KEY REASONS TO SWITCH YOUR FLEET TO ELECTRIC VEHICLES

With clear signs that the future is electric, many businesses are now transitioning commercial fleets to electric vehicles. But what are the key drivers behind this?

GOVERNMENT IMPETUS

The UK has a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050, which is supported by a ban on the sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars by 2035.

Five cities in the UK have been mandated by the Government to introduce a Clear Air Zone to discourage the use of high-polluting vehicles and improve air quality.

Whilst the introduction of these zones in Birmingham, Leeds, Nottingham, Derby and Southampton is currently postponed due to COVID-19, the ruling of a further 23 local authorities to undertake Clean Air Zone feasibility studies to avoid illegal pollution levels by 2021 is a clear sign that a switch to EVs is needed.

Businesses with a need to operate freely in these emission zones will need to seriously consider the switch to EVs. In the recent spring budget, the government pledged £500m to support the rollout of rapid charging hubs.

The investment will go towards alleviating ‘range anxiety’, with plans for drivers to always be within 30 miles of a rapid-charging station. Considering that some EVs can now travel up to 180 miles on a full charge, a robust EV charging infrastructure gives reassurance that ‘range anxiety’ can be a thing of the past.

REDUCING COSTS

Whilst EVs still have a higher price tag as an initial purchase, there are significant savings when considering the total cost of ownership.

A Government grant scheme is available for brand new low-emission vehicles and worth up to £3000 or £8000 for each car and van respectively. Further information on the grant scheme can be found on the Gov.uk website.

Published figures state an annual saving in running costs of £1000, based upon fuel savings and the fact that most zero emissions EVs don’t pay any vehicle road tax. Based on an average unit of electricity costing 16.3p/kWH, the cost of an electrical car would be around 4p to 5p a mile, compared to an average cost of 15p to 16p per mile for petrol.

EVs also have less mechanical parts, theoretically meaning they should be more reliable and have lower maintenance costs in the long term.

If you operate in a Clean Air Zone, EVs are exempt from charges. For example, the London charge is £12.50 daily. These costs will rack up considerably when applied over a fleet.

BENEFIT IN KIND TAX RATES

Also introduced in the Government’s spring budget and worthy of a separate mention in the change is benefit-in-kind rates.

For company car drivers and fleet operators choosing an electric car from April 2020, there will be zero tax on Benefit in Kind (BIK) during 2020/2021. The government has also announced the tax rate for the next three years, helping businesses to plan ahead. The electric car tax on benefit in kind rate will increase to 1% in 2021/2022 and 2% in 2022/2023.

This means that ALL company car drivers will now seriously look at whether they could manage with an EV because it will save them thousands in tax each year. With this incentive in place, companies will see an increased demand from employees to have an EV instead of a traditional vehicle.

CREATING REVENUE STREAM

Installing chargepoints for your commercial fleet can also be harnessed as a revenue generator. With sophisticated software behind the EV chargers which can be easily manipulated for your needs, as you can set different tariffs for different segments. For example, your commercial fleet can charge for free, with a separate rate for employees and visitors.

Depending on the nature and location of your business, you may want to attract the general public by listing your EVCs on a chargepoint map (such as ZapMap). You can have a different tariff structure with very easy payment mechanisms in place.

In addition, the software will include load management features to ensure that your commercial fleet is given priority in charging. That way you can generate revenue without risking your fleet charging capacity.

Perhaps your EVs would charge overnight (at a lower electricity cost) meaning your chargers would be free to generate revenue during the daytime hours.

INSTALLING THE EV CHARGING INFRASTRUCTURE CAN BE EASY

Some businesses view the EV charging points and the electrical supply they require to be a barrier to uptake. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

You may have sufficient spare capacity on your existing electricity supply. Unless all of your commercial fleet cover enough mileage to use a full charge daily or need an immediate turnaround, it is likely you will be charging your commercial fleet overnight. In addition, perhaps each vehicle will only need one or two chargers a week. Integrating 7kw, 11kw or 22kw chargers onto your existing supply could easily be possible.

If you do require a new electricity supply for your chargers, the installed cables (and substation if required) can be adopted by an Independent Distribution Network Operator. They will take the responsibility for the installation and give you an upfront payment (asset value or AV) in return. This can make the new electrical installation very competitive. At Rock Power Connections, we can organise this for you.

If you are located in an ideal spot for the general public to also use your EVCs, a public network operator may be interested in funding the installation of your EVCs and the required connection. Rock Power Connections can arrange this all for you.

There is also the OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme grant which provides £350 for each EV charger (up to 40 sockets) designated for fleet and employee charging.

HOW CAN ROCK POWER CONNECTIONS HELP YOU

If you are considering installing EV charging points at your workplace, speak to us for a free, no-obligation advice and quotation. We can discuss your options and give you an indication of the costs and whether you would need an electricity upgrade.

As an ICP, we are accredited to design an install a new electrical supply. We are NICEIC accredited and can offer a full installation service from grid to EV chargers.

We’d be delighted to offer you a free, no obligation, competitive quote for your electrical connection project. Please email Emma on Emma@rockpowerconnections.co.uk, call 01905 456384 or click here to submit your enquiry.

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Rock Power Connections is fully-accredited to undertake new and upgraded electricity connections to the grid being an Independent Connections Provider (ICP) who is listed on the National Electricity Registration Scheme (NERS) or Lloyd’s register
Rock Power Connections is registered on the Achilles Utilities Vendors DataBase (UVDB). Their rigorous, independent audit of our quality, environmental and Health & Safety procedures in the office and on-site gives you peace of mind
Rock Power Connections is registered with the National Inspection Council for Electrical Installation Contracting, known as NICEIC.This involves a rigorous on-going assessment process, be assured that we achieve the highest technical and safety standards
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ROCK POWER CONNECTIONS LTD. Unit 5, Buckholt Business Centre, Buckholt Drive, Worcester, WR4 9ND.

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