Will the UK’s winter make running an electric car impossible?
Are there any practical drawbacks of using an electric vehicle? In the UK we have a moderate climate with a long, wet and frosty autumn/winter. For anyone using an electric car in colder temperatures there is an obvious increasing demand on the vehicle. In particular, for our sub-zero mornings, there is an impact on the vehicle warming up. The question is does winter weather affect my EV. Without a doubt, the colder weather does impact on the vehicle’s efficiency (it is no different to your house or even your combustion engine vehicle!).
So when customers are assessing suitability, there should always be an analysis of both summer and winter performance to make sure there is a clear understanding on range and vehicle demands. What customers have to consider, is that an EV needs to warm both the batteries (to operate efficiently) and then further heat the vehicle. Indeed, this process is much quicker than a combustion engine but it nevertheless involves the usage of energy.
As such, we always recommend you have the vehicle plugged in to your home or work charger at this point, as the vehicle will utilise the charge point to warm the battery/vehicle, which is far more efficient. However, if you drive around in the cold/dark, you will almost certainly be using facets which are draining on the vehicle’s energy – lights, heated seats, air conditioning and so forth.
How do I know how weather affects my new EV?
However, this is not about panicking or making a decision NOT to use an electric car. This is just about applying common sense to the situation and recognising that the statistics provided to you on a vehicle’s efficiency needs to be considered more individually that you would on the combustion engine’s MPG.
For example, the EQC shown here will offer a combined range of around 260 miles in “mild weather” but circa 200 miles in cold weather (being temperatures of-10C). The 60 mile discrepancy is unlikely to deter most drivers from making the transition but it does need consideration As the UK’s leading electric car leasing company our new “Lythium” products as supplied by our partners Morphsites , will be doing just this for our personal and business customers. Our duty is to ensure you take products and services which are suitable for your needs/requirements and this includes fully understanding the vehicle and it’s electrification!
Benefit in Kind (BIK) for the Company Car EV Driver
Thank you to our business leasing customer from Bath (Somerset) for allowing our team to manage their fleet as they transition into the world of electrification. For many businesses, company car users and salary sacrifice operators, the introduction of further electric car products has seen a marked interest (and resurgence) in these funding products.
The “decline” of company cars originated from the growing cost of the UK’s tax regime. When you have a company car in the UK this is not a free benefit, contrary to popular belief when your employer provides a vehicle to you under the contract of employment, they will often agree to pay for the finance, maintenance and insurance of the vehicle. This provides you with an all-inclusive package which essentially takes the risk and responsibilities of running and owning a vehicle away from you.
The concept of a company car is very much a positive one. For many company car drivers this allows access to vehicles they may never have afforded previously. In addition, for those with poor/bad credit, they may not be able to access prime vehicle funding methods and the company providing this route may be a perceived benefit. However, we have to again confirm that this is not free and there are consequences to the customer for taking on the company car – this is called “company car tax”.
Each month, your employer will deduct (from source) an amount of money for you using the vehicle and pay this to HMRC. The way in which the monthly figure is calculated is by applying a simple formula based on the car’s value (P11d) and using the vehicle’s CO2 per km and your income tax bracket to calculate a fixed sum.
The more expensive, the more polluting and the higher your salary, the more you pay per month. There are a number of reasons why this happens but, most crucially, it is seen as a way of the UK’s government being punitive against the most polluting vehicle on our roads.
One of the biggest parts of 2020 (other than Coronavirus) was the UK’s decision to change its policy on the taxation of electric cars. From April 2020 this became 0% BiK meaning that there is literally zero tax to pay. From April 2021 this increases to 1% up to a maximum of 3% by 2023. To summarise, for any company car users this is a seismic shift in their tax exposure, with many saving literally hundreds of pounds per month on their tax bills.
With the Covid pandemic reducing outbound visits and commutes, the declining annual mileages across fleets has made this an even more digestible option to consider. So if the company car policy allows and the budgets are adequate this may be something to review more diligently.
Our Latest Mercedes-Benz EQC Delivery
In terms of the car shown, the MERCEDES-BENZ EQC ESTATE 300kW AMG Line 80kWh 5dr Auto (Pure Electric Vehicle), this is based on the following configuration
- Metallic Paint – Graphite grey
- Leather – Black
- Anthracite carbon fibre look trim with high gloss centre console
- 20″ AMG multispoke wheels painted black with high sheen finish
As standard the car includes Blind spot assist, cruise control, active brake assist, active lane departure warning, leather, privacy glass, heat and noise insulating glass, comfort suspension
Easy-pack tailgate, navigation including Map and charging stations display, traffic sign assist, DAB radio, stainless steel pedals front rear LED band, multibeam LED headlights. Sound system with 4 speaks and a 225W amp, running boards, 10.25” instrument and driver display.
AMG sports steering wheel, interior light package, mirror package with heated door mirrors, parking packing with active park assist and reversing camera, seta comfort pack, stowage pack, AMG sports seats, heated front seats and 20” alloys.
In terms of additional specification, consider:
Premium EQC – Smartphone integration, 21” alloys, augmented navigation, Burmester sound system and the electric sliding roof;
Premium Plus EQC – in addition to the above, enjoy head up display parking package and memory seats.
On the technical-side, company car and business users can note the P11d at £68,345.00 and CO2 at 0g/km. The 80 kWh battery delivers 408ps, a WLTP range of 245 miles and 0-62 times of just over 5 seconds.
Service intervals on the EQC EV are every 12 months or 15,500 miles. In terms of charging times on the EQC expect an 11kW AC charge point (rapid) to get full charge in circa 9 hours and a rapid 112kW DC to offer 35 minutes on achieving 20-80%. A standard 7kW home charge is likely to be 12 hours+ to get a full charge