There’s never been a better time to switch to an electric vehicle

Changing to a battery-powered vehicle is a great way to reduce carbon emissions and save money.

One in seven cars sold in the UK this year will have a plug, according to projections by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). No longer a niche or futuristic ambition, the switch to electric vehicles (EVs) is gaining momentum.

The RAC estimates there are more than 330,000 zero-emission battery electric vehicles (BEVs) on UK roads, along with 320,000 plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and over 700,000 conventional hybrids (HEVs).

Why are people switching to EVs? The government announced in November 2020 that new petrol and diesel cars and vans will no longer be sold in the UK after 2030, with hybrid sales banned from 2035. Since then, consumers have leaned towards purchasing cleaner vehicles.

The Energy Saving Trust says people are also keen to reduce their own CO2 emissions and help protect the environment. It points to a 2018 report by the SMMT that stated petrol vehicles produced the highest level of CO2 emissions at 125g per kilometre, while diesel vehicles emitted 122g. In comparison, BEVs produced zero CO2 tailpipe emissions.

Cost is another key consideration. While the price of charging an EV varies, Auto Express estimates that running a 40kW EV for a year over 9,000 miles is about £300, compared to more than £1,200 for a vehicle running on petrol or diesel.

The business opportunity to switch

Many SMEs rely on road transportation for the day-to-day running of their businesses, yet making the switch to electric has, until recently, seemed too daunting for some. Cost, availability, range, charging and suitability are all issues.

But EVs are becoming a more viable option for businesses. The government is working with industry to provide the tools and practical advice drivers and fleets need to go electric.

Government subsidies are available to buyers and there are indirect savings from going electric through road tax, capital allowances and congestion charge exemptions.

New charging points are being added to the grid each day, and the range of EVs available is developing quickly.

The full transition to EVs is considered one of the most important actions for the UK to achieve its net zero target

Companies with large fleets are also making commitments to the EV transition. BP, BT, Direct Line Group, Royal Mail, Scottish Power, Severn Trent and Tesco have joined forces to create the Electric Vehicle Fleet Accelerator (EVFA) to help increase the uptake of EVs. If government policy progresses, EVFA members will commit to converting their fleets to EVs by 2030 and to buying 70,000 British-built electric vans.

Meanwhile, the Climate Group’s EV100 initiative aims to help make zero-emission transport “the new normal” by 2030, with its 113 members – including Sky, BT and Ikea – delivering fully electric fleets.

How the EV8 Switch app can help

The full transition to EVs is considered one of the most important actions for the UK to achieve its net zero target.

EV8 Switch is a free app that calculates how much money UK drivers could save by switching to an EV, compared to their current petrol or diesel vehicle.

Backed by £2.7m of UK Space Agency funding, the app also provides details on the CO2 savings and air quality improvements drivers could achieve.

You can see which EVs would be most suitable for you based on your current vehicle and how switching to electric could fit in with your current lifestyle or business requirements.

Those with the app can also see how close their nearest charging points are, and which journeys can be completed without the need to top up en route.

The app is available through the App Store for IOS devices and the Play Store for Android users. All you need to do is download and decide what to drive/

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