Expense policy

How to decide an electric car mileage allowance for your business?

January 21, 2020
Min Read

The IRS has created an employee mileage reimbursement rate for employees who drive their diesel and petrol cars for work purposes. These rates have been created to act as a guideline for businesses. They also help create an opportunity for a tax deduction for employees. 

Chances are, you already know the petrol and diesel IRS reimbursement rates like the back of your hand. However, with electric cars, how do you go about reimbursing employees?

If you’re interested in learning about electric car business allowances, we created a complete guide to show you how to decide an electric car mileage allowance for your business. Keep reading to learn more!

Policy considerations for mileage reimbursement

Challenges businesses face concerning an electric car mileage allowance 

If you’re considering adding an electric vehicle to your fleet, one of the challenges that you can expect to see is the price difference between an electric car and a gasoline vehicle. 

Gasoline vehicle manufacturers have had many years to streamline the development of a car that runs on gasoline. While electric car manufacturers haven’t had the same process to develop cheaper alternatives to use in their electric vehicles. This is why the most expensive part of an electric vehicle is the battery.

As demand for electric cars increases, there’s an increase in demand for precious raw material such as lithium, that goes into the battery that powers the electric car. This is what causes electric vehicles to be much more expensive than gasoline vehicles.

However, electric vehicle drivers can charge their cars from home, and even have the facility to charge stations at gas stops. This availability of charging stations is what makes electric cars a dependable option for both commuters and long-distance travelers. 

What is an electric car mileage allowance rate?

There isn’t an official electric vehicle mileage reimbursement rate set by the IRS yet. However, if you were looking to introduce electric vehicles into your fleet, several government incentives can be offered to your organization for using an electric car. 

  • Some of these government incentives include receiving cash reimbursements to HOV lane access.
  • If you’re able to prove that you’re able to reduce carbon emissions by using an electric vehicle, you may even be able to qualify for tax deductions that your business wasn’t previously qualified to meet.
  • As of 2020, it’s safe to submit the same reimbursement rate for electric car mileage that your organization is using for gas-powered vehicles. 
  • The easiest way to keep track of mileage for electric car users is to have your employees take a picture of their odometer. Ensure they note down the readings before starting the journey and after they’ve ended their journey. 
  • You can also use a mileage tracking application to keep track of the distance that your employees are traveling.
  • Also, you don’t have to worry about asking for a gas receipt, as your electric car users won’t be stopping for gas at gas stations anymore. 
  • The best electric car mileage reimbursement rates are going to depend on your company‘s financial capabilities, as there aren’t any official reimbursement rate set by the US government.

How do you calculate an electric car mileage allowance? 

Deciding how to reimburse your employees for their electric car mileage can be tricky. But there are several different ways that you can choose to cover the cost of business traveling.

  • One option is for you to offer a flat allowance, or a monthly total, to everyone available in your traveling workforce. 
  • Another option is to provide a "cents per mile rate" reimbursement that reimburses your employees for the number of miles that they've driven. 

The "cents per mile rate" reimbursement option is the easiest to use, as this type of reimbursement program reimburses employees not only for the miles that they drive but also covers the depreciation of their vehicles and registration costs.

The difficulty that you may run into is that the majority of reimbursement calculators online are tailored to vehicles that are powered by gasoline. Due to the cost savings of using an electric car, keep in mind that you may end up overpaying on reimbursements if you use an online calculator for mileage allowances.

For example, the average cost to drive an electric vehicle for one year, or 15,000 miles, is $540. If a gasoline-powered car were to operate at the same number of miles in one year, it would cost a gasoline-powered vehicle $1,400. 


  • It's up to your company if you want to look past the potential overpaying. But it's much easier to reimburse your employees for the number of miles they've driven rather than offer them a flat monthly allowance.


How to effortlessly track mileage and business expenses
Fyle helps you in using Google Maps to track mileage

Should your business issue an electric car mileage allowance?

Deciding electric car mileage reimbursement rates for your business is a great way to encourage your employees to switch over to using electric cars. This, in turn, can help your organization to save money on fuel costs. 

Countless benefits to encouraging your employees to use an electric car, however, deciding the electric car mileage reimbursement rate for your organization depends on what you think is a fair rate and what your company can afford.

Are you interested in using a mileage tracking and reimbursement software for your business? Click here to schedule a quick demo with Fyle, to help us put an end to your expense management challenges.


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