Running an electric car or van is about much more than the driving experience, with an EV having a positive impact on numerous areas of a driver or operator’s motoring experience.
Research by YouGov has found that 29% of people are looking to cut their motoring costs this year, however, many of those surveyed aren’t aware of the financial benefits that running a battery-powered vehicle will bring. Although 81% knew about the environmental benefits, as many as 53% don’t appreciate the other areas where an EV offers financial savings versus a petrol or diesel car.
Electric cars are exempt from paying Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). In addition, since April 2020 the government also removed Benefit-in-Kind taxation lowering it to 0% in the 2020/21 tax year compared to 16% in 2018/19. It will then be subject to a nominal rise of 1% in 2020/21 and 2% in 2021/22.Employers also don’t have to pay National Insurance on electric company cars this tax year.
EVs will also be eligible to drive in clean air zones without charge as they pop up across the country. Although hybrids enjoy this privilege in the London Congestion Charge this will change as of October 2021, at which point EVs will be the only vehicles eligible for special status in the Capital’s centre.
The savings extend beyond taxation, though. Electric vehicles don’t need the same attention as those with combustion engines when it comes to servicing and maintenance.
With fewer moving parts, and few components, there is less work to do. At the very least, a service won’t have to replace items like oil filters and engine oil, spark plugs, air filters or coolant. As well as not having to pay for replacement parts, there is also the associated reduction on labour.
This adds up to significant savings when it comes to SMR – the major servicing costs for an EV are up to 43% lower than they are on a diesel car.
With Nissan boasting more than a decade’s experience with electric vehicles, it has the data to be supremely confidence in the vehicle’s durability. Since the Nissan LEAF’s launch in 2010, there have been 180,000 units, and counting, sold in Europe and more than 40,000 in the UK.
This leads to a strong reliability record in the real world, too, with consumers rating electric cars highly when it comes to how often they need repairing, or not as the case may be. The LEAF scored in 95% in What Car?’s latest reliability survey  and made it onto the overall podium in Auto Express’s investigation of the same type .
The pace of change in the electric car sector is arguably unlike any other in the automotive industry, with charging at the absolute forefront of this.
As an example, Nissan has invested four billion dollars globally in charging infrastructure and battery development , which means that the number and spread of charging points has grown vastly in the last decade. There were fewer than 2,000 public charging points in the UK in 2011 and almost 19,500 by October 2020 . Of these, just over 3,500 are rapid chargers. While not all electric vehicles can use these, Nissan has ensured that the LEAF is able to by offering fast charging as a feature.
These figures don’t even include the number of private charging points that are stationed at homes and businesses around the UK. The Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme offers £350 towards the cost of a home charging point and has helped private individuals install as many as 140,000 residential charging points across the country.  The Workplace Charging Scheme also offers up to £350 per post, and this has helped the creation of 9,000 points. 
The spread of the charging points across the country makes for interesting reading, with London perhaps predictably enjoying the highest number of public charging points per 100,000 people at 63, with Scotland next with 37 per 100,000 inhabitants. However, London and the rest of the country lags behind Scotland when it comes to fast chargers – there are 9.3 per 100,000 chargers in Scotland .
GREEN PLATES TO BOOST AWARENESS
As of 8 December 2020, electric vehicles can come with green registration plates, designed to increase awareness and encourage EV-only incentives from local authorities, such as free parking. Only vehicles with zero emissions while driving will be eligible for the new plates and Nissan’s research shows that a third of UK motorists would be more inclined to buy an electric vehicle as a result of them.
Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director of Nissan Motor GB, said: “The age of the electric vehicle is now approaching rapidly and these new green registration plates will soon be a common sight on our roads.”
With Battery Electric Vehicles now accounting for 6.6% of all cars sold in 2020, up from 1.6% in 2019, they could be a common site sooner rather than later .
The average household in the UK spent £23 on fuel each week in 2018/19. Using the middle HMRC advisory rate of 11p a mile, this suggests a weekly mileage of 209 miles. For a single car, this works out at just one or two charges a week.
Giving something back
Unlike petrol and diesel cars, electric cars are able to give something back to the community.
This comes, principally, in a couple of different ways. Once a battery has reached the end of its life in an electric car there are many alternative uses for it, so it can keep giving back.
One notable project is the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam in the Netherlands, where batteries from 148 Nissan LEAF cars have been repurposed to create an energy storage facility that will act as a backup for the stadium and the immediate area. It’s capable of storing enough energy to power 7,000 homes for an hour .
But electric cars like the Nissan LEAF and eNV200 don’t need to reach the end of their useful life as a vehicle to give something back to the grid. Vehicle-to-Grid technology means that the pair are capable of using spare energy to feed back into your home or business if you get back with plenty to spare. Alternatively, it can be sold back to the grid to aid the wider area at times of peak demand and then recharged overnight when there is less of a strain on the infrastructure and energy is cheaper .
2. Nissan Motor (GB) Limited does not offer tax advice and recommends that all Company Car Drivers consult their own accountant with regard to their particular tax situation.
3. Major Service: Diesel Vehicle: £369, Electric Vehicle: £209, EV vs diesel = 43% cheaper
4. For substantiation, visit: https://www.whatcar.com/news/2020-what-car-reliability-survey-electric-cars/n21867
5. For substantiation, visit: https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/best-cars/driver-power/64280/most-reliable-cars-to-buy-in-2020
6. For substantiation, visit: https://www.nissan.co.uk/experience-nissan/electric-vehicle-leadership/electric-car-charging-stations.html
8. For substantiation, visit: Homecharge Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/customer-guidance-electric-vehicle-homecharge-scheme/electric-vehicle-homecharge-scheme-guidance-for-customers
9. Workplace Charging Scheme: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/workplace-charging-scheme-guidance-for-applicants-installers-and-manufacturers/workplace-charging-scheme-guidance-for-applicants-chargepoint-installers-and-manufacturers
10. For substantiation visit the Transport Expenditure report tsgb1306 https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/945874/tsgb-2020.zip
11. For substantiation, visit: https://global.nissannews.com/en/releases/europes-largest-energy-storage-system-now-live-at-the-johan-cruijff-arena?source=nng&lang=en-US&la=1&downloadUrl=%2Freleases%2Fattachment%2Frelease-75b19d3a1fdacef505523031451832a3%2F28afa169c68ca99785e9319c267d6617d9c5ff14
12. For substantiation, visit: https://www.nissan.co.uk/range/electric-cars/v2g.html
13. For substantiation, visit: https://www.smmt.co.uk/vehicle-data/car-registrations/