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The ‘Plug-In Car Grant’, which was introduced in 2011, is an incentive scheme from the Government which offers private individuals as well as companies up to 25% or a maximum of £5,000 off the price of a new low emission vehicle in an attempt to encourage sales. There are around 3 million fleet vehicles on the road in the UK so it’s not only a huge market, but also an area with vast potential for positive change.

 

Financial Implications
Aside from the Plug-In Car Grant mentioned above, EVs and Hybrid Vehicles (HVs) offer fleet managers the possibility of considerable savings in some other important areas. Firstly, Vehicle Excise Duty, more commonly known as road tax, which is based on a car’s CO2 emissions as well as the type of fuel it uses, is set at zero for vehicles in VED Band A. This means that vehicles which emit less than 100g/km of CO2 are exempt from paying the car tax. For the average fleet manager this has the potential to save thousands of pounds on the company’s annual fleet budget.

 

Vehicles in Band A are also exempt from the capital’s Congestion Zone charge. If you’re based in the South East, or your employees regularly travel in and out of London on business, you’ll know that the current charge of £10 per day can mount up, adding to the already high costs of employee travel. Cars which are exempt from the charge must meet the air quality Euro 5 standard in order to qualify for this discount – currently this requires vehicles to emit no more than 75g/km CO2. If you’re considering replacing your current vehicles with EVs or HVs and the congestion charge is of importance to you, make sure the vehicles you have in mind conform to Euro 5 in order to avoid having to pay the charge.

 

Fuel prices are a major area of concern to companies and the general public alike. Recent statistics show us that fuel has risen by over 30% on prices five years ago, pushing motoring costs to the brink of affordability. EVs and HVs can cut costs dramatically, thanks to their non-dependence on fossil fuels, achieving savings of between 5 – 40% annually. Even with the smallest of fleets, these savings would substantially reduce the cost of fuel and are worthy of serious consideration.

 

Green Credentials
As Kermit the Frog once said, “It isn’t easy being green”. However, these days, green issues are of vital importance to customers and it’s imperative that companies display their green credentials to enhance their corporate image. Research has shown that the general public looks more favourably upon those organisations which demonstrate their commitment to environmental issues in such matters as using low-energy light bulbs and recycling paper to installing wind turbines or solar panels to generate electricity. If your company’s mission statement includes a commitment to green issues, making the change to EVs and HVs can only bring positive interest from your customers.

 

Plugging In
It used to be true that there were relatively few charging points available for electric cars and that drivers of such vehicles were consequently limited in the mileage they could achieve. These days, however, charging points are springing up all over the country increasing the distance EVs are able to travel. In addition, the new generation of EVs have quicker recharge times, making an overnight charge unnecessary.

 

In conclusion, we all have to be concerned about our dependence on depleting supplies and increasing costs of fossil fuels, so the use of HVs and EVs can assist not only in reduced costs for fleet managers and enhance a company’s environmental image but also help make the world a greener and more pleasant place.
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