Do you know much about electric cars? Have you considered one? If you’ve used petrol or diesel cars for most of your driving life, it can seem quite a big shift to suddenly get behind the wheel of an electric or hybrid vehicle. Some of your employees may have similar thoughts. Questions like ‘will the car last the journey’, where is my nearest charging point?’, how much cheaper is it to run?’.
The Government has tasked itself with reducing emission levels, and the UK apparently needs 60% of its vehicles to be electric by 2030 to meet climate change targets. As part of your corporate social responsibility agenda, could you play your part with a car benefit scheme which gives incentives for cleaner, greener cars?
Give employees the power ...
We recently teamed up with Tusker to provide our clients with an all in one solution to meet employees’ car needs. They put together a really useful buying guide to electric cars which may answer some of the questions you and your employees have:
"Different kinds of electric car
Full electric vehicles (EVs) are powered solely by battery and will take you 100 to c300 miles on a single charge. The average driver covers around 20 miles a day so, when considering electric vs petrol or diesel cars, you need to decide if this will be sufficient to cover your typical mileage.
Should you need to go on very long journeys, owning or hiring a second fossil-fuelled car is an option, leaving shorter drives to your electric vehicle.
If you want one car that does it all, consider a hybrid. Hybrids share the work of driving the vehicle between the petrol and electric motors. By giving the car a boost of power from the electric engine, for example as it climbs a hill, the car is more efficient.
Hybrids come in two forms:
- Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) capture the power that’s usually lost through braking and feed this into the car’s battery. You won’t need to charge this type of vehicle.
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) also combine electric battery power with petrol or diesel engines but you will need to charge this car.
The major benefits of hybrid cars are that they extend the range you can travel on a single tank of fuel saving you money and reducing your emissions. You can cover around 450 miles - the equivalent of Manchester to Glasgow and back - on a single tank of fuel in a BMW I3.
Electric Car Batteries
Like your mobile phone or laptop, electric and hybrid cars run on lithium ion batteries that are charged using a plug and socket. Capacity is usually measured in Kilowatt Hours (kWh) although sometimes it can be measured in Ampere Hours (Ah) depending on the brand of car.
Historically, one of the biggest concerns about electric vehicles was the battery life. But improvements in technology mean that batteries come with a five-to-eight-year warranty - well within the typical length of a company car scheme agreement.
As with all lithium ion batteries, you can expect them to hold less charge over time, with capacity declining to around 80% after about eight years.
A few of the many advantages of Tusker’s car benefit scheme is that employees can take a leap into the unknown without the risks ordinarily associated. For example:
- they can be an early adopter (benefiting from the additional tax efficiencies to offset the premium of accessing the latest tech)
- they can have peace of mind that the car is fully maintained and serviced so if something was to go wrong it won’t cost them a penny
- they don’t need to worry about depreciation. The technology is moving so rapidly it’s hard to know how well these cars will hold their value. Under the scheme employees don’t need to worry as with Tusker they simply hand the car back or do a key for key exchange for another new car.
Charging your electric car
Charge your car overnight at home and a slow charge won’t be a problem. But stop at a motorway services and you want your car ready to go, pronto. Charging point manufacturers know this so they provide a range of re-charging speeds:
- Slow - 3kW (kilowatts) takes around six to eight hours to fully charge a Nissan Leaf
- Fast - 7-22kW charges a Nissan Leaf battery in about three to four hours
- Rapid - 43-50kW will fill a Nissan Leaf to 80% within half an hour
To give you an idea on cost, one of the biggest motorway charging providers, Ecotricity, price their half-hour rapid fill at just £6.
It’s not just motorways that offer charging points. You can charge your electric car from a mains socket at home although this will be much slower than installing a slow or fast home charger.
Plus there’s a whole network of public chargers in car parks and a wide range of other locations. There are over 6,500 places to charge your car and tools like Zap-Map will help you locate them and plan your journey."
As you can see from their guide there are plenty of benefits of hybrid and electric cars in comparison to their petrol and diesel cousins, so maybe it’s not so daunting after all!
Get a new scheme in place in time for new registrations
A recent survey by MyJar found that the average motorist spends more than £206,625 on owning a car during their lifetime. Whether electric, petrol or diesel wouldn’t it be great to help employees mitigate some of those hefty costs while they work for you!
With UK, vehicle registration plates changing twice a year, in March and in September, implementing a scheme now will give your employees time to research the market and find the best deal for them. And, with our arrangement with Tusker, drivers don’t have to worry about anything, apart from adding fuel. Everything is managed for them – from servicing, maintenance and tyres to breakdowns, road tax and insurance - and they can cover the cost from their pre-tax salary, helping them save money. Based on some of Tusker’s most popular ULEVs (Ultra-low emission vehicle), you could also be saving an average of £350 a year for every car ordered through the scheme.
I went electric!
Neil Bowen, commercial director at You at Work, says: “We recently introduced Tusker to our own staff because we believe in giving our employees the choice to be greener and save money. My choice was to go for a hybrid because it gave me the best of both options when I’m out travelling for business or nipping into town.”
“Because of our close working relationship with You at Work, we were recently able to offer a free charging point for any of their clients’ employees buying a green car”, says Phil Gillespie, partnership relationship manager at Tusker, “and we have similar incentives coming soon!”
Are electric cars the future for your employees? If you want to play your part for the environment, and help your employees save money on some new wheels at the same time, then please get in contact with us today. We’d love to talk to you.