When is the right time to change to EV as a business owner?

When is the right time to change to EV as a business owner?

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When is the right time to change to EV as a business owner?

Chris Lindsay of First-EVC – Why now is the right time for businesses to change to EV

Is it now time to have a greener and more cost-effective approach to transport within your organisation? We spoke to Chris Lindsay – co-founder of First-EVC to explain why he believes there’s never been a better time than now to consider switching.

Business Responsibility

“Global warming will be a major challenge over the next 20 years.” Chris explains. “As a responsible business we can help reduce the impact of global warming by changing to EV and realising some commercial benefits.”

As many of you will know, the change to EV is inevitable – and unavoidable. Production of combustion engine vehicles will cease by 2030 – but already many manufacturers are concentrating their production efforts on EV.

This evolution has been sped up because of the realisation the impact of combustion engines have on the environment is stark.

The benefits of being a responsible business to the environment aren’t the only reason to switch though… 

Other Commercial Benefits of Switching to EV.

Many businesses have used their switch to EV as a huge positive PR angle. Being seen to be green has great kudos at the moment – particularly if a business is seen to be “ahead of the curve”.

But switching to EV goes beyond being a PR opportunity or being the right thing to do. Switching to EV has other commercial benefits.

“A business can set the full cost of an electric vehicle asset against profits in the year of the purchase of the car, if it satisfies certain criteria of emitting 0 g/km.”  Chris explains, before continuing This can help reduce the Corporation Tax bill whilst reducing the businesses overall CO2 emissions, realising corporate goals.”

And what of the running costs. Are there benefits there too?

“Absolutely. The running cost of electric cars is significantly less than the equivalent petrol / diesel vehicle which ultimately reduces the businesses operation costs. With the average UK electricity price sitting at around 17.2p per kWh. If you assume an electric car will travel 3.5 miles per kWh on average, to travel 100 miles would cost around £5 or 4.91p per mile.”

And how does that compare?

“A petrol car would cost around £12 or 12p per mile if fuel cost £1.34 per litre and we assume the UK’s average new car fuel consumption was 49.2 miles-per-gallon. This is a significant saving over the life of the car.”

Whilst this is only an indication and those amounts may vary slightly – fuel costs are currently spiralling – and so it does give an invaluable insight as to why this is also an excellent time to switch to EV vehicles.

Once you have made the change, how can you charge your Electric Vehicle?

So making the switch to electric vehicles does seem somewhat of a no-brainer. But it doesn’t end there. The next consideration for a business needs to be vehicle charging.

Many EV users will look to have charging solutions at home. But this isn’t always possible. Having a Charging Scheme at the workplace is something businesses should also be considering – as Chris explains.

“Business Owners can apply for a Workplace Charging Scheme grant up to a maximum of 40 sockets (£350 per socket) equating to a total saving of £14,000.”

And it’s with thanks to companies like Chris’ that the prospect of applying for grants or installing EV charge points needs to be as daunting as it may seem right now.

“Here at First EVC, we can help reduce the headache of installing EV charging points within your organisation.”

“We offer a turn-key solution to help our customers realise their environmental and green goals. This means we can offer a complete service from initial funding to on-going support. Our services include :-

    • Help securing the government grant
    • Survey your site/s
    • Complete any Ground Works
    • Conduct the EV changing Installation
    • Commission the charging points
    • Maintenance
    • Software management and any billing requirements.”

With many financial incentives still available starting to get your ducks in a row on this now makes complete sense.

It is probably equally important as switching to EV is in working with a company who can take away the stress and complexity of making the switch seem less daunting.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest hurdles stopping businesses at the moment is uncertainty. That is why working with companies like First-EVC makes sense. Having support and advice tailored to your business needs will help ensure you get the biggest benefits, and ensuring you don’t miss out. 

That in itself has to be at least worth a conversation to discuss your options?

If you require any help or advice then Chris at First-EVC can be contacted on 0161 519 7998 or you can request more information by emailing info@first-evc.net. Alternatively have a look at their website by clicking the button below.

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5 Vehicle Shows Fleet Managers (and Suppliers) Should Have In Their Diaries for 2022.

5 Vehicle Shows Fleet Managers (and Suppliers) Should Have In Their Diaries for 2022.

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5 Vehicle Shows Fleet Managers (and Suppliers) Should Have In Their Diaries for 2022.

Get Ahead in 2022 – The Vehicle Shows You Need To Check Out. 

The world of fleet vehicles and management is always evolving.

With the current push for electrification and introduction of more intuitive management tools, training options, staff wellbeing and everything else to keep an eye out for, keeping upto date with what’s around the corner can be difficult in the day-to-day running of your business.

That is why attending some of the many exhibitions and shows gives you the time to help you get ahead of the curve. 

Here we take a look at 5 trade shows coming up this year that are well worth checking out. 

1.  Commercial Vehicle Show – 24th – 26th May – NEC Birmingham

One of the more popular trade shows, the Commercial Vehicle Show (CV Show) gives access to 100s of exhibitors from across the commercial vehicle world to decision makers. 

Electrification will be huge on the agenda, but the show offers much more.

From training opportunities to legislation and dealing with issues from trading in Europe, the show has something for everyone.

With the opportunity for visitors to ;

  • Meet existing suppliers
  • Connect with new suppliers
  • Source innovation and ideas
  • Upskill from new training

The show is free to attend for visitors. For more information, you can visit their website by clicking the button below.

2.  Vehicle Electrification Expo – 29th – 30th June – NEC Birmingham

Bringing together the entire supply chain for the hybrid and electric vehicle market, this show is aimed at those within the automotive industry. 

Attracting around 300 exhibitors and thousands of visitors, the show gives a valuable insight into the developments in the EV marketplace. 

This is a free conference to attend. Find out more about the show by clicking the button below.

3.  The British Motor Show – 19th – 22nd August – Farnborough

This iconic motor show is more than just a trade show. It celebrates all things motor as the 4 day event looks at the past, present and future of motoring in the UK.

An occasion for all the family, this is a more informal show, but whilst there is something for all the family, it still has plenty that will be of value for you in your day-to-day role.

There is a huge section looking at the future tech of vehicles and technology in the pipeline.

This show is an excellent option if you want something a bit more engaging and less formal.

Tickets for the show start from £18.50 single day ticket for an adult or a family ticket of £37 gets 2 adults and 2 kids in. Kids under 3 go for free. For more details visit the website by clicking the button below.

4. Fleet Live – 11th – 12th October – NEC Birmingham

The Fleet & Mobility Live show at the NEC in Birmingham is in a similar vein to the CV Show. 

Run by Fleet News, the show brings together main players from the world of fleet. From car manufacturers to every part of the supply chain you can think of (and then some you probably haven’t thought of yet!). 

We attended the show last year (and will be there this year too) and met some excellent contacts who have been helpful to our continued growth. 

The show is free to attend and well worth a visit. To register your interest please click the button below.

5. London EV Show – 29th November – 1st December – ExCel London

As the name would suggest, the London EV Show is for all-things EV.

Using a combination of live, in-person and virtual exhibitions and presentations, the London EV Show aims to “seamless networking & business matchmaking platform to EV enthusiasts”.

With the event bringing together all the key players across the entire EV supply chain, if you are looking to electrification of your fleet in the next 18 months or within the EV sector, this event could be the one place you head this year. 

To find out more about the show and registering your interest in buying a delegate pass, visit the London EV website by clicking the button below.

 

Here’s to an exciting 2022! 

We will be attending some, if not all of these events so please be to sure to stop and say hello if you see us. If you are attending any other events you think are worthy of a mention, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this article.

 

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Ben – Vital Support for the Automotive Industry

Ben – Vital Support for the Automotive Industry

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Ben – Vital Support for the Automotive Industry

Supporting the Lifeblood of the Automotive Industry – The Role of Ben

Ben is a charity who have been providing support to workers in the automotive industry for over 100 years. With a strong focus on mental health and wellbeing, the festive season is a notorious time for exacerbating issues. In this article, we want to raise awareness of their work in the hope that more lives can be helped at this difficult time for many across the automotive sector.

Before we look into Ben as an organisation though, I feel there needs to be a little more context here and why their role is so crucial – especially right now.

Recognising the importance of staff wellbeing.

There can be little doubt that staff wellbeing is a massively important issue, particularly in the here and now.

We are currently facing another wave of the Covid virus that has wreaked havoc across the globe for the best part of two years. Needless to say, the impact on jobs and people’s lives is far-reaching.

The problem is, many reports carried out during the pandemic – and particularly after the first wave last year – are highlighting that wellbeing in the workplace needs a “radical” rethink by employers like never before.

Many issues have been accelerated by the pandemic – and yet the evidence also suggests there are still many employers with little idea as to what wellbeing means, let alone what an effective programme should look like.

It is crucial that businesses acknowledge that wellbeing needs to be agile, data driven and continually considering its people’s needs. By not knowing the numbers, the effectiveness of any wellbeing programme is greatly diminished.

There also needs to be an understanding that wellbeing isn’t just focussing on mental health. The wellbeing of a workforce impacts on both physical and mental health – and that the two are often intertwined.

The benefits of staff wellbeing for an employer.

As well as being the right thing to do for its workforce on a human level, for any business that does invest and embrace positive wellbeing and health, they can expect to be rewarded in the bottom line on the balance sheet.

Growing evidence suggests that for every £1 invested, an employer could expect to receive £5 back in reduced absence, improved employee engagement and overall productivity.

For businesses in the automotive industry, working with charities like Ben can help put an effective wellbeing strategy in place and provide immediate access to a wealth of resources that can help them and their employees deal with a variety of life’s challenges in a variety of ways.

So what is Ben?

From the beginning.

Incredibly, Ben was founded back in 1905 – when there just a few hundred vehicles on the road. Set up by A J Wilson whilst he was working for Dunlop tyres, they were originally named the Cycle Trades Benevolent Fund. The word “Motor” was later added to the name as the popularity in cars grew.

Right from the get-go though, the fund’s aim was to help those who worked in the trade who fell on hard times. Remember, there was no welfare system in place until after the Second World War, so the fund helped those in need by issuing a series of grants through a network of local offices.

Over the years, other benevolent funds were amalgamated – including funds for coachbuilders and agricultural engineering trades – and formed “Ben” – which today supports people from right across the automotive sector and its allied trades.

A huge landmark for the organisation came in 1948 when Ben opened its first residential care home at Lynwood Court in Ascot, Berkshire. In 1972 it also became Ben’s HQ, where they are still based today.

Today, Ben has 3 residential care centres in the UK, whilst its health and wellbeing support service provides far more than grants these days. The core function though remains the same – supporting those in need.

The role of Ben in 2021.

Ben making positive differences to peoples lives

In 2021, the role of Ben has had to evolve to meet the demands of modern living and societal changes. As we’ve said, the on-going Covid pandemic is undoubtedly one of the biggest issues – if not the main issue – businesses in the automotive industry are facing at the moment.

In addition to this, it is said that 1 in 4 people can experience mental health issues at any one time with the added pressures of workload and the continual demands across the automotive industry.

Being available

The heightened awareness of mental health issues and wellbeing is encouraging more and more people to realise they may have an issue.

Recognising the issue is an important first step. Unfortunately accessing support isn’t always easy if people don’t know where to find it. The conventional route of support from a GP can take some time even in normal circumstances. During the pandemic, those waiting times have extended further still.

What help is available?

Working with individuals

Once someone reaches out, Ben uses its ‘MyLife’ Wellbeing areas to identify what support an individual needs.

The ‘MyLife’ areas are;

  • MyHome
  • MyNetwork
  • MyMoney
  • MyLifestyle
  • MyEmotions
  • MySelf

Covering such a broad spectrum of issues, the levels of support available are tailored to the individuals particular needs within the ‘MyLife’ remit.

In such difficult times, financial support is called on for many things. From paying household bills, and support for medical costs to helping encourage better money management, Ben have the resources to help ease financial burden.

For those who are going through tough times whether it’s at home or work, or are dealing with personal trauma, loss, or are struggling with issues around anxiety or depression – Ben can offer counselling and talking therapies through its Life Coaching service – the results of which are incredible in having people make significant positive life changes.

In addition to these services for those working in the automotive sector, Ben also offers support to their families and those closest to service users. 

Ben’s website (link provided at the end of this article) is packed full of tools and advice to help individuals take the first steps, as well as provide more information about the different services available.

Working with Businesses

Perhaps one of the most significant aspects of Ben’s role is to help businesses in the automotive industry achieve a greater understanding in their employee’s wellbeing and health – and the role they should play. 

The benefits for the business have already been mentioned, but in reality, everyone benefits if many issues can be identified and worked on at company level.

Ben has recently entered a new partnership with wellness experts Wellonomics – to provide a customised platform that will give businesses access to tools to review employees’ health and wellbeing.

The platform gathers anonymous data and allows for monthly online assessments to be submitted – thus helping the company to really drill into the numbers and identify areas of concern and focus for improvement. 

Whilst this project is due to launch in 2022, Ben already offers many incredible resources that automotive businesses can tap into. 

Ben currently offers training to employers focussed on health and wellbeing. There is also a Critical Response Service which supports employers with employee issues of an urgent nature – such as loss of life or traumatic events, self-harm or safeguarding or circumstances related to complex health needs or disability.

Ben also uses its close links with businesses to help raise general awareness of their other services including Ben’s helpline, support service, specialist support for mental health with the provision of SilverCloud – (Ben’s digital CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) platform) – its counselling services, talking therapies and other specialist therapies as well as it’s life coaching service. 

Working closely with businesses is something Ben is firmly committed to and as we move into 2022, those links are certain to get stronger.

Who are the people behind Ben?

The services provided by Ben relies on the quality, determination and dedication of its people. From a strong leadership team as well as it’s specialists and volunteers, everyone helps to get the necessary support to those in need.

Headed up by CEOZara Ross, Health & Wellbeing DirectorRachel Clift and Director of Partnerships, Engagement and Income –  Matt WiggingtonBen has an experienced team around them to help deal with today’s challenges.

The Fundraiser, Donor Management & Events Team are tasked with raising the funds to help Ben provide the support and initiatives it does – as well as generating awareness and engagement within the automotive sector.

It was indeed at such an event – the CV Show at the NEC in September that we attended where we first spoke to representatives from Ben about the work they do – giving us the idea for this feature.

The Business Development team are crucial to securing those business relationships already talked about. In doing this, Ben can continue to provide the support within the automotive sector to those businesses who need it.

The Marketing team are tasked with both raising awareness and generating engagement through a variety of channels.

The last ten years or so has seen social media rise to the forefront of both awareness and engagement campaigns – giving instant access and reach to those in need. However, social media is just one of the many channels that the marketing team will use to help reach as many people as possible.

Right at the forefront of the work Ben carries out is its Frontline delivery team – from its helpline advisers, case managers and it’s clinical and non-clinical specialist roles – all of whom provide the crucial support to the service users.

Help Ben to help others

First and foremost, should you feel you need support or you’re concerned about someone else who might benefit from Ben’s support, you can reach out to Ben via their free and confidential helpline on
0808 131 1333, which is open Mon-Fri 8am to 8pm, or via email supportservices@ben.org.uk.

If you’d like to know more about Ben’s services and support, how you can promote or work in partnership with Ben, then you can also contact Ben’s Health & Wellbeing Director, Rachel Clift on 07545 162567 or rachel.clift@ben.org.uk.

Finally, Ben also relies on financial support from it’s donors. On the Ben website there is the opportunity to make a donation.

For more information about Ben, the work they do and how you could support them then please do go and check out their website by clicking the button below.

Thank you to Steve Pinchen, Ben’s Employer Partnerships Executive for helping put this together

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Fleet Managers dealing with Drink & Drug Driving issues at Christmas

Fleet Managers dealing with Drink & Drug Driving issues at Christmas

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Fleet Managers dealing with Drink & Drug Driving issues at Christmas

Why raising awareness with your drivers could save you a post-christmas headache

The festive season sees a spike in drink and drug driving related convictions. We spoke to Simon Morton of award-winning solicitors Morton’s Solicitors in Stockport about the perils of drink/drug driving – and the implications when that person is a driver as part of a fleet.

“If I said – “picture someone being caught for drink/drug driving offences”, most people often picture a scene of late at night and it’s often a young male leaving a pub or a club and getting pulled over. This however isn’t always the case – especially at this time of year.” 

Simon Morton’s firm – Morton’s Solicitors deal daily at this time of year with people caught drink and/or drug driving. 

The reasons are pretty obvious. The festive season sees more social gatherings, Christmas parties (when allowed) and other celebrations, all of which make drink and drug-driving offences more likely.

However, it is isn’t on the night that is just the issue. Simon claims that it is actually the ‘morning after’ where many drivers get caught out – and it is the mornings that are a time that many police forces will specifically target.

The morning after the night before

“Believe it or not, one of the busiest times for drink/drug driving offences are in the mornings – and not just the early hours. At this time of year many people make the decision to drive to work – or even drive as part of their work – whilst still under the influence of drinks/drugs they consumed the previous evening.” Simon reveals.

Some drivers who are caught were aware of their condition and risked it anyway, but Simon explains that this isn’t always the case.

“In many cases, the driver is unaware they are still over the legal limit for drink-driving – or are unaware of how long any drugs taken may stay in their system.”

Unfortunately, a lack of awareness isn’t a defence.

“All too often we are told that “I only had a few drinks” or even “I had a shower and a coffee and thought I’d be ok”. The fact is, being unaware doesn’t wash when it comes to the law – and for any drivers out there, the impact of a drink or drug-driving charge can have far-reaching implications – and a knock-on effect for their employers.” 

What are the implications of a drink/drug driving conviction?

“Any conviction for drink and/or drug driving carries serious implications for anyone convicted. There is often a significant fine – but more importantly the offences carry a mandatory driving ban of at least 12 months, and can carry a prison sentence too. And of course, there is the potential risk to life.”

how does this impact on fleet managers and businesses reliant on ITs drivers?

“If your business relies on its drivers then the last thing you want to be doing is losing staff this way – particularly at this time of year which, for some businesses, can be heavily dependent on the availability of their drivers. It can be difficult enough having to deal with other issues, such as illness, and of course at the moment, Covid.” 

Simon continues. “The thing is, drink/drug driving is utterly avoidable. Ultimately, the responsibility is completely on any driver to make sure they are within the limits to drive – but by fleet managers promoting a ‘none for the road’ message in line with the police forces, it can help re-inforce to the drivers their responsibility both to themselves but also to other road users.”

How does someone know if it is safe to drive the morning after?

“Whether a person is within the drink-drive limit the following morning depends on many factors. The size of the person, the amount consumed and the amount of time that has passed since the last drink.”

This makes it a judgement call.

“In reality – unless you can accurately test yourself before you drive – you really have no way of knowing. Therefore, driving a car or van after having had alcohol the night before is taking a risk. The only guaranteed way it isn’t a risk is by not drinking alcohol or taking drugs the night previously.” 

MYTHBUSTING : Can the process of getting rid of alcohol from the system be sped up?

There are many things that people will try to “speed up” getting rid of alcohol from their system – do any of them work?

“In a word, No. People might have heard that coffee, or a cold shower, or drinking lots of water helps speed things up, but whilst you might “feel” a bit better, the alcohol leaves your system at the same rate – which again depends on those factors I mentioned. Again, for fleet managers, making drivers aware of this can help them re-inforce the message that ‘none for the road’ really is the only risk-free option.”

As for drugs driving – again, the message from fleet managers really should be about reminding it’s drivers of their responsibilities.

“Drugs stay in the system even longer and different drugs stick around for different lengths of time. Really whilst it shouldn’t need fleet managers to remind their drivers about drug-taking and their responsibilities around this, the number of drivers we deal with at this time of year who are caught, would suggest that a reminder that all drug-taking should be avoided certainly wouldn’t hurt.”

What if someone is caught drink/drug driving?

Simon explains that getting legal representation at the earliest opportunity is crucial to getting the best defence in place.

“The first thing is that being taken into a police station for many people can be very daunting. It is often at this point where the driver is confused, scared, angry, worried and often without legal representation, anything said at this point can leave defence options severly limited. Police Station Representation is free of charge and should be sought immediately.”

It cannot be stated enough that defending a drink/drug driving charge is quite difficult, and it is a serious offence which could lead to a mandatory ban and even a custodial sentence. So can anything be done?

“In some cases, there are certain legal defences available, and we are happy to discuss these with anyone who is charged. When a legal defence is not possible, then we will work hard to mitigate the sentence and to help get the defendents life back on track.” 

Morton’s Solicitors are award-winning solicitors who deal with motoring offences and are on-hand with 24 hour police station representation. If you would like to find out more about their motoring conviction defence services, click on the button below.

 

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Do you know your Clean Air Zones from your LEZs or ULEZs

Do you know your Clean Air Zones from your LEZs or ULEZs

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Do you know your Clean Air Zones from your LEZs or ULEZs

Get to grips with Clean Air Zones, Low Emission Zones and ULEZ.

It might not have gone unnoticed, but businesses who regularly travel within the largest cities in the UK are facing an added cost due to the emergence of low emission zones. 

With NO2 emissions a contributing factor to hundreds of deaths in some of our biggest cities, local authorities both have a legal and moral obligation to reduce emission levels. 

To do this, a number of very similar initiatives have been introduced to combat emission levels. 

Reducing Emissions in city centres

We already had the ULEZ (Ultra-low Emission Zone) in London, whilst Glasgow introduced a Low Emission Zone for it’s buses back in 2018 – but 2021 has also seen the introduction of Clean Air Zones in Bath, Birmingham and Portsmouth – as well as an extension to the existing ULEZ.

In 2022 – even more Clean Air Zones will roll out, whilst in Scotland, there will be an expansion to the Glasgow Low Emission Zone to include all vehicles, whilst similar Low Emission Zones will be introduced in Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

Basically – the world is FINALLY going low-emission crazy.

But as you can see, CAZs, ULEZ, LEZ (and that’s not to mention Oxford piloting a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ)) all these letters and zones can become confusing – and if you are a business operating vehicles in one or more of these cities, planning could become quite complex and bogged down. 

Let The Fleet Adviser Help You with our Definitive Guide

To help you battle through the ever-shifting landscape of CAZs, LEZs, ULEZ and ZEZs, we have put together a useful “definitive guide” section on our Vehicle Guide Website. 

In our guide we provide; 

  • information on each individual zone including minimum requirements, when the zone goes live, what type of zone it is, a map of the zone area and links to useful websites.
  • faqs section answering some of the commonly asked questions – from how are the zones monitored to how do you pay.
  • useful links to payment portals for the relevant zones as well a link to creating a business account if you wish to register more than one vehicle for Clean Air Zones.

 

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