When is the best time to switch your fleet to electric vehicles?
With the Government looking to phase out new petrol/diesel vehicle sales from 2030 onwards, switching your fleet over to electric vehicles is going to happen. The question is, when?
In this article, I will give you some of the main pros and cons for switching over right now. I will also provide some useful links at the bottom of this article if you wish to follow this up.
The Advantages of Switching right Now.
Regardless of how many cars and vans you have in your fleet, there are real benefits to switching electric vehicles sooner rather than later.
Here are just some of the reasons why you should at least start taking a look (if you haven’t already).
From Government grants to tax savings and lower running costs – switching to electric vehicles comes with real financial incentives. Here are just some of them.
Car & Van Purchase Grants
To assist with purchasing an electric car or van, you can claim a grant.
The Plug-in Car Grant you can receive upto £3000 towards the cost of an electric car – providing it is under £50000.
The Plug-in Van Grant allows for upto £8000 towards the purchase of a new van.
There is also a grant of upto £14000 available for installing electric car charging points at work under the Workplace Charging Scheme.
With what is going on in the world, it is worth taking advantage of these schemes whilst they remain in place.
Reduced Running Costs
There are numerous benefits to the running costs of electric vehicles. These include;
- With an Advisory Fuel Rate of just 4p per mile – this is far cheaper than the smallest petrol or diesel engine. This could save huge amounts on fuel.
- Your drivers can benefit from benefit-in-kind tax savings by choosing an electric car over a petrol/diesel model.
- Buying an electric car means you can “write down” 100% of the purchase price against corporation tax in year one. This is based on it’s CO² emissions.
- You won’t have to pay ULEZ, CAZ, Congestion Charging fees.
- All electric vehicles are currently exempt from paying Road Tax.
Plenty of big businesses have invested heavily recently in electric vehicles for their fleet. BT Openreach have just bought in 1000 new electric vans. British Gas have 247 new vans.
One of the reasons cited is that it helps push these companies towards their Carbon emissions targets.
And afterall, it’s worth remembering why there is a push towards electric vehicles in the first place.
The damage being done to the planet is a real concern that is demanding this change. The sooner businesses switch, the more can be done to slow down the damage being caused.
Enhanced PR Opportunity
Switching to a greener fleet also comes with a positive knock-on effect. By switching now, you can show your brand as a leader in positive change.
Whilst it shouldn’t be the sole reason for the switch, carrying a greener fleet would be advantageous for your business brand.
The reality is that few businesses have switched yet. Of the 4.1m vans on the road, only 10,000 are electric.
But interest is increasing rapidly. And now the bigger businesses have started switching, and funding is available – the next 12 months or so will see increasing spikes in switching to electric vehicles.
This is the best time to get ahead of the curve.
Are there any Downsides?
Of course, switching your fleet to electric vehicles right now has many plus points. As with most things though – your own business circumstances will help determine whether now is the right time to switch. There are some factors you will need to consider.
Data from the Department of Transport shows that over half of van fleet journeys are made within a 15 mile radius. The data shows that of the electric vans in use, only 1% are used for journeys of more than 50 miles.
The reality is if your fleet are making longer journeys, although the fuel savings are a consideration – the practicality of longer journeys, including charging point locations and the time taken to charge vehicles, are at the moment a huge consideration.
It may be that until these aspects of electric vehicles can be improved, some businesses will hold fire.
With a shift in vehicle technology comes other considerations other than just getting from A to B. The fact is that any technology in it’s relative infancy carries with it risks.
From the monitoring of performance, day-to-day management and having to deal with the maintenance of something using new technology, there can obviously be an element of risk and “the unknown”. However, in working closely with partners, alot of these fears can be nipped in the bud by tailoring a transition to your business needs.
There are certainly huge benefits to be had in switching your fleet to electric vehicles right now. It depends on your business needs of course, but I would recommend to any business that now is the time to start looking into making the switch.
The very first port of call should be to someone who can look at your business and guide you on how that switch should look, and what it is you need to consider. It might be that your business is not quite ready for the switch just yet, but you will be better armed with information when you are.
The reality is that for most of you reading this though, the chances are, the time to start looking to switch is right now.
If you have any questions or particular issues you wish to discuss in switching to electric vehicles, then please feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this page.
You can also click on the highlighted links for more information about Plug-in Van and Car Grants and the Workplace Charging Scheme.