Is now the time for electric cars?

  • Does an electric car range suit your lifestyle?
  • Sales grew more the 70 percent in 2013 so far
  • Range anxiety and infrastructure still a challenge

Although electric cars have been on the market since 2010, you may have never even seen one on the road.

So far electric vehicles (EVs) have sold in very small numbers: 1,082 sold in 2011 and 2,254 in 2012.

But sales are now on the up. In fact, from January to August 2013 there was an increase of more than 70 percent over the same period in 2012.

More and more manufacturers are launching new electric cars. The BMW i3 and Renault Zoe are a few of the better ones, and prices are continuing to come down as more are released. If you don’t have an electric car available on your company car list, it won’t be long till there will be as companies come under increasing pressure to lower their carbon footprint.

The days of traditional internal combustion are numbered as oil supply will continue to dwindle and fuel prices continue to stay high.

Alphabet, the third largest leasing company in the UK, is seeking to more than double the adoption of plug-in electric cars in the next three years.

Richard Schooling, CEO of Alphabet, said: “Our research suggests that there is a significant opportunity for the UK’s 29 million car drivers to take a fresh look at plug-ins as a real alternative to their petrol and diesel vehicles.”

As well as the £5,000 Plug-in car grant the Government has also announced a further £37 million for company infrastructure grants meaning company car drivers can receive up to 75 percent off installing a charging point at home.

With an expanding range of plug-in vehicles on the market, a growth in the number of public charging points (now up to 5,000 in the UK) and further investment in infrastructure to come, strong growth in EV adoption for the next few years is expected.

So is the time right for you to consider an electric car? 

Why Choose Electric?

A whole-life cost approach is essential when looking to choose an electric car, looking at how much it will cost to run during the whole time it’s with you.

The Energy Savings Trust estimates that running an electric car will cost around 20 percent of the cost of running a conventional diesel. This is because of the potential fuel savings coupled with tax savings and no congestion zone charge.

There are still challenges if you opt for an electric car though, including the charging infrastructure and the available range.

If you are considering electric power for you next company car you need to first ask yourself the following questions;

  • Does an electric car's range suit your lifestyle?
  • Do you have access to a charging point regularly?
  • Are you mostly based in the city or do you need to travel further afield often?

If the answer is yes to all of the above then an electric car could be the right choice for you as your next company car.

To find out more about if electric cars can work for company car drivers, read our guide here.