligible vehicles.

You can read more about electric last mile vehicles here.

HGVs and Buses

For heavier goods and passenger vehicles, electrification can seem like a significant challenge. With mileage one of the main concerns for those looking to switch to electric vehicles, HGV, bus, and coach drivers might be hesitant to put faith in electric alternatives due to the need for long distance mileage.

Despite this concern, the technology in electric vehicles is rapidly improving and we are seeing the mileage capability of larger EVs increase significantly with fully electric HGVs now capable of up to 110 miles on a single charge.

You can read more about electric HGVs here.

Cars

The most common type of vehicle on the roads, cars, are an essential in the personal and working lives of many, and if you drive a company car or manage a fleet of cars then electrifying your vehicle/s might be of interest to you. Electric cars have seen significant development in the last decade and the choice for these vehicles is vast, putting those looking to invest in electric fleet cars in a beneficial position.

For taxi businesses interested in expanding their fleets electric vehicles, the aforementioned Plug-In Vehicle Grant similarly offers discounts on taxis offering savings of up to £7,500. There are also approaches to the acquisition of electric cars you can take to help ease the cost and convenience including salary sacrifice schemes that encourage uptake with staff.

You can read our deep dive into the real cost of electric cars for UK fleets to learn more about what electrifying your company cars will look like financially at every step of the process.

Electrification for SMEs

While larger companies might be in a better economic position to make larger short-term investments into electric vehicles and the charging infrastructure to support them, SMEs might find the initial costs of electric vehicles and vehicles charge points off putting. However, there are still options for SMEs.

With an increasing uptake of electric vehicles both at home and by businesses as we move closer toward our collective NetZero goal, there are range of government support schemes in place to help with the cost of both electric fleet acquisition and the cost of implementing charging infrastructure.

Workplace Charging Scheme

Expanding your EV fleet is not just as simple as acquiring the vehicles, and in order to make electric fleet vehicles really work for your business it could be worth equipping your business’ premises with charge points so as not to rely solely on public charging.

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles offers the Workplace Charging Scheme to help support businesses with cost of installing electric vehicle charge points at work places, offering as much as £350 per socket and up to 40 sockets per business.

You can read more about the Workplace Charging Scheme including the requirements, eligibility terms, and details on how to apply here.

The Plug-In Vehicle Grant

We’ve mentioned the Plug-In Vehicle grant, which offers a discount on purchases on eligible new electric and hybrid or ‘plug-in’ vehicles. This is a discount that is applied automatically at the dealership, and can benefit businesses looking to invest in electric vans, motorcycles/mopeds, trucks and taxis. Unfortunately, the scheme no longer includes cars.

For those looking for ways to help fund the introduction of electric cars to a business fleet, read our article on salary sacrifice for electric cars.

Our growing EV solutions

With the acquisition of fleet vehicles, it pays to be set up with the right tools. From installing charging points to covering the costs of recharging on the road, Fuel Card Services can help. We have a growing range of electric vehicle charge cards to choose from and are expanding our range of electric services.

Get in touch today if you want to learn more about the electric vehicles services we’ll be offering or refer to our EV solutions for news, updates, and information.

Alternative Fuel Sources

Alternative fuel sources

The collective effort to move away from non-renewable fuel sources is of the highest importance as we look to cut emissions and tackle global warming. Alternative fuel sources are developing rapidly and increasing in availability.

In this blog we’ll take a look at seven alternative fuel sources and how they are produced.

Biodiesel

Made from a diverse range of naturally grown and recycled resources including waste cooking oil, tallow, vegetable oil and animal oils, Biodiesel is one of the most widely used alternative fuels. Produced to strict industry standards, approved biodiesel meets EN 14214 specification in the UK and can be used in a vast range of diesel engine vehicles.

How is biodiesel made?

The vegetable and animal fats used to make biodiesel are reacted with short-chain alcohols such as ethanol or methanol.

Is biodiesel a good choice for fleet vehicles?

Biodiesel offers an affordable fuel alternative with increasing availability and superior emissions reduction to a lot of other fuel alternatives. While other fuel alternatives reduce performance as a trade for more environmentally friendly operation, biodiesel retains high performance making it a great alternative for fleets.

Hydrogen

Hydrogen is another great alternative fuel source growing in popularity and availability. When used, the only by-product of hydrogen fuel is water, making it an attractive alternative to combustion fuels. An incredibly versatile biofuel, it can be used to power cars and houses, used in portable power supplies and for many more uses.

How is hydrogen fuel produced?

Hydrogen fuel is produced using a number of methods including natural gas reforming, electrolysis, biological processes and sun-driven processes. The first of these two are the most common methods used to produce hydrogen fuel.

Natural gas reforming produces hydrogen fuel by reacting steam with a hydrocarbon fuel (such as natural gas, renewable liquid fuels and more) to produce hydrogen. Currently, as much a 95% of all hydrogen is produced using natural gas reforming.

Electrolysis separates water into oxygen and hydrogen and is the second most common method of acquiring hydrogen for fuel purposes.

Renewable Natural Gas

Commonly known as biomethane, renewable natural gases are generated from organic materials, making them a valuable alternative to their non-renewable counterparts, fossil-derived natural gases. Livestock waste or landfill waste can be processed to create these natural gases, which is then purified to create a pipeline-quality vehicle fuel.

Because of its identical nature to fossil-derived natural gases, renewable natural gas makes a great fit as a replacement to the traditional fuel types we are familiar with, and it can even be transported using the same distribution system.

How is renewable natural gas produced?

The collection and processing of natural gases will vary depending on the source material. For example, to produce natural gases from livestock waste, a biogas recovery system is used which processes animal manure through anaerobic digestion to effectively produce methane. This is then purified to removed water vapor and other impurities such as carbon dioxide and hydrogen sulphide.

Propane

Propane is a clean, nontoxic alternative to traditional fuels. While it is commonly used currently for fuelling tasks such as cooking and heating, it also has widespread use as a fuel source for vehicles such as buses, farm engines, and small vehicles like forklifts. It also benefits from a growing availability and an affordable price.

How is renewable propane made?

This renewable alternative fuel is created by the treatment of materials such as agricultural waste and cooking oils/fats. They are then merged with hydrogen through hydrogenolysis. What this does is purify the fuel’s energy content making it safe for use in commercial vehicles and in the home.

Is propane a good choice for fleet vehicles?

Propane makes a great alternative fuel choice for many fleets that are looking to improve their impact on the environment without sacrificing on performance. It is recognised as a safe substance and due to its cost and availability could be a good choice for vast range of different types of fleet.

Renewable Diesel

Differing from biodiesel in many ways, renewable diesel is made from waste and residues as opposed to vegetable oils, making it a resourceful alternative fuel. The process of creating renewable diesel through waste materials makes this a cleaner alternative than biodiesel and the resulting fuel is of a higher and more consistent quality.

How is renewable diesel made?

Renewable diesel is made by a variety of processes including hydrotreating, gasification, and pyrolysis. Hydrotreating is the most common way to produce renewable diesel, where the waste materials are reacted with hydrogen in high temperatures and pressure with a catalyst.

Is renewable diesel a good choice for fleet vehicles?

With renewable diesel benefitting from using the same infrastructure as traditional diesel and not impacting vehicle performance, this alternative fuel type could be a great alternative for many fleet vehicles. Not only is it increasingly available, but it also can be used in most traditional diesel engine vehicles without issue, meaning you don’t have to acquire new vehicles.

Electricity

Electricity is the alternative fuel that we are all most familiar with. Already widely used, advancements are being made constantly to improve the affordability and accessibility of electric powered vehicles. The widespread availability of electricity and the increasing availability of tools for generating renewable electricity makes this one of the best alternative fuels currently available.

How is electricity generated?

Electricity is a versatile alternative fuel because of that vast number of ways it can be generated. From wind turbines, solar panels, and wave generators to nuclear energy and coal. Renewable sources of electricity are preferable for their minimum impact on the environment.

Is electricity a good choice for fleet vehicles?

Electricity makes a great choice for alternative fuel for fleets so long as you are prepared to invest in EVs and the charging infrastructure to support them. The wide availability of electricity means that this alternative fuel source is accessible and inexpensive, however you will need to be prepared to front the initial cost. The UK government offers schemes to help support the uptake of EVs including the Workplace Charging Scheme.

Ethanol

Ethanol is made from renewable plant materials and is already present in a lot of diesel and petrol. Made from feedstocks, the alternative fuel is blended with traditional fuels like the aforementioned diesel and petrol to help cut the amount of these fuels used. Whilst it does have a lower energy output, these ethanol gasoline blends help to reduce fuel consumption and increase fuel security, which helps to keep costs down.

How is ethanol produced?

Ethanol is produced by processing feedstocks such as grain, sugar cane or woodchips. Using a thermochemical conversion process, syngas is produced. This is then reformed with a catalyst to produce ethanol. This can then be mixed with gasoline to extend their potential.

Is ethanol a good choice for fleet vehicles?

Ethanol is already used in most petrol sold in the UK, with blends offering either a 10% or 5% ethanol quantity. This means your petrol fleet vehicles are already using ethanol to a degree. Ethanol does decrease the efficiency of vehicles slightly, but the pay off of using a higher ethanol percentage in petrol is a huge decrease in emissions.

Covering the cost with Fuel Card Services

Alternative fuels have come on leaps and bounds over the years and the potential is ever growing. These alternative fuels will all have important roles to play in cutting global emissions as we move toward NetZero50.

Despite the potential, currently many of these alternative fuels are not readily available nor are many common private and fleet vehicles compatible with them. Electricity remains the best and most available alternative fuel source and one worth investing in.

If you have, are in the process of, or are considering electrifying your fleet, then setting your fleet up with the right electric charge cards means you can reduce your carbon emissions and reduce your costs. You can browse our range of EV charge cards here, or if you need guidance choosing the right card for your needs then get in touch today.

Electric car salary sacrifice for fleet

Electric car salary sacrifice

The cost-of-living pinch is being felt in personal and business life by all, and fleets are no exception. With the cost of second-hand vehicles and vehicle leasing on the rise, companies looking to introduce more electric vehicles into their fleets need to consider their options in order to build an electric fleet in the most cost effective manner.

In this blog we’ll break down what salary sacrifice is and how fleets can use it to electrify their fleet in a way that benefits the company’s and employee’s wallets alike.

What is a salary sacrifice car scheme?

Salary sacrifice is an arrangement between employer and employee to reduce the employee’s entitlement to cash pay in return for a non-cash benefit, such as an electric car. The cost of the car is then deducted from the employee’s salary each month before they are taxed.

A salary sacrifice car of any kind will usually be supplied by a partnered supplier and will often come in a package deal meaning that salary sacrifice EV packages may also provide users with charging infrastructure and other benefits.

2017 tax changes

In April of 2017, changes were made to tax rules that mean employees need to pay income tax on either the amount of salary sacrificed or the value of the car. Whilst this does mean that the salary sacrifice schemes aren’t quite as beneficial as they once were, they still offer a host of valuable benefits, particularly for companies/employees looking to reduce environmental impact with electric vehicles.

Is EV salary sacrifice worth it?

Whilst the tax savings may not be as significant as they were in previous years, salary sacrifice schemes still offer great perks for both companies and their employees, and is a scheme that could be well worth utilising for the following reasons:

1. All-inclusive packages

Generally, electric cars and other vehicles are on average still somewhat more expensive than combustion engine vehicles, particularly when you account for the infrastructure needed to run them. Many salary sacrifice car schemes offer all-inclusive packages that will provide employees not just with the electric car but also with a home charging point and installation as well as other benefits such as servicing maintenance discounts.

These perks quickly add up, and those opting for a salary sacrifice fleet vehicle will find themselves saving money not just on the vehicle but on all the important extras that go with it.

2. Better electric cars for a lower price

Salary sacrifice schemes for electric vehicles offer fleet drivers a more affordable price for newer electric vehicles. This is because companies with agreed partnerships to salary sacrifice car providers will get better deals on newer cars than if the employee looks to lease an EV independently.

3. No deposit

Putting down a deposit on a new vehicle can often be pricey and off putting, but with salary sacrifice schemes, there is usually no deposit for the employee to pay. This makes the acquisition easier on employees’ pockets.

4. OZEV tax advantages

The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles are a government office supporting the UK in increasing the uptake of electric and hybrid vehicles as well as implementing EV infrastructure. Electric company car drivers benefit from a lower BiK rate than combustion engine drivers, so whilst there is less of a tax break than before 2017, using salary sacrifice to acquire EVs still offers a lower tax rate.

OZEV also have other schemes in place like the Workplace Charging Scheme which can help businesses to introduce EV charging infrastructure to business sites.

How promoting a salary sacrifice scheme can help your business

Salary sacrifice schemes do offer the most saving potential for employees but there are also benefits for employers too – from money saving to improving employee retention.

Reducing National Insurance contributions

Salary sacrifice schemes knock down the National Insurance contributions for both employer and employee. Whilst there isn’t as large a tax saving as there was in years gone by, there is still a monetary saving to be made here.

Better cash flow

The uptake of salary sacrifice schemes can have a positive knock-on effect on cash flow for businesses. These schemes are typically deducted from pay before taxes, which offers a better cash flow for employers.

Employee retention and satisfaction

Opportunities for staff like salary sacrifice schemes are great for employee retention as they diversify the compensation to employees, and this range of benefits can improve retention by rewarding commitment to the company.

Increase sustainability

When it comes to increasing the number of electric vehicles on the roads, sustainability is the key thing in mind. Electric vehicles serve to reduce a company’s carbon footprint, and for companies with active fleets, the saving can be significant when the switch is made.

Reducing costs with Fuel Card Services

Whether your EV fleet is growing with a salary sacrifice scheme or you are using other means to expand your electric vehicle tally, keep cutting costs with electric charge cards from Fuel Card Services. Our range is growing, and with so many benefits to reap, and thousand of locations to use them at, these charge cards are a great opportunity to save money and time on admin costs.

Use our quick enquiry form to get in touch and we’ll help you to find an EV charge card or fuel card that fits your fleet’s needs.

For assistance with all things EV, take a look at our EV solutions.

Purchasing electric fleet vehicles

The cost of commercial EV fleet acquisition

Making the switch from combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles is one of the biggest sustainable changes that fleets can make, and one that can help bring about long-term prosperity and lowered running costs – but it can require a serious initial investment.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what the cost of electrifying your fleet of vehicles could look like, covering not just the cost of purchasing the vehicles but also what infrastructure you will need to invest in.

EV Costs

As technology develops and demand for electric vehicles increases, EVs are becoming more affordable and more versatile than ever. When it comes to price, they are giving combustion engine vehicles a run for their money. There are now more EV pricing options in the market than we have ever seen before, and a larger product range comprising vehicles of all different shapes and sizes – meaning there are options to fit different budgets.

How much do electric cars cost?

If you are looking to acquire electric cars for your fleet, you can expect an average cost of around £47,300 for a new vehicle, however this industry-average figure accommodates the higher costing car brands like Tesla and Lucid Motors. The electric cars at the lower end of the price range can cost as little as £22,225.

Second hand electric cars

Buying second hand electric cars can knock a fair sum off the buying price. You can find models like the Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe for as little as £7,000 second hand, and with ranges of around 130 miles these are suitable for a lot of businesses fleet needs.

How much do electric vans cost?

New electric vans often have a similar upfront cost as electric cars, with some great models costing between £29-45,000 and ranges almost reaching 200 miles. These types of EVs have some way to go to being a true match to their petrol and diesel vehicle cousins but they are a great switch for last mile delivery services.

Second hand electric vans

Opting for seconds hand electric vans will similarly save you some money on the up front costs, with many second hand models selling for around £10,000 or less. This resale price is similar to the second hand cost of many petrol and diesel van models too, making the switch to electric even easier to justify financially.

How much do electric HGVs cost?

Haulage companies and other businesses needing heavy good vehicles are becoming increasingly able to electrify their fleet, and the cost of electric HGVs currently stands at around £100,000. This is a price that is close to the cost of combustion engine vehicles.

Electric Fleet Financing

Leasing your electric fleet

Leasing electric fleet vehicles is a great way for businesses to benefit from an electric fleet without being tied to a vehicle that will depreciate in value over the years. It can help you balance the cost of electric fleet vehicle acquisition without your cashflow taking too big of a hit and leases can offer flexibility that works with your needs.

Leasing your electric vehicle could cost you less than £200 per month, and businesses can reap the benefits of newer models and cheaper servicing costs, too.

Your can read more about electric vehicle servicing here.

Purchasing your electric fleet

Alternatively, you could consider purchasing electric fleet vehicles. This route of acquiring your EVs will mean that you will eventually be paying no monthly payments and have an asset which can be resold if necessary. Additionally, if buying electric vehicles new you might qualify for the UK government Plug-In grant, a grant which is automatically deducted from the price of some EV models on purchasing.

Leasing often includes certain restrictions on mileage over the lease term, and with a vehicle you won you are not limited to these requirements. However, servicing is your own responsibility with a vehicle you own and the cost of purchasing electric vehicles will often include a higher upfront cost as well as higher monthly payments.

EV acquisition that suits your business

There is a lot to consider when making the move to an electric fleet that can make it feel like a daunting task. The first step you should take is to consider what exactly your fleet needs in terms of vehicle size and mileage, whether you have the means to install the appropriate charging infrastructure, and whether purchasing or leasing will be most beneficial to your business.

Charge Cards from Fuel Card Services

Once your electric fleet is on the road, recharge it efficiently with EV charge cards from Fuel Card Services. We have a growing range of electric vehicle charge cards that offer great rates, useful perks, and can help to keep admin costs down and your fleet in motion. You can use our enquiry form to get in touch and our team will be on hand to help you find the right charge cards for your fleets needs.