It may seem to be a dilemma as to whether you should introduce electric vehicles (EVs) to your fleet, but it is not a case of “if” you should introduce electric vehicles, it is “when” and what particular sustainable travel solutions you should introduce.
Knowing where to start is the challenge, especially if this is your first foray into the world of electric vehicles and mobility as a service. A wide variety of cars are now available on the market, with more being introduced over the coming years. Whether you’re after a hatchback or a 4x4, the options are vast. The van and bike industry are still growing, and new vehicles are being launched over the next 12 months from the likes of LDV, Mercedes, Renault, Citroen and Ford.
The cost savings of switching to electric vehicles and the introduction of sustainable travel solutions can be significant if managed properly. Fuel spend, road tax, servicing and maintenance, benefit in kind and national insurance contributions (NIC) are all areas where savings can be made. Encouraging your staff to use video conferencing technology or using public transport where viable will also enable your employees to be more productive and spend less time on the road. Incentivise your staff through a rewards scheme and get them engaged in the introduction of vehicles, whether it be through workshops, trials or an EV Community. All of these are rewarding and can result in your business being more creative in how it goes about travel.
Government grants can reduce the purchase of electric vehicles and charge points. Vehicle grants vary from £2,500 to £8,000, with grants covering up to 75% of the cost of a home charge point and a voucher scheme for workplace charge points also available. You can also apply for a Low Emission Vehicle discount for the congestion charge. A £10 fee to Transport For London (TFL) enables you to travel into London whenever you want for free. For those that are now paying the T-charge for their current diesel vehicles, this can be a significant saving.
Choosing the right vehicle is essential whether it be a business or private purchase. As the UK’s average commute is around 22 miles, most Plug-in Hybrids and EVs will cover this distance. If you want the reassurance of an engine or are happy to go all electric, then the choice of vehicles is out there in both the new and second-hand market. For example, the Renault Zoe and recently launched Nissan Leaf will provide you with around 180 miles of range, with the Tesla Model S providing around 300 miles.
The charge point networks are constantly growing with points now available from Land’s End to John O’Groats! Mobile apps like ZapMap provide you with the information on charge point locations, charge point types, network and whether the point you need is available. Charge points vary and can charge the car either overnight or in 45 minutes.
It’s inevitable, the future of travel and how we commute is going to change as autonomous and electric vehicles evolve along with the growth of sustainable travel solutions and smart use of technology.
Katie Colledge-Price is the Managing Director and Founder of Carpendale EV Consulting, specialists in sustainable vehicle solutions.