By 2026, only fully electric company cars will be eligible for 100% tax benefits. However, nearly a third of companies now say that all necessary adaptations will not be completed on time. Nearly seven in ten companies face infrastructure difficulties as well as additional fire safety risks caused by electrifying their fleet of company vehicles. Three out of ten companies do not even know who would bear the costs in the event of a fire at a charging station installed by the employer in the worker’s home. That’s according to an online survey conducted jointly by AON, the market leader in fleet risk management and business car insurance, and FLEET, the magazine for car fleet managers, among 200 industry respondents.
In most companies and enterprises, the transition to the electric fleet is underway. But this shift from fossil energy to (partly) electrical energy raises many questions in companies. It’s not just about providing an electric vehicle for your employees. Many practical questions also arise. Should charging stations be installed? How many ? Do our employees also need to be able to charge their vehicle at home? How are they compensated? What about coverage for damage caused by a charging station? So many uncertainties that mean the transition to the electric fleet is overdue.
2026, too premature a target for a third of companies
According to the online survey carried out by AON and FLEET between 03/24 and 04/29 with 200 respondents, many fleet managers still have many doubts.
When asked if their fleet will be fully electrified by 2026, a third (35.7%) said no. Most of the obstacles cited are the charging station infrastructure (both at work and at the employee’s home), the long delivery times of electric vehicles, the fear that its workers do not have sufficient autonomy or the need to completely reformulate the charging policy. company cars.
“We still see a lot of uncertainty and questions about the infrastructure (extinguishing system, fire safety plan or special insurance) of the electric car fleet. Seven out of ten respondents (68.9%) indicate that none of the above is in order. About 21.9% have a fire safety plan and only a minority claim to have taken out special insurance for the charging station system. However, companies have every interest from a tax point of view in solving the terminal problem again this year: the investment is effectively deductible currently at 200%”, explains Al Pijnacker, Managing Director Fleet at AON.
The new regulations (which amend the Royal Decree of July 7, 1994, which establishes the basic fire and explosion prevention standards that buildings must comply with) come into force on July 1, 2022. One of the novelties concerns the mandatory, for new buildings only, provide one of the following fire protection systems on each floor of car parks with an area greater than 250 m²: smoke and heat evacuation system and/or sprinkler system or ventilation hatch.
Lack of knowledge
Furthermore, nothing is less certain when it comes to liability for damage caused by a charging station. About 33.7% of respondents said they did not know who was responsible for damage or fire at a charging station.
“According to the figures, almost nine out of ten employees (85.2%) who drive an electric car have not received information on how to properly charge their vehicle or on the risks associated with charging from an electrical outlet. This scares us a little. AON advises the company’s car fleet managers to take preventative measures and review the company’s car policy annually, as this is a subject that changes regularly. Our goal is to reduce the total cost of risk. Thanks to our MaaS (Mobility as a Service) solutions, we are already doing this better,” says Al Pijnacker, Managing Director Fleet at AON.
Expensive charging stations
It also emerges from the research that fleet managers should also strive to keep the total costs related to electric vehicles under control. The bill for vehicles charged only at fast charging stations is often higher than the bill for diesel or gasoline, and only 31.6% of respondents try to limit these costs in one way or another, although there is a risk of additional charges.
The sector is in full transition, as taxation is very favorable to electric vehicle fleets. But many new factors are involved in this transition without everyone being aware of them. Fleet managers who opt for an electric vehicle fleet, therefore, should obtain information from trusted partners (leasing companies, charging station manufacturers, inspectors, etc.) to avoid unpleasant surprises.
“This decision could have serious budgetary consequences if you are not well prepared. For example, you might have a charging station installed in an employee who decides, a few months later, to leave the company without having completed a clear paper agreement about that station or without meeting the fire safety regulations that will come into effect soon. . Even taxation in this area still sometimes raises many questions, as a fifth of respondents think that electric vehicles will always be 100% deductible, which is not the case. From 2026, an electric car rental will only be deductible up to 67.5% in 2031, depending on the vehicle’s order date”, notes Mika Tuyaerts, journalist for FLEET.
Finally, it is absolutely necessary for small and medium-sized companies to jump on the bandwagon, because they weigh heavily on our country’s economy and constitute a crucial link in the transition to more sustainable mobility. The issue of mobility remains a complex exercise for many companies. But with the right analysis, the right support, the right financing and the right insurance, companies can design the right policy for a zero-emission fleet.
# Fleet Management