Why your next car should be electrified

As the car industry continues to embrace electrification and the range of low-impact vehicles continues to grow, so the government is making tax incentives for drivers – worth knowing about if you’re considering your next company car.

The next big shift in the world of motoring is here and happening now. The electrification of the car industry shows no signs of slowing and it’s something the UK government recognises, with numerous initiatives in place to help speed up this process over the next few years.

And, while environmental considerations such as reduced fuel usage and lower CO2 emissions are certainly a strong enough motive to take the electrified route, there are also other appealing factors.

It pays to go green

As of April 2020, the government introduced new rates for taxing company cars. These use CO2 emissions and electric range as a basis for calculating tax bands and, as an incentive for drivers to go green, low-emission electrified cars are now even more tax-efficient.

For example, some of the lowest rates of benefit-in-kind (BIK) tax – which all company car drivers have to pay – are exclusively for low-emission fully electric and plug-in hybrid cars. Some can even qualify for a 0% BIK tax – but to get this, your car must be able to travel over 130 miles using just electricity, while producing under 50g/km CO2 emissions.

Needless to say, even if you’re not ready to take the plunge into fully electric driving, businesses and drivers can both make some real tax savings by choosing an engine that’s partly electrified.

What sort of electrified car should you consider? 

With technologies continually evolving, it’s not always clear which type of electric vehicle is best for you. To help you choose, we’ve summarised the features of the three electric categories offered by Volvo:

PHEVs are plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. In simple terms, a PHEV combines a traditional combustion engine with an electric motor, offering drivers the best of both worlds. They provide:

  • the power to travel short, everyday journeys using just electricity
  • the reassurance of a petrol engine to keep you going on longer trips

MHEVs are mild-hybrid electric vehicles. In these cars, a small electric motor assists the performance of a combustion engine. MHEVs offer:

  • smooth acceleration and a more fuel-efficient drive
  • charging solely through regenerative braking, with no need to plug in

BEVs are battery electric vehicles. These cars don’t have a combustion engine and operate using pure electricity only, providing:

  • zero tailpipe emissions while driving to reduce your carbon footprint
  • lower running costs, as electricity is significantly cheaper to use than petrol

Government incentives

The government is encouraging the move towards low-emissions travel with incentives and investment in electrification infrastructure. This means that charging both at home and on the go is quicker, more convenient and more cost-effective.

Here are just some of the ways the UK has adapted to vehicle electrification so far:

  • There are already more charging points in the UK than petrol stations, and the number is rising
  • Across five years, £500 million will be used to build a UK-wide electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The furthest you’ll ever be from a rapid charging station will be 30 miles
  • Grants for charging equipment and tax-relief benefits for using electricity are being offered to businesses and drivers. Through the Electric Vehicle Homecharge Scheme, for instance, you have the chance to get 75% (up to £350) off the cost of installing a charging point at home

Petrol and diesel options will be phased out

The UK has a goal of emitting virtually zero carbon by 2050, and to do this, some significant measures are being laid out now. It’s definitely the right time for most of us to reconsider how and what we drive. Volvo has already begun the process of phasing out diesel variants and will continue to do so as the UK moves towards a greener future.

  • By 2035 at the latest, the UK government will ban all new sales of petrol and diesel vehicles in order to stay on course with its “Road to Zero” emissions targets
  • London is expanding its Low Emission Zones in 2021 and several other UK cities look set to start taxing inner-city travel for high-emission vehicles

As a member of the Law Society, you have an easy and beneficial way into the world of electrified driving through a partnership with Volvo Car UK. You can take advantage of exclusive discounts and offers.

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