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The WhichEV View

Here’s how to choose the best electric truck for your business

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Feep in the Bedfordshire countryside is a unique testing facility called the Millbrook Proving Grounds. Tucked behind a small forest of trees are several private tracks allowing you to test a vehicle in every environment possible – from small town to race track, extreme hills to extreme bumps and undulations. WhichEV was invited along to see the latest electric commercial vehicles from DAF, Volvo and Renault by the SMMT.

In one of the rare few places in the UK where you can drive a 26 ton truck without an HGV license, we put these silent monsters through their paces, trying to decide: Are UK businesses ready for the move to electrification and, if so, what would be the best electric truck for your business?

When WhichEV visited Renault’s new electric mobility factory in Blainville-Sur-Orne back in March, its team were given a detailed breakdown of their plans to move the world’s transport systems from diesel to electricity. Alongside Volvo (part of the same group) and DAF (which has been supplying commercial vehicles for close to 100 years), Renault will play a major role in moving commercial haulage away from fossil fuels.

Click here to read WhichEV’s hands-on with three of the main contenders for the switchover.

The WhichEV guide to EV charging made easy

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Charging your EV should be easy. In fact, it should be as easy as the experience people have putting petrol in their internal combustion cars. But some of the time it isn’t. This is frequently used by EV haters as an excuse to avoid switching to an EV, or even to vocally criticise them on social media.

However, a lot of this is merely a cultural change. In the same way that you need to avoid putting petrol in your diesel car (and vice versa), an EV owner needs to know their CHAdeMO from their CCS, their AC from their DC, and other characteristics of their vehicle’s charging capabilities. This WhichEV guide is here to help you navigate the cultural shift, to help you make EV charging easier.

Click here to read the full article.

EV adoption rate accelerates rapidly

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Back at the the start of 2020, Citroen’s CEO announced in Paris that the brand would be pushing for a 100% electric line up of consumer cars by 2025. That’s a full five years ahead of the Government’s target. This week sees an announcement from Vauxhall that it will move to a 100% electric platform by 2028.

Combined with record high prices at the petrol/diesel pumps – and similar announcements by other manufacturers – it makes you wonder about the resale value of fossil fuel cars going forward. Ford is expecting that a third of its global shipments will be EV by 2026, with the company aiming to sell over two million EVs in the next four years.

In February 2022, battery electric vehicles counted for almost 18% of all the new vehicles registered – outselling diesels by more than 2 to 1.

With diesel nudging past £1.90 at some service stations, BiK set to remain at 2% for a while yet and Salary Sacrifice Schemes able to save workers thousands of pounds on a new car the arguments in favour of moving fleets across to electric vehicles have never been stronger.

SMMT calls for binding targets for chargepoint rollout as demand for EVs surges

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The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has published a seven-point plan calling for binding targets regarding the rollout of charging infrastructure across the UK.

This nationally coordinated plan has been put forward to ensure every driver in Britain can benefit from an EV charging network that is affordable, available, and accessible

Charging companies like Osprey are committed to a rapid deployment of fast charging hubs, using the latest 75kW chargers – which can give most cars up to 100 miles of range on 10 minutes. The company is committed to installing over 150 of these hubs by 2025.

“Retail parks are prime locations for EV charging, allowing drivers to top up their EVs while making use of the retail facilities on site,” said Patrick Sherriff, business development director at Osprey Charging.

Head on over to WhichEV to read the full story.

The WhichEV View: Help your employees save thousands with a salary sacrifice scheme

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By James Morris, Editor, WhichEV

As part of its push toward a carbon neutral economy, the government is encouraging companies to set up a salary sacrifice scheme to help employees get huge savings on the latest electric vehicles. Essentially, the cost of the vehicle is taken from an employees salary, before it is considered for tax.

As a result, a sizeable chunk of income, becomes tax free. When a company leases an electric car, the whole cost can be deducted as a business expense. The company essentially functions as a go-between, passing the lease cost on to the employee. The employee effectively pays the business lease amount to their employer, so the company doesn’t pay anything to provide the car to their employee, other than the time it takes to administer the deal.

For a 40% tax payer, the ability to deduct a £400 lease payment from your gross salary will save you up to £160 a month. That would be a saving of £5,760 over 3 years. You also have a potential saving of almost £1,300 on National Insurance. Combined, in this example, the employee can be looking at a saving of more than £7,000.

The BiK is also close to zero, which represents another saving against a petrol or diesel vehicle. Worth bearing in mind that all of these savings happen before you get to the lower running costs and, in the case of Octopus EV, the included bundle of free electricity – very welcome in today’s climate!

Best of all, a good salary sacrifice scheme from a supplier like Octopus EV is quick and easy to set up, and takes around 15 minutes a month in admin time. You can get a detailed quote by clicking here.

Read the full story here.

Exciting executive EV choices coming soon

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By James Morris, Editor, WhichEV

Roll the clock back 10 years and the Nissan Leaf was one of the only electric cars available in the market, with a range around 100 miles and very few places you could get a charge. The EV landscape looks very different in 2021.

To help the specialist media get an idea of what is coming, the SMMT (Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders) recently held its annual press event at the Millbrook Proving Ground near Milton Keynes. WhichEV spent the day looking at some of the executive car options that fleet managers can now choose from.

Millbrook itself is secreted among the trees and you don’t really notice it until you hit the large exterior security gates. Access is strictly controlled, as the Proving Ground is used by manufacturers keen to get real-world test data on their up-coming products. There are three ‘tracks’, to help simulate all possible driving conditions.

The Race Track

This is an American-style oval, with heavy banking on the outside edge – so you can take fast cars to the max with minimum risk.

Town Track

Simulates the standard roads that we all drive around every day, including traffic lights and give-way signs. Let’s you examine visibility and manoeuvrability on tighter streets.

Hill Track

Starting with long, slow slopes, this track quickly builds to the most demanding combination of extreme elevation and tight turns under pressure you can imagine. Easy to believe that it might be based on the toughest country roads in Wales.

With limited time and over 100 cars on show, its important to prioritise. WhichEV’s focus was the latest Porsche Taycan, a new model from Audi and a look at the much-anticipated Hyundai Ioniq 5.

Porsche Taycan RWD

One of the only EVs to match Tesla for performance, Porsche has now launched a Taycan (pictured, above) with rear wheel drive that will hit 60mph in just over 5 seconds, with a top speed of 143mph and a WLTP range of 268 miles – all courtesy of a 79kWh battery. Most important? There are already leasing deals around the £585 mark for low-mileage business users. When combined with the 1% BiK right now, the performance and prestige of the badge will make the RWD version of the Taycan popular with executives.

Audi e-tron GT

With business leases starting a smidgeon under the £700 mark, Audi’s latest EV executive shares around 40% of its genetic profile with the Taycan – but with a softer ride and more luxurious interior. It sports a larger battery than the Porsche and can reach 60mph over a second quicker with a top speed of 152 for your favourite German autobahns. The WLTP is just over 300 miles and – at its peak – the GT will pick up 520 miles of range per hour of charge – topping out at 270kW DC.

Hyundai Ioni5 5

The latest iteration of Hyundai’s popular EV series comes with a 62kWh battery and 249 mile range – which doesn’t seem that special. However, the car is able to utilise a 175kW DC charger and pick up a peak of 450 miles per hour of charge. That’s enough to take you from ‘near empty’ to 80% in less than 20 minutes – which is very appealing for those who regularly drive long distances. Business leases for those using it more casually, will start around the £325 mark. Accelerating to 60 in around 8.5 seconds is good compared to fossil fuel cars, but fairly average for an EV. The top speed of 115mph is enough to lose your license on most European roads.

For all of the latest EV news and reviews, please check www.WhichEV.net.

The WhichEV View: Why your company should buy you an EV today

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By James Morris, Editor, WhichEV

In April 2020, the Benefit-in-Kind (BIK) rate for EVs dropped to 0% for the tax year. It rose to 1% for 2021-22, then 2% for three years from 2022 to 2025. Given the previous rate 16%, these are significant changes.

In other words, if you received an electric vehicle as a company car this year, you paid no personal income tax on it until April 2021, and very little until at least 2025, whereas before April 2020 you’d have paid a lot more, making the reduction a significant incentive for employees to have an EV as a company car. In our previous article, we calculated that, if you received a Tesla Model 3 Standard Range Plus instead of a Mercedes C220d saloon as your company car from your employer, you’d save well over £10,000 over three years of use in terms of tax, fuel and other running costs.

But what are the incentives for the employer to buy you an EV? Other than providing an attractive perk for employees, why should your company go electric, when EVs still tend to be considerably more expensive than internal combustion engine cars? In a follow-up to our original article, we will show that buying an EV makes just as much sense for a company as it does for the employee that receives it, and even more so if you run your own Ltd company…

Click here to read more.