Insights / Can electric vehicles save your business money?

Can EVs save your business money?

2nd October 2020

With so much coverage of EVs in the media, we explore the benefits for your business and ask whether now’s the right time to switch to the power of the future.

Drax Electric Vehicles’, Adam Hall spends his working days thinking about EVs and how they can help businesses.

He heads up the team at Drax EV and he and his team are supporting UK companies as they strive to find the right energy solutions that can meet an organisation’s financial, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability goals.

We asked Adam to sum up the pros and cons of switching from a conventional fleet of cars or vans to EVs. He also explains how to make a successful pitch to your finance department for the investment funds.

Zero tailpipe emissions

“EVs have a number of benefits, one of the most overwhelming is environmental and their ability to help improve local air quality. Fully electric vehicles, and plug-in hybrids driven in electric mode, produce no harmful tailpipe emissions . That means no carbon dioxide (CO2), no nitrogen oxide (NOx), and no particulates (atmospheric aerosol particles).

As a result, EVs can really help your business meet its sustainability goals. And this is especially true if you’re generating your own renewable energy to charge them.”

Government grants

“If you choose to buy an EV, you could benefit from a number of Government grants to help offset the purchase. The Plug-in Car Grant offers up to £3,000 of the purchase price of a qualifying electric car, whilst the Plug-in Van Grant and Plug-in Taxi grant offer up to £8,000 and £7,500 respectively. They can make a huger difference – particularly if you’re buying a fleet of vehicles.”

Low maintenance and running costs

“With no engine, no transmission and no gearbox, there are far fewer working parts in an EV than in a conventional petrol, diesel or even hybrid vehicle. That means less to maintain and less to go wrong – so lower running costs.”

Adam Hall Drax Electric Vehicles

With more and more cities implementing their own Clean Air Zones, there has never been a better time for businesses large and small to consider making the switch to electric mobility.

Adam Hall

No Congestion Charge

“If you’re using your EVs within central London, they currently benefit from the congestion charge exemption – currently £15.00 a day for cars and small vans.

They are also exempt from the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which came into force in April 2019. Older more polluting vehicles have to pay a fee for entering this zone. Unlike the CC, the ULEZ is 24/7, so no exemptions if you drive late at night or at weekends.

As more and more cities consider congestion charging, and as the price of the charge rises, the purely financial case for electrification will become clearer.”

Potential as battery storage

“As the number of EVs on UK roads continues to rise, the demand on the energy system grows. However, to offset this the batteries in EVs vehicles have the potential to used as an asset to help balance this increase in demand.

“If you’re considering investting in a large number of vehicles, there’s potential for them to be used as battery storage in the future. For instance, you could charge them up at off-peak times when electricity is cheaper and demand is low, and then discharge them back into your own energy supply when electricity from the Grid is more expensive.

There’s a lot of talk in the media, and within businesses, about the need to buy batteries. Research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California* suggests that EVs could ‘eliminate the need to build costly stationary battery storage for power from renewable sources’. “

“So, two-way charging points In fact, vehicle to grid technology is now making it possible to use your fleet’s battery storage as part of a Demand Side Response scheme.”

Expensive to buy?

“Although there are grants available to offset the purchase price of new EVs, they still come at a premium compared to diesel or petrol vehicles. It’s important when considering making the switch to look at the whole life cost or total cost of ownership of the vehicle(s). It’s a well known fact that EVs are cheaper to fuel, have significantly lower running costs and benefit from a raft of tax incentives. These savings can more than offset the increase purchase price of EVs.

Keeping you fully charged

“One of the biggest barriers to the widespread uptake of EVs is charging. Ensuring you have access to reliable charging at your base of operations is vital, this menas you’re able to manage the usage cycle of your fleet of EVs, and keep them charged and ready to go.

If your employees use EVs as a company car, ensuring they have access to fast reliable charging is key to successful deployment. For drivers without off-street parking, this will mean a reliance on the UK’s growing public charging infrastructure.

As of August 2020, there are more than 19,000 publicly accessible chargepoints at over 12,000 locations across the UK. Of these 19,000, almost 3,500 are rapid chargers, which can charge most electric cars up to 80% in around 30 – 40 minutes (depending on charger speed and battery size).

Relying on public infrastructure is not without its drawbacks. You can’t always guarantee the charger you want to use will be working, or wont be in use by another driver when your driver arrives to charge, so ensuring you have access to charging at your base of operations or at drivers’ homes is key.

To find out how Drax Electric Vehicles can help your business with any aspect of sustainability, please use our contact form.