Let’s start with some of the reasons to go electric.
One of the main reason that people choose to buy an electric vehicle is a positive environmental impact.
Petrol and diesel-powered vehicles are one of the biggest contributors to global warming due to the emissions that they give off, so by using an electric vehicle instead of a vehicle powered by fossil fuels, you will be doing your bit to help prevent climate change.
No loss in practicality
At the moment, it is only really haulage trucks that are lacking in electric options. There are now electric vans and electric SUVs that you could use to transport goods, equipment or tools in the same way that you would use a regular van.
Auto Express has compiled a list of the best electric vans either on the market right now or coming up in the next year.
Mitsubishi also offers its Outlander SUV as a commercial option, but only as a hybrid option at the moment.
Cost of fuel
At the time of writing, the average cost of fuel was 124.6p per litre for petrol and 129.0p per litre for diesel, and depending on the size of a fuel tank, a full top-up could cost around £60.
Electric vehicles are considerably less to charge, with some estimates coming to around £5 for a full charge. However, this may only get you around 200 miles.
It is worth bearing in mind that there are many public electric charging points, these vary in costs but some can be used for free, so filling up your electric vehicle could cost you nothing at all.
In 2017, vehicle tax rules changed, and the only vehicles exempt from having to pay road tax were electric and hybrid cars.
Businesses can claim a benefit in kind for using an electric vehicle, and can write off a benefit in kind charge for the electricity needed to charge the vehicle.
To understand more about using electric cars as a benefit in kind for tax purposes, take a look at these charts.
Businesses can also write 100% of the purchase price against their corporation tax bill.
If you are looking to buy a brand new electric vehicle, you can get up to £3,000 off the price of the vehicle through a government grant.
You can also apply for a government grant to help with the installation of a charging point for your vehicle if you use a government approved installer. You can get up to £350 off the cost of a home charging point, with Scottish applications being able to claim a further £300 from the Energy Saving Trust.
Businesses can also apply for a grant to have a charging point installed at their workplace.
Find out more about the different types of vehicles that you can claim for and how to apply for the government grant by visiting the gov.uk website.
Low emission zones
To drive in Central London, many vehicles will need to pay the congestion charge, which can cost up to £15 per day. However, electric vehicles are exempt from the congestion charge, and can freely travel around London without having to pay.
Birmingham are also introducing their own Clean Air Zone timings and charges, and whilst London’s charges are exempt on Christmas Day, Birmingham’s will be 365 days a year.
Find a list of the vehicles that are exempt from the charges here.
It is estimated by EDF that electric vehicles can cost anywhere between 30% and 50% less for servicing and maintenance costs.
This is due to electric vehicles having fewer working parts than a regular petrol or diesel engine, such as pistons, spark plugs, cooling systems, various pumps and chains.
Most electric vehicles have some kind of regenerative braking, which uses a motor to slow the car down instead of using the brakes. This will create less wear and tear on the brakes, which can be expensive to replace. You will still need to have your brake discs and brake pads changed, but less regularly than vehicles without regenerative braking.