Five ways electric vehicles might surprise you (and one way they won’t)
When it comes to vehicle choice, there’s a lot to consider. They want choice, but you don’t want to manage every brand from Audi to Zenos. You need to control costs, but you don’t want your people to feel short-changed.
And now there’s a new factor to consider – the rise of electric vehicles (EVs). You no doubt want to make sure the vehicles on your list will be relevant in the future. At the same time, you may not be convinced electric vehicles are right for your fleet.
It's understandable. It’s still relatively early days for EVs. So they aren’t for everybody – but in the right circumstances they can make a huge difference to your drivers and your fleet.
Specifically, EVs are better in five surprising ways.
1. Range anxiety isn’t that big an issue
One of the most common reasons people are reluctant about EVs is the idea that they can’t handle the same range as cars with an internal combustion engine. And for some drivers that’s an important thing to note.
Modern electric cars with range-extending technology can now travel up to 250 miles on a single charge. But that still may not be enough for people driving across the country on a regular basis.
The thing is, most people aren’t doing long-haul journeys that frequently. In fact, a recent MIT study showed the average EV can handle 87% of trips made by cars with internal combustion engines.
So, although your high-mileage users may be better off sticking to diesel for now, electric is an ideal choice for drivers travelling shorter distances – with most models easily managing 100 miles on a charge.
(If you want to see how far some people have taken their EVs, check out www.threepeakszero.com.)
2. There are a lot more options to choose from
Not everyone wants to drive a Prius, no matter how good they are for the environment. For some people a car is a style choice; a statement, an extension of their personality.
Today, there’s an EV or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) for almost every lifestyle – whether that’s a BMW i3, an e-GOLF, a Tesla, or a Nissan Leaf. The options are only going to grow too – the world’s biggest car brands are getting serious about EVs. For instance, every single Volkswagen Group vehicle will have an electric option by 2030, and other makers will eventually follow suit.
(And because we’re a multi-marque supplier, Volkswagen Financial Services | Fleet (VWFS | Fleet) can help you source any brand you like – so you’re not restricted when it comes to the vehicles you can offer.)
3. EVs can help you control costs
Here’s a surprising fact: electric cars are cheaper.
They may not be cheaper to buy initially, but they can be cheaper to run and maintain.
The savings don’t stop there. Road tax? Gone. And congestion charges don’t apply, so trips in and around London won’t cost an arm and a leg.
There is also a wide range of grants and government incentives available. These include the Plug-In Car Grant, which provides up to £2,500 towards the cost of vehicles that have CO2 emissions of less than 50g/km, can travel at least 70 miles without any emissions and have a list price of less than £35,000 and the Workplace Charging Grant, which can reduce the cost of workplace charging points by up to £350 per socket (and with up to 40 sockets included, that could save you £14,000).
There’s help for the drivers too, in the form of the government’s OLEV grant. This will drastically cut the cost of a home charging point, so your drivers will be able to charge at home each night and have a full battery for whatever each day has in store.
Although some of these schemes, like the Plug-In Car Grant, will be honoured until at least 2020, some are designed to encourage early adopters and will soon be replaced. If you want to make the biggest savings, now is the time.
4. EVs make it easier to drive
With a network of more than 14,000 chargepoints at around 5,000 locations nationwide, fleet managers’ days of juggling fuel receipts and complicated mileage spreadsheets may be numbered.
But that’s just the start of the time they’ll save you. With fewer moving parts, EVs require less maintenance than internal combustion engines, and are considered safer too.
Suddenly admin-heavy jobs like fuel cost management and service booking take half as much time, freeing you up to focus on more important things.
5. EVs often have better features
Perhaps the biggest perk of driving an electric car is that feeling of being at the cutting edge of technology.
For starters, you introduce your drivers to quieter cars where they don’t have to worry about details like monitoring oil and adding coolant. Additionally, EVs come with smart features that allow drivers to do things like preheat their cars and clear their windscreens before they need to start driving. And crucially, a lot of EVs integrate nicely with smartphones so drivers can do things like check their battery is fully charged, from their phones.
Finally, EVs are better for the environment.
You knew about this one, of course.
With electric cars, no exhaust means no tailpipe emissions. In fact, studies show that even when powered by the most carbon intensive electricity, they produce fewer greenhouse gases than an internal combustion engine (ICE) equivalent vehicle. (And that’s including the production of the vehicle’s battery.)
So electric vehicles aren’t just great for your bottom line, they can be great for your green credentials too.
EVs won’t make sense for every one of your drivers. But they’re a lot better for a lot more drivers than you might have realised. With lower costs, simplified management and fewer emissions, it’s a good time to check which of your drivers might be better off with an EV.
If you want more of an idea for who EVs might be a good option for, read our Right Cars for the Right People guide.
VWFS | Fleet can help make your switch to electric seamless, providing the vehicles you want to drive and the expertise needed to get the most from them.