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  • Jun 6, 2023

  • 6 min read


Are businesses ready for electric cars?

In the UK, all new cars and vans sold after 2035 will need to produce no tailpipe emissions. For businesses that rely on cars, vans, and other vehicles to travel from offices or to warehouses to transport goods, this will mean moving away from a petrol or diesel company fleet. But are businesses ready for the move to electric?

As specialists in electric vehicles, we’re here to break down everything you need to know about what the future of EVs in business looks like.

Electric cars in the world of business

Electric cars are, without a doubt, the future of road travel. Since the Government announced plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars, businesses have spent time considering how they can switch from their current fleet to a greener electric fleet.

In the past few years, the demand for electric vehicles has grown significantly. Now, at least 760,000 electric cars are on UK roads, with 44% of businesses expanding their fleet.

The benefits of using electric cars for businesses

As well as supporting your corporate social responsibility goals, here are just a few benefits you’ll enjoy with electric vehicles.

  • Reducing CO2 emissions: Electric vehicle drivers help the environment by reducing the amount of greenhouse gases they put into the environment. Whether your business offers company cars to employees or uses fleets of vans to transport goods, switching to EV cars will enable you to reduce CO2 emissions.
  • No fees for driving through clean air zones: Using electric cars or vans means your business will be exempt from paying to drive in clean air zones (CAZ) and ultra-low emission zones (ULEZ), such as those in Oxford, London, and other major cities, including Bristol.
  • Financial savings: Electricity is generally cheaper to run than petrol or diesel so you can make large Ssavings on money otherwise spent on fuel.
  • Increasing sales: As customers commit to purchasing from eco-friendly organisations, you may see a higher return on investment when you upgrade your current fleet to electric vehicles.
  • Government-backed funding: Investing in electric vehicles could mean you're entitled to government funding. On top of reducing the cost of installing charge points, you may also  get financial help for purchasing electric cars.

Current adoption rate of electric cars among businesses

Knowing that sustainable transport is important, businesses are on track to increase their spending on electric vehicles, including cars, vans, and lorries.

Following in the footsteps of companies such as DPD, British organisations have pledged to support the Government in its plans to improve air quality. Royal Mail, for example, will add more than 3,000 electric cars and vans to its fleet. Tesco plans to transform deliveries by using electric vans and lorries to reduce its carbon footprint.

The challenges that businesses face in adopting electric cars

While the future of electric vehicles offers many benefits, businesses can face some challenges when switching to an electric vehicle fleet. These may involve:

  • Sourcing charging points
  • Location of public charging points
  • Initial purchase costs

Although it can seem like a big cost to transition to electric, especially if you own a small business, you can overcome many of these challenges with the support of electric vehicle incentives.

UK government electric vehicle incentives and initiatives

To help businesses transition to electric cars, the UK government is offering several electric vehicle incentives and initiatives that reduce the cost of purchasing electric cars and installing charge points.

  • Workplace charging scheme: Available to businesses in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, the workplace charging scheme offers a maximum of 75% off the cost of electric vehicle charging points for eligible businesses. This funding is available for up to 40 sockets per business, so if you have 40 sites, you’ll only be able to install one socket at each. Or if you have one site, you’ll be able to install all 40 there.
  • EV infrastructure grant: This grant supports businesses in designing and installing the infrastructure to host electric vehicle charge points and sockets, offering up to 75% off the cost of installing suitable bases for businesses with a maximum of 249 employees.
  • Electric van grants: As well as offering electric vehicle incentives for businesses buying electric cars and installing charging points, government grants are available for businesses switching from petrol or diesel vans to electric vans and trucks. Depending on the type of van or truck you’re buying, your business could receive a discount of between £2,500 and £5,000.

When it comes to the future of electric vehicles, you’ll probably want to learn more about the financial benefits of switching over. You’re probably also interested in how much you could reduce carbon emissions by.

With lots of organisations paving the way, let’s look at some of the results Octopus Energy Services has experienced since adopting its first fleet of electric vehicles.

Octopus Energy Services only onboard EVs onto their fleet and they’re also working on some pretty cool innovations to make sure the vans are as environmentally friendly as possible. Things like recycling the wrapping on the vans to then repurpose.

The future of electric vehicles in the business world

The future of electric vehicles for business looks promising. Some of the biggest companies are already making the switch, and with the support of electric vehicle incentives, small and medium businesses can too.

At Octopus Electric Vehicles, we take the hassle out of finding you the perfect electric vehicles for your business. With our business contract hire, we’re here to support your business in going green with our fleet of vehicles and vans.

Ready to begin the transition? Book a call today to learn more about switching your fleet to electric vehicles.