According to The Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders, in 2013 only 3,500 registered cars were either EV cars or hybrid vehicles in the UK. In 2017, that number had risen to more than 49,222. This significant increase is a combination of a rise in demand, a broadening of choice and the increasing variety of attractive incentives that are beginning to drive organisations towards green cars as a fleet option. In 2018, an electric fleet is viable for any business – and there are some good reasons why a strategic switch to EV cars could represent the best possible vision of the future.
Traditional cars have a negative impact on the environment as a result of fuel consumption and consequent emissions of CO2, leading to air pollution. These emissions are widely accepted as a trigger for global warming and legislation such as the Climate Change Act 2008 has been introduced to bring this under control. Hybrid vehicles generate significantly reduced emissions and EV cars produce none at all. The Climate Change Act 2008 set a legal obligation that by 2050 the UK must reduce their emissions to only 80% of 1990 levels. Moreover, last year, the government further squeezed this target by discussing a potential zero emissions legal obligation by the end of the 21st century. As EV cars enable a 40% cut in CO2 emissions, there’s no doubt that they have a big role to play in helping the UK to reach this target – and to reduce the overall negative environmental impact.
For firms looking to demonstrate CSR, there is no getting away from the obstacle that is presented by a fuel burning fleet. Embracing CSR means organisations have the opportunity to take responsibility for the negative impact the business has on stakeholders and communities and furthermore, change this where necessary. Switching to an electric fleet is a clear positive move on the CSR front, which can help to strengthen brand values and create a competitive advantage in increasingly crowded marketplaces.
Five years ago, a lack of EV charging solutions presented a problem. For many businesses, this was an obstacle in regards to entering the electric car market. However, today electric car charging stations are readily available with numbers increasing by the month. There are over 13,000 public charging points - and options for home charging or installing charging points on work premises are simple, cost effective and easy to manage. Plus, the government has committed a budget of £38m for public charging points this will lead to an even broader mix of options for charging your car.
As the facts about electric cars have emerged it has become increasingly obvious that there are considerable cost benefits for businesses switching to an electric fleet. For example, government grants of £4,500 are available towards the cost of a standard electric vehicle – and up to £500 is available for the installation of a charging point. There are also tax breaks, as well as on the road savings when it comes to fuel. Driving an EV car, as opposed to a petrol car, is estimated to save £100 per 1,000 miles.
Another consideration is the savings in congestion charges through exemptions and discounts, as well as the exemptions from vehicle excise duty all contributing towards the financial viability of an electric fleet. This kind of financial support is likely to become even more attractive with the government having pledged more than £600m by 2020 to “support the uptake of ultra-low-emission vehicles.”
We have moved from innovators such as Tesla being the only choice for those seeking to switch to green cars to a much broader range of options. Now, the number of upcoming electric cars increases by the year as big name manufacturers seek to enter the market. EVs are predicted to make up two thirds of all road vehicles by 2050, so it’s no surprise that many big names are looking to compete. A few of the new models being released this year alone include BMW i3s, Rimac C_Two, Porsche Mission E, Nissan’s second-generation Leaf EV, Aston Martin RapidE and Nio ES8. These cars mix the luxurious with the every day, the concept car with the seven-seater SUV. As the market develops, competition means that, not only will there be more choice of models, but of prices too, both in terms of purchasing options and the cost to charge an electric car.
From brand perception, to operational costs and the financial incentives that come with EV choices, there is much more on offer today for businesses looking to switch to an electric fleet. Upgrading auto infrastructure to one that boasts zero emissions not only makes sense today - financially and in terms of CSR - but will also be a smart option for future proofing the business too.