Purchasing electric fleet vehicles

The cost of commercial EV fleet acquisition

Making the switch from combustion engine vehicles to electric vehicles is one of the biggest sustainable changes that fleets can make, and one that can help bring about long-term prosperity and lowered running costs – but it can require a serious initial investment.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at what the cost of electrifying your fleet of vehicles could look like, covering not just the cost of purchasing the vehicles but also what infrastructure you will need to invest in.

EV Costs

As technology develops and demand for electric vehicles increases, EVs are becoming more affordable and more versatile than ever. When it comes to price, they are giving combustion engine vehicles a run for their money. There are now more EV pricing options in the market than we have ever seen before, and a larger product range comprising vehicles of all different shapes and sizes – meaning there are options to fit different budgets.

How much do electric cars cost?

If you are looking to acquire electric cars for your fleet, you can expect an average cost of around £47,300 for a new vehicle, however this industry-average figure accommodates the higher costing car brands like Tesla and Lucid Motors. The electric cars at the lower end of the price range can cost as little as £22,225.

Second hand electric cars

Buying second hand electric cars can knock a fair sum off the buying price. You can find models like the Nissan Leaf or Renault Zoe for as little as £7,000 second hand, and with ranges of around 130 miles these are suitable for a lot of businesses fleet needs.

How much do electric vans cost?

New electric vans often have a similar upfront cost as electric cars, with some great models costing between £29-45,000 and ranges almost reaching 200 miles. These types of EVs have some way to go to being a true match to their petrol and diesel vehicle cousins but they are a great switch for last mile delivery services.

Second hand electric vans

Opting for seconds hand electric vans will similarly save you some money on the up front costs, with many second hand models selling for around £10,000 or less. This resale price is similar to the second hand cost of many petrol and diesel van models too, making the switch to electric even easier to justify financially.

How much do electric HGVs cost?

Haulage companies and other businesses needing heavy good vehicles are becoming increasingly able to electrify their fleet, and the cost of electric HGVs currently stands at around £100,000. This is a price that is close to the cost of combustion engine vehicles.

Electric Fleet Financing

Leasing your electric fleet

Leasing electric fleet vehicles is a great way for businesses to benefit from an electric fleet without being tied to a vehicle that will depreciate in value over the years. It can help you balance the cost of electric fleet vehicle acquisition without your cashflow taking too big of a hit and leases can offer flexibility that works with your needs.

Leasing your electric vehicle could cost you less than £200 per month, and businesses can reap the benefits of newer models and cheaper servicing costs, too.

Your can read more about electric vehicle servicing here.

Purchasing your electric fleet

Alternatively, you could consider purchasing electric fleet vehicles. This route of acquiring your EVs will mean that you will eventually be paying no monthly payments and have an asset which can be resold if necessary. Additionally, if buying electric vehicles new you might qualify for the UK government Plug-In grant, a grant which is automatically deducted from the price of some EV models on purchasing.

Leasing often includes certain restrictions on mileage over the lease term, and with a vehicle you won you are not limited to these requirements. However, servicing is your own responsibility with a vehicle you own and the cost of purchasing electric vehicles will often include a higher upfront cost as well as higher monthly payments.

EV acquisition that suits your business

There is a lot to consider when making the move to an electric fleet that can make it feel like a daunting task. The first step you should take is to consider what exactly your fleet needs in terms of vehicle size and mileage, whether you have the means to install the appropriate charging infrastructure, and whether purchasing or leasing will be most beneficial to your business.

Charge Cards from Fuel Card Services

Once your electric fleet is on the road, recharge it efficiently with EV charge cards from Fuel Card Services. We have a growing range of electric vehicle charge cards that offer great rates, useful perks, and can help to keep admin costs down and your fleet in motion. You can use our enquiry form to get in touch and our team will be on hand to help you find the right charge cards for your fleets needs.

Solar battery EV charging

EVs & solar power: can you charge your car with a solar battery charger?

Finding sustainable solutions to powering our homes and vehicles is more important than ever, both for planet and pockets. With electric cars, vans, and other vehicles increasing in popularity and affordability every year, what options are available to businesses (and the public) to get these vehicles in motion in an environmentally savvy way?

In this blog, we discuss how solar charging could become a viable option for EV users looking for sustainable means of charging their vehicles – and what funding is available for businesses and homeowners looking to introduce this technology into the workplace or home.

How does solar panel charging work

Charging an electric car with solar power works by utilising the electricity generated from UV light via solar panels. Then, using a solar compatible EV charger, the generated electricity is transferred to the car’s battery.

Solar panels absorb sunlight, generating direct current energy. This DC energy is then converted to alternating current energy though the use of an inverter. This makes the energy domestically usable. It is this AC energy that can be used to power things like a home, business, or electric vehicle.

To charge an electric car with the energy generated by solar panels, a suitable EV charger with a solar feed is necessary. These types of chargers have dedicated charging terminals for solar power, allowing you to charge with both solar power and grid power.

Benefits of solar power for EV charging

Switching to electric vehicles already has a host of benefits that both businesses and individuals can benefit from, from their minimal carbon output to the lifetime savings. Opting to charge an EV even partially with solar power could offer additional advantages.

1. Save more money

Saving money on energy is more important than ever as the cost of living crisis continues. Making use of renewable energy sources is a great way to beat the cost of refuelling; sunlight is effectively free energy.

2. Further carbon footprint reduction

Take the sustainability a step further. Charging the already more environmentally mindful choice of vehicle with a renewable resource is a great way to keep reducing the carbon footprint of commercial and private vehicles.

3. Increase your property value

As electric vehicles increase in affordability and popularity, both buildings and commercial properties with existing charge points could be appealing if you find yourself moving locations. For buyers who own EVs, buildings with existing charging infrastructure are likely an appealing option, helping to maximise the return on your investment. And if the EV chargers also benefit from solar charging, then this increases the value more so.

Limitations of solar power for EV charging

Solar charging for electric cars has the potential to be hugely beneficial, but it still faces a few limitations that EV owners need to consider.

Costs

Much like the electric vehicles that use them, installing solar panels and charging equipment is not cheap at the start. Whilst there will likely be savings to be made further down the line, the initial costs can be too high for many. If a building doesn’t already have solar panels installed, the costs of powering an EV using the sun can quickly add up.

Reliability

Using appropriate equipment that is designed to handle the task is important to ensure the safe transfer of energy in any circumstance, and solar charging EVs is no different. It’s important to check that existing equipment and new equipment match the energy requirements to ensure minimal risk of accident.

Will solar power for EVs be viable?

Much like any development of this kind, the success of solar power for charging electric vehicles will no doubt have a slow start as its more widespread uptake will first require more EVs on the roads.

However, the number of individuals and businesses opting for electric vehicles is increasing year on year and as technology develops, EVs become more and more accessible. With more of the UK driving EVs, calls for sustainable means of charging with likely take off, with more people becoming aware of options like solar power for the EVs.

Fuel Card Services EV Hub

If you’re keen to know the latest EV news, insights, and updates, then head over to our EV hub. You’ll find loads of great information that can help you stay ahead of the curve.

There you’ll also find great deals on EV charge cards, with useful tools to help you pick the charge cards that’s right for your needs.

Electric car batteries in cold weather

EVs in winter: how cold is too cold for electric cars?

Drivers of any type of vehicle know that the cold weather can have an adverse effect on vehicle health and driving conditions, and EVs are no exception. Relying entirely on the wellbeing of the battery functionality, electric cars are susceptible to cold weather complications. In this blog we’ll take a look at what issues the cold causes and how cold is too cold for electric cars.

Why does a regular car battery go flat in cold weather?

For traditional car batteries, the charge is held using a liquid electrolyte solution. When the temperature drops low, as it often does in winter nights, this liquid solution begins to freeze. It takes very low temperatures for it to fully freeze but the winter cold we commonly experience here in the UK is enough to significantly reduce the liquid electrolyte solutions ability to transfer power.

Most drivers have gone to turn their vehicle on after a cold night and found the car unable to start. This is most often because of the temperature of the fluid in the battery is too low and the battery fluid too viscous to effectively conduct electricity.

Are electric vehicles more reliable in cold weather?

Electric vehicles don’t suffer quite so heavily in the cold as combustion engine vehicles. This is because the conversion of electricity to motion is easier than converting chemical energy to mechanical as combustion engines must do.

You are far less likely to find your electric car not turning on after a particularly chilly night.

How does the cold affect electric car range?

Whilst you’ll find that EVs don’t suffer from entirely the same problems that combustion engine vehicles do in cold weather, they do suffer some setbacks, nonetheless. The cold winter weather can bring electric vehicle mileage down by as much as 20% compared to summer mileage.

This also has a knock-on effect on the speed at which you’ll be able to charge electric cars and other vehicles. If your fleet drivers are operating electric vehicles, it’s important that they are aware of these changes that occur in the colder months so that appropriate planning and accommodations can be made.

Tips for looking after an EV in cold weather

There are some extra maintenance measures that should be carried out to keep vehicles in good shape through the colder months of the year and often they are the same regardless of the type of vehicle you operate.

Coolant

Whilst EVs mostly benefit from needing less fluids to operate effectively, one you can’t miss is coolant. Coolant will help to regulate the temperature of the battery pack and the electronics in your EV, helping to prevent the weather from causing any damage or long term issues.

Dislodge Ice and Snow

As you should with any vehicles, it’s important that when ice and snow cover your electric car you take care to effectively remove it. This is to help avoid corrosion to the metal of the vehicle and prevent scratches and damage that could exacerbate this.

Cover your EV

If possible, cover your electric vehicle when cold weather hits or keep it in a garage. This will help to prevent the need for thorough ice removal and can keep you EV free from winter-related damage and deterioration. It will also put an extra layer between your EV battery and the cold outside.

Preheat your car

As with combustion engine vehicles, take the time to heat a car gently before turning it on if it has been stationary for a while will help to keep the internal parts functioning well and avoid any unnecessary stress on the battery.

Can you charge an electric car in the rain?

Unless there is damage to your charging cable or sockets, then charging your EV should be no issue in rain, ice, or snow. Charging equipment is designed to withstand common harsher weather types, so if you are charging your EV in winter, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Ensure safe driving with fleet services from Fuel Card Services

Driving in cold weather can present some serious risks. On top of proper maintenance and upkeep of fleet vehicles, it’s important to check in on driver safety too. Tele-Gence is a telematics service designed to equip fleets and fleet managers with industry leading technology and keep operations safe and efficient.

Tele-Gence can help fleet managers to track driver whereabouts and habits, and with customisable software and add-on including dash cams it can prove invaluable if cold weather accidents do occur.

To help stay on top of vehicle checks as the cold weather rolls in, MyDriveSafe.Expert offers easy and efficient management of safety checks to help you and your drivers ensure that all fleet vehicles are ready to operate safely and effectively.

If you think you could benefit from the services provided at Fuel Card Services, then don’t hesitate to enquire. Our team are on hand to help you find the right services, fuel cards, and charge cards for your fleet’s needs.

electric vehicle charging

Guide to electric vehicle charging

Sometimes it good to go back to basics. If you have recently switched to an electric vehicle or want a recap on how to charge an EV, this guide will show you through the steps to ensure effective charging of your EV.

How to Charge an Electric Car

1. Check what charging plug your vehicle uses & that it is compatible with the charging point.

Depending on the make/model of your car you may have a Type 1 charger, or a Type 2 charger. Most public charging points feature a Type 2 charging socket so if you have a Type 1 socket on your car then you should ensure you have a ‘Type 2-to-Type 1’ cable on hand.

Rapid chargers will use different types of sockets, the CCS and CHAdeMO chargers. The first combines a CCS DS socket with the Type 2 socket. The second is less common than the first, however, it’s important that you check which type your vehicle uses.

2. Attach your cable to the charging point and then to your vehicle.

Your vehicle’s charging socket may be located in the same location as traditional fuel caps, or it may be located at the front of the vehicle.

3. Your vehicle will have a light to show the vehicle has begun charging.

This is usually green or blue. Your dashboard will tell you how long until the vehicle is fully charged. Your car won’t be able to start up whilst charging and the cable will be locked in when the car is locked to prevent theft of the cable or the charging point.

4. When you are finished charging or are ready to leave, unlock your car, disconnect your cable, pack it away, and you are ready to go.

Man charging an electric car

Public Charge Points

There are 35,778 charge points at 21,378 charging locations, making public charging points easy to access for EV drivers across the UK.

Types of Charging Points

  • Slow charge points
  • Fast charge points
  • Rapid charge points
  • Ultra-Rapid charge points

Electric Vehicle Charging at Work

If you are introducing EVs to your fleet or are encouraging the uptake of EVs by your staff, then it’s worth investing in charging infrastructure. There are a range of different types of charging point that are perfect for workplace charging, and some fit the criteria for the Workplace Charging Scheme.

These charge points will be used following the same or similar step-by-step process outlined above, but it’s important to check the requirements of each individual model to ensure effective charging and to avoid damage either to your EV or the charge point.

Electric Vehicle Charging at Home

As with workplace charging, there are a range of home charge points to choose from. Home charging is the most convenient and often most cost-effective way of charging electric vehicles. If you are looking to install a charging point at your home, it’s worth researching the various types of charger you can choose to find the one that suits your needs.

Wallbox Chargers

Whilst you can charge an EV from the wall sockets in your home, wallbox providers can offer faster and safer charging. The EV charge point grant can help to cover up to 75% of the cost of installing smart charge points at domestic properties across the UK.

EV Charge Cards

When charging fleet electric vehicles, an EV charge card is an effective option for saving on costs, benefitting from perks, and managing fleet finances. If you are unsure which EV charge card is right for your fleet’s needs then head over to our EV Hub where you can find guidance on the types of EV charge card on offer as well as other useful information.

5 Reasons to adopt electric vehicles

Five reasons to adopt EVs into your fleet

If, like many UK business leaders, you’ve noticed the inevitable trend towards electric vehicles, you’re aware of the potential upsides, and you’re looking for the last sign to start moving your fleet from petrol and diesel vehicles to electric, then look no further.

In this article, we’ll take a look at five key reasons why you should consider making the shift to electric vehicles for your fleet.

1. Electric vehicles can help you to cut costs

Whilst EVs may currently have a higher up-front cost than combustion engine vehicles (though this is predicted to change by 2027) there a many ways that the switch to electric vehicles pays off during and after acquisition.

Government grants

In a push to increase uptake of electric vehicles both for company and personal use, the UK government has a number of grants available to help alleviate some of the costs of introducing electric cars and vans, and the necessary infrastructure to support them.

The Light Commercial Vehicle Plug-in Van Grant, for example, enables you to claim as much as £2,500 toward the purchasing price of a new van that meets the criteria. This grant isn’t one you can apply for and is instead included as a discount by the vehicle seller. You can find out which vehicles are eligible for this grant on the GOV.uk grant page.

The Workplace Charging Scheme is a grant scheme offered by the OZEV, in place to help businesses and organisations with the cost of purchasing and installing charging infrastructure. The Workplace Charging Scheme could reduce the cost of both buying and installing charging points by as much as 75%. You can read more about the workplace charging scheme at the GOV.uk grant page.

Maintenance costs

After the initial purchasing cost of your electric vehicles, you’ll find that you save money on their upkeep with EVs costing at least 30% less than petrol and diesel cars to service and maintain. This is due to electric cars, vans, and other EVs having fewer moving parts in need of care and replacement as time passes.

Regenerative braking is a great example of how electric vehicles use efficiency to reduce maintenance costs. This efficient breaking model means less wear and tear and fewer repairs.

Tax benefits

You can also cut EV costs by taking full advantage of the tax benefits that accompany them. For entirely electric vehicles, you will pay no vehicle tax and for a plug-in hybrid vehicle you will pay between 8 and 12% of the list price, compared to 25% or more for self-charging and petrol/diesel equivalents.

You can read more about company car tax here, where we cover all the details of company car tax from the rates to who is responsible.

2. An EV fleet will cut your emissions

Once your EVs are in motion, your fleet’s carbon footprint will quickly decrease – with electric cars emitting three times less CO2 than equivalent petrol cars. As electric vehicles evolve and we develop increasingly efficient models, this CO2 saving will only increase.

EV battery recycling is also helping to increase the sustainability of these vehicles. The batteries used to power electric cars and vans has a second life even after it can no longer power a vehicle. A great option for powering small space and as energy storage for sustainable power sources like solar panels.

3. Enhance your reputation

Whilst benefiting the business’ bank balance and contributing to cleaner air, introducing electric vehicles to your fleet will also benefit your business’ reputation. Corporate sustainability is increasingly important for reputation and relations; those businesses seen to be committed to sustainable practises and actively investing in them can have a positive impact on client engagement and respect. Not only that, but it sets a standard within your industry, and dedicated efforts in sustainability can show both competitors and customers what is possible.

4. EV range is going up

EV range anxiety is a common reason businesses and individuals are hesitant to invest in electric cars and vans. However, this is nothing more than a common electric vehicle myth.

Today, electric vehicles are offering impressive single-charge ranges, with many new models offering upwards of 200 miles. This number will only increase as the technology evolves; some of the top end electric cars offer 500-mile range on a single charge, something that we will see more affordable models matching in the years to come.

5. EV charge cards from Fuel Card Services

When recharging on the roads, the right EV charge card can help to keep the costs down. If you have introduced EVs to your fleet and are looking for the right charge card, then visit our EV hub. There you’ll find EV charge cards and other useful resources relative to electric fleets.

Unsure what an EV Charge Card is and how it can keep your fleet recharging costs low? You can learn more about them in our Guide to EV Charge Cards.