Nov 15, 2023 | BUSINESS EV GUIDES, EV Guides

According to The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), as of 2022, 58.8% of electric cars on the road were registered to businesses, rather than individuals.  

With the rise in popularity of electric vehicles becoming hard to miss, many businesses are making the switch to all-electric. But before making such a big decision, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of EVs. We’ve made this helpful guide, so you can make the best choice for your business.  

What Does Switching to EV Mean? 

An electric vehicle (EV) is a vehicle that runs on electricity rather than fuel such a diesel or petrol. There are lots of different types of EV (we recommend checking out our jargon buster for more guidance) – some run solely on electric, and some are hybrids, meaning they use both a battery and a traditional internal combustion engine.  

Introducing EVs can look different for everyone, depending on the number of vehicles you use, (e.g. a couple of company cars or a fleet of vans), the type of journeys your vehicles will be taking, and the type of charging infrastructure you intend on using.  

EVs are seen as a greener and more environmentally friendly option when it comes to transport, especially for businesses. But as with all decisions, there are benefits and drawbacks that will depend on your business’ needs. 

Pros of Electric Vehicles for Business 

The largest, and perhaps most compelling argument for EVs is their lack of CO2 emissions and minimised impact on the environment. The day-to-day running of an EV has zero tailpipe emissions and although they can be charged through mains grid energy, they can also run on renewable energy. So, if your business generates its own on-site solar power, you would be able to reduce both your running costs and your environmental impact at the same time.  

Improving sustainability is also a good look for your business. Climate change is at the forefront of many people’s minds and knowing that a business cares about the environment can be very attractive from a customer standpoint. Infact, many B2B businesses and service providers are now having to include full sustainability proposals when tendering for new business, and consumer facing businesses often find themselves under fire by eagle-eyed customers keen to shop green. A switch to sustainable travel can be a great way to boost your eco-credentials and contribute towards protecting the planet. 

Speaking of customers, if your business welcomes customers on-site, introducing EV charging infrastructure is another great way to generate an additional stream of income, and can even help new customers discover your business. As EVs continue to become more popular, people are always looking for convenient places to park and charge. Offering EV charging could also encourage customers to spend longer on your premises, as they wait for their vehicles to charge. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about how installing and EV charger at your business could help you generate extra revenue, get in touch with our friendly team, who can talk you through the best options.  

As well as saving money on your day-to-day running costs, EVs are often much cheaper to maintain, as they do not have an internal combustion engine. Fewer moving parts means less can go wrong, potentially saving you up to 30% on annual maintenance costs.   

However, it is important to remember that EVs still need to be serviced as often as their fuel-reliant counterparts and things such as tyre pressure, brake fluid checks and MOTs still need to be carried out as usual.  

It’s not just tailpipe pollution that EVs skip out on, but also noise pollution. This may be especially important if your vehicles will be driving around busy city centres or residential areas. EVs are known to be almost totally silent, with the only noise you are likely to hear being the rolling of tyres on the road surface. This makes them the perfect neighbours, and preferable to traditional HGVs and vans. 

Cons of Electric Vehicles for Business 

As with all things in life, nothing is without drawbacks. The development of EVs is still young and although they are progressing in leaps and bounds with every new model released, there are still improvements to be made.  

One of the biggest sticking points that puts people off EVs is the fear of running out of battery and becoming stranded, also known as range anxiety. A lot of this is linked with the perceived lack of charging infrastructure currently available for EVs. However, there are ways to overcome this.  

A great way to avoid issues surrounding range or charge anxiety, is to plan your routes. If a vehicle is running a regular journey such as a delivery route or running between different business sites, it’s likely that the route is already planned, so all you need to do is find out where the ChargePoints are on your way and factor these into your journey time.  

However, with the continued expansion of EV infrastructure in the UK, range anxiety is becoming much less of a barrier for the take-up of EVs.  

 Using an app such as Zap-Map or ABetterRoutePlanner will help you easily identify public ChargePoints along the way.  

Initial cost is another factor that often puts people off switching to EV. To purchase a new EV, you will likely be paying much more for it than you would for a traditional fuel vehicle. This is because the battery uses expensive materials and currently, EVs are produced in smaller batches. You will also need to pay for the installation of ChargePoints on your premises, which, depending on the number of vehicles you intend on charging, may vary greatly.  

There are, however, multiple initiatives in place to encourage the uptake of electric vehicles and help towards the costs of switching. For example, the Workplace Charging Scheme provides a discount on the cost of installing chargepoints at a business site, and the Plug-in Vehicle Grant offers reduced rates on purchasing an eligible electric vehicle. 

Another cost to consider is the maintenance of tyres for your EV. Despite lower mechanical maintenance costs, EVs require special tyres that will likely set you back more than your average ones. Although you can put regular tyres on an EV, they will wear down around 20% quicker due to the heavy pressure, or torque delivered to them by the electric motor. Therefore, it is generally recommended that you only use EV tyres as they are built to withstand the weight and pressure.  

It is a good idea to look at your current outgoings for company vehicles and calculate the initial cost of switching to EV, while factoring in the lowered running costs, potential revenue generation, and environmental benefits, to work out if switching is the best option for you. 

The Pros and Cons of EV for Businesses: A Summary

Whilst there are downsides to EVs, and individual circumstances to consider, the benefits of electric vehicles on the environment are hard to ignore. And with government funding available to support the switch, now could be a great time to consider joining the EV movement. 

If unsure whether electric vehicles are right for your business, you might want to consider a trial period or staged uptake, where you incorporate a couple of new EVs to begin with and see how you get on. You can then assess the benefits, costs, and logistics, to make an informed decision on whether switching is right for you. 

Time to Switch to EVs?  

If you’re already sold on EVs and want to make the switch, we’re here to help. Get your free, competitive EV installation quote to find out more.

To find out more about electrifying your business travel, check out our commercial EV installations page.