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My work is trying to establish a fair way to compensate EV drivers for business travel. We do NOT use the IRS rate but reimburse employees for the "cost of gas" for business travel. Right now, EV drivers do not get compensation. They recognize this is unfair and want to change it, but are not willing to try the same idea for EV drivers (figuring out "electric miles" cost is just an administrative bridge too far). However, they are willing to look at other options and want me--as the de facto leader of the EV movement at my work (I was the first adopter)--to bring some ideas to the table.

I told them a charging station at our work is best, but we are located in a dense small city and already have limited parking. It's not clear they can do this (we often have to triple park due to events/meetings at our office). What's more, we're a large company with dozens of field offices. Employees in those offices who drive EVs would not get the benefit because we rent and do not own the field offices. They want an EV policy they can apply uniformly.

This is a good problem to have and I'm glad my work is trying to readjust their policies for the new ways of travel. Outside of workplace charging, I was thinking of a modest "stipend" to cover pay-only public charging stations. However, I wanted to see if anyone else has a workplace reimbursement policy we might try. They would be receptive to solutions other businesses have used successfully. Any ideas?
 

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My work is trying to establish a fair way to compensate EV drivers for business travel. We do NOT use the IRS rate but reimburse employees for the "cost of gas" for business travel. Right now, EV drivers do not get compensation. They recognize this is unfair and want to change it, but are not willing to try the same idea for EV drivers (figuring out "electric miles" cost is just an administrative bridge too far). However, they are willing to look at other options and want me--as the de facto leader of the EV movement at my work (I was the first adopter)--to bring some ideas to the table.

I told them a charging station at our work is best, but we are located in a dense small city and already have limited parking. It's not clear they can do this (we often have to triple park due to events/meetings at our office). What's more, we're a large company with dozens of field offices. Employees in those offices who drive EVs would not get the benefit because we rent and do not own the field offices. They want an EV policy they can apply uniformly.

This is a good problem to have and I'm glad my work is trying to readjust their policies for the new ways of travel. Outside of workplace charging, I was thinking of a modest "stipend" to cover pay-only public charging stations. However, I wanted to see if anyone else has a workplace reimbursement policy we might try. They would be receptive to solutions other businesses have used successfully. Any ideas?
This was a major problem when GE purchased the volt for their fleet. The people who received the volt never charged them as they were compensated for the gas but not the electricity. This led to a large portion of the cars never running on their batteries and having almost all engine mile put on them.

It was a huge waste and I hope someone can figure it out so we can encourage people to use the electricity instead of gas.
 

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I talked to one of those GE employees as we were filling up our volts at a gas station. He said as a field engineer he might drive hundreds of miles per day and spent many nights in motels. Volt was the wrong car for his needs.
 

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If they want it to be fair they can either pick a rate per mile driven that applies the same to any car (fuel is not the only cost associated with using your personal car for company trips) or they can provide a company credit card for travel expenses to everyone that is usable for all travel expenses (gas pump, hotel, or EV charging).

The other viable option is to do away with gas cards and allot all employees a transportation stipend. If you use public transportation or drive a fuel efficient vehicle (ICE or EV) you get to pocket some cash... if you drive a gas guzzler your expenses to drive are reduced, but not eliminated. This encourages "green" behavior but does not screw over the guy driving the Ford F-350 pickup as his daily driver... he gets the same as everyone else.

A company gas card with unlimited use encourages the opposite of green behavior as illustrated in Recoil's post above mine. An employee with an unlimited use company gas card is much more likely to purchase a vehicle with poor fuel economy than someone who has to foot the bill for fuel himself. A flat rate transportation stipend has the reverse effect.

Keith
 

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Our company has fixed rate per km for every employee, regardless of what they drive.
It is intended to cover increased maintenance for the vehicle, depreciation, etc that would not have been there without work travel. Energy (fuel) cost is just a small portion of it.
 

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Fixed rate per mile is the best solution whether it is EV or not. Fuel is not the only cost of using a personal car. Insurance, wear and tear and overall value reduction of the vehicle due to mileage is typically more than the simple fuel cost. This also encourages use of more fuel efficient vehicles as the owner will have less cost but still get the same reimbursement.
 

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My work is trying to establish a fair way to compensate EV drivers for business travel. We do NOT use the IRS rate but reimburse employees for the "cost of gas" for business travel. Right now, EV drivers do not get compensation. They recognize this is unfair and want to change it, but are not willing to try the same idea for EV drivers (figuring out "electric miles" cost is just an administrative bridge too far). However, they are willing to look at other options and want me--as the de facto leader of the EV movement at my work (I was the first adopter)--to bring some ideas to the table.

I told them a charging station at our work is best, but we are located in a dense small city and already have limited parking. It's not clear they can do this (we often have to triple park due to events/meetings at our office). What's more, we're a large company with dozens of field offices. Employees in those offices who drive EVs would not get the benefit because we rent and do not own the field offices. They want an EV policy they can apply uniformly.

This is a good problem to have and I'm glad my work is trying to readjust their policies for the new ways of travel. Outside of workplace charging, I was thinking of a modest "stipend" to cover pay-only public charging stations. However, I wanted to see if anyone else has a workplace reimbursement policy we might try. They would be receptive to solutions other businesses have used successfully. Any ideas?
TBH, I'd see pressing them on changing from "cost of foo" to a straight up rate per mile at SOME RATE, even if they're not happy paying as much as the IRS will allow. At the very least "cost of fuel" COULD lead them into a situation where they list as an expense fuel that ends up being more than the equivalent mileage, and it'll be up to the company to prove that is not the case.
 

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If they are only reimbursing gas costs then your company is not fully reimbursing for the true cost of using vehicles for business travel. If they want to stick to that policy for gas cars, then I would suggest that a mileage rate be used for EVs that is at least equivalent to the average cost of the gas reimbursement.
 

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When you say "IRS" mileage rate, do you mean the GSA rate, which currently stands at 54 cents per mile? I definitely agree that a per-mile reimbursement for fuel is fair to everyone. May I suggest a rate of 8.63 cents per mile?

  • $1.981/gallon (according to GasBuddy for New Jersey)
  • 26.4 MPG average fuel economy
  • 15% premium
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for the replies -- let me give you some more information to explain. The company actually provides a modest "auto stipend" to employees designed to cover wear & tear, etc (this is the same for everyone, regardless of miles driven). This is why they do not offer IRS rate reimbursement (0.54 cents per mile) because of the auto stipend, which is on top of base salary. Reimbursement for gas costs is in addition to the auto stipend, which is why they are looking at other ways to reimburse EV drivers who use different ways of "refilling" their vehicles for business travel.

Because of our compensation structure, this might be a unique situation and maybe no other company has a similar circumstance.
 

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The only suggestion I can come up with might be to determine the average cost/mile for all EV and PEH drivers (include gas if necessary for those that may exceed their battery range) to determine a fair cost.

example;
Bob drives a leaf, charges at a public charger at $2.00/hour. each hour gives him 20 miles range ($.10/mile for his cost)
Nancy drives a leaf but charges at home and pays $0.80 to get 20 miles with her cost being $0.04/mile.
Steve drives a PIP prius that gets 10 miles on electric which costs $0.60 to charge, but needs $0.60 in gas to go an additional 10 miles to reach 20 miles range, his cost is $0.06/mile.

At this point, everyone is paying a different amount/mile, so it would seem fair to take the average cost including all forms of energy and sources including gas, public and home charging and pay a flat rate based on that. In this case, with the 3 drivers, and taking into account costs to travel a fixed distance they should each receive about $0.07/mile. Those that rely exclusively on paying for public charging may get the short end of the stick, it's still better than the current situation where they're not getting anything.

Of course you may need to adjust distances/costs to suit your needs, I believe this would be the most fair way for all of your EV drivers to receive some compensation and encourage efficient driving for those that have costs exceeding the average.
 

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Wife's company just moved to a new building with 2 chargers in the parking lot. Not a ton of money but it's cool that the company will pay for her to charge the car at work.
 

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Thanks for the replies -- let me give you some more information to explain. The company actually provides a modest "auto stipend" to employees designed to cover wear & tear, etc (this is the same for everyone, regardless of miles driven). This is why they do not offer IRS rate reimbursement (0.54 cents per mile) because of the auto stipend, which is on top of base salary. Reimbursement for gas costs is in addition to the auto stipend, which is why they are looking at other ways to reimburse EV drivers who use different ways of "refilling" their vehicles for business travel.

Because of our compensation structure, this might be a unique situation and maybe no other company has a similar circumstance.
Why is there an Auto Stipend when this can get adequately addressed by pure mileage. Not asking because I think you know the answer, just because this is a question management may want to look at. The whole system you're working with there looks kind of like a badly-executed shift from "company car" situation to one where employees use their own cars, but the policy was kind of half-assed to begin with. Pure mileage is MUCH more reasonable in an employment situation where employees do in fact own cars in the first place, instead of (for example) if they didn't have to drive for work they'd all ride the bus to work and not own cars at all. The accounting by just miles is SO MUCH SIMPLER, especially since they can/could just drop that compensation entirely and say "Get it from the IRS."
 

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Why is there an Auto Stipend when this can get adequately addressed by pure mileage. Not asking because I think you know the answer, just because this is a question management may want to look at. The whole system you're working with there looks kind of like a badly-executed shift from "company car" situation to one where employees use their own cars, but the policy was kind of half-assed to begin with. Pure mileage is MUCH more reasonable in an employment situation where employees do in fact own cars in the first place, instead of (for example) if they didn't have to drive for work they'd all ride the bus to work and not own cars at all. The accounting by just miles is SO MUCH SIMPLER, especially since they can/could just drop that compensation entirely and say "Get it from the IRS."
I agree, I think the auto stipend is a complication for accounting when the cost for mileage is included. Is the auto stipend taxable? A mileage allowance based on IRS guidelines is the easiest, regardless if the vehicle is a EV or a gas-guzzling Hummer. One could argue that the mileage cost for the EV is much lower, but why penalize a driver if he/she chooses an economical vehicle? Being self-employed, I can deduct for mileage or take the complicated method and depreciate the vehicle and include maintenance, etc. I always choose the easier one because the account time and money difference are not worth it.
 

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On an off topic, at my company there is the potential for hundreds of 277 volt outlets (at least during the day) as every light pole can be an outlet and every light pole touches 2 or more spots.

If your ev can take the extra 37 volts and your company is creative it's possible you could have outlets in many places with only limited investment in outlets.
 

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If I may ask, how much is this "auto stipend?" I ask because switching to purely GSA's rate of 54 cents per mile could be considered.
 
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