THERE is increasing pressure on Boris Johnson’s government to fast-track the proposed ban on sales of new petrol, diesel and hybrid cars to 2030, which would keep the UK in line with Ireland, Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands.
At present, the UK has announced 2040 as the year the ban will be imposed as it pushes to achieve its commitment of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. But last in February the government launched a consultation to bring the date forward to 2035.
Prime Minister Johnson announced that he favoured the new timeline, or indeed even 2032, but Labour believe 2030 is an ‘ambitious but achievable’ target and has urged the government to jump once again.
After a relatively slow uptake from consumers, the sales of pure-electric cars are beginning to really ramp up. Sales have gone from 7,704 in the UK in September 2019 to 21,903 in September this year – an increase of 184 per cent.
But with figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders (SMMT) showing that 328,041 cars were sold in the UK this September, pure electric sales still have some way to travel.
Earlier concerns with electric vehicles around range anxiety, price and the number of charging points are starting to become less prevalent as the technology improves.
In Northern Ireland there are 334 charging points with more on the way, and for home-owners there are grants of up to £350 available from the government towards the installation of home charging points.
Business owners can avail of a voucher-based grant scheme which will contribute £350 per charging socket, up to a maximum of 40 sockets per application.
Beyond the environmental benefits, early adopters of the new technology can enjoy government support to get them on the road. Currently the government contributes up to £3000 in grants towards new electric cars through the Plug-in grant.
Further savings come in the form of low running costs and no road tax charges. It is estimated that a petrol/diesel car will cost approximately £1,200 to run compared to just £300 for an electric car based on mileage of 10,000.
With the ban on the sales of petrol, diesel and hybrid cars coming down the road fast, some fleet managers are considering the benefits of transitioning to electric vehicles.
Despite the higher cost of the vehicles, there are other benefits for businesses to consider such as zero company car tax and 100 per cent First Year Allowance (FYA) claims. Transitioning to EVs can also be a strong brand message in relation to a company’s commitment to reducing its carbon footprint.
By introducing some EVs to the fleet now, managers can plan for the future by working through any issues with range or capabilities of the vehicle in relation to the company’s needs.
When a full transition to EVs arrives, fleet managers will be better prepared to integrate the new vehicles into the day-to-day operations of the company.
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:: Angela Stewart is commercial account manager at AbbeyAutoline (www.abbeyautoline.co.uk)