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Making the case for electric vehicles in fleets

Posted by: Fleet Licence Check - Friday, May 20, 2016

The British Government has set one of the most ambitious and challenging carbon targets in the world – to reduce greenhouse emissions by 50 per cent between 2023 to 2027.

To do this, they need electric vehicles to catch on with fleets. For you see, 22 per cent of Great Britain’s domestic emissions come from transport. And more than half (58 per cent) of all new cars registered are bought by fleets. So the Government is relying on fleets to adopt this technology. So the question is, should fleets look into EVs as a serious opportunity?


Making the case for electric vehicles

Companies have a number of opportunities for reducing fleet carbon emissions. Notable opportunities include hybrids, Euro 6 diesel engines and electric vehicles. Electric vehicles, or EVs, require no traditional refuelling and they have emissions of 0 g/km. So the immediate advantage to electric vehicles in fleets is the cost saving with refuelling because electricity is far cheaper to buy than traditional fuel. The average Euro 6 diesel car will cost 13p per mile to run. Electric vehicles? That cost goes down to just 3p per mile.

Electric vehicles also have a company car tax advantage. Vehicles with zero emissions pay zero rate company car tax. For a fleet with a large number of vehicles, this represents a significant opportunity to save money. And it compares favourably to the 5 per cent tax rate companies have to pay for vehicles that emit up to 75 g/km of CO2. Fleets that operate in London also benefit from 100 per cent discounts from the London Congestion Charge.

Overcoming range anxiety and accepting the operational benefits of EVs

Electric vehicles have come a long way over the last five years. It is now common for electric vehicles to be able to operate at normal vehicle speeds with a range in excess of 100 miles – for example, the new Tesla Model E offers a minimum range of 215 miles. This has gone some way to eradicating so-called ‘range anxiety’. The Government are also offering plug-in vehicle charge point grants to some companies and the number of publically available charging stations has risen sharply over the last three years.

All of which is to say, fleets who operate electric vehicles can do so without the drawbacks that electric vehicles had just a few years ago. And fleets who do adopt such vehicles will no doubt appreciate the operational benefits they offer, such as reduced maintenance and improved resilience planning - with EVs unaffected by changes in fuel prices or availability – which will allow them to operate despite of any rapid changes in the market.

To summarise this article, EVs are a huge opportunity for fleets. They make perfect business sense and the operational benefits are obvious. We recommend all fleets operating cars and vans to consider EVs in the immediate future.

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