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Working out the cost benefits of an electric fleet, with the LEXperts

Content sponsored by Lex Autolease

Throughout the LEXperts video series we’ve offered some helpful tips and guidance for those on the journey to a greener commercial fleet.

In Episode 1, we considered why it’s important to get moving now. Episode 2 explored key factors that affect your choice of electric vehicle. In Episode 3, we considered some of the commercial practicalities, like charging logistics. And now, for our fourth and final episode, we take an optimistic yet realistic outlook on the overall whole life cost benefits of an electric LCV fleet.

Putting costs into perspective

In the driving seat for this episode is Carol Roberts, Head of Bid and Implementation at Lex Autolease.

With a wealth of experience in helping clients realise the advantages of electrification while simultaneously keeping costs under control, Carol emphasises that the big picture is the one to look at — especially when it comes to costs.

“Making this transition is certainly going to involve costs upfront, but there are long-term running costs to consider too,” she begins. “So, it’s important to look at the whole-life cost scenario and make sure you do your calculations correctly at the start of the process.

“The good news is, although the initial cost can appear more expensive, longer-term benefits related to running costs and pence per mile, for example, will work out a lot lower.

“You won’t need to worry about the cost of the diesel. You don’t need to worry about AdBlue. You’ll see far fewer maintenance and servicing bills. Things like that all add up as a true benefit and a real cost saving.”

Looking at your fleet as a whole

Carol’s view is endorsed by many of her fellow LEXperts, including Chris Chandler, Principal Consultant at LEX Autolease.

“If you’re looking at transitioning from a cost perspective, you’ll have some areas where there will definitely be cost savings,” assures Chris.

“For instance, electric car fleets certainly have substantial tax benefits, so cost savings can be had quite easily there. You can also get cost savings at the moment with small commercial vehicles.

“By contrast, larger commercial vehicles often attract a cost premium when going electric. The best advice is not to look at the individual fleet areas: look at the fleet as a whole.”

As with every other topic covered in our LEXpert series, it’s important to remember that you don’t need to go it alone when calculating these costs.

Lex Autolease can help — a point which is emphasised by Melanie Holmes, Customer Relationship Manager. “If you’ve got a good supplier,” she explains, “they will go through all of this with you to make sure the costs are explained in full.”

Making the most of incentives

A good supplier should also be able to brief you on the range of cash and tax incentives which you might be able to enjoy by making the move to electric.

“The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles offers really favourable grants at the moment,” says Carol, taking up the story again.

“For large commercial vehicles that can be anything up to £5,000 and for the smaller commercial vehicles it can still be as much as £2,500.  EVs are also eligible for a charging discount and there are some really great incentives in the regional areas too.

“So, for example, if you’re driving an EV or PHEV within London, you don’t have to pay congestion charges. If you look at Scotland, they’re using loans to help you switch over to EVs. And in Northern Ireland you can get a grant. It’s really important to factor in these opportunities when you’re working out when to move over to electric - because they won’t be there forever.”

No time like the present

As mentioned in previous episodes of the LEXpert series, considerations like this mean that now is the time to start firming up your plans well ahead of the current 2035 deadline.

As Carol puts it: “From a cost-benefit point of view, it’s really important to start the journey now and take advantage of all the incentives that are available.

“There’s realistically no reason why you shouldn’t start the transition process as quickly as possible. And, of course, we have to remember that this change isn’t just about the numbers either. It’s about sustainability ─ and that’s got to be a priority for everyone.”

To learn more about Commercial Vehicle Solutions from Lex Autolease, click here.

Published On: 30/11/2023 14:30:00


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