Get to grips with today’s EV financial incentives to fast-track the transition to a carbon free fleet

Despite fleet average carbon emissions reducing by a record-breaking 11.8% in a single year1, and demand for battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid cars surging ahead2, the electric vehicle (EV) market still has some way to go in facilitating the UK’s road to zero ambition. In recognition, Government is offering generous financial support to help increase the uptake of EVs, especially in the fleet market. Venson Automotive Solutions puts the spotlight on how to reduce an EV investment to cut a fleet’s carbon footprint.

Simon Staton, Client Management Director of Venson Automotive Solutions said, “The Government is currently offering a £2,500 subsidy on every new electric car.  This is of course, subject to them emitting less than 50g/km of COand being able to travel at least 70 miles without emitting anything – thus exempting plug-in hybrids and mild-hybrids – as long as the vehicle costs less than £35,000.

“As well as providing a grant to help fleets take on EVs, the Government also subsidises the cost of installing charging points. The Electric Vehicle Home Charge Scheme provides £350 towards the cost of a home charging point, while the Workplace Charging Scheme provides £350 per plug (up to a maximum of 40) per company.”

Under the terms of the Workplace Charging Scheme, the charge points can only be used by employees – rather than customers – however, the Zero Carbon World charity gives away charging points to businesses for free that can be used by customers.

Crucially, in February this year, the Government expanded the Workplace Charging Scheme to cover SMEs and charities, while those living in rental or leased properties can also apply for the Home Charge Scheme.

Fleets based in Scotland meanwhile, can receive additional help. Funded through Transport Scotland, the Energy Saving Trust offers an interest-free loan of up to £120,000 “to help lower their transport and travel costs” and it can be used to help companies procure electric cars and vans (up to £28,000 per vehicle), telematics and video conferencing tools. The loans can be repaid over six years, and as well as helping businesses pay for the vehicles on an outright basis, it can be used to fund down payments for leases. Transport Scotland also offers £300 on top of the £350 UK Government grant to help EV owners install home charging points.

As well as the various grants and loans available, EVs attract preferential Benefit-in-Kind rates; in the 2021/22 financial year EVs are placed in the 1% Benefit-in-Kind tax bracket, while from 2022/23 through to 2024/25, EVs fall into the 2% bracket. By comparison, a driver of a relatively low-emission petrol or diesel car (for instance, one that emits 100g/km of CO2) will be put into the 25% bracket from 2022/23. Comparing a Tesla Model 3 against a BMW 520d which emits 110g/km of CO2, the American vehicle manufacturer has calculated a company car driver can save £300 a month in Benefit-in-Kind payments.

Continues Staton, “Subsidies and tax benefits aside, EV fleets can also save costs longer term on service, maintenance and repair. According to data from cap hpi, over three years and 60,000 miles, it costs 23% less to service and maintain an electric vehicle when compared with a petrol variant. But running costs are another subject for another day, in the meantime, it’s fair to say the potential savings by switching to an EV can be huge.”

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