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Electric Vehicles for Business Users: A Tailored Solution?

Matthew Wong, the newly appointed Business Centre Manager at Lexus Leeds talks through the move towards electric vehicles and what this means for businesses.

As the newly appointed manager at Lexus Leeds, I am eager to immerse myself in the local business community. I’m committed to championing local enterprises, bolstering the Leeds economy, and steering our beloved city towards a sustainable, green future.

The Allure of EVs for UK Businesses

The transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs) isn’t merely a nod to eco-friendliness. There are compelling fiscal incentives too. With the promise of tax breaks, the continuous fall in battery costs, and a notably attractive 2% Benefit in Kind (BIK) tax rate for company car drivers, EVs present a compelling economic case.

Assessing Your Business Travel Needs

Before embracing the electric avenue, it’s vital for businesses to meticulously scrutinise their current and impending travel needs. In urban environments such as Leeds, where daily commutes are relatively brief, EVs shine. Their adeptness in city traffic and the convenience of nightly charging at a central depot make them an enticing choice.

However, when covering considerable distances is part of the business model, factors like the EV’s range, available charging infrastructure along the route, and time taken for recharging come into sharp focus.

Charging: A Mixed Blessing

While the UK has made commendable strides in enhancing its charging infrastructure, especially along motorways and in major cities, gaps persist. Some rural areas or less-travelled routes might pose challenges.

It’s paramount to bear in mind that even with rapid chargers, refuelling an EV is seldom as quick as a traditional petrol fill-up. Charging sessions, often stretching beyond 30 minutes, could disrupt time-sensitive agendas.

Plug-in Hybrids: A Balanced Alternative

Where distances become challenging and charging infrastructure are sparse, Plug-in Hybrids (PHEVs) emerge as an effective compromise. They seamlessly blend the best of both worlds, harnessing battery power for shorter local commutes while boasting the extended range of a hybrid engine for longer journeys. Furthermore, PHEVs come with a competitive 8% BIK, making them a worthy consideration for businesses seeking flexibility.

Finding the Right Fit

Although EVs present a promising alternative to conventional combustion engines, they might not be the ideal fit for every business. A city center manager making local journeys would see EV as a win, benefitting from minimal running costs and a robust ‘green’ brand image. Yet, a company with a broader regional footprint could find the existing charging landscape a potential hurdle.

Final Thoughts

The push towards electric is undoubtedly exhilarating, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all proposition. As businesses weigh the advantages against potential limitations, Stuart and I stand ready to advise and support. Together, let’s embark on a journey towards a prosperous and eco-friendly Leeds.