Benefits of Electric Cars 2021
With the UK government bringing forward a ban on the sale of cars and vans powered entirely by petrol and diesel by 2030, you may be considering if leasing an electric vehicle is the right choice for you. The UK is one of Europe’s largest markets for electric cars, just behind Norway and Germany. As of today, there is nearly 200,000 full EV’s on UK roads. In fact, the sales of EVs increased by 186% during 2020 despite the coronavirus pandemic, while the number of new petrol and diesel cars fell.
If you want to make a difference for the planet, as well as have an impact on emissions in your local area, then you might have already considered making the switch to an EV.
The good news is, electric cars offer all kinds of other advantages, too. They range from savings on fuel, tax and maintenance costs through to benefits for employers. We walk you through the perks of driving EVs and mention some of the downsides within this guide.
CHEAPER TO RUN
Electric vehicles reduce costs compared to their petrol and diesel counterparts. The primary reduction is fuel costs, which is approximately 70% lower for electric cars if they are charged overnight (12-15 p/mile for petrol/diesel vs 3-4 p/mile for EVs). Fuel costs are still cheaper than a petrol or diesel car despite the higher energy prices (per kWh) if you charge your EV using the public network (which can sometimes be around twice the price of domestic electricity tariffs).
For example, a Volkswagen ID.3 covering eight thousand miles annually could add almost £300 a year to an electricity bill, depending on the tariff. Yet you could spend over £1,000 on fuel costs for a diesel or petrol Golf model covering the same mileage. Using a rapid pay-as-you-go charger instead of home charging will still save around £400 each year, using the same criteria as the example above.
Proof from car fleets around the UK has shown that electric vehicles can decrease maintenance, service and repair costs by over half compared to petrol or diesel alternatives. This is because pure-electric vehicles require fewer maintenance components - making servicing and repairs easier and more cost-effective than combustion fuelled vehicles. Wear and tear on brakes and tyres is also noticeably reduced on plug-in vehicles thanks to regenerative braking.
Insurance costs tend to be very comparable for EVs when contrasted to conventionally-powered cars. While electric cars lean towards a higher insurance group than comparable petrol or diesel vehicles, the motorists themselves are often considered low risk. You can find several insurance companies, both general and specialists, that provide specific cover for electric vehicle drivers.
Further cost-saving benefits of leasing an electric vehicle include:
From April 2020, all zero-emissions vehicles, including all-electric vehicles, are exempt from both first-year and subsequent years’ road tax. Previously, there was a charge for high-priced cars valued at over £40,000, but this has been ditched for electric cars too.
Tax bands for Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) are based on CO2 emissions. The more harmful the car, the higher rate of tax is applied. At present, zero-emission vehicles attract zero tax, meaning all-electric vehicles are exempt from VED. To put that in perspective, the largest first-year rate charge for cars with CO2 emissions of 255g/km or more is £2,175, so electric cars can offer seriously significant savings.
DISCOUNTS ON CONGESTION CHARGES
With the recent introduction of Clean Air Zones (CAZ) by cities like Bath and Birmingham, electric car drivers across the UK could benefit from this new government scheme The details for different regions are still being finalised but you can find out more information here.
Electric vehicle drivers in London are also 100% exempt from London’s £15-a-day, seven-day-a-week, congestion charge until 2025.
To encourage more drivers to make the switch to EVs, many local authorities across the UK now offer free street parking (and in some cases free charging).
Find your local authority here to view what benefits they may offer.
EASY AND CONVENIENT CHARGING
According to the Office for National Statistics, the average commute in the UK was 9.32 miles in one direction. Whether it’s the regular commute, completing the school run, or going to see family and friends, these journeys are comfortably within the range of all-new pure-EVs. A lack of charging options was a big detractor from going electric just a few years ago - but that’s no longer the case.
In 2020, Boris Johnson pledged investment in Britain’s electric car charging network – with a vision that no electric vehicle owner should be no more than 30 miles from their nearest charging point. It’s part of a £500 million election commitment to expand the ‘fast-charging network’, outlined by Rishi Sunak when he outlined the 2020 national budget.
Already with sustained government and private investment, the UK network of EV charging points has increased from a few hundred in 2011 to more than 12,400 charging locations, 19,700 charging devices and 34,400 connectors by October 2020. The proportion of charger types has also changed dramatically during that time with an increase in high power (rapid) units being installed across the UK allowing you to charge your car in only 30 minutes. Slow charge points take around five to eight hours to charge up your electric vehicle.
There are plenty of ways to pay for using public chargers too, from pay-as-you-go schemes to subscription models. Some points are even free. Finding your nearest charging station is simple. You can use a handy app like Zap-Map which tells you where you need to go for Type-2 and CCS connectors for fast and rapid charging respectively.
Even more convenient? For drivers with off-street parking, you can install your own charge point. The UK government is currently offering up to £350 towards the cost of an electric car charge point (they’ll typically set you back around £800, so it’s a significant saving). You simply need to be the registered owner, with your own off-street parking, to be eligible. With an EV parked up overnight, charging can be completed off-peak for lower costs, and the car will be ready in the morning, fully charged and pre-conditioned to your required temperature.
For those without off-street parking, owning an EV is still a viable option, by using the public charging network or charging at work. New on-street options such as lamp-post charging are becoming more common across the UK and will ease pressure on local authorities to support residents with EVs but no dedicated parking bay.
For more information on the running costs of an EV, visit our ‘Running costs of Electric Cars 2021’ guide.
IT'S ALL ABOUT CHOICE
If the financials sound appealing, but a lack of models to choose from is causing hesitation, think again! Electric Vehicles don’t require compromise on performance or choice and there are options to suit a wide variety of driving needs and lifestyles, from SUVs and sports cars to family hatchbacks.
By the end of 2020 at least 50 pure-electric cars will be available to buy from UK showrooms. 2020 saw an influx of major new models from mainstream manufacturers, including the VW ID.3, Honda e and the very impressive Polestar 2. In fact, 2021 looks to be even more stacked, with manufacturers working hard to meet increasingly tough emissions rules with the introduction of more all-electric models.
Just some of the new electric car models hitting the UK car market this year include:
BENEFITS FOR EMPLOYERS
• Employers looking to install charging points for electric vehicles at workplaces can obtain an ‘OLEV workplace grant’ to claim up to £350 towards the cost of EACH charging point With a maximum of 40 sockets, a company can claim up to £14,000
• By cutting emissions, businesses can cut costs. Businesses stand to make positive financial gains from investing in electric vehicle charge points that keep their company and staff vehicles powered up. Electric vehicles are the environmentally friendly choice and ‘green’ choices are rewarded
• The incentives offered for electric vehicles can earn business owners with electric fleets and vehicles exemptions from fuel duty, road tax, company car (BIK) tax and van and car benefit charge. The government grants, tax breaks and savings are accessible for businesses all across the nation seeking to make a fantastic return on their investment
• EV drivers will need to and expect to, charge their vehicles at their workplace. Employees want employers that offer benefits that make their lives easier. As the number of EV users accelerates, the presence or lack of electric vehicle infrastructure will make a big difference when attracting talent and keeping current staff engaged, happy and committed
• Investing in EV charging points and EV infrastructure helps to make your business sustainable. The transition to electric vehicles will support a sustainable future for all and electric vehicle charge points will make your business part of the movement that is growing rapidly. Being sustainable improves your efficiency and boosts your reputation, providing you with a platform to achieve better growth and have an edge on the market
TAX INCENTIVES FOR INDIVIDUALS
The UK Government introduced tax changes from 6th April 2020 to reduce company car tax.
Switching to an electric car can bring considerable tax benefits for businesses and this became even better from April 2020. For fleet operators and company car drivers choosing an electric vehicle from April 2020, there’s now zero tax on Benefit in Kind (BIK) during 2020-2021. The electric car tax on ‘benefit in kind’ rate will increase to:
- 1% in 2021/2022
- 2% in 2022/2023
As an example, take the new VW ID.3 and compare this to the Golf GT Petrol 1.5:
|VW ID.3 (BIK per year)||£55.20||£110.30|
|Golf GT Petrol 1.5 (BIK per year)||£1,392||£1,392|
Electric vehicles are ever more appealing in a world where reducing carbon emissions and pollution is a growing concern for many people. Research has shown that electric cars are better for the environment as they emit fewer greenhouse gases and air pollutants over their life in comparison to a petrol or diesel car. This is even after the production of the vehicle, and the generation of the electricity required to fuel them is considered.
The primary benefit of electric cars is their contribution to improving air quality in towns and cities. With no tailpipe, pure electric vehicles produce no carbon dioxide emissions when driving. This reduces air pollution considerably. Put simply, electric cars give us cleaner streets, making our towns and cities a better place to be for pedestrians and cyclists. Over a year, just one electric car on the roads can save an average of 1.5 million grams of CO2.
Electric cars can also help with noise pollution, especially in cities where speeds are generally low. As EVs are far quieter than conventional vehicles, driving electric creates a more peaceful environment for us all.
BETTER DRIVING EXPERIENCE
Driving an electric car is a smoother, safer experience. This is for two main reasons:
• The electric motor makes EVs very responsive when you put your foot down
• Electric vehicles are clean, quiet and easy to use. There’s none of the loud engine noise or pollution smells associated with petrol or diesel vehicles, which makes the driving experience much more relaxing and enjoyable
DISADVANTAGES OF DRIVING AN ELECTRIC CAR
AREN'T ELECTRIC CARS EXPENSIVE TO PURCHASE UPFRONT?
Indeed, electric cars are still relatively expensive to buy outright and carry a higher premium than their petrol or diesel versions. However, our affordable personal or business leasing options with monthly payments offer you a realistic chance to drive an electric vehicle fitted with the latest safety and in-car entertainment systems.
You don’t even have to worry about the depreciation costs and by the time you factor in road tax breaks, low running costs and cheaper models entering the leasing market, driving an electric vehicle is can be within your means.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A DRIVEWAY, OR ACCESS TO OFF-STREE PARKING, OR I LIVE IN A FLAT?
An increasing number of employers have either installed or will be installing charging points at their workplaces as it brings them numerous benefits to doing so. If you don’t have access to a charging point with an employer, the UK’s public charging point network is growing rapidly. Almost every UK motorway service station now has a rapid charge point, allowing you to charge up to 80% of the battery in under an hour.
The UK now has at least: 12,400 charging locations, 19,700 charging devices and 34,400 connectors. An increasing amount of rapid chargers are being installed across the UK. For example:
• Ionity is busy launching 40 UK sites, and each will have up to six High-Power Chargers. Using Ionity's 350kW charge network, drivers can charge their EVs in less than 20 minutes with renewable energy
• BP, who bought ChargeMaster, are aiming to install 400 of its 150kW rapid charging points by 2021 – these will deliver 100 miles of range in around 10 mins
• Tesco and VW have teamed up to add 2400 new EV chargers at 600 branches of the supermarket retailer. Over the next three years, both companies in conjunction with Pod Point will introduce chargers to selected Tesco Extra and Superstore car parks throughout the UK – some of them will even be free to use!
HOW LONG DOES THE BATTERY LAST AND WILL IT NEED TO BE REPLACED?
By leasing a vehicle between two to four years it’s very unlikely it will need to be replaced during your lease. Typically, a battery on an electric vehicle would be replaced every 4 to 10 years depending on the type and usage of the battery.
WANT TO LEASE A BRAND NEW OR NEARLY-NEW ELECTRIC CAR?
Just some of our current electric vehicles available to lease include the following. Visit our 'Top 10 Electric Cars 2021' guide for reviews of what we think are some of the best EVs to lease.
Buying a brand new car isn't for everyone
Lower your out-of-pocket costs and generate zero emissions by leasing an electric car with an affordable monthly rental. No road tax, low maintenance and no depreciation costs.