Monthly Archives: January 2017

COMPANY FLEET OPERATORS: ELECTRIC CARS A REALITY OR A DISTANT DREAM?

As the human race continues its quest to lessen its carbon footprint electric cars are gradually becoming more popular. Charging stations are far more numerous today and designs and options are improving across the board. However for many businesses it is still going to take a fairly substantial leap of faith to “go electric” but should it given what is available now?

The key factors for any business will be the financial impact and practicality. If neither of these issues cannot be worked out then the desire to help clean up the atmosphere and reduce carbon outputs won’t even get off the ground. If a business owner can’t afford to run electric cars and they don’t get the staff to the desired location then, with all the best will in the world, it isn’t going to happen. So where are we today regarding costs and the ability for a fleet to be able to operate widely across the country?

The basic situation regarding finance is that the initial outlay will be higher than a petrol/diesel vehicle but the ongoing running and maintenance costs will be considerably cheaper. For example, in 2016, the electric versions of the VW Golf and Ford Focus come in at just over £30k. The benefits are that the vehicles are eligible for grant subsidy ranging from around £2500 up to £8000 but this is very model and usage specific and we won’t cover that level of detail in this guide. Lease options are varied and take into account range, usage and model as one would expect with any vehicle/fleet purchase.

Regarding practicality the situation is certainly now much more manageable. There are many, many more charging points across the UK and as one would expect they are heavily biased toward more urban and motorway laden areas. Good news for most businesses but a concern for anyone who needs to make a decent amount of rural trips. Charging times are improving and there are options to charge at home or at the workplace, where again a subsidy may come into play to help fund the costs. Other than charging the other main concern is range and that too is making leaps and bounds. Many models now have a range in excess of 100 miles and the top of the class version can manage more than 300 miles but, as ever, the price will reflect that and can push £100k at purchase point.

With environmental targets part of the legislative process electric cars are at the forefront. The Government forecasts that by 2027 up to 50% of new cars sold will be electric and whilst this may be ambitious it won’t halt the number of charging outlets, sweeteners, discounts and increase in the actual vehicles made. It is likely to be a boom industry over the next decade and you can be confident that the incentives will be materially significant for businesses.

Market leaders can provide specialist advice, charging station maps, finance options and just about anything else that you’d need to consider for your own corporate fleet. Electric cars are certainly no longer a running joke, they are out there already working for many businesses and if it suits you to have a low running cost based operation, with mainly urban or motorway usage then it’s definitely a realistic option.