- Incentives to electrify your fleet
- When you will need to upgrade your fleet
- Create a fleet upgrading plan
- Find finance and support
According to the GOV.UK 2035 delivery plan (PDF), it is predicted that before 2030 it will cheaper for your business to use electric vehicles (EVs) than fossil fuel vehicles on the total cost of ownership (otherwise known as whole life costs, or WLCs).
Other benefits include:
- energy-efficiency: energy use (MWh) may be up to 75% less than the equivalent petrol or diesel fleet
- lower emissions: electric cars currently emit on average 3 times less carbon dioxide (CO2) than their petrol or diesel equivalent after factoring in emissions from electricity generation, car and battery production.
- improved air quality through reduced tailpipe emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter
- lower servicing and maintenance costs, typically 40% less, compared to petrol or diesel as EVs are mechanically simpler
- tax incentives including:
- Vehicle Excise Duty
- Corporation Tax Liability
- Benefit in Kind
- reduced wear and tear on brakes due to regenerative braking
- exemption from Clean Air Zones and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), as well as the London Congestion Charge (until December 2025)
With the upcoming ban on sales of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles, SMEs will eventually need to electrify their fleets or find alternate modes of transport.
Getting started on the transition as soon as possible makes sense to stay ahead of regulations and avoid a rushed transition.
While you will still be able to use a fossil fuel-powered car or van after 2030, upcoming deadlines for sales include:
- 2030 – no new sales of fossil fuel-only cars and vans
- 2035 – no new sales of hybrid cars and vans
- 2035 – no new sales of fossil fuel HGVs under 26 tonnes
- 2040 – no new sales of all fossil fuel HGVs
Check the capacity of your electrical system if your business needs to charge multiple vehicles. This can take time to upgrade if needed.
You should plan for upgrading your fleet. Include data about:
- what and when you need to upgrade
- current use and costs
- when and how to charge efficiently
- alternative transport
Work out the costs and benefits of EVs
Consider your current and future transport needs to calculate EV costs and benefits, as well as:
- what EV options exist for the type of vehicles needed
- where and when they will charge vehicles
- the potential need and lead time for electrical upgrades
- operational requirements of their vehicles
- how they will use their vehicles and what load they will carry
- software that can help drivers optimise range and driving efficiency
Complete a mileage audit
Complete a mileage audit to help you:
- decide which EVs are right for your business
- set a standard to measure against
- decide when you might need to replace your fleet
- decide if you if your fleet can be switched to EVs
You can export annual data about how much you drive and for what reasons if you have a driving telematics system:
- total yearly mileage
- individual vehicle and driver mileage
- the length and purpose of trips
You can look at manual mileage entries, fuel card reports or odometer readings if you don’t have an automated system.
Consider ‘whole life cost’
You should think about the lifetime price of a vehicle in pence per mile (the whole life cost or WLC) if you own vehicles.
Your WLC takes into account:
- fuel and charging costs
- lease rate or purchase cost
- service and repair costs
- tax savings and discounts
- residual value and insurance costs
According to the report by the Office for Zero Emissions Vehicles, ‘Common Misconceptions about Electric Vehicles’ (PDF), EVs have a better WLC than an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle because they:
- need less maintenance and repairs
- don’t carry the same taxes that petrol and diesel cars do
They are also exempt from some local charges, such as London’s ULEZ and, until 2025, EVs are exempt from the Congestion charge.
Compare energy input costs
You can use the RAC’s ‘charge watch’ tool to compare the average running cost of electric cars compared to fuel-powered cars.
The cost of charging depends on:
- the price you pay for electricity
- whether you charge at home or at work
- when you charge – you might pay less for charging at off-peak times
Plan for efficient charging
EV ranges and charge times will continue to improve over time but you can check how to best make use of vehicle charging for your business.
- the average length and frequency of trips
- when and where vehicles can be idle for charging
- how fast a vehicle can charge
Use the Electric Vehicle Database to find ranges and charging times of electric cars and vans.
Work out driving range and charging time
According to Transport for London, electric cars and commercial vans have a real-world driving range of between 100 and 300 miles on a single full charge.
How long it takes to charge your vehicle depends on:
- the amount of electricity available at a charge point
- the EV’s battery size
There are three main charging options for EV drivers – slow, fast and rapid charging. They are measured in kilowatts (kW), reflecting the speed at which they can charge an EV
Slow charging (Level 1) can be an ideal option if vehicles sit idle during the work day or overnight,
Fast chargepoints (Level 2) are the most common type of EV charger in the UK, and are at least three times faster than slow chargers.
Rapid and ultra-rapid chargepoints (Level 3) offer the fastest charging of your electric vehicle, but are more expensive. They are usually located near motorway services.
Consider cargo bikes
For ‘last mile’ deliveries for lighter freight, consider switching to electrically-assisted cargo bikes. These can be charged using the typical electrical outlets at your home or workplace.
You can encourage your staff to use e-cycles. E-cycles are much cheaper to charge than an EV and you do not need to upgrade your electricity supply.
Upgrading from a regular cycle to an e-cycle enables employees to cover longer distances, more quickly and with less effort.
- Get a free fleet review by Energy Saving Trust
- Clean Van Commitment – Energy Saving Trust – a free public pledge for fleet operators to speed up the switch to electric vans by 2027 – access to masterclasses, industry newsletters, user forums and tailored support
- Use the Energy Saving Trust’s Freight Portal for information on how to decarbonise logistics
- Hire consulting help if you can afford it
- Learn from what other businesses like me have done
- Find finance and support for your region