Blue Poppy

How can your business benefit from grants & support for embracing electric vehicles?

Seize the day – now is the time for your business to benefit from funding, grants and discounts to revolutionise your business transport needs. Who drives Electric Vehicles (EVs)? An increasing number of people are changing to EVs, from the environmentally aware, the financially savvy, to lovers of innovative technology.

In October, Green GB week and the EV Roadshow (Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS)) travelled to Durham, Nottingham, Bournemouth and Bristol. It highlighted the opportunities that clean growth offers the UK and to raise understanding of how businesses and the public can tackle climate change. On display were a number of electric and ultra-low-emission vehicles (ULEVs) with the latest innovative technology from some of the world’s leading car manufacturers.

Predictions about the environment are dire. In early October 2018 a special report* warned us of the impact of global warming of 1.5C and gave a final call to save the world from a ’climate catastrophe’. Can your business make changes to help our ailing planet? Surprisingly, yes! Businesses across the West of England area (Bristol, South Gloucestershire, North Somerset & Bath and North East Somerset) can make significant environmental and financial changes through supporting the use of EVs.

Why use EVs for business travel?

Cheaper running costs: plug-in vehicles can help businesses and fleets save thousands of pounds every year in fuel costs plus cheaper service, maintenance and repair costs

  • Tax savings
  • There are a number of grants and incentives to help businesses grow their electric fleets
  • Record numbers of plug-in cars are being registered in the UK
  • Lower emissions

Benefits of offering charging points at your workplace:

  • Increasing number of employees use EVs and require charging points
  • Establish your brand as a green leader
  • Save money by using current, local grants
  • Align sustainability initiatives with business goals
  • Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
  • Reducing cost of running a pool car fleet

Available grants and incentives for the West of England (Bristol, Bath and North East Somerset, North Somerset or South Gloucestershire):

  • If you’re a business owner, or work for a charity or public sector organisation, you could be eligible for the OLEV Workplace Charging Scheme. This government scheme can provide up to £500 of funding towards the cost of every socket of each charging point installed. Act quickly, funding runs out in March 2019!
  • There is a local authority business grant for employers to install charging points for their employees and fleet vehicles to use. These need to be on private land, not the adopted highway. 
  • The government offers discounts on buying a new EV of up to £4,500 off the price of a new electric car, and up to £8,000 off the price of a new electric van.

Case Studies

An interesting case study on the direct savings that can be made through fleet conversions is North Somerset Council. They aimed to convert 25% of all government small van and car fleet, including pool vehicles, to electric by 2021 but they are charging ahead, having already converted 39% of their fleet to electric by March 2018 – well ahead of the 2021 deadline. Thanks to nearly £130,000 received in funding from the Go Ultra Low West (GULW) project, the council now has 34 electric vehicles which staff can use. The Council has managed to bring their annual spend on cars down from over £1m to circa £400,000 per annum over a ten year period which really is a significant saving. 

Another company who have benefited from supporting the trend towards electric vehicles include Silverback Films in Bristol.

"As a company we’d been thinking for a while about installing an electric vehicle charging point in our car park for our staff and clients to use. When we found out we were eligible for a Go Ultra Low West grant it was the push we needed to get this underway.

Even though over half our staff now cycle in to work there are a number who live a long way out of town and the charging point has proved very popular with them and our visitors." Gina Shepperd, Silverback Films.

How to choose your perfect Electric Vehicle?

There’s a choice of more than 30 pure electric or plug-in hybrid cars and vans available from ‘Go Ultra Low’ manufacturers. From pure electric, plug-in Hybrid (PHEVs), range-extended Electric to fuel cell – the choice is yours. Examples of popular EVs include the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, BMW i3 and the Hyundai Kona. Find your perfect EV car!


Converting your fleet to EV

You might even consider changing your fleet to EV. Simply converting your company car fleet to electric vehicles can not only save your business money on running costs but also help protect the environment for our children and grandchildren. 

If you’re thinking about switching some or all of your fleet vehicles to electric, you can book a test drive through Go Ultra Low.

There are also companies like Bluepoppy who can help with fleet conversions.

Future Developments in the West

Public Charging network – work is being done to create charging hubs and a network across the region – watch this space…

Find out more

If you are interested in running an event at your workplace to promote walking, cycling, car share or traveling by public transport to your work, then the Travelwest Roadshow Team and Go Ultra Low West can come along free of charge with a representative and do a small roadshow.

For more information, please contact sustainable.travel@n-somerset.gov.uk to find out how the Go Ultra Low West Project can help your business today.

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