Electric vehicles are becoming more commonplace in business fleets, but what makes them so appealing? Are there cost benefits of electric cars, ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) credentials or are they just trendy?
In fact, it’s a bit of all three – the latest models of electric cars are fashionable, but they’re underpinned by some seriously efficient technology that makes good sense for business use, as well as the environment.
Of course, there are bigger forces at work, as internal combustion engine vehicles will soon be consigned to the used car market only. But setting that to one side, what are the arguments in favour of EVs already?
This guide will look at some of EVs’ cost and non-cost benefits to see why so many businesses are embracing electric fleets as we move through the 2020s.
First and foremost, fuel is a major contributor to the running costs of a business fleet, and EVs typically cost substantially less per mile than petrol or diesel cars.
If you operate a sizeable electric fleet, you’re also in a position to negotiate with your energy supplier. You may find they’re prepared to offer you a lower unit price for the electricity you use to charge your vehicles.
With public charging infrastructure now readily available, you don’t need to worry about your fleet vehicles becoming stranded – they should always be well within range of somewhere to juice up in a hurry.
Electric vehicles are generally low-maintenance, with few moving parts compared to the typical internal combustion engine.
Regular servicing by a professional should keep them running cleanly, quietly and cost-efficiently, further reducing the risk of a breakdown.
Business EV leasing contracts which include maintenance and servicing, also include breakdown cover and roadside assistance a so you don’t have to pay an emergency call-out charge or have a separate breakdown policy if one of your vehicles breaks down while out on a job.
If your premises have a lot of work traffic coming and going, the top electric car models will be significantly quieter than their ICE equivalents.
This is good news for your workforce, as it reduces the risk of distraction due to engine noises outside the window and will also keep the air quality higher around your car park.
In particular, it positively impacts businesses located in built-up areas and with residential properties nearby, to lower the chance of a dispute with their neighbours.
Many of the top candidates for jobs in all sectors are keen to minimise their impact on the environment. By providing an electric company car, you can ensure that their commute (and any day-to-day driving they do in their job) has zero emissions.
While a carbon footprint is involved in the manufacture of electric cars and in the electricity used to charge them up, they are still one of the cleanest options for journeys that cannot be completed on foot or by bicycle.
As a business, you need a vehicle, and perhaps an entire fleet of vehicles. The carbon reduction of running an EV instead of an ICE will quickly add up to many tonnes of CO2 removed from the atmosphere, and supports your organisation’s environmental credentials.
The public is increasingly aware of the impact of vehicle exhaust emissions on air quality and climate change. Step outside in a large city at 5pm, and you can’t escape the rush hour fumes.
Electric cars have zero tailpipe emissions, and that means zero air pollution at the point of use. Again, if your business is located in a residential area or a city centre, there’s huge potential to improve your public perception by going all-electric.
You can even run promotional campaigns highlighting that your fleet is all-electric and ultra-energy-efficient, turning your investment into an advertising opportunity.
Compliance is not a word most business owners enjoy thinking about. But if you’re in an industry where you have to report your carbon footprint, an electric fleet can help to simplify that process significantly.
Instead of needing to calculate miles covered and tailpipe emissions for every car and van you operate, you can state that your fleet is zero-emissions at the point of use.
Depending on the regulations that apply to you, you may still need to account for the carbon footprint of charging your vehicles. Still, it’s much easier to do that based on the total units of electricity delivered by your on-site charging posts.
Maybe you’re not buying a fleet but just looking to lease a single EV to use for yourself – much of the above still applies.
Electric cars also offer the significant advantage that you can plug them in at home and leave them to charge up overnight. Alternatively, you could install a faster charging post that will take just a couple of hours to restore most of your vehicle’s range.
This means you don’t need to find an open petrol station after a long day to return your car to a ‘full tank’. You just need enough range to get home, plug in your charger, and relax.
Electric cars make good business sense across the board, from running costs to maintenance and repairs, even down to how your customers perceive your brand.
With electric car business leases available, you can avoid the upfront costs of buying the top models and new vehicles on the market while still offering your valued employees the most comfortable and efficient electric cars.
EV business leases include road tax, and with an optional maintenance and service package, all routine maintenance is taken care of and roadside assistance is also included.
Compared with internal combustion engines, EVs are cheaper to run, cleaner to operate, and more likely to pass an MOT the first time. An added bonus is that they’re still exempt from road tax until 1st April 2025.
The final decision will always lie with your own business and what you need from your fleet (or your own vehicle), but in most cases, the cost-benefit analysis falls firmly in favour of all-electric cars and vans.