The Many Benefits of Switching to an Electric Van
With diesel vehicles producing harmful emissions and being subject to financial penalties, many UK drivers may now be considering making the switch to electric. However, taking that step can be tough if you’re unsure whether an electric van will meet your requirements, particularly if it will be used for business purposes – after all, there’s a lot at stake.
To help you decide whether it’s the right choice for you and your business, the team here at Van Sales UK have created a comprehensive guide to the many benefits electric vans can offer. Read on to discover how making the switch to electric could positively impact you.
The Benefits of Electric Vehicles
One of the most significant benefits of choosing an electric van over a diesel one is the environmental impact. Unlike their fuel-powered counterparts, electric vehicles do not use fossil fuels and can instead be powered using renewable energy sources.
Not only will this be beneficial when the finite supply of fossil fuels runs out, but it also minimises the serious environmental damage caused by burning fossil fuels. Electric vehicles produce no tailpipe emissions, such as CO2 and NO2, which results in better air quality.
The positive impact doesn’t stop there: improved air quality then goes on to benefit the planet and its inhabitants in a multitude of ways. For instance, it can improve public health, encourage plant growth, and minimise human contribution to global warming.
When it comes to the environmental benefits of switching to electric, every vehicle makes a difference. Just one person replacing their diesel vehicle with an electric one can save an average of around 1.5 million grams of CO2 in a single year – imagine the difference it would make if we all went electric!
Another great benefit of having an electric vehicle is the ability to charge it in a convenient location at a time that suits you. Whether you choose to charge it at home, at work, or even in a supermarket car park, you’re sure to find a solution that suits your lifestyle and job requirements perfectly. Charging points can easily and quickly be installed in your garage, on your driveway, or even outside your work premises. This means you can simply plug it in, go about your business, and then return to a fully charged vehicle.
Worried about running out of charge whilst on the go? As long as you’re on the ball when it comes to charging, you most likely won’t end up in this situation. However, if you do break down, get lost, or simply can’t get to a charging spot in time, the RAC now offers a mobile charging service to help you get back on the road.
Cheaper to run
Electric vans are often significantly cheaper to run than their fuel-powered counterparts, particularly with petrol and diesel prices being especially high at the moment. This is because the cost per mile of electricity is lower than that of fuel.
Not only that, but some public charging stations are even free to use, meaning you don’t have the upfront cost each time you have to charge your vehicle. Some also have subscriptions available that can offer better value for money over a period of time, depending on your requirements.
One of the main advantages of switching to electric is the amount of money you can save long-term. While the initial cost of purchasing the vehicle may be higher than a diesel or petrol vehicle, this extra expense is quickly recovered through the amount saved on running costs, maintenance, taxes, and more.
As well as cheaper running costs and fewer maintenance expenses, driving an electric van can entitle you to a number of government grants and schemes. Designed to encourage people to make the switch to electric vehicles, these schemes provide financial incentives to electric vehicle drivers.
Specific incentives include the Plug-In Van Grant, which covers up to 20% of the purchase cost of certain electric vans, and the Workplace Charging Scheme, which provides businesses with financial support of up to £350 per socket for installing up to 40 charging sockets for employee and company vehicles.
Climate change has begun to feel much more real in recent years, so the general public is becoming more and more committed to the cause by the day. In fact, many people now choose to only buy from or work with companies that take conscious steps to reduce their carbon footprint and make a positive impact on the environment wherever possible.
Not only might switching to electric vans benefit your business in terms of running costs and incentive schemes, but it could also lead to increased engagement and sales from customers who appreciate your environmental efforts. You may even be able to attract a new kind of customer or outperform your competitors thanks to this one simple change.
Employee satisfaction and retention
Installing electric vehicle infrastructure such as convenient and accessible smart-charging stations can boost driver confidence and efficiency. Not only that, but better fleet management systems designed specifically for electric vans can allow for better route planning, real-time traffic updates, reduced driving times, lower costs per mile or per journey, and increased awareness of driver or vehicle stats.
If your employees are free to use their commercial electric van even when off-duty, they may also benefit from reduced commute costs compared to their personal vehicle or public transport, which might ease individuals’ financial burdens.
All of these factors combine to make for a much more effective and productive way of working, as well as potentially reducing anxiety or improving satisfaction among employees. Such a positive experience may even persuade them to switch their personal vehicle to an electric model, which will make a bigger difference on an environmental level.
Demonstrating a commitment to the environment and taking steps to reduce your company’s carbon footprint has been shown to positively impact employee engagement, your attractiveness as an employer, and employee retention rates.
Unsure whether to make the switch?
The factors affecting your decision to switch to electric vehicles will vary depending on the nature of your work, the locations you operate in, policies stipulated by your local councils, and more. Before making a decision, it’s important to assess these factors and weigh up the pros and cons associated with each.
Below are some of the key considerations you should mull over when deciding whether an electric van is right for you.
Penalties for fuel-powered vehicles
With public support for green energy and electric vehicles having soared in recent years, the UK Government has taken steps to penalise those driving fuel-powered vehicles in order to encourage uptake of electric alternatives. Certain parts of London already face a diesel parking surcharge of 50%, while electric vehicles can park for free in some places – these policies could easily be rolled out nationwide if there was a demand for them.
Diesel cars also sit in a higher tax band and pay more Company Car Tax. While vans are currently exempt, this is unlikely to be the case for long. As well as these costs, some cities are introducing schemes designed to reduce pollution and emissions and encourage drivers to go electric in order to avoid extra charges. For example, London’s T-Charge levies £10 on every diesel entering central London, while Bristol’s recently introduced Clean Air Zone charges £9 a day for certain cars, taxis and light goods vehicles and potentially as much as £100 a day for heavy goods vehicles, buses and coaches.
For businesses, holding onto existing diesel vans instead of switching to electric alternatives could become more expensive and possibly even unmanageable, particularly if you regularly travel around congested towns and cities.
Upfront and running costs
If you think now’s the time for your business to embrace electric vans, you’ll first need to establish whether this is a financially viable option. In the short term, you should work out exactly how much you have to spend upfront on your new electric vehicle(s). You should also consider long-term costs, weighing up the financial impact of switching to electric versus current outgoings relating to your diesel vehicle(s). If you think the upfront or running costs may be slightly too steep, it’s worth looking into van finance options or government-funded incentives.
Convenience of charging
In order for your business operations to continue running smoothly after switching to electric vehicles, you’ll need to ensure there are plenty of charging points in your areas of operation. Alternatively, you could do some research on installing your own charging points at home or at your main office or worksite.
Sites like Zap Map track the electric vehicle charging network, making note of each and every charging point in the country. At present, most of these are in or near big towns and cities. They are also distributed unevenly across the country, with some regions being well-equipped for an all-electric future and others facing the opposite scenario.
Purchase or Lease Electric Vans from Van Sales UK
If you’re looking to buy or lease an electric van, look no further than Van Sales UK. We have a wide selection of electric vans from leading brands, so you’re sure to find one that meets your requirements. Available in a range of different body types and configurations, our range of electric vans can cater to a variety of commercial and domestic customers.
To discuss your options or secure your brand-new electric van, get in touch with our team today. We’ll be more than happy to help you make the switch to electric.