Is it time to ditch the diesel?

Electric vehicles for business have been increasing in popularity due to their environmental benefits, lower running costs, and a range of government incentives. Simply Business have put together some pros and cons of having an electric vehicle for your work, plus a rundown on some of the best electric vehicles for trade…

Electric vehicles have many financial and environmental benefits for businesses. However, there are some cost and performance downsides that you’ll need to consider.

What are the advantages?
• The running costs are much lower – charging an electric vehicle could cost you a fraction of what you’d usually be spending on fuel
• There are clear environmental benefits – one electric car can save approximately 1.5 tonnes of CO2, according to EDF Energy
• There is a range of government incentives and tax benefits available for business owners who have electric vans and vehicles
What are the disadvantages?
• Most electric vans won’t be able to travel as far as diesel or petrol vehicles without needing to be charged
• It’s likely you’ll need to install a charging point at home or at work, which is an extra cost to consider
• The initial cost of buying an electric car or van for your business is likely to be higher than buying a petrol or diesel vehicle

Can business get grants for electric vehicles?
If you buy an electric vehicle for work, you can benefit from the government’s low-emission vehicles plug-in grant.
  The grant covers cars, vans, mopeds, motorcycles, trucks, and taxis. It’s available to dealerships and manufacturers who’ll take the value of the grant off the price when you buy an electric vehicle.
  The maximum grant for small vans is £3,000, £6,000 for large vans, and £16,000 for trucks.

Travel incentives for electric vehicle owners
If you have to travel into urban areas for work, there is a range of benefits to having an electric van or car…
• In London, electric vehicles don’t have to pay the congestion charge, saving £11.50 a day (which could add up to around £200 a month)
• You’ll also be exempt from paying £12.50 a day as part of the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ)
• There are similar ULEZ schemes planned in Birmingham, Manchester, Bristol, Bath, and Oxford

The environmental impact of electric vehicles
The movement encouraging more people to use electric cars has been driven by the government, which announced its plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK by 2030.
  For businesses operating in towns and cities, there’s a clear Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) benefit in showing that you’re committed to reducing your carbon footprint.

What are the options for electric vans?
If you’re thinking about getting an electric van for your business, there are lots of options to choose from. Here’s three of the most popular…
Nissan eNV200
This van has a ‘real-world’ driving range of 100 miles before it needs charging, as well as a 40kWh battery pack, it’s recommended for business drivers who do low mileage in the city.
Volkswagen ABT eTransporter
Made by ABT and sold by Volkswagen, this van has an 82kW battery pack and a claimed range of 82 miles. It’s likely to cost you over £40,000 and is recommended for drivers who average 50 miles a day.
Mercedes-Benz eVito
This van allows drivers to slow or coast while driving, boasting a 93 mile range and 85kW motor. It’s known for its good storage and but lack of fast charging, and will also cost around £40,000 to buy new.

Should you buy or lease?
There are good reasons to take either approach. Leasing reduces the upfront cost and gives you a better chance of keeping up with technology developments such as increased time between charges.
  On the other hand, there are lots of financial incentives for buying an electric business vehicle and the running costs after your initial outlay are likely to be very low.
Whatever you decide, it’s important to do your research and think about the long-term impact it could have on your business.

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