There is no longer any question about whether EVs can compete with traditionally-powered vehicles, whether they are being used for personal transport or hauling heavy goods. The infrastructure to charge them is growing rapidly, with the number of charging points overtaking fuelling stations.
The major problem for businesses looking to convert their fleet to electric vehicles is cost. Our research shows that 77% of fleets surveyed cited affordability as the key factor in deciding whether to go all-electric, with 63% saying that government subsidies and support were important.
Although the cut-off point for purchasing new internal-combustion engine vehicles is rapidly approaching, not every business is going to be able to justify the expense of converting their fleet, especially after 2020 could have decimated their savings. There isn’t just the ticket price of the vehicles themselves to consider, but:
Ongoing energy/fuel costs
Installing charging points
Service, maintenance and repair
There is also the possibility that the government will begin to tax EVs more highly in future to make up for the loss in revenue from duty on fossil fuels, which currently contributes £28 million per year to the treasury.
One significant disadvantage of electric vehicles over fossil fuel powered is the time spent charging. Although the time it takes to fully charge a vehicle has dropped considerably and may drop further in the future, it is still measured in hours, not minutes. During this time your employees may not be able to work, and the cost of this lost productivity has to be factored in. This may not be an issue for vehicles that rarely leave an office, but for delivery vehicles and HGVs it could be a major concern.
This might sound off-putting, but there is help available for companies who want to convert to an electric fleet.
Government grants have been put in place to allow UK businesses to hit the country’s carbon emissions goals. The most important of these is the Plug-in Vehicle Grant, which can give deductions from £3,000 to £8,000 on vehicles ranging from mopeds to HGVs. The cost reduction will be priced in by the dealer, so you’ll already be ‘saving’ a considerable amount from the point of purchase onwards.
Secondly, the Workplace Charging Scheme allows you to claim up to £350 from the cost of installing an EV chargepoint at your business, up to a total of forty sockets. This could allow you to offer charging to employees who will be increasingly switching to electric cars, but it will also allow companies with fleets of vans or trucks to charge them while they are not in use.
Lastly, although the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme might not seem to have much utility for businesses, if you have company cars in your fleet then your employees will be able to take advantage of this.
It’s important to remember that you are going to save considerably more on fuel with an EV fleet. Although public chargepoints are more expensive than those at homes or businesses, a Nissan Leaf travelling 10,000 miles a year will only spend £720 on charging, while a petrol-driven Ford Focus will pay £1,350. Charging 70% of the time on a home or business charger will drop the cost of fuel for a Nissan Leaf down to only £300. Spread across an entire fleet of vehicles the savings could run into thousands – perhaps even enough to completely offset the cost of new vehicles in the long run.
Download your copy of our 6 Steps to an Electric Fleet here.
Learn more about how our range of solutions such as the Allstar One Electric card can help here.