Is the UK really going into electric cars?
You know that you’ve made it when the BBC finally reports on you positively. Ever the pessimists about many topics, which they often know little about (selective is an understatement), the news team at the BBC have managed to produce some incredibly damning but inaccurate perspectives on electric cars. Too often the themes would be based around range-anxiety, battery degradation, high-purchase costs or a lack of charging infrastructure. It has taken some years, probably 3-4, for the team at the BBC to finally bring some positivity to the electric vehicle transition.
The significance of this cannot be underestimated; the BBC is effectively a gateway to mainstream acceptance of many key points and carries with it an underlying notion of trust and credence. By simply backing the EV proposition, you make changes to the mindset of the personal and business customers who are going to be leasing, buying or renting electric cars (and vans).
For the team at e-car lease, and for many of the EV advocates in the UK, this very much felt like a watershed moment for mass-adoption of electric vehicles. So to answer the latter question, the UK is very much going electric between 2020-2030. NO longer are we dealing with a question of “if”, this is now a question of “how”.
Is there any other reason to consider electric cars? For a company car user (or fleet manager) there are some very sensible arguments for adopting electric cars. The current 1% BiK (Benefit in Kind) banding is allowing so many customers to enjoy savings of literally hundreds of pounds per month; indeed many savvy customers are enjoying a better lifestyle or are paying off their mortgages, with this new tax saving.
To remind our readers, having access to a company car is NOT FREE. Yes, the company pays for the vehicle but there are ramifications for the end-user in that they pay, by way of deduction at source, an amount of tax which is calculated based on a vehicle’s P11d, the CO2 emissions and the driver’s individual tax banding. Crucially an EV attracts 1% BiK for 2021/22, which makes this significantly better than any hybrid, PHEV or other combustion option available.
An EV will save you money after the roll-out of the UK’s Clean Air Zones
However, there are now more wide-ranging reasons for considering electric transport. One of the latest changes across the UK has been the “Clean Air Zone” introduction in the UK’s leadings cities. Only this week Birmingham City launched their “journey to cleaner air” which will see instrumental changes in the way that passengers move in and out of the city. While only a soft-launch, as the true changes occur 14 June, owners of non-compliant vehicles will face charges as their vehicles will not meet the standards expected.
What are the consequences of not meeting the clean air zone standards in Birmingham? For cars and LCVs this will be £8 per day and for buses, coaches and HGVs this will be £50 per day. If your vehicle meets the following emission standards you will not need to pay the daily charge in Birmingham:
- Euro 6 (VI) or better for diesel engine
- Euro 4 or better for petrol engines
- For diesel/petrol electric hybrids the vehicle should meet the relevant emission standards
- Fully electric or hydrogen fuel cell powered vehicles will not need to pay the charge
The point to note with the new emission zones is that they are not limited to London or Birmingham. New zones will be established in Bristol, Bradford, Portsmouth, Greater Manchester, Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside, whilst Oxford is set to introduce a trial. Each city has the autonomy to decide on what vehicles will be impacted and what charges will apply. While not yet stated in policy, the move will be to eliminate combustion engines from our more heavily populated urban areas. If you want to future proof, there is now a more pressing reason to go electric for your next new car.
Is the Tesla Model 3 the best electric car to lease or are there other options?
The good news is that the choices available to the customer are now growing. While The Tesla Model 3 is by far the most-popular electric car to lease, there are plenty of new options emerging during 2021. Tesla had a head-start during 2020 (which we call the seminal year for EVs) with their mass-adoption vehicle. The problem was that so many leading manufacturers just didn’t, and still don’t, have a genuine adoptable vehicle which meets the needs of many customers.
The improvements within our market are unbelievably quick however and 2021 is a much more positive story. Almost every manufacturer has at least 1 option to offer customers with some offering 2 or 3 different cars. The VW group, often known for their ability to create the “people’s car”, have now done just that with their “ID” range in the form of an ID3 (Golf-size) and ID4 (Tiguan-size). Aesthetically pleasing, affordable and with a feasible range, the competition in the electric car market is certainly charging up.
In terms of the car shown, the Volkswagen ID.4 ESTATE SPECIAL EDITION 150kW 1ST Edition Pro Performance 77kWh 5dr Auto (Pure Electric Vehicle), this is based on the following configuration:
- Metallic Paint – Glacier white
- Artvelours cloth – Platinum grey/Dusty grey dark with Florence brown sides
- Platinum Grey dash panel and inserts, door cards in Florence Brown
- 20″ Drammen black diamond alloy wheels with anti-theft wheel bolts
As standard the car includes adaptive cruise control, BLIS, lane keeping system, park distance control in front and rear, rear view camera, navigation system, remote tailgate, acoustic glazing, heated washer nozzles.
Body coloured externals, high beam assist with automatic sensing, LED headlamps, power folding/adjustable/heated mirrors, privacy glass, rain sensors, sound deadening pack, keyless go, DAB radio, 6-speak sound system.
Cloth upholstery heated front seats, interior ambient lighting, air conditioning, ESP, exterior e-sound and 20” alloys. With the ID4 you only get the charging cable for home charging unit. The charging cable for a 3-pin plug (mode 2 cable) is a cost of £150 plus Vat with VW.
On the technical-side company car and business users can note the P11d at £40,745 and with CO2 of 0g/km. The 77kWh usable battery offers a winter range of around 215 miles and a summer range of around 290 miles on a full charge.
The WLTP range is stated to be just over 300 miles. In terms of performance, the car offers 0-62 times of 8.5 seconds and 201hp.
For charging times, a domestic 7.4kW charge point will offer 0-100% times of 12 hours, a quicker 11kW AC fast charge will be around 8 hours and, at the maximum charging rate of 126kW DC, the car will achieve 10-80% in 34 minutes. Head to Zap Map to find your nearest charge points