Lexperts episode 4

Cost benefits of an electric fleet

Our LEXperts video series has been designed to offer helpful signposts on your path to a greener commercial fleet. 

In Episode 1, we considered why it’s important to get moving now. Episode 2 drilled down into the key factors that will affect your choice of vehicle as commercial fleets across the country move towards an electric future. In Episode 3, our LEXperts shifted their perspective to fleet operation and considered some of the commercial practicalities which will be such a significant part of this big change. And now, for our fourth and final episode, we bring all these insights together, with an optimistic yet realistic outlook on the overall cost-benefit ratio 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. So, it’s important to look at the whole-life cost scenario and also to make sure that you do your calculations correctly right 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.”

It's a view endorsed by many of Carol’s 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 costs savings. For instance, electric car fleets certainly have substantial tax benefits so cost savings can be had quite easily done 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, 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.

Carol takes up the story again:

“The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles offers really favourable grants at the moment. 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.”

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 of 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.”

Learn more about Commercial Vehicle Solutions from Lex Autolease here.