What do businesses need to know about electric vehicles?

Electric vehicles offer an increasingly practical option for business transport with low running costs. Electric vehicles – also known as ecars – are vehicles which are powered exclusively by electricity, removing the need for fossil fuels. Electric vehicles offer an alternative with a cheap and secure power source.

Many businesses are taking their first steps into investing in electric vehicles and charging points around their premises. There are clear environmental benefits to reducing petrol and diesel consumption and electric vehicles may be a good fit with your business ethos.

This guide will help you to decide if switching to electric vehicles can work for your business. It will explain the business benefits of electric vehicles and some financial incentives which are available to offset vehicle purchase costs and to installation of private charging infrastructure. It will also take you through some of the practical concerns which businesses may have in operating an electric car or van.

Advantages of electric vehicles for business


Electric vehicles offer a great reduction in transport costs for businesses, especially for fleet vehicles with regular journeys of up to 100 miles per day. Although electric vehicles are more expensive to buy, they have significantly lower running costs when compared to petrol or diesel equivalents.

The British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association has calculated that depending on when and how an electric vehicle is charged it will cost two to four pence per mile. This compares to 10 to 14 pence per mile for an equivalent petrol or diesel vehicle, representing a saving of around 80 to 90 per cent on fuel costs.

There are a series of financial incentives for businesses, including tax and duty exemptions for you and your employees and enhanced capital allowances.

Moving to using electric vehicles gives businesses the chance to become involved in innovative transport developments which are addressing environmental issues. Electric vehicles have no tailpipe emissions. It is estimated that an electric car powered from today’s grid could emit between 15 per cent and 40 per cent less CO2 over its lifetime than a similar sized petrol car.

Setting environmental concerns at the heart of your business can be a key part of demonstrating your corporate social responsibility.