For many drivers, the recent fuel shortage was yet another reason to consider changing to an electric vehicle. The inconvenience of not being able to buy petrol or diesel, plus the highly inflated cost of fuel when it was finally available, cemented many already-formed opinions that electric cars are the way forward.
Many companies have also been incentivised to choose electric vehicles after the monumental push from the Government to encourage people to go green. In November 2020, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that all new petrol and diesel cars and vans will be phased out by 2030.
It’s a valid reason to swap now, but it’s not the only one. There are many benefits to choosing an electric car – particularly as a company vehicle. If you opt for 100% electric there are vast cost savings for both the business and the driver. While the initial outlay can present as a more expensive choice, the long-term benefits are vast.
Company car drivers profit from impressive benefits in kind tax advantages – there is no company car tax for an electric car – and employers can gain too with reduced National Insurance contributions. The tax rate for benefits in kind is just 1% in this tax year.
Comparing a new Tesla to a traditional company car for example, is a great way to recognise potential savings. Whereas fuel benefit tax can run into tens of thousands for a petrol or diesel car, for some electric vehicles, the cost is nil. The same is true for vehicle excise duty on zero emissions cars.
Qualifying vehicles will be eligible for a ‘plug in’ grant of up to £2,500. The amount varies depending on the car you choose – make, model and specification all determine what you might receive. The grant is applied when you buy the car, meaning it is removed from the purchase price, which helps to reduce initial cost from the outset.
Leasing an electric vehicle rather than buying also often gives lower initial costs and then a smaller monthly outlay. You also have the perk of being able to upgrade to another new car following the lease period with a new contract. Electric vehicles also have fewer moving parts than their conventional counterparts, which can offer savings on
Running costs for an electric car can be as little as 3p per mile – much cheaper than a petrol or diesel alternative and better for business fuel costs. Employees can still claim business mileage, just at a lower rate, making it a more affordable option for firms. Plus, many electric vehicles are exempt from the London Congestion Charge, which could be useful in saving thousands each year if you have workers who regularly travel through city
In a modern world, where employees are demanding more action to protect the planet, introducing electric vehicles to a fleet can also support a sustainable ethos and a solid corporate and social responsibility strategy.
Choosing an EV is undoubtedly the environmentally friendly option, lowering your carbon footprint and helping the country meet the Prime Minister’s ambitious target, which will also rely heavily on infrastructure.
As with any car, be sure to consider what you need an electric vehicle for and check it meets the requirements of your business. Choose the correct size for the amount of equipment, passengers or luggage that you’ll be transporting and pick a suitable driving range so that you have plenty of charge to get you to your destinations if you’re a long-distance traveller.
Ask about battery life. You need a car battery that will stand the test of time as they can be expensive to replace – and, as with all new machinery, technology moves at speed so can become useless as new models are brought out. Also, check the charging connector so that you can match it to a suitable charging point.
For your employees, the Government also offers the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, which offers a 75% contribution to the cost of one chargepoint being installed – up to a £350 maximum. This allows drivers to easily recharge overnight at home, saving electricity costs.
Businesses can receive up to £350 towards an office premises charging station too.
Ultimately, green is the optimum modern choice if you need a reliable fleet and want to protect your bottom line.
Silverstone Fleet Management can offer a free consultation with expert advice on the right way forward for businesses who are considering moving across to an electric vehicle fleet. An advisor can visit your company to explain all things electric and bring the latest Tesla model to test drive.
Find out more on the Silverstone Fleet Management website or call 01604 978480.