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Electric vehicles, or EVs, are a cleaner, greener way to get from A to B. But what if you want to start using EVs as a business owner?
Maybe you are a courier, taxi driver or fleet operator and are looking to the future, which overwhelmingly appears to be electric. Here, we take a look into the pros and cons of using EVs for your business.
The maximum plug-in grant is £3,500 for cars, vans and taxis, and £1,500 for motorcycles and mopeds. Grants are calculated by discounting the dealership price by 20%. You don’t have to do a thing, as the dealer will deduct the grant from your purchase price automatically, with them being reimbursed by the government.
The headlines are all about the low running costs with regard to fuel costs. Of course, this is true; you’ll be paying pennies compared to the costs which face delivery companies on their diesel bills.
However, EVs are a double-edged sword when it comes to running costs. Not only are their ‘fuel’ bills low, but their maintenance costs are minimal, too.
This is because EVs are simple. They might appear overly technical because they’re new, but compared to combustion engines, an EV is simply a giant battery and motor with wheels. That means no exhausts, fuel injector systems, turbos, radiators, glow plugs, spark plugs, sumps or pistons.
All of these outdated pieces of technology contain multiple parts that rely on factory tolerances and other substances such as lubricants and oil. An EV has no need for those components or pollutants and instead takes a minimalist approach to motoring.
This translates to low maintenance costs and breakdowns being a rarity.
No congestion charge is involved, which is clearly a benefit for businesses looking at their fleet costs.
‘Range anxiety’ is the worry that your fully charged EV won’t make it to your destination (or a usable charging point) in time. It is a concern which is tapering off as batteries become more powerful and charging points become more plentiful – all at a faster rate.
Businesses that can use car-sized EVs for their daily work, and do fewer miles, should not be put off by range anxiety. Fully charged EVs are reaching the 200-mile mark which is more than enough for businesses that are doing few motorway miles and are focussed on a select few locations. Although, motorway service stations do offer some of the best-charging facilities in the UK.
Van drivers need to assess their average mileage, the routes that they use and the availability of charging points. For many van drivers, an electric van – of which there are many – is a feasible business prospect and is great for your customers, too. Quiet engines and zero pollution can only be a good thing for those who drive and work early in the morning – particularly in residential areas.
Consumer interest in eco-friendly companies has been growing steadily since the turn of the century – not simply a one-off generational concern. All generations are picking up on the importance of responsible choices. Therefore, those vehicles which are manufactured with the environment in mind, including for materials (like with the Nissan Leaf and Ford Focus Electric), will be sending a strong message to your customers. Make sure to highlight it as a selling point in your promotional literature.
Though the public are becoming more accustomed to seeing EVs on the road, they are far from commonplace. This may give you a competitive edge if you are an early adopter within your industry or market. Whether it’s for public image reasons, your eco-friendly credentials or commitments to the environment – it’s still a great time to invest in upgrading your fleet to 21st-century technology.
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