22nd Nov 2022 |
4 min read

Wincanton speeds ahead with switch to electric company car scheme

The challenge

Sustainability is coming to the forefront of all businesses in the wake of COP26. Wincanton, a leading logistics company, has been reviewing where it can make a difference in its emissions and carbon footprint. Wincanton identified its company car fleet as an area where it could reduce its environmental impact by switching from petrol or diesel vehicles to electric or hybrid options. With its drivers covering almost nine million miles a year in petrol or diesel cars in 2019, it was a big task to carry out the switch in a way that worked for its drivers.  

See how VWFS Fleet are helping Wincanton transition its fleet


The solution

Wincanton has been working with Volkswagen Financial Services Fleet (VWFS Fleet) since 2019 to transition its fleet to alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) such as Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles or preferably Battery Electric Vehicles.

VWFS Fleet worked with Wincanton on a total cost of ownership model to show the overall cost benefits of Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) and Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEVs). Understanding the true cost of lease enabled them to put together an attractive company car scheme that benefitted both the business and the drivers, taking into account effective rental, NI contributions, fuel costs and tax relief.

Each quarter, over the course of three years, VWFS Fleet has added more AFV options from all manufacturers for company car drivers to select from to start the journey towards a fully electric fleet. Slowly increasing the choice of electric cars on offer and including the cost of a homecharger into the overall value of the lease helped eliminate any driver concerns about switching to a BEV, along with Wincantons internal communication strategy. The aim was to get to a point where only BEVs were on offer.

So far, these measures have reduced the company’s fleet CO2 emissions by 18%, and 15% of Wincanton’s company car fleet is now electric. The gradual switch to an electric company car scheme has been a success, with 93% of the cars currently on order being BEV or PHEV, which will further reduce Wincanton’s emissions.

In the last year alone, Wincanton has taken its carbon footprint from 100g/km in 2021 to 71g/km in 2022, still taking into account legacy petrol and diesel vehicles in the fleet, with a prediction of eliminating 1,000 tons of CO2 by the time Wincanton’s fleet goes fully electric in the next few years.

Although some petrol and diesel cars were still available, when a driver opted for these, VWFS Fleet took them through its ‘EV-4-Me’ tool, which helps drivers establish if a BEV would fit in with their needs.

The future

In 2022, Wincanton will be offering a complete electric company car scheme list, having successfully made the transition. They will, however, maintain a secondary list of PHEVs, petrol and diesel for those exceptional drivers whose needs cannot be fulfilled with a BEV yet.

VWFS Fleet will continue to work with drivers to assess if the secondary list of vehicles is the right option for those exceptions. It will also manage the process of arranging home chargers for Wincanton company car drivers whilst supporting Wincanton’s commitment to installing rapid chargers in its 5-8 most visited sites, with standard chargers already active in 15 sites. As a result of the electric vehicle roll-out, more drivers have moved from cash option vehicles to the company car scheme to allow them to go electric.

“Tackling our carbon dioxide emissions was a priority for our business, and we knew our company car fleet was something we could tackle relatively easily to make a small but immediate and visible difference to our environmental impact.”

Steve Tainton, Head of Sustainability & CSR at Wincanton

“Switching our company car fleet to electric therefore became a key element of our sustainability strategy as a signal to our colleagues that change is coming and personal business travel is a good first step. We made a commitment to move our company car fleet to fully electric by 2026, and VWFS has helped us move towards that goal.”

“The way we have transitioned our company cars has meant we’ve had real buy-in from our people. When ordering, the team at VWFS Fleet use the EV-4-Me tool to assess whether a BEV is suitable for the needs of our drivers. In looking at the total cost of ownership, we’ve made sure that we’re offering a really attractive scheme for both the drivers and the business, as well as helping to lessen our environmental impact.”

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