We’ve been having a colourful debate in the office this week following my blog “Will AR improve our driving experience?” and whether electric vehicles are worth investing in. The purists amongst us see AR as relinquishing freedom and decision making, but I’m very excited to see how advances in technology is affecting our driving experience and benefiting the environment.
An electric vehicle offers lots of benefits for a business, from a simple reduction in running and maintenance costs to tax benefits. Although electric vehicles are more expensive to buy at the outset, they have significantly lower running costs compared to petrol or diesel equivalents.
The cost of buying an electric vehicle is eased by significant grants which are available. At the moment you can get up to £5000 off a new electric car and up to £8000 off a new electric van.
Tax Benefits of Electric Vehicles.
Fuel Duty Exempt (N/A)
Vehicle Excise Duty - Exempt (as tailpipe emissions are less than 100gCO2/km)
Company Car Tax - Employees and employers exempt (from income and national insurance contributions respectively)
Van Benefit Charge - Employees and employers exempt (from income and national insurance contributions respectively)
Fuel Benefit Charge - Exempt (N/A)
Enhanced Capital Allowances - 100% first year allowance business can relieve entire cost of an electric care or van against taxable profits in the year of acquisition
In addition to these benefits, the impact of climate change and the green economy are concerns for both customers and businesses. Businesses investing in electrical vehicles are often perceived as innovative and exciting project leaders willing to take positive action to address these issues.
What worries me about investing in an electrical car at the moment is that the most affordable cars (such as the “Nissan leaf”), have a poor battery life. Batteries in these cars have on average a charge of 124 miles before needing a recharge.
According to Autocar.co.uk the UK government has recently announced a £246m investment in battery technology for electric vehicles as it aims to ‘establish the UK as world leader’ in the sector. The investment, which is part of the government’s broader industrial strategy, will begin with the launch of a £45m ‘Battery Institute’ competition. The overall goal is to develop a centre for battery research, making technology more accessible and affordable.
Hopefully this will lead to vehicle manufacturers producing a higher quality of car with a long lasting battery life, like Tesla have mastered with the “Model S” pictured above.