A survey by DriveElectric, one of the UK’s leading electric vehicle leasing companies, asked public transport commuters if they were planning to change their journey to work post-lockdown. The results showed that 43% were considering an EV rather than using public transport; 33% said that they were planning to work from home; 13% said they would be driving a petrol or diesel car; and 11% said they would walk more.1
Considering an electric vehicle
Working from home
Driving petrol or diesel
The good news is that total annual costs for a new electric car could be as low as £8,803, compared with £8,935 for the train, and £12,950 for a new diesel car, for an employee commuting into London.2
The figures take into account the new, more expensive London Congestion Charge, now increased from £11.50 to £15 per day – except for EVs, which are exempt.
The zero percent company car Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax for pure electric vehicles from April 2020 could also save thousands of pounds per year for company car drivers.
But despite electric cars having no negative impact on air quality, being safer from a health perspective, and being cheaper in terms of whole-life costs, many businesses have company car policies that don’t allow employees to choose EVs.
DriveElectric has found that businesses have concerns about issues ranging from the purchase price of EVs to how to charge them, resulting in companies choosing not to offer EVs as an option for employees. However DriveElectric has worked with many companies to show that EVs typically have much lower whole life costs than petrol or diesel cars, and there are a range of solutions when it comes to charging.
Although under normal circumstances public transport is the preferable travel option to reduce congestion – and walking and cycling are even more ideal where possible – EVs could offer a lower cost and safer option, and could be used in conjunction with flexible working hours to minimise travel and congestion at peak times.
Improvements in air quality during lockdown have been well documented, and EVs will help to maintain lower levels of pollution, rather than shifting the health risk from COVID-19 to increased air pollution from vehicles.