Electric vehicle charging symbol

Switching to EVs offers considerable benefits to businesses, including lower running costs and lower fuel taxes. What’s more, with the Bath Clean Air Zone coming into force earlier in 2021, businesses in neighbouring Wiltshire can avoid this charge when travelling through the city by switching to EVs and away from vehicles that don’t comply with the scheme.

The Government’s strategy to boost uptake of EVs has largely fallen into two areas: increasing the affordability of EVs, and enabling wider access to charging points. To succeed in each of these areas, the Government have created a number of financial incentives, which business looking to improve their environmental sustainability can leverage.

Increasing the affordability of EVs

The Government’s Plug-in Car Grant covers 35% of the total cost of an electric car, up to £2,500, for EVs costing under £35,000. Meanwhile, the Plug-in Van Grant covers 35% of the cost of an electric van, up to £3,000 for small vans and £6,000 for large vans. Road tax emption for EVs, and the fact that businesses buying EVs can write down 100% of the purchase price against their corporation tax liability, also help boost the affordability of EVs.

Some of the UK’s leading banks are also offering support in this area. For example, Lloyd’s’ Autolease Fund for Electric Vehicle Leases has been running since 2018, while HSBC’s Green Lending programme also covers EVs. Finally, for businesses travelling through Bath’s Clean Air Zone two or more days a week, grants of up to 35% of total cost are available.

Enabling wider access to charging points

There is a specific focus on encouraging consumers to buy EVs by offering them charging points at their places of work. To lower the cost of EV charging points, the Government introduced the Workplace Charging Scheme – a voucher-based programme to cover the initial costs of charging point purchase and installation. This offers grants of up to £350 per charging socket, and up to 40 sockets per business. Access to charging away from the workplace is also on the rise in Wiltshire, with the county looking into the On-street Residential Chargepoint Scheme.

What this means for your business

The first thing more affordable EVs and EV charging points mean for businesses is that it’s now easier to reduce your emissions relating to employee commuting. For this to happen, not only must installation of charging points take place, but staff must also be educated as to the grants available to them to purchase EVs and set up charging points at their homes. If your company offers company cars or has its own delivery fleet, switching to EVs offers an excellent option for those looking to lower their Scope 1 emissions - emissions created by sources which are owned by a company.

The Government’s financial incentives also give companies a chance to lower their Scope 3 emissions - emissions that are the result of activities from assets not owned or controlled by the reporting organisation, but that the organisation indirectly impacts in its value chain. This will mainly be true for companies which rely on partners to transport parts or finished goods either upstream or downstream in their supply chain. Encouraging these partners to take advantage of the Plug-in Van Grants and Workplace Charging Scheme will reduce their carbon footprint, and subsequently your Scope 3 emissions. For this to happen, strong relationships have to be established within the supply chain, to help all partners to realise the value of transitioning to EVs.

If you want to discuss the EV revolution, or any other topics relating to your company’s green strategy, please contact Hugh Williams, Business Navigator for the Green Agenda, on [email protected] .