20 April 2018

With companies becoming more and more focused on decreasing their overall CO2 emissions, many are turning towards Electric Vehicles or Hybrids to enhance their environmental credentials.

However, there are some that still see traditional vehicles as the most popular choice for their fleet. That’s why this month we wanted to explore the range of electric and hybrid vehicles available, and why they could be a positive alternative.

What vehicle options are available?

Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (HEVS) – these vehicles have a battery that’s charged through regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine.

Plug-In Hybrid-Electric Vehicles (PHEVs) – the battery of these vehicles are plugged in to charge, but the vehicle can still run on traditional fuel.

All-Electric Vehicles (EVs) – the batteries of these vehicles are charged by an electric power source, and the vehicle only uses electric energy to move.

What are the commercial benefits of using electric vehicles?

Potential reduced operating and travel costs

In the past, electric vehicles often came with associated purchasing and installation costs, especially when charging points need to be added to an existing parking infrastructure. However, now that manufacturers and the Government have seen a rise in electric and hybrid vehicle popularity, these costs are reducing.

Electric vehicles offer a greater reduction in travel costs, especially for companies with fleet vehicles that regularly undertake journeys of up to 100 miles per day.

This is because semi-hybrid models assist the combustion engine, so the engine switches off when stationary or coasting. Full hybrid vehicles allow the electric engine to fully power the vehicle at lower speeds, meaning traditional fuel consumption is greatly reduced.

Flexible lease terms

If you’re not planning on purchasing electric vehicles outright, then leasing could be an option. As a result, you’ll able to choose from most makes and models available on the market, based on your own unique fleet requirements.

The additional benefits of leasing an electric vehicle include:

  • Cost control – Budget accordingly based on your fixed, monthly payments
  • Free up capital – Opt for brand new vehicles, without having to pay the up-front costs involved with outright purchases
  • Reduced administration – Your fleet management company will deal with the buying, maintenance and delivery, so you don’t have to
  • Minimised risk – You don’t have to worry about depreciation costs, as these are absorbed by your fleet management company

Lower maintenance costs

As any fleet manager will know, traditional vehicles require a lot of maintenance and upkeep. Petrol and diesel vehicles - with their combustion engines - contain hundreds of moving parts, any of which could break. In direct contrast, an electric motor has fewer than 30.

This means that electric vehicles are likely to have lower long-term maintenance costs compared to your existing traditional fleet. This helps to reduce unplanned vehicle downtime and keeps your fleet moving throughout the year.

Government grants

For companies that are looking to purchase a selection of electric vehicles, there are several schemes in place to help cover the initial costs. There are seven categories of vehicle, based on the CO2 emissions. These are:

  • Category 1 cars (e.g. BMW i3 and i3s, Mercedes-Benz B-Class Electric Drive)
  • Category 2 cars (e.g. Audi A3 e-tron, Volkswagen Golf GTE)
  • Category 3 cars (e.g. Mercedes-Benz E350 e AMG Line, Mini Countryman PHEV)
  • Motorcycles (e.g. Energica Ego, Vmoto 100, Vmoto 120)
  • Mopeds (e.g. Torrot Muvi City,UGBESTe-City)
  • Vans (e.g. Mitsubishi Outlander Commercial, PeugeotePartner)
  • Category 1 taxis (e.g. LEVC TX)
The grants cover anywhere from 20% up to 35% of the purchase price, based on which category your chosen vehicle falls into. You can find out more about other vehicles here


In summary, electric and hybrid vehicles could be a positive choice for your fleet, but you need to ensure that you’re making the most of them and you’ve considered all your options before making your final choice. 

Electric and hybrid vehicles are a strong consideration for organisations of all shapes and sizes, not least because of the monetary rewards and improved environment credentials associated with clean driving. Leasing an electric vehicle is an ideal solution, especially if you’re working with a limited budget.

To find out more about our fleet management and leasing, employee benefits solutions and driver services, call a member of our team on 0844 854 5100 or email CSalmon@sgfleet.com.