Electric vehicles are a key subsequent to transport systems and SolarCentric’s green enthusiast and Sales Director, John Bloomfield, made what he considered an easy decision when finally switching to an EV. Before undertaking an EV, John addressed several areas for consideration: the range, infrastructure and the amount of available support for breakdowns and fast chargers. John’s experience speaks volumes on how much EV has evolved and developed over the years:
What were your initial steps before investing in an EV?
John: In order to progress my decision, I first of all created a spreadsheet to determine running costs and how this matched my available budget. Initially I was surprised at all the costs involved when it came to an EV.
I soon discovered that these expenses were outweighed by cheaper running costs. For example; in my diesel car, fuel will cost roughly £80 and would get me 500 miles, whereas 500 miles in an EV would cost me a predicted £9.38 when charged overnight using Octopus GO 5p a kilowatt. Even at the more expensive day rate of 15p per kilowatt, my total came to around £28.14, it was then effortless to switch to EV.
In regard to cheaper fuel costs, EVs have very few moving parts, therefore, require a lot less servicing, and another advantage for EVs is that they come with multiple tax benefits. At the time of my switch, the government had just expanded Salary Sacrifice for employees considering EVs. This is a great scheme which enables you to lease an EV and pay for it out of your salary before tax, saving you and your employer money. Since then, the government have announced 0% BIK (Benefit in Kind) on EVs.
Now that you have invested in your EV, have you noticed any other qualities along the way?
John: Having convinced myself that an EV was affordable I proceeded to order my new Tesla, taking advantage of the Salary Sacrifice scheme with the knowledge that owning a car this expensive would now be possible within my budget due to the savings on tax, fuel and services. Once I owned and started driving my EV I discovered that the tyres also lasted longer, and the predicted fuel savings were in fact better because there are plenty of places that have free EV charging points; including hotels, pubs, restaurants and public car parks.
I have now been an EV owner for 18 months and I have travelled just short of 50,000 miles, I am very pleased to report, all the financial predictions have proved accurate, and due to the amount of places you can charge for free, I have definitely underspent on charging. I have found that I use fast charging facilities a lot less than I anticipated, and I charge overnight at home when my travel is only to my office. Often, I travel more than 200 miles in a day and occasionally I need to charge while traveling between sites. To make better use of my time while charging, I’ll grab a coffee and catch up on emails.
Once you settle into life as an EV driver, you soon realise that standing at the pump is inconvenient and, in my opinion, a very unsatisfying way to spend your money.
To summarise, I am very happy with my decision to switch to an EV and even though there is a necessary element of planning before starting a journey, the infrastructure and technology surrounding EVs is improving rapidly and it’s great that there are mobile apps that show locations for chargers.