As record number of plug-in cars are registered in the UK, we examine the economic case for switching to electric vehicles and consider whether businesses could lead the way in making the switch.

Compared with 2011, registrations of electric vehicles (EV) in 2017 were up over 4000% and with the government commitment to ban new petrol and diesel cars (though not hybrid cars) by 2040 electric cars look set to play a significant role in our future.

Good for business?

With more than 70% of EV registrations in the UK being made to businesses it is clear that UK companies will play a key role in the future of EV. The environmental case is compelling and widely accepted, a special report published earlier this year by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) gave a final call to prevent catastrophic warming. But the short-term economic sense should not be underestimated.

The benefits

In order to stimulate the uptake of EV, subsidy is currently widely available both from local authorities and central government covering everything from grants toward vehicle purchase to the cost of charging infrastructure. Pure electric vehicles do not pay Road Tax, whilst hybrids pay a reduced amount. Go Ultra Low (GUL) – a join campaign between the government and the car industry - has created a calculator so you can compare the costs between petrol/diesel and electric.

The existing financial support presents a good opportunity for businesses to get ahead of the curve and invest in the future whilst positioning themselves green business leaders whilst reducing air and noise pollution within their area.  

North Somerset council had converted 39% of their small car and van fleet to electric by March 2018. After initial funding of £130,000 from GUL the council was able to reduce the annual cost of their vehicle fleet from £1m to £400,000.

The National Infrastructure Assessment 2018 emphasises the role that EVs will play in the UK’s long-term infrastructural strategy, and with registrations projected to increase over the coming years, businesses must prepare for the increasing demand for EV charging points amongst their workforce.

To find out more about the support available within you region you can follow the links to West of England, London and Greater Manchester