The question on the lips of most businesses, when it comes to buying an electric car, is why is the initial cost higher than a petrol or diesel derivative?
In fact, according to industry standards, the figures start to balance when you tip over the 50,000 mile mark. At this point, the electric vehicle (EV) owner will have earned back the up-front cost and will see cheaper operational costs for the life of the vehicle.
So, this makes it a perfect choice with fleets where there is higher than average mileage. In fact, most of us who have a reasonable commute to work can expect to cover 10-12,000
miles per annum.
There are obvious tax advantages for businesses (we will cover this in a later blog) and, to some degree, the company car drivers themselves. The main area of concern for many, though, is the abundance of charging points.
The reason I say this is because some people think that they can only do short journeys in an EV. If you’re planning a business trip you want to make sure that you can at least get there and, as a bonus, get back.
EV as a Workhorse
We did a business trip to Worcester, from our base in Coventry, last week. We took our Nissan Leaf pool car for the trip and fully charged it overnight before the trip.
Here’s how it went.
Unplugged the car first thing at 07:30 and it had a full charge. The car was then driven to the office to pick up three colleagues before leaving for Worcester. The sat nav in the car has 58 miles showing for our route, so we’re confident that we can get there easily without recharging.
We set off in heavy traffic, which is always harder on the battery, but after driving EVs for a while you adopt a lighter right foot action. This means that you’re using less power to accelerate, when you only have to brake 10 seconds later.
Once on the M40 and M42, we’re buzzing along at 70mph. This constant speed, is definitely easier on the battery life.
Planning ahead, whilst driving, is a good discipline for driving on motorways. If you can avoid braking for slower cars in your lane and keep it smooth, you’ll see better battery life as a result.
We leave the M5 and after a few dual carriageways, it’s back into town driving mode (although Worcester’s not as busy as Coventry). We pick our way through the town and end up at our destination. There are two charging points at the University car park and we decide to plug-in whilst we were in our meeting.
We still had a good 65% of charge left at this point, so we could have easily got back. The key, however, to good battery management is to keep on top of the charge, so we took advantage of the free pod. By the time we came out of the meeting we were fully charged again.
We had a trouble-free journey back and used around the same amount of charge as the outbound journey.
This left the car with a good 60% of charge for anyone in the office using the car for the rest of the day. We try and keep our diaries synced, in case anyone is thinking of going on a longer journey and the car can be charged in preparation for that.
At the end of the day, the car was plugged back in at home, with around 20% of charge left, for another over-night charging cycle.
So, if you want to run a car for business, you need to be a little more organised. If you’re doing over 50k miles per year, as a purely financial decision, you’ll be very happy.
If you’re considering an EV for business, get in touch and we’ll get Helen, our business guru, to have a quick (and hopefully enlightening) chat.