Increasingly as time passes, more and more motorists are being encouraged to shift to electric vehicles for their daily driving. EV technology is advancing all the time as range increases and fuelling becomes easier, using charging cables at home and at public outlets. Enlightened employers are also beginning to establish charging points for staff who drive this technology and are even considering the use of electric car leasing for business use. These advances are not just multiplying in the domestic arena either; the commercial world have latched on to the possibilities engendered by the electric vehicle and manufacturers have responded accordingly. Today, electric vans, e-vans, are becoming more commonplace on our roads.
The Electric Van Market
Commercial electric vehicle sales, mostly vans at this stage, are just a small fraction of the EV market but the take-up is increasing. Obviously, in this dreadful year, most aspects of ordinary life are on hold, but when we return to some semblance of normality the concern about environmental pollution will still be there. The drop in automotive pollution during the crisis demonstrates clearly how much cleaner our air is; this should further encourage the use of electric vehicles, especially in urban areas. For local deliveries, for example, it is hard to not see the potential of the electric van, particularly for those vehicles carrying a suitable charging cable to suit Type 1 or 2 public EV hubs.
Because electric motors deliver instant power at the touch of the throttle they are smooth and responsive. With no gears to worry about the driver has an easier, more relaxed time at the wheel and the e-technology makes an electric van very convenient around town.
It is also worth noting that commercial premises often have three-phase electric wiring, unlike domestic homes which are restricted to single-phase. Three-phase, as the name suggests, has a large phase that operates at 208 volts and two smaller ones that use 120 volts. A range of three-phase charging points are available which will help speed up low-cost vehicle charging and also help in future-proofing the business.
Tax Benefits Too
There are tax benefits for business users and fleet managers too: To encourage the use of EV technology for industry, the government has introduced company car tax (CCT) changes effective for the current year 2020/2021 which will help to reduce company car tax bills. For example, fully electric cars will pay no CCT in 2020/21, with subsequent years being just one percent for 2021/22 and two percent the following year.
Further, five new CCT bands for plug-in hybrids which emit only 1-50g/km of CO² are introduced, ideal for those electric vehicles that can travel furthest with zero tailpipe emissions. With these incentives, now seems to be the best time for companies to consider switching to electric transport.
Telematics For Business
As mentioned, the tremendous improvements in EV technology, along with the international focus on reducing global warming and encouraging zero-emission vehicles, have provided a much-needed impetus to the EV market. Increasingly, business and industry, especially those running fleets, are relying on telematics to monitor the parameters of a vehicle’s use and consumption to best manage costs and servicing.
The rise of the electric van has shown there is also a need for EV specific telematics. This is the solution for managers to track electric van data, offering the ability to ascertain energy consumption and energy generation by both monitoring the battery’s state of charge and presenting the driver with the location of and booking for the next charging station. This knowledge also helps the driver to use the vehicle efficiently.
The Benefits Of Switching To Electric Vans
Fortunately the benefits of EV usage for, say, deliveries in towns and to domestic premises, are obvious. Not least among these is the public face of business. The public at large are slowly but surely becoming more conscious of our environment. By using e-van technology a business can present a socially conscious image that reflects well on the company.
Electric vans do not produce emissions and users can demonstrate their ecological credentials.
Right now, the government offers a plug-in van grant worth up to twenty percent of the vehicles cost, up to a maximum of £8000. As mentioned above, other tax advantages are available and there are even grants available towards the cost of workplace charging points and hubs. This in turn works with much reduced running costs. Electric vans are considerably cheaper to run than diesel alternatives. Not only is the cost per mile of electricity lower, there are fewer moving parts, thus reducing maintenance costs. There is also a wide variety of the very latest charging cable and charging point options available through EV dedicated suppliers.
Aside from reputation and running costs, further benefits include cooperation from local and municipal councils determined to clean up their act. As such, free parking is available in many areas and of course there is often full exemptions from the London Congestion Charge (ULEZ), something that should also be adopted by other cities as they too consider congestion and pollution charges.
Considering perhaps night-time deliveries, say by fast-food outlets or delivery drivers for internet orders, e-vans are much quieter than diesel vans, almost to the point of being silent. Ideal for unsocial-hours services. Happy neighbours are likely to be good neighbours. It also helps the reputation of the delivery service.
It Just Makes Sense
Internal combustion engine vans emit the nasty stuff that the world could do without; it’s the usual suspects, Carbon Dioxide and Nitrogen Dioxide, that do us harm. There’s none of that sort of thing from an e-van. Also, any concerns about battery longevity have been firmly put to bed. The past few years have shown that the technology lasts well within the remit of the sort of usage a van might be put too.
Buyers can take advantage of grants and under the watchful eye of the our seemingly environmentally friendly government, electric vans and other vehicles have official approval. Our current situation has demonstrated quite clearly that fewer ICE cars on the road has reduced the country’s carbon footprint substantially.
However we feel about EV’s now, it is a fact that we are all destined to be driving on Electric Avenue in the not-so-distant future. Private motorists are getting the message; now business and industry is too.