The coronavirus pandemic has had an unusual outcome: among the grief, difficulties and heroic efforts of doctors and nurses to combat COVID-19, one positive emerged – cleaner air.
Pollution levels dropped dramatically across the world. In the UK, levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) plummeted by as much as 60%. In London, for example, levels of NO2 were 50% lower at the capital’s busiest streets than they were before lockdown. You probably noticed the difference in the air quality yourself.
Pressure from environmentalists will grow to continue that progress post lockdown, while cities around the UK are mandated to significantly reduce air pollution recognised as a significant public health issue.
Electrification offers the opportunity to continue that improvement in lockdown local air quality, while retaining the mobility we have become accustomed to with our cars. It will also enable access to the increasing number of Clean Air Zones coming to our cities.
And that’s partly due to our acceptance of new technologies forced upon us by lockdown to continue working. Increasing digitisation and the use of video conferencing are typical examples. And electric cars (EVs) as well as plug-in electric hybrids (PHEVs) also fall into that category.
Zero emissions, zero BIK
Apart from the zero exhaust emissions, EVs offer incredibly low running costs (around 0.4p per mile) and require very little maintenance as there are so few moving parts.
In addition, business users benefit from exceptionally generous taxation levels. For this financial year, the benefit-in-kind of an EV is rated at 0%; in 2021/22 this steps up to 1% and then to just 2% for the following year; it is then maintained at this rate up to and including the 2024/25 tax year.
Employers also gain from the reduced running cost savings as well as significantly reduced National Insurance Class 1A contributions.
For many, issues concerning range anxiety remain a barrier to adoption of the technology. But this is not borne out by drivers who have taken the EV step. A recent study from the RAC Foundation found that Tesla drivers drove almost as many miles on average as diesel car drivers: 12,392 miles each year versus 12,496 miles. In any case, the average EV driver covered substantially more miles than petrol car drivers: 9,435 miles versus 7,490 miles.
And many of the newer models coming to market have usable ranges in excess of 250 miles plus rapid charging capabilities to further allay range fear.
For those unsure about making the leap to full electrification, PHEVs offer a sensible halfway house. A battery pack allows the car to be driven in zero mileage mode around town or on the commute to work, while assisting the engine on longer journeys to improve fuel efficiency. Zero emission range varies from 31 miles through to 54 miles.
The benefit-in-kind advantages, while not quite as generous, remain highly attractive – expect from 8-12%.
Is it time for you to turn electric?
If you think now is the time to go electric, then talk to us at CBVC Vehicle Management. We can guide you through any issues, provide appropriate vehicle suggestions based on total cost of ownership analysis, and generally calm any nerves about switching to this new clean technology. Phone us on 01283 351200 and commence your journey to electrification.