For many businesses travel is now the biggest contributor to their total carbon footprint, but myths surrounding electric vehicles is a major contributor to £1bn in unnecessary fleet management costs per year for businesses, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
For a business where travel is unavoidable (e.g. delivery), switching to electric cars and vans will make a major contribution towards reducing their carbon footprint, but many still point to the limited range of electric vehicles (EVs) as the main reason for sticking with fossil fuelled vehicles, or that the lease or purchase of EVs is prohibitive. So, here are 5 myth-busting reasons why your business should look again at electric vehicles.
1. Electric vehicles are not zero carbon
Driving an 100% pure EV does not emit any CO2 directly, but until our electricity grid is 100% renewable there will be emissions associated with charging one, because our grid still relies heavily on burning fossil fuels. Currently, an EV emits roughly three times less CO2 per mile than a comparable petrol car if charged during the day but if charged at night, when most electricity is generated from nuclear energy, the carbon performance will be even better.
2. What about other polluting gases?
There is no direct air pollution from driving an EV but some polluting gases will be generated at the fossil-fuel power stations. Since these are normally outside city centres, EVs help alleviate the severe air quality issues in London and other UK cities. The City of London confirms that it has “some of the highest levels of [air] pollution in the country”.
3. The lease/purchase of electric vehicles is prohibitive
It is sensible to adopt a ‘whole-life approach’ when considering leasing or purchasing an EV. You’ll find initial capital cost of an EV is offset by the UK Government Plug-in Grant (maximum £4,500 in 2016/17) and the absence of road tax or congestion charge. Running costs are lower with cost per mile of about 3p compared with about 10p for petrol vehicles. For company cars the benefit-in-kind tax implications are much lower than for conventional cars.
4. Electric vehicles have limited range
EVs have seen a significant increase in range the recent years. 100% electric vehicles can cover up to 190 mile range on one charge, for example.
5. Lack of charging points outside of city centres
There are around 6,300 charging points in England, according to the Energy Saving Trust. Websites such as zap-map and Charge Your Car can identify charging locations. You don’t need to wait until the tanks nearly empty to recharge either. The idea is to top-up whenever the opportunity presents itself.
_Planet First has joined forces with BST Environmental to launch a new workshop aimed at helping organisations tackle the cost, time and carbon emissions resulting from their business travel. To find out more or register your interest please click on the button below. ___