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Compliance for electric fleet vehicles: What you need to know

Now more than ever, electric vehicles (EVs) are in the news. Their sales and stocks are surging, politicians are discussing their future and many states are incentivizing both individuals and companies that move to electric. Increasingly, businesses are making the choice to invest in EVs, making these vehicles part of their fleets.

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As the automotive industry works to understand what EVs mean for the larger industry, the topic of compliance must be considered. It’s time for companies to start looking into what the transition to EVs means for compliance services, the metrics that are relevant to EV tax needs and more.

Here are the most crucial factors to consider when it comes to EV compliance for companies that have already invested in these vehicles, as well as for those looking to move in that direction.

EV compliance continues to evolve

Rich-Pinnock-Acertus
Rich Pinnock, executive vice president, fleet services

States are still working out what compliance requirements they’ll put in place for their respective areas. Meanwhile, taxes for EVs still apply in the relevant cities, states or jurisdictions – particularly, those that are Highway Use Taxes (HUT) and Weight/Mile Taxes. With HUT and Weight/Mile, specifically, mileage must continue to be tracked for EVs, just as it is for any fuel-based vehicles.

However, because zero-emission EVs don’t require any fuel, the International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) standards do not apply in quite the same way. The current IFTA standard is to tax vehicles based on the gallons of fuel consumed. But most states are still trying to determine how to apply IFTA-like taxes to heavier fleet EVs. Right now, states are requiring IFTA stickers, but there is no true filing procedure or official requirements currently.

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When it comes to taxes in general for their fleet EVs, it’s smart for companies to develop a manner in which they can track the mileage for all these electric units. They’ll need this for any HUT and Weight/Mile taxes, but it could be helpful to have this mileage recorded in case other regulations on these EVs emerge over time. As companies move forward with EVs, it’s considered best practice to track recharging time, maintain records by kW/h and keep track of all the locations where these vehicles are charged. These moves will help them stay on top of any EV compliance needs they have now but will also help prepare them for the future, should any new compliance requirements develop.

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A compliance provider can assist with these needs

For companies with some or all EV-based fleets, there are a lot of changes to keep up with in terms of the evolving compliance needs. This results in a large amount of time, work and resources devoted to staying on top of the relevant state requirements as they develop. But companies do have another option.

Instead of requiring their own teams to monitor these requirements in real-time and ensure that EVs are consistently compliant in all the states where they operate – which takes away critical team members and resources from their own operations – companies can decide to outsource this work to an expert compliance provider.

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Compliance providers are set up to have working partnerships with a wide variety of DMVs across the country, as well as the capacity to stay on top of states’ EV compliance requirements as they occur. Additionally, if a company chooses to partner with a provider that is technology-enabled, it will ensure an easier process for placing orders, making any updates, and processing compliance services in a fast, efficient manner. Companies with EVs won’t have to worry about staying on top of compliance developments or triple-checking for any documentation mistakes because the provider will monitor any changes on their behalf, helping them apply any new requirements within their business and keeping them up to date on any errors, inconsistencies or blank sections in important documents that need to be addressed.

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Such an outside provider can not only help ensure companies with EV fleets are in good standing on their compliance-related needs but also allow them to save precious time, energy, and resources, remaining focused on what matters most with individual businesses and customer needs.

As executive vice president, fleet services at ACERTUS, Rich Pinnock focuses on global initiatives including proprietary technology development as well as having P&L responsibility of the driveway and compliance service lines.

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