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When should fleet managers switch to EVs and how to plan the transition



In September 2023 the Prime Minister announced that the ban on the sale of new internal combustion engine (ICE) cars and vans from 2030 was to be extended. In what he described as “a new approach to achieving net zero”, Rishi Sunak said that the ban would be pushed back by five years to 2035. While this takes some of the pressure off fleet managers by giving them a bit more wiggle room, the market switch to EVs is still inevitable. It’s a question of when, not if, fleets will have to make the switch from ICE to EV. We take a look at the benefits of EVs for businesses and some of the steps to take when making the transition.

When should fleet managers switch to EVs and how to plan the transition


There’s no denying that making the switch is a difficult decision. Electricity prices have now reached levels that weren’t anticipated a couple of years ago, meaning the cost of running an EV no longer delivers the same price advantage that was expected. However, there are still plenty of business benefits to switching your fleet to EVs. 


Lower total running costs

Businesses can benefit massively from an EV’s superior technology. With fewer moving parts that need much less maintenance, including no oil changes and practically no replacement parts, inevitably fleet vehicles spend more time on the road and less time in the garage. Recent analysis shows that electric cars cost almost a third less to service over the first three years of ownership compared to petrol or diesel powered cars. Of course, these savings are magnified as the number of vehicles in your fleet increases.


Despite the upturn in electricity costs, EVs are still typically cheaper to run than ICE vehicles, particularly if the vehicles can be charged at your offices. What’s more, if you can combine your company fuel bills with energy generated from your business’s own solar panels to produce power for your EV chargers, then you’ll significantly reduce your energy costs.


Congestions charges

If your company vehicle drivers regularly drive in and around cities where there are Clean Air Zones or Congestion Charges linked to emissions, then there are immediate and obvious, perhaps even daily, savings to be made. 


Government incentives

To encourage EV adoption the UK Government offers grants and tax breaks. Fleets that switch to electric may qualify for subsidies on EV purchases and charging infrastructures. EV company car tax rates will remain at 2% in the 2024/25 financial year, that’s compared to petrol and diesel vehicles which can be up to 37%, depending on vehicle emissions. What’s more, with the Government’s Workplace Charging Grant, you can claim up to £14,000 towards the cost of installing EV charging at your workplace. 


Sustainability and ESG goals

Replacing ICE vehicles with EVs will also help your company achieve its sustainability goals. Vehicle emissions are accepted as the UK’s main cause of carbon emissions. EVs can reduce emissions by more than 50% if the electricity used to charge them is from renewable sources. For many organisations, demonstrating green credentials is top of the agenda and switching your fleet to electric is a guaranteed way to reduce the overall carbon footprint of your business.


It's time to future-proof your operations

Forward-thinking businesses and fleet managers are getting ahead of the curve by switching to electric now and future-proofing their operations against inevitable regulatory changes. Whilst there’s still plenty of time before the 2035 deadline, it makes sense to start planning the transition to electric and planning your charging infrastructure at your own pace – making sure you’re up and running in plenty of time. 


Next steps

Company car review

So what steps should you be taking to plan the transition to EVs? The first step is to conduct a comprehensive fleet review – to assess the suitability of any company car drivers to go electric. You need to look at what their typical business mileage is and whether that is comfortably achievable in an EV. If so, what types of EVare available that would suit? And if not, would a hybrid vehicle be more appropriate? Could charging facilities be provided at their home? This obviously requires additional information from your company car drivers, but it’s worth doing a thorough assessment of the current state of play. 


EV charger installation

When it comes to providing EV charging for your fleet, there are two areas you need to consider. The first is supporting your staff with the installation of an EV charger at their home. Home charger installation grants have been stopped, however, any employees that live in flats or in rented properties can still apply for the OZEV grant. 


Did you know that our home charging units can be provided on a service contract, meaning that if an employee changes job, the EV charger can be reclaimed. What’s more, we can also take care of covering the cost of home charging directly from the employee’s home energy bill. This eliminates the need to reimburse individuals, and employees don’t need to worry about increased energy bills at home. 


The second area to consider is the provision of EV chargers at work. This will encourage staff to use their EVs and hybrid vehicles, be seen as a perk and potentially help with recruitment and retention. It’s also a very visual reminder of your company’s green credentials. Did you know that we provide software for our EV chargers that helps you track your CO2 reductions and monitor your organisation’s progress towards net-zero?


Budgeting for change

If upfront costs are a barrier to you making the switch, then the good news is we offer a unique no upfront fee option for EV charging installation for most business types. This enables you to get your fleet on the road, while also allowing you to reduce your financial outlay and spread the upfront costs over a longer period of time. 


Although we own and maintain the EV charging assets throughout the agreement, our unique service contract means that you are given total freedom to use them in any way you want – and that includes keeping any revenue generated from them. Now, isn’t that an attractive option?


Implementing fleet change

Switching your company vehicles over to EVs is best completed as existing leases come up for renewal. Because EVs generally take longer to order you should give yourself extra time to plan and implement the switch. The other advantage to switching at renewal, is that you’re likely to only have to deal with small numbers of vehicles and drivers at any one time. This gives you a chance to iron out any issues before you accelerate the rollout. Getting real buy in a from staff is also key, so we’d recommend communicating plans before they become a reality and making sure all company car users that are impacted are ready for the change.


If you’re considering transitioning your fleet to EVs and want advice on company car charging, then look no further. With our national network of specialist in-house trained engineers, we can be on hand to support you through the journey, making sure your EV charging infrastructure suits the exact needs of your business. Get in touch today!